adjusts schedules to reflect real trip times
12th 2010 | Source: Toronto Star |
For the first time in 40 years GO Transit is
overhauling its schedules to an extent that virtually all of its
train riders and many bus riders will be affected.
changes, effective April 3, are being made to better reflect real
trip times. Riders are being advised to check their route schedules
in advance at
GO Transit’s website.
About 40 train trips will be adjusted by one to eight minutes —
three minutes on average — in response to GO’s ridership growth,
which has increased from about 36 million passengers annually in
1998 to about 55 million.
More riders translates to longer stops as passengers board and exit
the trains. It is taking trains two to three minutes longer on
average than it once did to arrive at Union Station, said GO
managing director Gary McNeil.
He asked GO staff to investigate real trip times after hearing about
a similar move in Boston, where transit officials adjusted many
schedules by 12 minutes.
The changes are good news for some eastern commuters. They’ll make
room for an additional westbound trip on the Lakeshore East line,
departing Oshawa at 6:47 a.m. and making all stops to Pickering,
then running express to Union Station.
But six, off-peak trains on the Georgetown corridor that run every
90 minutes are being cancelled temporarily. They will be replaced by
22 buses to allow work crews better access to the track, which is
undergoing a major expansion.
“Once the major construction is finished we can put the trains back
and ultimately we hope to go to an hourly off-peak service as
opposed to a 90-minute off-peak service on the Georgetown corridor,”
said GO managing director Gary McNeil.
The average ridership on those trains is about 90 people.
To make buses available for the Georgetown run, some other routes
are being eliminated, including the Newmarket bus to York University
and the 62 B Newmarket run to York Mills. GO will no longer offer
buses from the Mississauga City Centre to the airport.
York Region Transit and Mississauga Transit operate similar routes
that can carry those passengers.
“It’s a reallocation. It’s a question of, where can we get the
resources, as opposed to buying new buses and hiring new drivers.
And because of the duplication of the service on the Newmarket
corridor, there’s an opportunity to do it (in a) relatively revenue-
neutral (way),” said McNeil.
Many of the 500 commuters who are losing their GO ride on the
Newmarket routes say the alternative service will take them more
time and money.
Metrolinx and GO officials have agreed to a meeting with MPP Frank
Klees (Newmarket-Aurora) to discuss whether those riders can be
accommodated. One possibility is a month’s free pass on YRT/Viva as
an incentive to try the local service.
A few other early-morning GO buses will be eliminated where the
ridership is so low it makes no sense to keep the service, said
“It does mean some people will have to adjust their work styles,” he
There will be more train service on the busy Lakeshore line once the
third track construction is finished in the fall. But putting on
more rush-hour trains will be a challenge as renovations to the
Union Station train shed requires closing some platforms
It makes sense to put more trains on the shoulders of the rush hour,
however, said McNeil. Capacity will be increased as more 12-car
trains come on-line. About half the trains on Lakeshore should have
12, rather than 10 cars, by the end of the year.
Later in the year, GO expects to publish new, easier-to-read
Last year, GO’s operations were taken over by the province’s
regional transportation agency, Metrolinx.