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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

GO already operates the Lakeshore lines at frequencies around every 7 to 9 minutes during rush hour....

The Lakeshore lines have better than 15-minute service right now during rush hours, and had 15-minute or better service all day in Fall 2021. Unfortunately that service level didn't last very long.

Lakeshore West, October 2021, From my GO Schedule Archive:
View attachment 528016
You both are proving my point. Which is that busiest GO lines already have a frequency that is acceptable to most. Increasing frequency from here won't bring tons of new riders. Keyword being "tons of". People here are expecting multifold increase in ridership. Yes, the ridership can double in 20 years but that will be mostly because of population growth and increasing congestion. How many people do you know are not using GO because their frequency is 30 minutes but would have used it if it were running at 10 min intervals?

New lines (such as Bolton or Midtown), much better speeds, lower fares, etc. can bring a lot more net new riders.
 
With GO expansion, they can also run shorter trains. Electrification and increased acceleration will make trip times much faster and competitive with cars.

There's going to be a massive increase in train trips, more than 10,000 per week. Currently, there's 2,400 weekly train trips.

You're smoking if you don't think ridership will substantially increase.
You are delusional if you think the ridership will increase multifold by increasing train trips 4 times. You can't force people to use GO just because you increased the services by 4 times. Case in point Sheppard subway, which is much less utilized than other lines despite tons of condos near it.

We have seen the proposed speeds and they are not that much better than now because of new infill stations.

I think that with more stations in the city and frequent service, there is a huge latent demand in the core areas. Similar to the TTC subway, it achieves this potential when other transit routes (bus, streetcar, subway) make good connections with these services.
  • Oakville - Pickering: Oakville Centre*, Clarkson, Port Credit*, Long Branch, Mimico, Park Lawn, Exhibition*, Union, East Harbour*, Gerrard*, Main, Birch Cliff, Cliffside, Scarborough Village, Guildwood, Rouge Hill, and Pickering Centre*.
  • Airport - Markham: Pearson Centre*, Grandstand*, Weston, Mount Dennis*, Stockyards, West Bend*, Liberty Village, Union*, East Harbour*, Main, Cliffside, Kennedy Centre*, Agincourt, L'Amoreaux, Milliken, Unionville*.
  • Rutherford - Union: Rutherford, Concord*, Downsview Park*, Glen Long, Caledonia*, Earlscourt, Lansdowne*, Fashion, Union*.
*Key Transit Connections, New Stations.
Many people on these routes are already using current transit options. Some of those will shift a portion of their journey to GO. Those are not net new riders. Some will be net new riders, but how many? Within City of Toronto which is by far the biggest market for transit, most of the places are relatively well served by subway and frequent buses. Additionally, new lines will enter service before or around GO expansion's completion (Eglinton LRT, Finch LRT, Eglinton West LRT, Eglinton East LRT, Ontario line, Yonge North extension).

It will be hard for GO to compete with TTC unless it brings down the fares to same level as TTC and we have no indication on that happening. The only thing we have heard is free integration which is still more expensive than just TTC fare.

I would love GO to increase its ridership many times over but I prefer being realistic.
 
You both are proving my point. Which is that busiest GO lines already have a frequency that is acceptable to most. Increasing frequency from here won't bring tons of new riders. Keyword being "tons of". People here are expecting multifold increase in ridership. Yes, the ridership can double in 20 years but that will be mostly because of population growth and increasing congestion. How many people do you know are not using GO because their frequency is 30 minutes but would have used it if it were running at 10 min intervals?
I haven't made my annual commuter rail summary yet, but here is last year's summary.

commr2022.png


Looking down the columns for Midday, Saturday and Sunday, I see an awful lot of 1s and 0s. This year UP Express increased to 4tph midday and Kitchener gained 1tph weekend service, but even then, only a single line (UP Express) has 15-minute off-peak service, and two lines (Lakeshore) have 30-minute off-peak service. The remainder of all-day lines only have hourly off-peak service. Milton and Richmond Hill only have bus service off-peak, and even then the Milton buses are just shuttles to the Lakeshore West line and the Richmond Hill buses don't run on weekends.

New lines (such as Bolton or Midtown), much better speeds, lower fares, etc. can bring a lot more net new riders.
Improving frequency does not preclude us from adding new lines, improving speeds or reducing fares. To achieve increased frequencies we are substantially rebuilding our network and electrifying it. That is the same thing we need to do to improve speeds and reduce operating costs.

In fact, frequency is one of the major tools that enables higher speeds. One of the easiest ways to improve average speed is to make fewer stops, but in order to skip stops, you need to have a separate service that serves them. With only one train per hour on most of our lines, it's going to be pretty hard to justify having trains skipping stations, since that would leave two-hour gaps. Which would decimate potential ridership at those stations. But when we've got many trains per hour on the line, it's much easier to justify having a variety of different service patterns, with the longer distance services making limited stops where they overlap with local services.
 
The Milton service is downright depressing. It has the second least frequent service after Richmond Hill (I don't count London). Although I didn't realize that ALL lines were lower than December 2021.
 
be hard for GO to compete with TTC unless it brings down the fares to same level as TTC and we have no indication on that happening. The only thing we have heard is free integration which is still more expensive than just TTC fare.

I would love GO to increase its ridership many times over but I prefer being realistic.
UP Express is nowhere near as frequent as most bus routes and subways but at many times the train leaves with standing room only and a lot of people get off at Weston. If the frequency of trains between Bloor and Union was much higher then far more would get off Line 2 to transfer. Sure there are people who are more price conscious than others, but with the cost of parking or Uber and the time savings compared to other routes could easily be worth it. Fare synchronization would even go further.
 
It will be hard for GO to compete with TTC unless it brings down the fares to same level as TTC and we have no indication on that happening. The only thing we have heard is free integration which is still more expensive than just TTC fare.
I don't think it will be hard to compete. I typically take the route that Google indicates by transit would be the fastest route... do I want to sit on a bus an extra 30min or pay $2 more... I'll pay thanks. I would love GO routes to show up more often than they do, and the only reason they don't isn't because of price but because of connectivity and frequency.
 
In fact, frequency is one of the major tools that enables higher speeds. One of the easiest ways to improve average speed is to make fewer stops, but in order to skip stops, you need to have a separate service that serves them. With only one train per hour on most of our lines, it's going to be pretty hard to justify having trains skipping stations, since that would leave two-hour gaps. Which would decimate potential ridership at those stations. But when we've got many trains per hour on the line, it's much easier to justify having a variety of different service patterns, with the longer distance services making limited stops where they overlap with local services.
We have had express trains on the Lakeshore lines, so RER won't be adding somethin new. At other lines, how feasible are express trains with only 2 tracks? Will all stop services have to slow down to let express trains pass? With high frequency, it will be challenging to time the express trains pass an all stop train while it is loading passengers at a station without making that train stop for longer.

UP Express is nowhere near as frequent as most bus routes and subways but at many times the train leaves with standing room only and a lot of people get off at Weston. If the frequency of trains between Bloor and Union was much higher then far more would get off Line 2 to transfer. Sure there are people who are more price conscious than others, but with the cost of parking or Uber and the time savings compared to other routes could easily be worth it. Fare synchronization would even go further.
This looks like a case of riders shifting their travel pattern than having net new riders.
 
This looks like a case of riders shifting their travel pattern than having net new riders.

You are delusional if you think the ridership will increase multifold by increasing train trips 4 times. You can't force people to use GO just because you increased the services by 4 times. Case in point Sheppard subway, which is much less utilized than other lines despite tons of condos near it.

We have seen the proposed speeds and they are not that much better than now because of new infill stations.


Many people on these routes are already using current transit options. Some of those will shift a portion of their journey to GO. Those are not net new riders. Some will be net new riders, but how many? Within City of Toronto which is by far the biggest market for transit, most of the places are relatively well served by subway and frequent buses. Additionally, new lines will enter service before or around GO expansion's completion (Eglinton LRT, Finch LRT, Eglinton West LRT, Eglinton East LRT, Ontario line, Yonge North extension).

It will be hard for GO to compete with TTC unless it brings down the fares to same level as TTC and we have no indication on that happening. The only thing we have heard is free integration which is still more expensive than just TTC fare.

I would love GO to increase its ridership many times over but I prefer being realistic.

Do they have to be car mile converts for them to be worth your time? Many bus and subway lines were over capacity (pre-pandemic). RER relieving/speeding up corridors is good for the greater system as a whole.

The UP Express is seen success because the trains are full. So full that there is probably a section of people who don't bother switching to it because of crowding. That is latent demand.

For GO, as long as the service ridership increases over the years, then I'll see it as a success as well. It doesn't matter if the riders on it are suburban drivers whose now convenient buses now connect better to the frequent train. Nor does it matter if it is an existing TTC bus rider who switches to GO "SmartTrack" to get somewhere faster and avoid bus crowding. Both are a success.


You fail to concidor the network effect that happens once all the lines you mention open. People are more likely to use GO, not less, when RER finishes and the new lines connect to GO.
 
This looks like a case of riders shifting their travel pattern than having net new riders.

Depending on what Google Maps tells me I decide if the trip by transit is reasonable or not. When the trip is only slightly better or the same, you are right, it would be just the same number of riders shifting patterns. However, when it is significantly better than the previously existing option it can make the difference from a trip being made by car or transit.

When I see that it takes 1h42min from Warden and Lawrence to Long Branch, I'm not taking transit. But GO has much better options at very specific times, and if there was higher frequency and better connections at stations many trips across the city wouldn't be so second class.
 
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