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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

Jonny5

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Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said it’s too early to draw conclusions about the viability of the service.
“It can take many months to analyze results and likely longer given we are still coming out of the pandemic,” she said.

If it takes you more than five minutes to analyse what it means you're an ignorant dunce, but we already knew that about the laughing stock joke that is Metrolinx PR.
Deny, lie, obfuscate, cover-up, anything to keep those pay cheques coming in and stay a micro-celebrity on TV.
 

allengeorge

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I’m sure Metrolinx would be more than happy to improve the line and run more trains - just depends on whether this is a priority for the politicians involved (and they’re willing to fork over the money). This is definitely not the minimum viable product for this line.

Also, I’m curious what the connections on the London side are like? Are there good transit connections there?
 

Urban Sky

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If it takes you more than five minutes to analyse what it means you're an ignorant dunce, but we already knew that about the laughing stock joke that is Metrolinx PR.
Deny, lie, obfuscate, cover-up, anything to keep those pay cheques coming in and stay a micro-celebrity on TV.
I’m afraid that if you believe that it takes just a few minutes to predict the outcome of a cost-benefit analysis weighing the operational, economic and commercial advantages and disadvantages of the current slot and other potentially more desirable slots and operating patterns in a post-Covid environment, then there might be very good reasons why those actually qualified for such an analysis and aware of the limitations of their own expertise are earning the big bucks, while nobody in the industry wants to hear your uninformed opinions even for free…
 
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Krypto98

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I’m afraid that if you believe that it takes just a few minutes to predict the outcome of a cost-benefit analysis weighing the operational, economic and commercial advantages and disadvantages of the current slot and other potentially more desirable slots and operating patterns in a post-Covid environment, then there might be very good reasons why those actually qualified for such an analysis and aware of the limitations of their own expertise are earning the big bucks, while nobody in the industry wants to hear your uninformed opinions even for free…
I just want to add, Places like Stratford, St. Marys aren't large population centers. Yet every Friday I hear of 30+ people getting off at those stops. Again we shouldn't be judging this service after 5 minutes...
 

crs1026

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I’m sure Metrolinx would be more than happy to improve the line and run more trains - just depends on whether this is a priority for the politicians involved (and they’re willing to fork over the money). This is definitely not the minimum viable product for this line.

Also, I’m curious what the connections on the London side are like? Are there good transit connections there?

London's rail station is right downtown, which is where it should be in some ways, but not necessarily helpful for an early departure/late return scenario. It is not directly on a transit hub, although there are many routes passing within the general area.... meaning a moderate sidewalk schlep with baggage, although in fairness not necessarily any worse than the schlep to rapid transit in Toronto, Montreal, or Ottawa.

The best thing that can be said for it is, it's surrounded by lots of parking lots. (..... say no more.....).

The significant thing for me that detractors are missing is that ML began its service without the benefit of any of the usual business case analysis. Not taking a position for or against ML, but they have stuck to that methodology up to now. That tells me that the new service originated at a political level without (or perhaps even against) proper due diligence and sage input from ML. No wonder the service is being criticised.

If there ever were a case for making the political-bureaucracy process more transparent and accountable, this is it. Ford has his vanity subway a-building in Etobicoke....and now we have the PC's running an unmarketable vanity train to London.

As for VIA - 0nce ML secured its slot, VIA had little option to find its own slot that was a) operationally doable and b) not a total redundancy or revenue-splitter with ML.... especially given that VIA has to charge a higher fare. They have done the best they can.

The solution is clearly to upgrade the line, and solve once and for all the difficult issues that affect CN from Georgetown to Bramalea. Again, I'm not supporting or blaming CN, except to note that a) they had a 2009ish agreement with GO that they may have relied upon as GO's end game.... and b) they have seen a succession of grandiose and not necessarily doable subsequent proposals, which have shifted repeatedly as Ministers and Premiers came and went. If I were in their shoes, I would be hunkering down and not believing a thing ML or QP are telling them.

- Paul

Screen Shot 2021-12-04 at 12.58.07 PM.png
 
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Bordercollie

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London's rail station is right downtown, which is where it should be in some ways, but not necessarily helpful for an early departure/late return scenario. It is not directly on a transit hub, although there are many routes passing within the general area.... meaning a moderate sidewalk schlep with baggage, although in fairness not necessarily any worse than the schlep to rapid transit in Toronto, Montreal, or Ottawa.

The best thing that can be said for it is, it's surrounded by lots of parking lots. (..... say no more.....).

The significant thing for me that detractors are missing is that ML began its service without the benefit of any of the usual business case analysis. Not taking a position for or against ML, but they have stuck to that methodology up to now. That tells me that the new service originated at a political level without (or perhaps even against) sage input from ML. No wonder the service is being criticised.

If there ever were a case for making the political-bureaucracy process more transparent and accountable, this is it. Ford has his vanity subway a-building in Etobicoke....and now we have the PC's running a vanity train to London.

As for VIA - 0nce ML secured its slot, VIA had little option to find its own slot that was a) operationally doable and b) not a total redundancy or revenue-splitter with ML.... especially given that VIA has to charge a higher fare. They have done the best they can.

The solution is clearly to upgrade the line, and solve once and for all the difficult issues that affect CN from Georgetown to Bramalea. Again, I'm not supporting or blaming CN, except to note that a) they had a 2009ish agreement with GO that they may have relied upon as GO's end game.... and b) they have seen a succession of grandiose and not necessarily doable subsequent proposals, which have shifted repeatedly as Ministers and Premiers came and went. If I were in their shoes, I would be hunkering down and not believing a thing ML or QP are telling them.

- Paul

View attachment 366991
I guess they should get started on that Brampton by-pass since that's where the bottleneck is.
Hey, that's about double the morning Niagara Falls to Hamilton West Harbour ridership, pre-pandemic. :)
What is it now?
 

ssiguy2

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Or London has a large transit nerd community.
That is not at all the case.

For it's size, London actually has quite a decent transit system and gets higher ridership than more populace Hamilton transit. Also, Londoners have no problem taking the train as clearly exemplified by the fact that it is the 4th busiest VIA station in the country. Also as Greyhound has withdrawn, 2 new services have taken it's place including MegaBus.

Londoners have no problem seeking alternatives to the car but they know a joke when they see one and this GO "service" certainly qualifies. Not only is it painfully slow and runs a truly pathetic one service in each direction per day but the cars are not comfortable for the length of the journey. Added to this is the fact that the train leaves so early due to it taking so long to get to Toronto, that you can't get to the train station by bus because it leaves before London Transit starts it's day. In other words, you basically have to take a taxi to get to the station and that alone negates any of the very small savings one gets by taking this GO train as opposed to VIA.

I don't know what moron thought this idea up but whoever they were they were most certainly a Torontonian who probably never even knew there was another London before he scratched this plan up on the back of napkin because a Londoner would never propose such a stupid idea.
 

Urban Sky

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That is not at all the case.

For it's size, London actually has quite a decent transit system and gets higher ridership than more populace Hamilton transit. Also, Londoners have no problem taking the train as clearly exemplified by the fact that it is the 4th busiest VIA station in the country. Also as Greyhound has withdrawn, 2 new services have taken it's place including MegaBus.

Londoners have no problem seeking alternatives to the car but they know a joke when they see one and this GO "service" certainly qualifies. Not only is it painfully slow and runs a truly pathetic one service in each direction per day but the cars are not comfortable for the length of the journey. Added to this is the fact that the train leaves so early due to it taking so long to get to Toronto, that you can't get to the train station by bus because it leaves before London Transit starts it's day. In other words, you basically have to take a taxi to get to the station and that alone negates any of the very small savings one gets by taking this GO train as opposed to VIA.

I don't know what moron thought this idea up but whoever they were they were most certainly a Torontonian who probably never even knew there was another London before he scratched this plan up on the back of napkin because a Londoner would never propose such a stupid idea.
I have no problem conceding that the ungodly departure time of the morning train renders this service extension mostly useless to all but a hand full of Londoners.

Nevertheless, once you consider the hard constraints that you

  1. must not increase the number of trainsets required,
  2. must not change the timings of any existing GO trains,
  3. must avoid that delays between London and Kitchener have knock-on effects on any existing GO trains (including the one which gets extended to/from London) and
  4. must respect the absence of any possibility to meet another revenue train (GO/VIA) West of Georgetown,

you will inevitably be faced with only a binary choice:

  1. Accept a departure time of no later than 05:20 (with the option of changing to a later departure time, but only once constraint 4 gets relaxed by creating a location to meet trains West of Georgetown) or
  2. just scrap the entire idea (at the risk that it might take several years until London is considered for GO service again).

I trust that enough Londoners will acknowledge that having a bad Commuter Rail service (which can be improved later) is much preferable over having no such service at all, at least as long as the city doesn't have to pay for its operating deficit...
 
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crs1026

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you will inevitably be faced with only a binary choice:

  1. Accept a departure time of no later than 05:20 (with the option of changing to a later departure time, but only once constraint 4 gets relaxed by creating a location to meet trains West of Georgetown) or
  2. just scrap the entire idea (at the risk that it might take several years until London is considered for GO service again).

I trust that enough Londoners will acknowledge that having a bad Commuter Rail service (which can be improved later) is much preferable over having no such service at all, at least as long as the city doesn't have to pay for its operating deficit...

I don’t dispute much of your analysis, but I’m not sure that the very low utility of this service in its present form justifies rushing it to market. Where else in our rail infrastructure - or government programs generally - is this kind of impulsive, out-of-the-blue initiative seen as good practice?

The cost of upgrading the Kitchener-London line to a useful standard that would permit multiple trains (any mixture of ViA and/or GO) is a sliver of a fraction within what the Province is planning and executing for transit generally and specifically for GO Expansion. There is no logical reason to rush to place a single train in play (within all the constraints you outline) without having a full plan to mitigate these. Frankly, such a project would be lost in the rounding.

It makes a mockery of the 15-25 year strategic planning and business case analysis that ML and the Province claim to use to govern transit investment.

I would be happy to see this new beginning if it were indeed the opening stroke in a plan . It should have been in the plan all along, IMHO. So while I agree it’s a start, I can’t see it as sensible execution. 160 weekly users x 52 weeks not served for one year taken to install sidings and fix the tracks would achieve so much more.

- Paul
 

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