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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

crs1026

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The purchase price is not based on the amount of money which would make it worthwhile for CN, it's based on the amount of money that CN can get out of the Province, knowing that the governmnent has promised the public to provide regular GO service to London.

To this last point, I'm wondering if it would be a good strategic tactic to temporarily cancel the London-Kitchener GO Train service and introduce an hourly(?) bus service from London to Kitchener (which would also replace the PC Connect bus service which currently follows that route), and also a once-daily commuter train via Brantford, taking over the schedule of the former VIA commuter run which VIA apparently doesn't want to reinstate. The government can say that the promise of London GO train service was kept thanks to the south mainline GO service, and it continues to connect London and Kitchener with a faster GO service anyway.

I suspect that CN does want to sell the line, so if they see that upgrading the Kitchener-London railway isn't the Province's only option, they may lower the selling price to entice them to take the line over.

I like the way you think ;-)

But I suspect the cat is out of the bag, in the sense that CN knows that a token commuter train via Brantford won’t fulfil the QP promise (as the public interprets it) nor is it sufficient relief for current and future congestion between Toronto and London. So CN is likely to just say “OK, sure” and sit back and wait.… no skin off their back if it’s not the solution Ontario needs….. just wait til the pressure on QP has grown.

CN is just too good at thinking up other nasty negotiating levers to use in return. I imagine track condition slow orders and maintenance charges are already being used as a lever.

I think the better solution would be to just swallow hard and cough up the asking price, within the range of whatever haggling one can achieve, recognizing that the true benchmark price is whatever the CTA would award if the price went to tribunal. The price may be nauseating, but it’s worth the premium to get improvements made quickly, and to have control of those improvements.

The worst case would be to have to pay CN inflated prices to upgrade the line, and only then have the purchase price negotiation….once the improvements are made, CN will have Ontario doubly over the barrel.

- Paul
 

SaugeenJunction

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Yes, even if they gave the line away for free they'd be better off than today.
- As part of the purchase agreement, CN would retain trackage rights to continue serving the customers on the line.
- The Province would pay for maintenance, charging only minimal track fees (far cheaper than maintenance).
- The Province would pay to upgrade the line to much higher standards, so CN's freights would be able to do their runs much more quickly, using less equipment and personel time. Even if their trains get put in a siding sometimes to let a GO train by, they'd still get to their destinations faster than today.

The purchase price is not based on the amount of money which would make it worthwhile for CN, it's based on the amount of money that CN can get out of the Province, knowing that the governmnent has promised the public to provide regular GO service to London.

To this last point, I'm wondering if it would be a good strategic tactic to temporarily cancel the London-Kitchener GO Train service and introduce an hourly(?) bus service from London to Kitchener (which would also replace the PC Connect bus service which currently follows that route), and also a once-daily commuter train via Brantford, taking over the schedule of the former VIA commuter run which VIA apparently doesn't want to reinstate. The government can say that the promise of London GO train service was kept thanks to the south mainline GO service, and it continues to connect London and Kitchener with a faster GO service anyway.

I suspect that CN does want to sell the line, so if they see that upgrading the Kitchener-London railway isn't the Province's only option, they may lower the selling price to entice them to take the line over.
Great points. Also, by selling the line CN also eliminates an annual property tax liability. I would not be surprised if negotiations have already begun, and have been underway for some time.

My gut says that the political elements at Province decided a long while ago that London GO would be a thing, and calling this initial service “a pilot” was just cover for slow speeds, and a chance for a “double win” once they make it permanent.
 

anb

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The service to Waterloo has definitely improved a lot with the re addition of the 25C and despite there being traffic on the roads which the bus drivers can’t control, it still is a pleasant ride knowing that you’re heading directly to and from Sq One with no stops in between. The new terminal at U of Waterloo gives this journey a whole new experience. The added no brainer stops to Toronto Premium Outlets and St Jacobs have seen nice feedback and ridership that will eventually grow overtime as more people find out that there’s finally service to these places.

As for the Wonderland and Major Mack/400 service, it definitely works and has gained ridership already, which has also created a whole new experience. Knowing there’s direct service to Wonderland from almost the entire core GTA is just amazing on its own. Just wish that the 52 wasn’t still bi hourly which is the only complaint and the worst part from this new service so far. At least there’s an additional bus service that would bring you to/from RHC in a reasonable time, and the YRT service for once is more frequent than ever. Speaking of, there’s apparently supposed to be an express service on the weekends on Jane coming in July, but when waiting at Vaughan Mills, YRT was providing shuttle bus services straight to VMC, which definitely was surprising but exciting to see. If this keeps up, we might have a really great experience with the overall transit in the GTA during the summer.
 
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christiesplits

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Took the Niagara GO Train yesterday (Saturday) and the bike trains were above capacity. It was absolutely packed, with some families sitting on the floor of the bike car. The clear majority of the passengers with bikes were cycle groups and teams.

From my understanding, Metrolinx is unable to add additional trains on weekends to Niagara due to CP Rail priority. Is the weekend service too successful for its own good?
 

Richard White

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Is the weekend service too successful for its own good?

It is all in the marketing. When GO transit first ran the service there were no promotions and it was $40 return for adults. Kids also had to pay to ride making it impractical for families.

Now, it is dirt cheap and easily accessible to families of all sizes thanks to all the promotions, deals and marketing. It brings more tourist there but if they cannot add additional service, they need to cut back on the marketing and bring back full fares
 

reaperexpress

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Took the Niagara GO Train yesterday (Saturday) and the bike trains were above capacity. It was absolutely packed, with some families sitting on the floor of the bike car. The clear majority of the passengers with bikes were cycle groups and teams.
I'm guessing you took the 08:51?

From my understanding, Metrolinx is unable to add additional trains on weekends to Niagara due to CP Rail priority. Is the weekend service too successful for its own good?
It's not an issue of total departures, its an issue of the timetable not following the distribution of ridership demand. The timetable has even 4-hour headways, but ridership is extremely concentrated in the morning and evening. So the 08:51 train gets packed to the rafters while the 12:51 and 16:51 trains depart fairly empty.

If they shifted the 12:51 to 09:51 or 10:51 it would probably solve the crowding issues. They might even be able to shorten the trains from 12 cars to 10 or even 8 - cutting travel times thanks to faster acceleration.

The VIA/Amtrak Maple Leaf is running between Toronto and Niagara again as of tomorrow (27 June), perhaps that will help take a (tiny) bit of pressure off the 08:51 train, given that it departs Toronto at 08:30.

The line in question is a CN line, not a CP line, but from what we've heard here unofficially, the limitation is actually obtaining slots on the lift bridge over the Welland Canal. But the canal bridge is double-tracked and they are currently only running one train over at a time, so they could theoretically double the frequency without needing any additional slots over the bridge.
 
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Allandale25

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Took the Niagara GO Train yesterday (Saturday) and the bike trains were above capacity. It was absolutely packed, with some families sitting on the floor of the bike car. The clear majority of the passengers with bikes were cycle groups and teams.

From my understanding, Metrolinx is unable to add additional trains on weekends to Niagara due to CP Rail priority. Is the weekend service too successful for its own good?

I think you mean CN Rail?
 

anb

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Took the Niagara GO Train yesterday (Saturday) and the bike trains were above capacity. It was absolutely packed, with some families sitting on the floor of the bike car. The clear majority of the passengers with bikes were cycle groups and teams.

From my understanding, Metrolinx is unable to add additional trains on weekends to Niagara due to CP Rail priority. Is the weekend service too successful for its own good?

When you could just pay $10 or $15 for the entire weekend, for unlimited round trips anywhere around the system, you would best believe that a lot of people would take advantage of this deal. Also along with the GO/WEGO deals that further cements this point. Oshawa to Niagara for example would be about $45 round trip with Presto but is cut down to a flat $10/15 with unlimited travel anywhere between the 2 points, it’s ridiculous looking at it that way and that’s just the beginning.

Even the buses are really overcrowded usually needing a few extra ones for backup at Burlington (and I guess obviously at Niagara as well. Was going to go there today but GO had terrible execution and the local 12 bus came late so the connection from Dundas/407 to Burlington GO wasn’t on time for me to catch the 12B so I just went to Union instead lol).
 

reaperexpress

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Maybe the GO Day/Weekend pass can exclude trips past St. Catharines? Or does this punish NF residents?
They could adjust the price of the pass based on the distance, given that you already need to fill in a specific route when you buy the pass. Maybe they could price it at $10 for most trips but above a certain normal ticket price the pass gets more expensive.

Perhaps for routes where the 1-way ticket price is more than $10, the 1-day weekend pass could just be equal to the ticket price, and the 2-day pass could be 1.5x the ticket price.

For example:
Toronto-Oakville pass would be $10.00 for 1 day, $15.00 for 2 days
Toronto-Hamilton pass would be $11.44 for 1 day, $17.16 for 2 days.
Toronto-Niagara Falls pass would be $17.79 for 1 day, $26.69 for 2 days.
 

anb

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But if they do that then they’ll more than likely have no problems changing it to the only the GTA proper. Meaning that the rest of the Niagara Region, Bradford/Barrie, Peterborough, Brantford, Guelph and Waterloo Region would be excluded from the $15 flat weekend pass. All these places from Toronto are at least 70% of the distance it takes to get to NF. At that point, there’s nothing that would be worth it from the pass as you’re getting no deal to go to these places, which are arguably where mostly everyone goes to on the weekends.
 

reaperexpress

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But if they do that then they’ll more than likely have no problems changing it to the only the GTA proper. Meaning that the rest of the Niagara Region, Bradford/Barrie, Peterborough, Brantford, Guelph and Waterloo Region would be excluded from the $15 flat weekend pass. All these places from Toronto are at least 70% of the distance it takes to get to NF. At that point, there’s nothing that would be worth it from the pass as you’re getting no deal to go to these places, which are arguably where mostly everyone goes to on the weekends.
If they do what?

In my suggestion, even beyond the $10 distance, the pass would still be 50% cheaper than a round trip on Presto. It's literally always worth it.

I don't think specific areas should be excluded because people in those areas aren't necessarily going all the way to Toronto.
 
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Willybru21

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I have to disagree with the idea of raising the weekend pass price, it defeats the entire purpose on grabbing ridership back with an affordable solution.

The way to fix the trains and buses being over capacity isn’t to raise the prices; it’s to add service. There was a 4th Niagara train last year, why hasn’t that returned? That should be the question rather than raising the prices for transit.

(I was just told that the 4th Niagara train was at 10pm, so it really wouldn’t have affected ridership. But I think my overall point still stands)
 
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