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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

gweed123

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The weekend day passes are great for enticing ridership back - but on weekends, the Lakeshore trains are packed, and they’re still running every half hour only. Given the reduced service, and the goodwill the passes provide (as long as you know about them) I think it’s worthwhile, at least until the fall. At that point, could hike it to $15 from $10.

Maybe there’s a case for a temporary weekday pass as well, where there’s likely more spare capacity than weekends these days.
Maybe rather than doing the flat rate pass, a solution might be the implementation of peak, off-peak weekday, and weekend fares.

Off-peak fares could be a slight discount, while weekend fares could be a heavier discount, but would still take into account distance travelled.
 

ARG1

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Maybe rather than doing the flat rate pass, a solution might be the implementation of peak, off-peak weekday, and weekend fares.

Off-peak fares could be a slight discount, while weekend fares could be a heavier discount, but would still take into account distance travelled.
Really not a fan of off-peak fares. We really shouldn't be charging people extra based on when they travel.
 

anb

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I have to run an errand at Square One again today and will probably be on the same dreaded 4:40pm bus back downtown. I just checked the GO website and they're running it to Port Credit today thank god. While sitting in traffic downtown yesterday, I was wondering why they didn't do this yesterday.
Makes me wonder why all the Milton and Kitchener/Guelph buses don't also use Kipling as well. There's like 3 empty bus bays there and its literally next to the subway. Its also a regional hub according to them and technically at a GO station so they cant make the excuse that its not a suitable location. Maybe its the downside of having the new Union bus terminal, but we could honestly just leave that to all intercity buses and some GO bus routes and there wouldn't be any loss overall.
 

BhadPetrov

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Makes me wonder why all the Milton and Kitchener/Guelph buses don't also use Kipling as well. There's like 3 empty bus bays there and its literally next to the subway. Its also a regional hub according to them and technically at a GO station so they cant make the excuse that its not a suitable location. Maybe its the downside of having the new Union bus terminal, but we could honestly just leave that to all intercity buses and some GO bus routes and there wouldn't be any loss overall.
Im begging you please do not add more stops I cannot sit in traffic for an extra half hour just to stop somewhere that already has decent transit connections already
 

reaperexpress

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Really not a fan of off-peak fares. We really shouldn't be charging people extra based on when they travel.
Yes we should. It costs a rail system far more to add capacity during the peak hour than during other times, since that's the service pattern around which the tracks need to be designed. If you run 8tph peak and 2 tph off-peak your line needs to be able to support 8tph. If you can spread out demand to run 4 tph all day, you only need the infrastructure to support 4 tph, saving a lot of construction and maintenance costs.

In all of the office jobs I've ever had, people commuting by car have had wildly differing hours to avoid traffic, arriving insanely early or very late in the morning, while transit riders all showed up between 8 and 9. Because although rail transit gets more crowded, it doesn't get much slower so demand doesn't disperse the same way it does around road traffic congestion. Providing discounts outside of rush hour helps create an incentive to disperse demand around the peak periods.

Variable pricing goes a long way to making the system a lot more affordable to operate, and those savings could easily be passed on to the riders in the form of great off-peak discounts.

An alternative to official "peak" and "off-peak" prices are time-restricted discounts. For example, here in the Netherlands there is only one base ticket price, but for €5/mo you can get a NS subscription which gives you 40% off off-peak.

Or on the TTC, parking is paid on weekdays until the early afternoon, then free on evenings and weekends. So in effect if you're going to drive to the station, it's cheaper to travel outside of peak periods. This latter example would be highly effective on GO given what a large percentage of ridership drives to the station. It would also have the valuable side effect of limiting parking demand during periods when the car park is typically full.
 
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reaperexpress

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The digital platform screens should indicate the number of cars for each train. Many regional rail and metro operators include this information on their info screens, GO should do this too.
At the very least there should be announcements before each train stating how long it is, and encouraging passengers to look for corresponding markers on the platform. All they have now are occasional announcements to "look down the platform" to see how long the train is, and spread along the platform. Which accomplishes nothing because:
- by the time you can clearly count the number of coaches it's too late to move a meaningful distance down the platform
- many passengers aren't aware of the markers which indicate where a given length of train will stop.

On long trains you get very uneven passenger distribution, giving an artificially crowded feel for riders, while on short trains you have delays at stations while passengers walk to the train from the half of the platform where it didn't stop.

Here's what the platform signs look like here in the Netherlands. The train length is shown using diagrams, displaying both the number of trainsets and number of coaches per trainset. It is worth distinguishing the trainsets, because you can't walk between them and they sometimes have different destinations. In this example from The Hague Central station, the train consists of two 4-car trainsets but the rear trainset is not shown on the diagram because it has just gone out of service, since the morning rush hour is over. After the front trainset departs, the rear trainset will shunt to the layover facility next to Central station. It will spend the midday there and re-join a train during the afternoon rush. Nearly every central station in the Netherlands has large layover facilities and I've never heard of anyone being bothered by them, which is why I find it a bit hard to take the backlash over the Don Valley layover facility seriously.
FrontHalfSign.jpg
 
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ShonTron

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More on the traffic chaos at the Union Station Bus Terminal last weekend:

 

DirectionNorth

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reaperexpress

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Is there a feasible way to build dedicated lanes like the ones New York has for their PATH terminal?
New York's Lincoln Tunnel Bus Lanes
New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal has a massive web of elevated busways which enable a mind-boggling frequency of buses to connect to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Toronto's Union Station simply doesn't need that level of bus infrastructure. Most of the GO buses currently using Union Station will eventually be replaced by GO trains. What remains are long-distance coaches, most of which are also directly competing with VIA trains.

What we need are targeted bus priority measures such as the ones mentioned in @ShonTron 's article.

USBT2.jpg

Photo by Sean Marshall, marked up by me
 
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innsertnamehere

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The Lower Yonge Precinct Environmental Assessment Study Identifies some lane re-configurations in the area, including bringing the Jarvis Off-ramp back to terminate at Yonge St instead, as well as the extension of the 4th WB lane on Lakeshore as shown by @reaperexpress.

I wonder if this could allow for some sort of dedicated U-turn lane off the Yonge St Off-ramp, perhaps on a specialized signal, for GO buses to access the terminal direct from this reconfigured ramp.

lower yonge.png
 

gweed123

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Really not a fan of off-peak fares. We really shouldn't be charging people extra based on when they travel.
Compared to current rates, it wouldn't be charging people more for peak travel, just less for off-peak travel.

If you're going to continue travelling during peak, you won't be paying any more than you are now. But if you want to save a couple of bucks, or you're debating between different modes of transportation for an evening or weekend trip, discounted GO fares may tip the balance in favour of GO.
 

innsertnamehere

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I don't think off peak fares are particularly valuable right now. Their intent is to dilute peak-hour volume pressures on capacity, and that isn't exactly an issue right now.
 

gweed123

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I don't think off peak fares are particularly valuable right now. Their intent is to dilute peak-hour volume pressures on capacity, and that isn't exactly an issue right now.
Reducing peak-hour pressures is half of the equation. The other half is making better use of off-peak capacity by enticing people using other modes (i.e. driving) onto transit through more attractive pricing. Entice enough 'newcomers', and it lowers the subsidy required to run those off-peak services. Of course, you need X number of newcomers to offset the lost revenue from the existing ridership now paying a discounted price for their trip.

The Niagara Falls trains have shown how well this strategy can work. Only issue is that it may have worked a little too well, to the point where GO may need to add service to keep up with demand.
 

anb

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Im begging you please do not add more stops I cannot sit in traffic for an extra half hour just to stop somewhere that already has decent transit connections already
I meant terminating at Kipling in replacement of Union at least on the weekends, but if you’re going to add a stop there it still works for passengers that know that they’ll be intense traffic on the Gardiner as seen below.

More on the traffic chaos at the Union Station Bus Terminal last weekend:


Hoping that we could get weekend Kitchener line service really soon and we can just reroute the Milton buses to another line (Port Credit/Kipling works just fine for them).
 

reaperexpress

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The Lower Yonge Precinct Environmental Assessment Study Identifies some lane re-configurations in the area, including bringing the Jarvis Off-ramp back to terminate at Yonge St instead, as well as the extension of the 4th WB lane on Lakeshore as shown by @reaperexpress.

I wonder if this could allow for some sort of dedicated U-turn lane off the Yonge St Off-ramp, perhaps on a specialized signal, for GO buses to access the terminal direct from this reconfigured ramp.
Like this?
lowerYongeX.jpg
 

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