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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

On the first point, I whole heartedly agree.

On the latter, I would suggest there really have been lots of papers by third-party orgs (Toronto Board of Trade comes to mind as a high profile example) and gov't reports as well.

Its a matter of the province choosing to pay attention to and act upon said reports.

I think you'll find, if you look for it, that Mx actually is planning integration at many of their stations; its implementation of that planning that in many cases, has yet to be funded.
By far the best example of metrolinx looking after integration is the easy to use Kipling bus terminal and subway station. Perfect execution and attention to details.
 
By far the best example of metrolinx looking after integration is the easy to use Kipling bus terminal and subway station. Perfect execution and attention to details.

The connections are seamless! Mere steps between modes!

But to be serious, the rebuilt Bramalea GO Station is a good example of integrating local transit with the GO network.
 
What Keesmaat and many posters here are overlooking is the massive difference in average trip length between GO and local transit agencies. Simply comparing the number of trips implies that a riding a bus a few blocks is equivalent to travelling a hundred kilometres on a train, which is clearly not the case.

If the bus hadn't attracted that passenger travelling a few blocks, chances are they would have walked or biked, neither of which produces much societal cost (considering maintenance costs, traffic safety risk, environmental damage, etc). Worst case scenario, they only would have driven a few hundred metres.

If GO hadn't attracted that passenger travelling a hundred kilometres, chances are they would have driven a hundred kilometres, which would incur considerable costs such as highway construction/maintenance, potential of collisions with others, noise, pollution, etc.

Given that transportation infrastructure is almost entirely funded through general tax revenue, it is essential that planning decisions consider the total societal costs of those decisions. It is not sufficient to look at a single metric like number of transit trips.

Motor vehicle use is typically measured in vehicle-kilometres, and it would make sense to also measure transit usage in passenger-kilometres (in addition to the number of trips).
 
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What Keesmaat and many posters here are overlooking is the massive difference in average trip length between GO and local transit agencies. Simply comparing the number of trips implies that a riding a bus a few blocks is equivalent to travelling a hundred kilometres on a train, which is clearly not the case.

If the bus hadn't attracted that passenger travelling a few blocks, chances are they would have walked or biked, neither of which produces much societal cost (considering maintenance costs, traffic safety risk, environmental damage, etc). Worst case scenario, they only would have driven a few hundred metres.

If GO hadn't attracted that passenger travelling a hundred kilometres, chances are they would have driven a hundred kilometres, which would incur considerable costs such as highway construction/maintenance, potential of collisions with others, noise, pollution, etc.

Given that transportation infrastructure is almost entirely funded through general tax revenue, it is essential that planning decisions consider the total societal costs of those decisions. It is not sufficient to look at a single metric like number of transit trips.

Motor vehicle use is typically measured in vehicle-kilometres, and it would make sense to also measure transit usage in passenger-kilometres (in addition to the number of trips).
Every politician who lives in walkable areas of the city and already lives with walkable access to transit loves to dismiss suburban transit while at the same time only advocating for suburban development outside of their neighbourhoods.
 
I’m a bit disappointed to hear JK offer seemingly faint praise for this element of sorting out GTA wide issues. Transforming the vast suburban areas of the GTA is just as important and challenging as improving the denser center city. I find that her somewhat purist brand of progressivity and urbanism is a bit intolerant in its own way.

The investment in GO RER, er, Expansion is quite reasonable in cost in comparison to the highway capacity that would be required as the alternative. A regional mobility network is entirely worth it.

The Regional network premise has been a bit distorted towards a more local transit, in part because of the longstanding complaint that GO offered deficient service within Metro Toronto.

There has also been an agenda (honorable, but perhaps overambitious) to put a GO station everywhere along every line. This isn’t necessarily bad, provided that we fulfil the promise of nimbler trains that can stop more frequently while maintaining overall trip times. I’m a bit pessimistic as to whether this will prove doable - a service that stops too often loses its value for regional trip markets - but I’m all for making the effort.

- Paul
 
What Keesmaat and many posters here are overlooking is the massive difference in average trip length between GO and local transit agencies. Simply comparing the number of trips implies that a riding a bus a few blocks is equivalent to travelling a hundred kilometres on a train, which is clearly not the case.

I think this would actually be a very interesting and useful stat.

But not simply to measure km travelled; but rather, lane-km occupied by car avoided; and to consider that modelling data publicly as part of such discussions.

Much of the data is already there and modelled in different ways; but rarely is it put out for public discussion in an intelligible form.

If the bus hadn't attracted that passenger travelling a few blocks, chances are they would have walked or biked, neither of which produces much societal cost (considering maintenance costs, traffic safety risk, environmental damage, etc). Worst case scenario, they only would have driven a few hundred metres.

Well, I don't actually think that's true for the most part; where TTC service is worse we don't see an increase in modal share for pedestrians and cyclists, we actually see a decline. Also, the majority of transit trips on TTC are nowhere near that short.

That said, I concur that avoiding having a car occupy 'x' space on a highway or local road over a 100km distance/1 hour trip needs to be considered, in both capital and operational implications for transit and highways and weighted appropriately vs a avoiding a comparatively shorter trip in a more urban setting.

Though, an interesting challenge for this comparison is to also factor in much cheaper land costs for road building in far-flung areas vs the relatively higher value of value of land in a more urban setting.
 
Well, I don't actually think that's true for the most part; where TTC service is worse we don't see an increase in modal share for pedestrians and cyclists, we actually see a decline. Also, the majority of transit trips on TTC are nowhere near that short.

For the most part bus trips are not replaced by walking or cycling, because most bus trips are longer than a few hundred metres, especially in areas with poor TTC service (i.e. very suburban areas).

Most GO trips are obviously less than 100 km as well.

I simply used the shortest and longest transit trips as examples to illustrate how the length of the trip is relevant to consider.
 
I think we need proper perspective here; but first, in order to do that, why don't we see exactly what Jenn had to say:

"to the relatively small ridership potential. But still, good."

I think 'relatively' is an important word here; and that implies a comparison.

GO's ridership in 2015 was ~13M and change, and according to this report:


The potential in ridership growth was 140% with fare integration etc.

So about another ~18M rides annually, based on the 15M service model.

That compares with TTC ridership as a whole at ~450M

So the growth is equal to roughly 3 weeks of ridership of Line 1.

In relative terms, the ridership potential is low.

****

Also, worth saying; Jenn finished by still endorsing the concept 'But, Still Good'.

I'm a proponent of GO RER; but the entire thing put together is fractional relative to the TTC unless you can drive capacity higher, by driving frequency higher than the 15M in the original plan.

That seems likely, I should add, but even at double the original plan (every 7'30) the capacity enhancement isn't huge relative to a single major subway line.

Now if you can get that time to 5'M or less.........
If GO RER is executed properly as planned, 140% ridership growth is lowballing it by a lot.

With properly done fare, schedule, and network integration, the proportion of trips that will be sped up massively using GO will be enormous, even in Toronto proper. It’ll be the most easily accessible fast and reliable rapid transit for huge swaths of Scarborough and Etobicoke, and not just that it’ll be much much faster than the subway. Suddenly Weston or Agincourt will be better connected than Islington, Scarborough Centre, or Finch. At places like Kennedy or Mount Dennis, we will probably see huge numbers of passengers transferring onto GO, simply because GO is 2-3x faster than the subway.

And remember the originally planned 15 minute headway was a minimum headway. Actual headways on most lines will be significantly better, and we will definitely be seeing numbers like 6 minutes on some of the lines. The system’s capacity is also absolutely massive, with 300m platforms - there’s potential to far exceed subway capacity.

GO RER ridership definitely has the potential to exceed subway ridership, just like German S-Bahns or Crossrail or Paris RER. This is a project that if executed well, will be the most transformative project in Toronto transit history, probably even more so than the construction of the original subway network. It’s five lines with almost subway level service, massive potential capacity, and average speeds far exceeding any existing rapid transit in the city and on par with off peak highway traffic. How anybody who claims to be supportive of transit can be anything short of incredibly excited for this project, I honestly cannot understand.
 
The GO expansion full business case projects a ridership of over 200 million annually which doesn't quite compare to pre-pandemic subway ridership but is still more than the subway moved last year so I wouldn't call it small ridership. I also think the estimates could be a little on the low end. I'm not sure how much it accounts for new development around stations that could really drive ridership.
 
I think the idea that GO will be carrying less than one million in 15 years is laughable but it will all come down to frequency & fares. It looks like ML is going provide service of every 8 minutes on core routes which will take it from suburban rail to a real rapid transit system. Of course it will mean little to Torontonians themselves if they still can't afford to take it.

IF they make the system affordable with complete integration then ridership will soar and probably overtake subway ridership in 20 years especially, if they go ahead with the Mid-town corridor. There are many systems in the world where suburban rail ridership blows subway ridership out of the water................... Paris, BA, Osaka, Tokyo, Calcutta, Mumbai, Sao Paulo just to name a few. It is especially true in cities with relatively small subway systems for their size. In Paris the RER & Translien suburban and commuter systems carry more than twice what their very heavily used Metro system does.

In 20 years the GGH will be home to 15 million and by 2050, GO could be carrying up to 2 million passengers a day if they do it right.
 
If GO RER is executed properly as planned, 140% ridership growth is lowballing it by a lot.

With properly done fare, schedule, and network integration, the proportion of trips that will be sped up massively using GO will be enormous, even in Toronto proper. It’ll be the most easily accessible fast and reliable rapid transit for huge swaths of Scarborough and Etobicoke, and not just that it’ll be much much faster than the subway. Suddenly Weston or Agincourt will be better connected than Islington, Scarborough Centre, or Finch. At places like Kennedy or Mount Dennis, we will probably see huge numbers of passengers transferring onto GO, simply because GO is 2-3x faster than the subway.

And remember the originally planned 15 minute headway was a minimum headway. Actual headways on most lines will be significantly better, and we will definitely be seeing numbers like 6 minutes on some of the lines. The system’s capacity is also absolutely massive, with 300m platforms - there’s potential to far exceed subway capacity.

GO RER ridership definitely has the potential to exceed subway ridership, just like German S-Bahns or Crossrail or Paris RER. This is a project that if executed well, will be the most transformative project in Toronto transit history, probably even more so than the construction of the original subway network. It’s five lines with almost subway level service, massive potential capacity, and average speeds far exceeding any existing rapid transit in the city and on par with off peak highway traffic. How anybody who claims to be supportive of transit can be anything short of incredibly excited for this project, I honestly cannot understand.
I am concerned about the ridership of this project. High speeds doesn't mean anything if you can't get to the station, and if Metrolinx continues to build Garage Mahals to accommodate cars, their stations will never have high ridership.

The suburban agencies have a mixed record of providing good service. I wouldn't trust half of them, and honestly, I think the province should just give them the money to run that service. But they won't do that, and given what we know about changing ridership patterns (and how we've adapted to them so far), I am worried that operations won't be as robust as it should.

If an RER-ed GO fails to attract the ridership we think it will, it's game over for future improvements.
The GO expansion full business case projects a ridership of over 200 million annually which doesn't quite compare to pre-pandemic subway ridership but is still more than the subway moved last year so I wouldn't call it small ridership. I also think the estimates could be a little on the low end.
Opportunity cost. $12 billion is a lot of money that could go very far if we spend it wisely.

The business case projects an extra 60 million boardings during peak times between 2017 and 2031. I'm not sure how much of that is achievable nowadays.
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(page 24 of the Full Business Case)
I'm not sure how much it accounts for new development around stations that could really drive ridership.
TOD/TAD (transit adjacent development) doesn't drive ridership, good feeder bus service does.
 
By the way, that 57 million figure is way closer to the 49 million I eyeballed earlier in the thread. I knew 13 million seemed off. Not sure why the discrepancy.
 
I think the idea that GO will be carrying less than one million in 15 years is laughable but it will all come down to frequency & fares. It looks like ML is going provide service of every 8 minutes on core routes which will take it from suburban rail to a real rapid transit system. Of course it will mean little to Torontonians themselves if they still can't afford to take it.

IF they make the system affordable with complete integration then ridership will soar and probably overtake subway ridership in 20 years especially, if they go ahead with the Mid-town corridor. There are many systems in the world where suburban rail ridership blows subway ridership out of the water................... Paris, BA, Osaka, Tokyo, Calcutta, Mumbai, Sao Paulo just to name a few. It is especially true in cities with relatively small subway systems for their size. In Paris the RER & Translien suburban and commuter systems carry more than twice what their very heavily used Metro system does.

In 20 years the GGH will be home to 15 million and by 2050, GO could be carrying up to 2 million passengers a day if they do it right.

This is accurate. But am curious if a healthy (and possibly more successful) alternative to such high quality commuter rail is quantity. As in: more lines spread across the GTHA. Brantford, Bolton, North Brampton, North Oshawa, Cambridge. All areas not served by any "RER" plans, but all capable of intercepting riders and offering alternatives. Less quality than RER, more quantity of service.

Eventually RERification would still occur. But at a later date, when more GO rail services are brought online.
 
So I've been wondering this for a while now

It is to my knowledge that with GO Expansion the Stouffville and Kitchener lines will be fully interlined like the Lakeshore line, correct?

If that's the case, how would the Barrie Line work, as right now it is also semi aligned with the Stouffville line on weekdays and nearly fully aligned on the weekends. Would it operate as a stand alone line?
 
So I've been wondering this for a while now

It is to my knowledge that with GO Expansion the Stouffville and Kitchener lines will be fully interlined like the Lakeshore line, correct?

If that's the case, how would the Barrie Line work, as right now it is also semi aligned with the Stouffville line on weekdays and nearly fully aligned on the weekends. Would it operate as a stand alone line?
At this present time, its a stand alone line.

If and when the Milton line can become all day, it could be part of the Barrie Line, but not holding my breath on it.
 

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