News   Jun 14, 2024
 666     1 
News   Jun 14, 2024
 656     1 
News   Jun 14, 2024
 605     0 

GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

Except - again - through-running will allow for fewer trains to be served at Union Station.

Yes I know you keep saying that.

Terminating certainly allows you to store more trains, but through running can allow for more movement capacity via frequency. It's not just about platform capacity, it's also about conflicts in the adjacent corridor. To achieve very high frequencies you need grade separation, which is not possible when trains need to cross over to return the other way.

There is a reason so many cities have spent billions of euros to turn their termianl stations into through stations.
 
Yes I know you keep saying that.

Terminating certainly allows you to store more trains, but through running can allow for more movement capacity via frequency. It's not just about platform capacity, it's also about conflicts in the adjacent corridor. To achieve very high frequencies you need grade separation, which is not possible when trains need to cross over to return the other way.

There is a reason so many cities have spent billions of euros to turn their termianl stations into through stations.
Then I'm going to keep saying it, because you don't seem to understand how Metrolinx arrived at it.

That 4-trains-per-hour number to turn trains back on each track? That takes into account crossover movements. There's a reason why the plan has always been to maintain the dual ladders at both ends. It reduces the amount of overlap - the segment where trains are occupying a single track but traversing it in both directions.

Is through-running more efficient at operating services at high frequencies? Usually, in most places - but it also requires operating rules and the fixed plant to take advantage of it as well. And in the North American operating sphere - and particularly with Metrolinx/GO - the rules are such that it actually becomes less efficient at Union.

Dan
 
The technicalities of this surpass my learning, but what about the customer service dimension? Most customers get off at Union, but with Exhibition there and Spadina and East Harbour in the planning, along with potential changes to the way Pearson service operates, doesn't having more routes paired up and through-running make sense for the riders?
 
The technicalities of this surpass my learning, but what about the customer service dimension? Most customers get off at Union, but with Exhibition there and Spadina and East Harbour in the planning, along with potential changes to the way Pearson service operates, doesn't having more routes paired up and through-running make sense for the riders?

Why shouldn't the GO Trains only terminate at Union Station? Why can't UPX terminate at East Harbour? Why can't the Milton, Kitchener, and Barrie GO trains terminate at East Harbour Station? Why can't the Richmond Hill and Stouffville terminate at Spadina or Exhibition Stations. How many people actually transfer at Union to continue beyond to their final destination?

Back before Presto. I remember using the Kitchener GO train to get to Union. Then I walked over to another platform at Union to continue my train ride to the Eglinton GO Station in Scarborough. Didn't buy another ticket to continue. Slap my wrist.
 

Only one track in service​

Hourly service on the Lakeshore West Line on March 12

On Sunday, March 12, trains will run approximately once an hour between Union Station and West Harbour GO.

Westbound departing Union Station:

  • The westbound trains departing at 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. will run on their regular schedule.
  • The westbound trains that normally leave Union Station at 44 minutes past the hour, will leave 11 minutes later, at 55 minutes past the hour.
  • All trips which normally leave Union Station at 14 or 15 minutes past the hour and end at Aldershot GO are cancelled.
  • Most westbound trips on bus routes 12, 15 and 18 will be held to allow for connection from the trains. These minor adjustments will not be reflected in the schedule.

Eastbound train trips departing West Harbour GO and Aldershot GO:

  • All eastbound trains that normally leave West Harbour GO at either 13 or 23 minutes past the hour, will run on their regular schedule.
  • All eastbound trips that normally leave Aldershot GO at 4 or 54 minutes past the hour are cancelled.

Service between Union Station and Niagara Falls GO will run on an adjusted schedule.​


Westbound trips will depart Union Station at 10:17 a.m. and 5:17 p.m.

  • As usual, these trains will also stop at Exhibition GO, Port Credit GO, Oakville GO, Burlington GO and Aldershot GO, before reaching Niagara Falls GO.
Eastbound trips will depart Niagara Falls GO at 1:25 p.m. and 8:25 p.m.
  • As usual, these trains will also stop at Aldershot GO, Burlington GO, Oakville GO, Port Credit GO and Exhibition GO, before reaching Union Station.

Please plan your trip ahead of time at gotransit.com or triplinx.ca.


Service Changes Starting February 21

Starting Tuesday, February 21, weekday evening 30-minute service between Union Station and Aldershot GO continues after 9 p.m.

Westbound:


  • From Union Station, three existing westbound trips will extend beyond Exhibition GO to Aldershot GO and depart Union Station at 9:13 p.m., 10:13 p.m. and 11:13 p.m. There will also be an additional trip from Union Station at 12:13 a.m.
Eastbound:

  • From Aldershot GO, three additional eastbound trips will depart at 8:54 p.m., 9:54 p.m., and 10:54 p.m.


We’re also adjusting some rail schedules to provide more consistent departure times and to allow some trains to make longer scheduled stops at Exhibition and Oakville GO stations.

  • All westbound trips from Union Station after 6:45 p.m. will depart Union Station two minutes earlier. At stations west of Exhibition GO, trains will depart one minute earlier.
  • The 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. eastbound trips from West Harbour GO will depart 13 minutes later, at 9:13 p.m., 10:13 p.m. and 11:13 p.m.
  • As well, the 9:35 p.m., 10:35 p.m., and 11:35 p.m. eastbound trips from Exhibition GO will depart 17 minutes later, at 9:52 p.m., 10:52 p.m., and 11:52 p.m.


We know that every minute counts, so please check your schedules before you travel to make sure you get to your platform at the right time.

Click here to see your schedules.

Starting February 21, we are adjusting the length of a few of our trains to use our resources where they are needed most.
Some trains may be shorter than others. Please look down the platform when the train approaches as you may need to adjust where you’re waiting. Be sure to use all available doors to board and listen for station announcements. We continue to monitor ridership and will adjust train lengths as needed.

This trip on the Lakeshore West line will be 10 cars long:

  • The 4:30 p.m. trip from Union Station, arriving at Oakville GO at 5:30 p.m.
 
Is through-running more efficient at operating services at high frequencies? Usually, in most places - but it also requires operating rules and the fixed plant to take advantage of it as well. And in the North American operating sphere - and particularly with Metrolinx/GO - the rules are such that it actually becomes less efficient at Union.
I guess that our differences lie in our assumptions. You are assuming that the current archaic North American rail operations practices remain in effect, while I'm assuming that given that we're spending tens of billions of dollars to build this infrastructure, that we would make the effort to adopt similar practices to places which have a proven track record of operating extremely frequent and extremely safe rail service.
 
I guess that our differences lie in our assumptions. You are assuming that the current archaic North American rail operations practices remain in effect, while I'm assuming that given that we're spending tens of billions of dollars to build this infrastructure, that we would make the effort to adopt similar practices to places which have a proven track record of operating extremely frequent and extremely safe rail service.
I'm not assuming anything.

I'm repeating what Metrolinx has been saying for many years now.

Do I think that Metrolinx is doing many things wrong? Absolutely. But at the end of the day they're the ones running the trains, not me.

Dan
 
I'm not assuming anything.

I'm repeating what Metrolinx has been saying for many years now.

Do I think that Metrolinx is doing many things wrong? Absolutely. But at the end of the day they're the ones running the trains, not me.

Dan
Good thing that it will actually be DB running the trains soon enough, and Germany happens to be one of those places
 
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.........
I don't generally feel the need to be so generous given past statements such as "elevated rail destroys neighborhoods". I really do not think her statement is accurate here.

I think others such as @reaperexpress have provided compelling reasons why ridership isn't the only metric we should consider, but I am not sure how critically you are assessing the actual conceivable ridership of the system.

Edit: That report is also from 2015 which was pre Verster, and all of our current assumptions about how the system would operate. The GO Expansion business case far exceeded previous expectations as well iirc.

As others have mentioned ridership is not ~15m a year. At peak GO was moving well over 200,000 per day (200,000 is 52m a year weekdays only!), mostly with peak only service. Given Euro regional rail systems typical move similar order of magnitude of people as urban rail I do not see a reason for this not to be the case in TO - a lot of subway ridership is already suburban! Finch, Kennedy, Warden etc are among the busiest stations!
It's been known for years now that service was going to exceed every 15 minutes in a lot of places every 7 per track pair per direction is more accurate, and GO has >2x the train length of the TTC subway - at least in the platforms (thus potential to run higher capacity stock down the road). No reason service couldn't get more frequent than that in the future as well, all the infrastructure is being designed or redesigned for it - by OnExpress. At a minimum the number of services is supposed to be quadrupled - and the word has been that the actual number exceeds the GO expansion business case. Assuming running >4x the service *only* doubles ridership overall - GO would be vying for the most used system in the Americas.

Of course, ridership increase isn't only going to come from enhanced service - the system already has far more tracks across the region than the TTC does for obvious reasons, and there are millions of people living within transit, walking, cycling range of GO stations, there is obviously a lot. of work to be done on integration but, I doubt the status quo of disintegration will last in the long term. Already suburban transit service has been trending up for a long time, and a lot of the new rail projects we are building will have a connectivity to GO component - in fact I'd argue the only ones that don't are Finch and Hamilton. On top of that you have all of the crazy urban growth, a lot of which we haven't tapped into - the "Smarttrack" stations plus Park lawn etc are going to put GO within walking distance of WAY more people, and the amount of TOD in the works around GO across the region is astonishing.

All of this is to say I don't think we should be aiming for less ridership on GO in 30 years than we had on the preCovid Subway - which had FAR less track capacity than GO does. ~1-1.5m daily riders. Even if we can't hit that, surely we can get up close to 1m which is not relatively small.

My biggest concern has been and continues to be this institutional level misunderstanding of the ridership potential of regional rail. There are substantially more people in the GTHA living outside of Toronto than inside it, and yet we somehow don't expect ridership to even be the same order of magnitude of our currently small subway? The only rationale I could understand for this is assuming that 1) regional rail is a flawed concept 2) we aren't building it (but we are) 3) we will run very little service (we don't appear to be planning to!).

The potential of regional rail is enormous, and the only limit - and I really believe this, is our ability to imagine it.
 
Last edited:
As others have mentioned ridership is not ~15m a year. At peak GO was moving well over 200,000 per day (200,000 is 52m a year weekdays only!),

Fair enough. I went back and looked at the report, and the growth figures I quote in percentage terms are from the report I cited/linked to.

That report didn't have an annual figure, and I googled that, and failed to note that the number came from 2021:

1678760753377.png


You correctly note, I should have used a pre-pandemic year:

1678760827785.png


The above would attribute 80.8% of weekday ridership to rail. I'm not sure if that cleanly extrapolates to weekends.......

But assuming it did, 62.2M would the be the annual rail ridership in 2019.

My biggest concern has been and continues to be this institutional level misunderstanding of the ridership potential of regional rail. There are substantially more people in the GTHA living outside of Toronto than inside it, and yet we somehow don't expect ridership to even be the same order of magnitude of our currently small subway? The only rationale I could understand for this is assuming that 1) regional rail is a flawed concept 2) we aren't building it (but we are) 3) we will run very little service (we don't appear to be planning to!).

Actually, I think this requires some finessing. I agree there is enormous potential in regional rail, and I have never suggested differently. And Jenn Keesmaat said she supported it as well.

But I do think we need to clarify some things here, GO's ridership, as has been noted, stays on trains over vastly greater distances, , meaning fewer actual riders (people) in terms of seat-kms.

That by the way is still a great thing, I don't want to diminish it all. I'm merely clarifying that IF the metric chosen is ridership the numbers will be somewhat lower for the reason of that long-distance from outer areas.

***

Second, thus far the province has refused to adopt GO Co-pay in the City of Toronto, or materially reduce inter-regional transit/GO long-haul fares. GO RER will certainly be able to support much higher ridership, to a point, if those things are addressed, but as yet, we do not have proof they will be.

** (FWIW, stay tuned to the provincial budget as there might just be something on this point...)

Third, even at every 5M service (which GO hasn't yet got the ability to deliver) its ridership figures will be lower for the reason of distance per rider/turnover already discussed. Which again, doesn't devalue the project in the least
 
Last edited:
Fair enough. I went back and looked at the report, and the growth figures I quote in percentage terms are from the report I cited/linked to.

That report didn't have an annual figure, and I googled that, and failed to note that the number came from 2021:

View attachment 461363

You correctly note, I should have used a pre-pandemic year:

View attachment 461364

The above would attribute 80.8% of weekday ridership to rail. I'm not sure if that cleanly extrapolates to weekends.......

But assuming it did, 62.2M would the be the annual rail ridership in 2019.



Actually, I think this requires some finessing. I agree there is enormous potential in regional rail, and I have never suggested differently. And Jenn Keesmaat said she supported it as well.

But I do think we need to clarify some things here, GO's ridership, as has been noted, stays on trains over vastly greater distances, , meaning fewer actual riders (people) in terms of seat-kms.

That by the way is still a great thing, I don't want to diminish it all. I'm merely clarifying that IF the metric chosen is ridership the numbers will be somewhat lower for the reason of that long-distance from outer areas.

***

Second, thus far the province has refused to adopt GO Co-pay in the City of Toronto, or materially reduce inter-regional transit/GO long-haul fares. GO RER will certainly be able to support much higher ridership, to a point, if those things are addressed, but as yet, we do not have proof they will be.

** (FWIW, stay tuned to the provincial budget as there might just be something on this point...)

Third, even at every 5M service (which GO hasn't yet got the ability to deliver) its ridership figures will be lower for the reason of distance per rider/turnover already discussed. Which again, doesn't devalue the project in the least

I
Thats fair enough, but the ability to turn over passengers will increase a lot with Eglinton, OL, and all the new urban stations etc etc.
RE. Co-fare yes, it seems the budget may hold some promise. But, even still - the UP Express shows people will get on board if you provide a good service - and GO post electrification will be better than UP! Integration will just supercharge that. That we think theres a good chance the *Conservatives* will do it gives me plenty of hope for a future with integrated fares. Montreal did it, we can too.

I don't doubt Keesmaat wouldn't cancel the project - but I still think *relatively small* ridership does this project a disservice and shows a lack of imagination about it's potential - and the policies than are needed to make it successful - as someone who was chief planner I expected more.
 
And how much experience does DB have with operating in North America?

I wouldn't expect too much of them, especially at the start. They are going to have a very steep learning curve.

Dan

And I would be disappointed if they were to walk in, act as if they know everything, and just start doing things their way because it's DB.

Hopefully their involvement will be thoughtful, informed, and open minded.

Sure, there are plenty of current practices and mindsets that need to be challenged or set aside, but not "just because".

- Paul
 
And I would be disappointed if they were to walk in, act as if they know everything, and just start doing things their way because it's DB.

Hopefully their involvement will be thoughtful, informed, and open minded.

Sure, there are plenty of current practices and mindsets that need to be challenged or set aside, but not "just because".

- Paul
And let's not forget that the last time a German company tried to do a major project for GO, this is exactly what happened. And so they were unceremoniously kicked to the curb after 18 months.

I'm hoping that their institutional memory is good enough to remember that.

Dan
 

Back
Top