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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

These types of trips are usually off peak or counter peak and of course these are always a fraction of peak demand. Even if GO is able to absorb all of such potential off peak demand, that will still be far from enough to triple the ridership.

The question is how much of peak demand GO is already handling. Since trains are sort of already frequent on most lines in peak hours, it is possible that GO is already taking care of most of peak demand and untapped demand is not that much. How many more people will get swayed to use GO just because it's 15 min service instead of 30 min. If GO is a convenient/faster choice for them, they are probably already using it. For many others, driving might be much faster and convenient, and change in frequency doesn't do anything for them. It doesn't make the trip faster, not it brings the station closer to their home.

That's why I was suggesting that GO needs to improve its speeds significantly enough that the time saved overrides the inconvenience of not having door to door service or waiting for a bus to take you to GO. The proposed trip times don't seem to be that much faster to me. I am not expecting HSR speeds obviously but is that the best a regional rail can do? How do other regional rails in Europe or Japan with similar average station gap compare with future GO RER?
Electrification will yield improvement to average speed. Using Tokyo's Chuo line as an example, their trains operates at 100 - 130km/h - slower than the Lakeshore lines' speed limit outside of the Union station zone.
 
^Clearly, getting headways down under 30 minutes - 15 would be ideal - is critical. Hourly is acceptable for longer distances where even with a wait, the overall transit time is competitive to driving.

To my mind the limiting factor for regional service is the poor quality of first mile/last mile rather than the speed or frequency of the backbone rail service. We can’t rely on parking garages at stations to handle all the potential ridership. The whole playing field needs to be adjusted - municipalities are not well aligned to deliver people to GO, and for the majority of the suburban area we are not going to attract ridership door to door by running 40-foot buses deep into suburban neighbourhoods. Nor are municipalities likely to fund or apply innovation to their local transit operations to achieve this, even though there may be mutual benefit. We need a new “pact”, and Ontario may need to pony up the starting investment and perhaps financial incentives to riders and to municipalities to get things going.
- Paul
Here in Brampton, the 3 stations within municipal boundaries are about as well served by BT/Zum as one could ask, with neighbourhood feeders as well as mainline routes running to/from and through each. In addition, Malton and Lisgar Go are quite well connected even being outside of Brampton's direct purview. If the other 905 municipalities have things to learn, the model here is very impressive, especially considering we are still waiting for weekend train service (and Lisgar any non-weekday peak service, lol).
 
Here in Brampton, the 3 stations within municipal boundaries are about as well served by BT/Zum as one could ask, with neighbourhood feeders as well as mainline routes running to/from and through each. In addition, Malton and Lisgar Go are quite well connected even being outside of Brampton's direct purview. If the other 905 municipalities have things to learn, the model here is very impressive, especially considering we are still waiting for weekend train service (and Lisgar any non-weekday peak service, lol).
IMO even with the giant parking garage at Bramalea, Brampton has done the best job by far in the GTHA at servicing GO stations with transit, and it really is unfortunate electrification is only planned to go to Bramalea when there is already big ridership at the other stations, and further TOD planned at both. Another city on the Kitchener line is Guelph with all-day 10-min bus service between the University and Guelph Central. There really is so much potential along this line.
 
Electrification will yield improvement to average speed. Using Tokyo's Chuo line as an example, their trains operates at 100 - 130km/h - slower than the Lakeshore lines' speed limit outside of the Union station zone.
I am referring to the average speeds that include stopping time. EMUs can accelerate fast and achieve high average speed without high top speed. Also, dwell times make a difference. An average speed of 80-90 km/hr including stops would be a good target.
Go expansion will reduce Barrie line travel time end to end from 1h 41m currently to under 1h, is that not enough?
That sounds fast to me but I don't remember reading under 1 hour for that route. By any chance are you comparing local service with an express service?
 
IMO even with the giant parking garage at Bramalea, Brampton has done the best job by far in the GTHA at servicing GO stations with transit, and it really is unfortunate electrification is only planned to go to Bramalea when there is already big ridership at the other stations, and further TOD planned at both. Another city on the Kitchener line is Guelph with all-day 10-min bus service between the University and Guelph Central. There really is so much potential along this line.

I’d argue that the giant parking garage at Bramalea helped finally get a proper bus connection for every route that serves it.

Traditionally, Burlington and Oakville were the ones best focused on bus-to-train transfers, with the bus schedules timed for train meets.
 
These types of trips are usually off peak or counter peak and of course these are always a fraction of peak demand. Even if GO is able to absorb all of such potential off peak demand, that will still be far from enough to triple the ridership.

The question is how much of peak demand GO is already handling. Since trains are sort of already frequent on most lines in peak hours, it is possible that GO is already taking care of most of peak demand and untapped demand is not that much. How many more people will get swayed to use GO just because it's 15 min service instead of 30 min. If GO is a convenient/faster choice for them, they are probably already using it. For many others, driving might be much faster and convenient, and change in frequency doesn't do anything for them. It doesn't make the trip faster, not it brings the station closer to their home.

That's why I was suggesting that GO needs to improve its speeds significantly enough that the time saved overrides the inconvenience of not having door to door service or waiting for a bus to take you to GO. The proposed trip times don't seem to be that much faster to me. I am not expecting HSR speeds obviously but is that the best a regional rail can do? How do other regional rails in Europe or Japan with similar average station gap compare with future GO RER?
Let's put it in a different perspective - let's take a look at room for growth on the GO Network. GO's rush hour market is more or less saturated. GO is already the fastest way to reach downtown during peak hours, and as you have said, people who would benefit from GO, already take GO.

Off peak service however is a huge untapped market. Whilst hourly service is passable for many, there is so much room to encourage more transit riders at a scale that completely dwarfs pre-covid numbers. Sure, off peak trips will always be less than peak trips, but the potential market there is still absolutely massive.
 
I am referring to the average speeds that include stopping time. EMUs can accelerate fast and achieve high average speed without high top speed. Also, dwell times make a difference. An average speed of 80-90 km/hr including stops would be a good target.
Electric Locos, while they're not as good at acceleration as EMUs are, they are still much faster than Diesel Locomotives. With the alleged service pattern that DB is going for, running short 2-3 car trains with elec locomotives, the acceleration difference between EMUs and ELocos will be quite minimal.
That sounds fast to me but I don't remember reading under 1 hour for that route. By any chance are you comparing local service with an express service?
The number is from the GO Expansion Full Business Case I believe. Unfortunately it seems like the pdf has been taken down, so I can't verify the exact number provided. However, the business case (I believe) assumed an express service that skipped King City, Maple, and possibly Caledonia. It wasn't exactly clear on the specifics.
 
I think simply increasing service to All day 2 way on several corridors will increase ridership substantially ( Theres a whole Facebook car pooling world which could be made obsolete), In cities like Kitchener, Hamilton or Barrie, there is probably more off-peak travel to Toronto than on-peak.

However my worries are with the City of Toronto parts:
Whomever is building the City of Toronto Stations seems to not get the promise of a "surface subway/RER". Building Stations that are hundreds of millions of dollars that only have capacity for one line is not only short sighted as others have said but ruins the ability for example to take the train for non-Union trips (King-Liberty to Spadina Waterfront). I think DB will fix this somehow.

I think that in the long run, "GO classic" and "GO RER" might become separate entities under Metrolinx similar to
  • Transilien (long distance) vs RER (subway like) in Paris
  • NSW Trainlink (long distance) vs Sydney trains (subway like) in Sydney
 
I would like to be proven wrong, but let's perhaps temper our expectations for DB. They seem to do well enough in Germany, but I suspect GO Expansion will be delivered by a subsidiary of the company like Arriva. And the thought of anything like Arriva coming to take over GO should be adequate cause for panic. Their lack of vision, service planning has given a handful of bus operators in the former Czechoslovakia no end of difficulties.
 
IMO even with the giant parking garage at Bramalea, Brampton has done the best job by far in the GTHA at servicing GO stations with transit, and it really is unfortunate electrification is only planned to go to Bramalea when there is already big ridership at the other stations, and further TOD planned at both. Another city on the Kitchener line is Guelph with all-day 10-min bus service between the University and Guelph Central. There really is so much potential along this line.
Stations like Exhibition, Rouge Hill, Cooksville, Port Credit, and of course not to mention Kipling/Kennedy also have nice connections with other modes of transit. If Metrolinx were to even go as basic as some of these mentioned stations and not something as deeply integrated as Bramalea or the 2 ends on Bloor-Danforth, it would still be miles better than what other stations around the network have to offer.
 
I am referring to the average speeds that include stopping time. EMUs can accelerate fast and achieve high average speed without high top speed. Also, dwell times make a difference. An average speed of 80-90 km/hr including stops would be a good target.
I don't think 80 - 90 km/h average speed is feasible with the amount of stops we have on the GO lines.
I'll go back to my JR line example: it takes 57min to travel 53km, making 13 stops (an express run). Average speed would be 56km/h. They are using EMUs.
Chuo line timetable - Chuo S-Rapid
You can sort of estimate how fast the trains would have to run and/or how many stops to eliminate, in order to achieve 80-90km/h average...
 
Stations like Exhibition, Rouge Hill, Cooksville, Port Credit, and of course not to mention Kipling/Kennedy also have nice connections with other modes of transit. If Metrolinx were to even go as basic as some of these mentioned stations and not something as deeply integrated as Bramalea or the 2 ends on Bloor-Danforth, it would still be miles better than what other stations around the network have to offer.

Exhibition isn't bad - and it will get better - but the walk to the streetcars still isn't great.
 
I don't think 80 - 90 km/h average speed is feasible with the amount of stops we have on the GO lines.
I'll go back to my JR line example: it takes 57min to travel 53km, making 13 stops (an express run). Average speed would be 56km/h. They are using EMUs.
Chuo line timetable - Chuo S-Rapid
You can sort of estimate how fast the trains would have to run and/or how many stops to eliminate, in order to achieve 80-90km/h average...
If GO can cover Barrie to Union in less than one hour, that gives it an average speed of about 100 km/hr. That sounds unrealistic even for an express service. I remember long back seeing the new proposed times for every route in this thread. It will be great to get our hands on that again.

Also, I read that time savings will be up to 20 to 30 minutes per Metrolinx (average time saving is lower than that). Having Barrie-Union done in less an hour means 40+ min saved which contradicts Metrolinx's statement
 
Managed to find the full business case with the proposed times on the Metrolinx website: Go Expansion Full Business Case. Barrie line times are page 90 of the PDF/55 of the document.

I wouldn't put much stock in the numbers though. For example the Barrie line has 81 mins from Allandale to Union on peak, and 59 mins off peak. I tried to figure out how they came up with such a different number when the proposed service pattern is almost the same. Sure there's less dwell time off peak, but not THAT much. Until I looked at the section above and saw electric loco service - up to 8% faster, EMU up to 29% faster. The plan proposed using electric locos from Barrie on peak, but EMUs off peak, so that seems to be how they calculated such different times. Except most of the time savings is shown between Bradford and Barrie South - one of the longer stretches between stations where the acceleration difference of an EMU vs loco hauled would make the least difference. So I have to assume these numbers were just calculated quickly and without much attention to detail.
 
. So I have to assume these numbers were just calculated quickly and without much attention to detail.

Or (to be a bit kinder) the numbers were accurate and well developed for the equipment and service plan and station locations and track parameters as they were spec’d at the time the BCA was prepared…. but so many details have changed since then that those original calculations are no longer applicable.

Variables don’t, constants aren’t.

- Paul.
 

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