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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

I hope Stouffville and Barrie will at least get double-decker buses to replace the train service. Standing-room only buses are the biggest deterrent to taking GO to a Jays game (I've been on hundreds of these buses in the past).
 
I am unsure what the issue is with the Milton Line. If Metrolinx offered to build more track, I don’t know why CP would say no.

Your "if" statement sums it up perfectly. CP has accommodated GO to the degree that the current tracks will allow. Lots would change...... if ML brought funding for adding track and other improvements.

Some of those improvements are non-track.... ie grade separation. The issue with the grade separations being other than crossing protection..... but rather, the likelihood that major roads would be blocked for unacceptable periods of time if CP tried to run more GO trains (especially bidirectionally) with its freights mixed in.

Some of those improvements sit with Metrolinx, also. The length of single track east of Dupont is a barrier to frequent two-way service. There would have to be more track east of Dupont.

- Paul
 
Something I have been wondering about is the future of freight on Metrolinx corridors. Personally, with the level of service they expect GO to get up to, I don't see how freight can be accommodated in GO's long term plans.

Some might say that the trains can run at night, but the window where this will be possible will likely be too small to allow reliable and timely service. These periods are also critical for network maintenance which will make a complete elimination of freight desirable.

In my opinion, we will likely see the biggest issues on the Oakville and Guelph Subs where there is still reasonable volume of freight, but I think that there will be a general modal shift to trucks as a result of GO expansion. It's definitely worth it though since that will be balanced out by modal shift away from cars.

Perhaps Metrolinx might look to buy out rail served properties adjacent to their corridors for redevelopment which would allow industries to move in order to mitigate this. Though, unavoidably, this will likely lead to the abandonment of the Goderich Exeter Railway which will be cut off from the freight network.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 
I hope Stouffville and Barrie will at least get double-decker buses to replace the train service. Standing-room only buses are the biggest deterrent to taking GO to a Jays game (I've been on hundreds of these buses in the past).
They should’ve thought about the alternatives as well. For example, 66 going to Highway 407 instead of Yorkdale actually helps for a really efficient enough alternative to get downtown, but its has an atrocious bi hourly schedule and runs only on weekdays which is unacceptable. If they ran this bus on weekends and cater to take relief off the Barrie buses that would do wonders with benefitting from the loss of train service.

Stouffville corridor already has a bus running to 4 of its GO stations in Markham and then heading to RHC and 407 station so they don’t have to do much except for running it at least hourly on weekends and they’ll be fine. This further proves the point that this last minute decision to cut train service on both lines were terribly planned out and never intended to put transit riders first.
 
Something I have been wondering about is the future of freight on Metrolinx corridors. Personally, with the level of service they expect GO to get up to, I don't see how freight can be accommodated in GO's long term plans.

Some might say that the trains can run at night, but the window where this will be possible will likely be too small to allow reliable and timely service. These periods are also critical for network maintenance which will make a complete elimination of freight desirable.

In my opinion, we will likely see the biggest issues on the Oakville and Guelph Subs where there is still reasonable volume of freight, but I think that there will be a general modal shift to trucks as a result of GO expansion. It's definitely worth it though since that will be balanced out by modal shift away from cars.

Perhaps Metrolinx might look to buy out rail served properties adjacent to their corridors for redevelopment which would allow industries to move in order to mitigate this. Though, unavoidably, this will likely lead to the abandonment of the Goderich Exeter Railway which will be cut off from the freight network.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
It’s the price we have paid by allowing RRs to rip up old corridors instead of preserving them (in some cases). In others, it may indicate we need to build new rails again, to create diversion points and bypasses for freight.

In terms of direct issues with freight, we already orient everything passenger related around the RRs. Electrification has taken them into account, and we are building infrastructure on the Guelph sub to enable the service levels we plan to provide. That is all short term however; what the long term plan is to enable higher frequencies in places shown on long term planning docs is unknown.
 
Something I have been wondering about is the future of freight on Metrolinx corridors. Personally, with the level of service they expect GO to get up to, I don't see how freight can be accommodated in GO's long term plans.

Some might say that the trains can run at night, but the window where this will be possible will likely be too small to allow reliable and timely service. These periods are also critical for network maintenance which will make a complete elimination of freight desirable.

In my opinion, we will likely see the biggest issues on the Oakville and Guelph Subs where there is still reasonable volume of freight, but I think that there will be a general modal shift to trucks as a result of GO expansion. It's definitely worth it though since that will be balanced out by modal shift away from cars.

Perhaps Metrolinx might look to buy out rail served properties adjacent to their corridors for redevelopment which would allow industries to move in order to mitigate this. Though, unavoidably, this will likely lead to the abandonment of the Goderich Exeter Railway which will be cut off from the freight network.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Firstly, under Canadian railway law Metrolinx cannot tell freight operators like CN and CP to get lost. If it did, it would be required to provide that freight service (connecting to CN or CP’s yards) itself. Metrolinx does not want to do that. Also if Metrolinx tried to do this, I’d expect freight railways would respond poorly and make Metrolinx’s use of their tracks extremely difficult.

Secondly, most of Metrolinx’s railways are former freight lines. There is absolutely a clause in the sale agreement about allowing freight service on their tracks, and favourable times and usage rates.

Thirdly, the largest freight movements are on the Oakville Sub. The “most important” customer is Ford, which cannot ship all vehicles by truck, and transloading would be super costly. Ontario does not want to upset automakers. Regarding the Guelph Sub, the most GO service that is planned is hourly (so one east and one west train per hour). There is plenty of capacity to squeeze in freight, as the Guelph sub isn’t busy. The rest of GO’s network is light on freight.

Night movements are extremely viable. If maintenance is occurring, the vast majority of GO’s network is at least double tracked so trains could avoid closed areas. If major maintenance is happening, it may cause freight disruptions. This is an exception, not the rule.

I appreciate the thought you put into your post, but I genuinely don’t think freight and the future GO services coexisting is going to be an issue. Changes will happen but everything will work out.
 
^We tend to think that expediting freight is only about making CP and CN rich, but it isn’t.

Freight is about employment, and freight rail is about keeping trucks off the highways. And rich railways are mostly about pension plans and RRSP’s and TFSA’s - they are owned by institutional investors, not a family business.

There are certainly rub points between GO and freight, but they are manageable. As noted, making it harder for CN and CP to haul freight only makes things worse.

- Paul
 
I'm not in disagreement with any of your points. (But keep in mind that the 20 was axed due to low ridership because of all of the other options that were available. These changes are those options.)

But it also ignores a very major factor, and that's that trip times - and operating costs - have increased greatly due to traffic.

If you live in Milton, what's the better option? Having a bus travel all the way, but have a variance in travel time of an hour or more, or to have to deal with a transfer but have a reasonably reliable (and most of the time, quick) trip?

Dan
I don't dispute that the traffic situation makes it so that diverting the bus down to Lakeshore West is going to deliver time savings, I'm on board with that. I just object to the removal of service between Milton and Meadowvale GO specifically. It's a roughly 30 minute trip now, after the changes it will double on a weekday, and on a Sunday, if Triplinx tells the truth, such a connection could take anywhere between 1hr 22 min and 2hr 12 minutes, depending on when you leave.

I think that a full time extension of the 27 to Milton would be just fine as a replacement. It doesn't have to be the 21, anything would do provided it runs reasonably fast and frequently.
 
I don't dispute that the traffic situation makes it so that diverting the bus down to Lakeshore West is going to deliver time savings, I'm on board with that. I just object to the removal of service between Milton and Meadowvale GO specifically. It's a roughly 30 minute trip now, after the changes it will double on a weekday, and on a Sunday, if Triplinx tells the truth, such a connection could take anywhere between 1hr 22 min and 2hr 12 minutes, depending on when you leave.

I think that a full time extension of the 27 to Milton would be just fine as a replacement. It doesn't have to be the 21, anything would do provided it runs reasonably fast and frequently.

I could also argue that Milton really could work on its own transit connections to neighbouring communities. The 21 Steeles Avenue route is a good, if timid, first step, but maybe it should be the agency running along Derry Road to Meadowvale too. The new GO 21A finally restores a connection to Oakville, but it doesn’t run in the weekday peak direction! Why didn’t Milton Transit run a bus at least to Oakville Hospital?

I do agree that extending GO Route 27 off peak is a good idea.
 
I could also argue that Milton really could work on its own transit connections to neighbouring communities. The 21 Steeles Avenue route is a good, if timid, first step, but maybe it should be the agency running along Derry Road to Meadowvale too. The new GO 21A finally restores a connection to Oakville, but it doesn’t run in the weekday peak direction! Why didn’t Milton Transit run a bus at least to Oakville Hospital?

I do agree that extending GO Route 27 off peak is a good idea.

In theory, this illustrates the case for the creation of Halton Region Transit, to move towards a logically planned grid across the region. But given that Halton's Transportation Planning has been very, very auto-centric and none of the various transit agencies super well funded; its not clear if that such a move would end up being beneficial.
 
Peel Region Transit is probably a higher priority than Halton Region Transit to me, but both would be useful.

I don’t see the need for Peel Region Transit. Caledon is a laggard, yes, but it’s finally looking like they’ll just contract more service with Brampton.

Halton is a bigger issue with poor connections between each system (though Burlington and Oakville have gotten much better) and the complete lack of service in Halton Hills.
 
Bizarrely Halton Hill is part funding the service from Milton Go to Lisgar GO.

It serves fewer than 100 households in Halton Hills and doesn't integrate with any service to/from either Georgetown or Acton, but council can now claim to have a bus service!
 
I think people will demand milton - union service back by summer imo. I just don't think this will go over well despite making total sense.

I tend to agree. It does make sense to route the buses to Port Credit however it does miss the mark.

Those buses were great for people attending Leafs or Jays games, or even going to the CNE in the fall. That extra transfer is nothing more than a pain in the ass and adds a stop to what was previously a seamless transfer.

It would make more sense to have Milton GO trains on the weekend than it would to curtail service at Port Credit.
 

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