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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

GO has sneakily removed the $15 weekend pass from their website. That's too bad...sometimes I'd get the weekend pass even though I only needed a day pass, so that I could go to more places on the 2nd/3rd day.

First of all they made it mandatory to use the passes 7 days from when you purchased it, to now doing this.

This is kind of shady but at least weekend passes are 24 hours from when you activate it and not just end of day. So if you activated the pass at 6PM on Saturday, it expires 6PM on Sunday.
 
As soon as there are tolls on the QEW, you will have a point.

Level playing field.
There probably will never be tolls on the QEW. Keep in mind that this serves as a multi purpose highway. Yes there is the popular demand from the GTA to Niagara Falls itself, but then you have people going elsewhere and/or travelling locally in NR, then crossing the border into the US, and this is one of the 3 big highways along the way connecting Toronto to NYC.
 
Car drivers still pay for operational costs.

That's arguably true for provincial costs on provincially maintained highways but it's not true for municipal maintained highways or local roads. Snow clearing costs alone are higher than the direct roadways revenues, like fuel tax, municipalities typically receive in Ontario.

Also, provincial highways operations costs ignores indirect municipal costs like police, fire, healthcare though traffic enforcement fines often cover some policing costs.
 
It was probably a loss leader. Get's people in seats but they lose money on it per capita.

As I said before, they really need to restrict the usage of the pass to exclude Niagara Falls. When they first started the Niagara Services in 2013 it was $20 each way (approximately) with Pesto. I cannot see how they are making a profit with for only $10 return.
Going down that road, it may have vanished in anticipation of Christmas which is on a weekend this year where there will likely be a lot of long distance GO travel on Saturday morning with return trips Sunday. Maybe they think the $15 will be an extra large loss for the weekend.

I can't recall 100%, but weren't those "weekend" passes good for long weekend holidays too? So would it have been good for the holidays in lieu on Monday and Tuesday? They would have lost a lot of money there.
 
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Going down that road, it may have vanished in anticipation of Christmas which is on a weekend this year where there will likely be a lot of long distance GO travel on Saturday morning with return trips Sunday. Maybe they think the $15 will be an extra large loss for the weekend.

I can't recall 100%, but weren't those "weekend" passes good for long weekend holidays too? So would it have been good for the holidays in lieu on Monday and Tuesday? They would have lost a lot of money there.
Yes, it was valid for 4 days in 2021 and 2022.
 
I used it basically every weekend from 2021-present, I’ve never seen it valid for 4 days straight, only up to 3
 
The death spiral of Milton service continues.

Service adjustments for Milton customers.
If you're travelling eastbound to Union Station:
  • Two additional weekday early morning route 21 trips will travel from Milton all the way to Union Station Bus Terminal.
GO Transit is operating additional GO Bus Route 27A service between Milton and Meadowvale GO. From this route, you can also connect to TTC Line 1 service at Yorkdale Bus Terminal and Finch Bus Terminal.
In response to changing customer patterns on GO Bus Route 21, service frequency on this route has been adjusted.
On weekdays:
  • Most 21A trips between Oakville and Milton will now run hourly instead of every 30 minutes.
On weekday evenings:
  • 21B trips between Clarkson and Lisgar GO will run hourly instead of every 30 minutes.
On weekends:
  • 21B service will run hourly instead of every 30 minutes.
  • Most 21C trips between Port Credit and Erindale GO on weekdays and weekends will run hourly instead of every 30 minutes.

The fact that the Gardiner is not going anywhere is a VERY good thing.
 
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And I'm pointing out that trips within the GTA are not 'commuter routes' on the weekend, they have a major recreational function just like the trip to Niagara Falls. People head to downtown Toronto to see sports games, theatres, go shopping, visit friends, go to the pub, etc.

For clear evidence of how important fares are to intra-GTA ridership, just look at the weekend ridership from the inner 905 to downtown via the subway, compared to GO Transit. Sure, the subway is more frequent, but it's also much slower and less comfortable, so that doesn't explain the entire discrepancy. The remainder of the difference is attributable to the high cost of riding GO Transit, especially when you need to connect to the TTC for your last mile. On those trips, taking the GO train is more than double the cost of taking the subway.

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Shouldn't we just have fare discounts outside of peak travel times? Mid-day and evenings on weekdays plus weekends.
 
Shouldn't we just have fare discounts outside of peak travel times? Mid-day and evenings on weekdays plus weekends.
Absolutely. The $10/day weekend pass has been great at boosting ridership on weekends. If Metrolinx is concerned about the potential lost revenue by subsidizing super long trips (to Niagara Falls for example, as was mentioned on the previous page), then they should look at setting weekend fares such that a mid-distance trip on GO (Burlington-Union, Oshawa-Union, Newmarket-Union, etc) is roughly $5 ($10 round trip), and price everything else accordingly. That would still leave GO's distance-based model intact, just with significant discounts that would be equivalent to the weekend pass for a lot of people.

Or if you want an even simpler way of communicating it:
Weekday Peak (6AM-10AM, 3PM-7PM) = 100% of your current fare (maybe 110% if you really need to offset revenue)
Weekday Shoulder Peak (SOS-6AM, 7PM-10PM) = 80% of your current fare
Weekday Evening (10PM-EOS) & Weekend = 50% of your current fare

Not only would this pricing structure attract more people to GO in those off-peak times, but it may even help distribute the load of some existing customers into the shoulder peak times in order to get a bit of a discount. Setting it at 10PM would also help spread out the post-event crowds, since most of those on weekdays let out around 9:30. Right now everyone rushes for the first couple trains, but if there was incentive to hang around a little longer for a cheaper fare, people may opt for that.
 
The remainder of the difference is attributable to the high cost of riding GO Transit, especially when you need to connect to the TTC for your last mile. On those trips, taking the GO train is more than double the cost of taking the subway.
No, it's not. The cost factor is minor.

For better or for worse, the perception of GO for a lot of people is that it is meant primarily to get people downtown at rush hours. When they then look at taking GO outside of those peak times, they get told that if they miss their train (or bus), that they will have an hour wait. And in that hour, they can easily drive (most of the way) to their destination.

Until such time that the trains run so frequently that people can just turn up at a station and not have to wait an unbearable amount of time - something that sort of exists at rush hour but not any other times - GO will be unable to shake that perception.

Dan
 
No, it's not. The cost factor is minor.

For better or for worse, the perception of GO for a lot of people is that it is meant primarily to get people downtown at rush hours. When they then look at taking GO outside of those peak times, they get told that if they miss their train (or bus), that they will have an hour wait. And in that hour, they can easily drive (most of the way) to their destination.

Until such time that the trains run so frequently that people can just turn up at a station and not have to wait an unbearable amount of time - something that sort of exists at rush hour but not any other times - GO will be unable to shake that perception.

Dan

I think this will really depend on one's trip type; and origin-destination.

I live relatively close to Main Station and spend a fair bit of time downtown.

My travel time from Union to Danforth (Main) on GO is substantially faster (as little as 1/4 of TTC travel time and unquestionably less than 1/2 at all times).

However, if I'm traveling with packages/parcels/groceries, or its been a long day or the weather inclement, I'm likely to want a bus from Main Stn for my final leg.

The accretive cost (an extra $3.30) is material. I mean sure, I can afford it, but it feels foolish to spend that for an extra few blocks at end of my trip, when if I took TTC the entire way that bus is free.

So more often than not, I take TTC back from downtown; unless I'm unencumbered, and the weather is nice, in which case I take GO alone and walk from Danforth Stn.

****

I imagine there are many similar'ish profiles; these would particularly apply to off-peak, discretionary trips, where one can plan to be back at Union at 'x' time and the missed train scenario is unlikely.
 
Car drivers still pay for operational costs. Transit riders should pay a reasonable amount to subsidize operational costs.

do you have any objective metrics to back up that car drivers pay for all operational costs? i don't own a car yet my taxes go towards paying for car infrastructure

i don't know why people have this simplistic idea that budgets on a municipal, state, and federal level are supposed to balanced like your personal chequing account; there's way more nuance and complexities to this..
 

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