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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

When I went to Niagara in the summer there was a group of at least 6 people with e-bikes getting off the train from Brampton.
I just don’t understand the sense of seeming entitlement when these discussions arise. Bicycles are largely inert, the benefit of active transportation is deemed sufficient to make some provision for them. Suddenly we have motorized conveyances with power supplies which are being loaded onto trains well beyond the provisioned capacity for them, and nobody can object because to do so would be to mess with the exploitative business model those bikes represent?
 
I for one am curious to test the theory that GO couldn’t fill their trains without e-bike delivery riders, or that blocking exits with bikes has had no impact on their non-bike customer satisfaction, or that there is literally no other way that can be found to transport delivery riders’ bikes downtown.

The solution has to involve storage of delivery bikes downtown so that delivery workers don’t have to take them home every day.
The issue is a bit politicised because it spotlights how unaffordable downtown living has become for lower income workers - but fundamentally I agree, no transit system in the world presumes that many riders will bring their bikes on the train with them.

- Paul
 
The solution has to involve storage of delivery bikes downtown so that delivery workers don’t have to take them home every day.
Metrolinx recent rule change may be an indication that downtown storage is going to be even less likely in the future. I'm assuming the logic is, if no one is actively supervising each bike (ie. just a security camera on someone's screen monitoring for theft) then any battery issues will likely not be caught until significant damage occurs.

Thinking about this though, I wonder if the bikes themselves can be stored downtown but the batteries transported. After all, they'd likely need to take the batteries home to charge up at the end of the day. Assuming these explosions are happening when the batteries are active either being drained or drawing power then transporting them without the bikes would be safer.

Of course, the other reason why they are likely taking the bikes on the train is that last mile transit solutions aren't terribly great for these couriers after they disembark from their GO train at the end of the day. Having them stash a second bike in another city is just another cost they'd have to bear.
 
Assuming these explosions are happening when the batteries are active either being drained or drawing power then transporting them without the bikes would be safer.
It seems like a decent compromise. While it might have been powered on, I can't imagine the recent TTC fire was caused by a battery that was being actively drained or charged.
 
Metrolinx recent rule change may be an indication that downtown storage is going to be even less likely in the future. I'm assuming the logic is, if no one is actively supervising each bike (ie. just a security camera on someone's screen monitoring for theft) then any battery issues will likely not be caught until significant damage occurs.

Thinking about this though, I wonder if the bikes themselves can be stored downtown but the batteries transported. After all, they'd likely need to take the batteries home to charge up at the end of the day. Assuming these explosions are happening when the batteries are active either being drained or drawing power then transporting them without the bikes would be safer.

Of course, the other reason why they are likely taking the bikes on the train is that last mile transit solutions aren't terribly great for these couriers after they disembark from their GO train at the end of the day. Having them stash a second bike in another city is just another cost they'd have to bear.
I was thinking the other way round, take the bike, leave the battery. They could be stored in segmented bays similar to what had to be done on the Boeing 787 when they had the fires/events, and be charged using OEM equipment - ideally importers/manufacturers could be corralled into supporting this. If there is an incident - cut power, dump sand from overhead dispenser, turn on extractor fans, wait to cool, void deposit (for disposal cost). They wouldn’t have power assist to/from their home but maybe TTC/Brampton Transit could be okay with front rack bikes with no battery?
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^No doubt there is a need for batteries to be charged during the "parking" down time. Unattended charging strikes me as risky and something that no parking facility operator would be eager to undertake. As well, the risk of fire is greatest for damaged or abused batteries - and lithium batteries are really not happy outside of warm weather.
All of that says to me that the batteries need to stay in the custody of the owner.

- Paul
 
Service Update for the Kitchener Line, more bike coaches on the weekend.

We are adding bike coaches to make your weekend commute easier.

Starting Sunday, Jan. 7 there will be one bike coach added to each of the following trips:
· The northbound 5:51 p.m., 7:51 p.m., 9:51 p.m. and 11:51 p.m. trips from Union Station.
· The southbound 6:49 p.m., 8:49 p.m. and 10:49 p.m. trips from Mount Pleasant.

Starting Saturday, Jan. 13 there will be one bike coach added to each of the following trips:

The westbound 8:51 a.m., 9:51 a.m., 11:51 a.m. and 1:51 p.m., 3:51 p.m., 5:51 p.m., 7:51 p.m., 9:51 p.m., 10:51 p.m. and 11:51 p.m. trips from Union Station.

The eastbound 7:49 a.m., 8:49 a.m., 9:49 a.m., 10:49 a.m., 12:49 p.m., 2:49 p.m., 4:49 p.m., 6:49 p.m., 8:49 p.m. and 10:49 p.m. trips from Mount Pleasant.

A bike coach can fit up to 18 bicycles. If you’re taking a bus for your return trip, please note that buses have limited bike rack space.

Please check our website for more information on our bike policy.

Riding your bike is another convenient way to get to GO stops and stations. Bring them onboard so that you can continue to explore the region!
 
Yes but taxpayers should not be subsidizing tourism to Niagara Falls. Unfortunately as many of us know that train is overloaded with people that the Falls cannot easily support.
Actually the Niagara falls train is partially subsidized by Niagara Tourism board. Which collects money from local businesses' and puts some of that money towards paying for the train. Considering that the train is packed in the summer I would think that its good value.

Wonder why they couldn't come to the same agreement with VIA?
 
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Actually the Niagara falls train is partially subsidized by Niagara Tourism board. Which collects money from local businesses' and puts some of that money towards paying for the train. Considering that the train is packed in the summer I would think that its good value.

Wonder why they couldn't come to the same agreement with VIA?
Probably because VIA trains carry far less people, and doesn’t have the resources to sustain a service like that.
 
Unattended charging strikes me as risky and something that no parking facility operator would be eager to undertake.
My suggestion would be that a charging station *would* be attended. The cost of the supervision would simply be factored into the storage/charging cost - build a big enough facility and the cost would be spread appropriately.
 
How about just... requiring that the batteries be taken out of e-bikes that are brought on the train?
 
How about just... requiring that the batteries be taken out of e-bikes that are brought on the train?
That might be hard to enforce, and on certain ebike models, be a pain to do. Some ebikes need to be folded to access the battery, which takes a considerable amount of force and space to do.

The better solution is what has been suggested - provide overnight storage with the condition that batteries are removed from the storage space. The enforcement of this is much less time-sensitive than on trains and you end up with parking for traditional bikes too.
 
The other potential solution for most stations is bike lockers. Unlike the bike garage at Union, they're outdoors and pretty fireproof, so a fire in one e-bike shouldn't spread much. Obviously they're not very space efficient so they're not a solution for the number of bikes we'd need to store at Union but at virtually every other station they seem like an adequate solution to let people leave e-bikes at the station. It doesn't solve the charging question though so it's more a solution for home-to-station trips than station-to-work trips.
 
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