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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

Boy I sure hope I wasn't giving new riders wrong info for Bloor Station today. You need a score car to figure out what tracks trains were on especially the north end where there are no screens. Even the screens were no help as they were slow in displaying everything except the schedule that seem to be missing.

You have both UPX and GO using all 3 tracks for both directions with both either following the other or going in the opposite directions after the one of them clear a block and did a switching of tracks..

The first set of GO trains pass each other at Dupont while I was shooting. The 2nd pass each other at Bloor with South using 1 and North using 2. The 3rd set saw north use 3 and it was 5 minutes later that the South arrived on 1. The south was following an UPX on 1.

I told the person to check the screen and the Brampton train could be on 2 or 3

UPX normally use 3 for south an 2 for north, but not today as they were using all 3 tracks.

With GO going to 30 minutes now is having an operation issue for both GO and UPX until the true track 1 is built.

Saw 4 E-bikes get off a southbound GO train from different coaches and were all together in the end.
I wish they would advertise go tracker more! It’s been really helpful trying to figure out the platform when I’m not near screen, but in a hurry
 
There is currently a survey being done on each new screen that Metrolinx has rolled out on the GO network, by clicking the banner at the top you can access the survey on the GO website. Here are all the new screens:
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These do exist at Bloor GO. Noticed it on Saturday.

Part of the issue (imo) is low platforms are just too easy to walk across, and the ease of moving from one platform to the next properly is nonexistent- it’s quite slow and painful really. I’m not sure why you’d need to do this in the first place, but I’ve never alighted and had an uncrowded walk down to the concourse.
This reminds me of how Ottawa changed the layout of Lincoln Fields Station of the O-Train extension, replacing a convenient spanish solution for a cross-platform transfer in favour of a design that required people to transfer by going up and over the tracks because they were concerned of people walking across the tracks.
 
I never use GO Transit, so I'd appreciate advice for the following dumb question - if one were to buy a ticket from Barrie to Union Station using the Presto card, is it possible that once one arrives at Union, that you can transfer simply by tapping the card to another GO line, for example, to get to either Kipling GO or Dundas West GO? Apologies for my ignorance...
 
I never use GO Transit, so I'd appreciate advice for the following dumb question - if one were to buy a ticket from Barrie to Union Station using the Presto card, is it possible that once one arrives at Union, that you can transfer simply by tapping the card to another GO line, for example, to get to either Kipling GO or Dundas West GO? Apologies for my ignorance...
Yes. As long as you tap onto the second GO line within 3 hours of your original tap in Barrie.

I'm not sure what you mean by "buying a ticket". In some (many?) cities like Montreal and Edmonton, you literally have to pre-purchase the correct ticket with your fare card before you start your trip.

With Presto, just you just tap your Presto card (or debit/credit card) at the station just before you get on the train. And tap at Union when you get off. Then tap again as you board your second train ... etc.

If you don't ride often, I'd just use Debit or Credit - same fares as Presto on most systems - and you don't have to worry about how much cash is on your Presto card.

BTW, there's no trains on the line to Kipling GO leaving Union except at PM weekday rush hours. And Bloor/Dundas West GO only is hourly - might be faster to take the subway - which is a free transfer now after taking GO - if you use the same card.

Looking at the schedule, the Barrie trains on weekends arrive about 46 minutes after the hour, while the Kitchener (Bloor-Dundas West) train leaves at 51 minutes past the hour. That works well - unless the first train isn't late!
 
I never use GO Transit, so I'd appreciate advice for the following dumb question - if one were to buy a ticket from Barrie to Union Station using the Presto card, is it possible that once one arrives at Union, that you can transfer simply by tapping the card to another GO line, for example, to get to either Kipling GO or Dundas West GO? Apologies for my ignorance...

You don't need to tap off at Union if you are transferring directly to the second GO line. Just tap off at your eventual destination GO station.

As noted, if your layover at Union exceeds three hours, then it's two separate journeys and you do need to tap off and on at Union.

- Paul
 
There is currently a survey being done on each new screen that Metrolinx has rolled out on the GO network, by clicking the banner at the top you can access the survey on the GO website. Here are all the new screensView attachment 561205
Do you know if the survey is still open? I'd like to point out to them that the train screens at Union are severely misleading. Under the column "To" they wrote the name of the line, not the place the train is going to. For example, the screens say "to Kitchener" on trains that are not going to Kitchener (e.g. they're only going as far as Mount Pleasant). Under that column they should be showing the actual terminus of the service, just like they do on the screens for buses at Union, and on the screens for trains at other stations.
 
You don't need to tap off at Union if you are transferring directly to the second GO line. Just tap off at your eventual destination GO station.

As noted, if your layover at Union exceeds three hours, then it's two separate journeys and you do need to tap off and on at Union.
How do they know if your layover at Union was 3 hours, or 2 hours and 45 minutes?

If you catch the early morning train at Niagara Falls and tap at 6:15 AM, arrive in Union at 9:04 AM, then catch the next Barrie train (9:54), and arrive in Barrie at 11:37 AM. Let's say your are just 10 minutes late (which is not unusual), then you are over 5 hours since your previous tap. Does that really still work? I'd be leery.

In my experience, the quirks of the Presto fare system, often mean getting a better fare by tapping in and out at Union. You used to be able to tell this from the on-line calculator - but it doesn't do that any more.
 
How do they know if your layover at Union was 3 hours, or 2 hours and 45 minutes?

If you catch the early morning train at Niagara Falls and tap at 6:15 AM, arrive in Union at 9:04 AM, then catch the next Barrie train (9:54), and arrive in Barrie at 11:37 AM. Let's say your are just 10 minutes late (which is not unusual), then you are over 5 hours since your previous tap. Does that really still work? I'd be leery.

In my experience, the quirks of the Presto fare system, often mean getting a better fare by tapping in and out at Union. You used to be able to tell this from the on-line calculator - but it doesn't do that any more.
Theoretically, you can do the Niagara train to Union, tap off, then tap on 5 mins later and it gives you 3 more hours to complete your transfer. The downside to this is that it works only on the GO bus or train you're currently on and if you are changing vehicles (or transit agencies) within this period, you have to pay the base fare again
 
If you do tap off at Union and then quickly try to tap on again for your connecting trip, the system will reject the second tap.
I have not tested its performance with a maximum-duration trip, but for "average" trips where there is a transfer at Union and the entire trip remains within three hours, the no-need-to-tap-at-Union thing works just fine. I have even been fare-checked on such a transfer and was not challenged.
I was recently charged an airport no-tap fare when I tapped off at Bloor after transferring from a trip that started with a tap on at Scarborough.... maybe I tapped off at a UPE specific terminal, if I did I didn't notice. Presto certainly has its quirks.

- Paul
 
I was recently charged an airport no-tap fare when I tapped off at Bloor after transferring from a trip that started with a tap on at Scarborough.... maybe I tapped off at a UPE specific terminal, if I did I didn't notice. Presto certainly has its quirks...
Union-Pearson Express is a separate system from GO trains. It has a different fare structure, and different terminals that they try to clearly differentiate with signs and general appearance. You are definitely required to use the correct terminals when tapping on or off.
If you're leaving the GO train to exit the station onto Bloor St, you have to tap off at the south end of the GO platform, before walking onto the higher UPX platform. There used to be pairs of terminals, one each for GO and UPX, at the Bloor St entrance, but I guess they thought it caused too much confusion, and so now there's only UPX terminals there.

Completely irrelevant now, but a few years ago there was a brief period of time, I think maybe for a year or so, when UPX trips that did not involve going to or from the airport were allowed to be used as GO trips. I recall several times through one spring and summer making many trips from Bloor GO to Oshawa, transferring at Union both ways, and as specifically instructed by GO customer service, not tapping on or off at Union. At that time, almost every trip on UPX involved fare inspections. I recall one particular UPX fare inspector either never quite understood the situation, or I suppose never had it explained to her (even though all the others knew about it) and each time incorrectly told me I should have tapped off and on at Union, and showing her the GO customer service emails saying not to, and she would still try to insist they were wrong.
 
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