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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

DonValleyRainbow

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The problem with the CP line is that it goes through 45km of nothing before it reaches Cambridge (unlike Kitchener which goes through Guelph). The potential stops could be:
- Campbellville with a large parking lot diverting those that drive on the 401 to the Milton GO station (plus some Mohawk Slot traffic)
- Puslinch again for a parking lot on Hwy 6. But won't have much traffic as people would rather get frequent service at Aldershot...so a long-term potential but not worth building now
- Cambridge

My personal view is that they should look at building 1 more station. Either in Campbellville or on Tremaine (when they get the interchange built there). This would help alleviate the traffic in Milton and encourage those along the 401 to take GO (getting through Milton can be a pain). Saves those people that live in Cambridge 5-10 minutes off of their commute. An incremental improvement.
Agree with stations in Campbellville and Puslinch, for the reasons you cited. Puslinch could double as a bus terminal, and allow GO Bus service between Guelph/Waterloo and Hamilton/Niagara. I would caution against too many stations in the Greenbelt, ridership should be focused in designated urban centres.

If the freight bypass goes ahead, this will provide some fantastic reverse peak service for Laurier/UW/UofG students.
 

mdrejhon

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Legally required? I would love to see someone try to expropriate this right from CN/CP. Scientifically proven safety standards can be adopted but that's about it.
De-facto expropriation via far stricter safety standards on North Toronto Subdivision, making it much cheaper and more appealing to run trains via the 407 Freight Bypass.

It could even be a formula including distance from houses along the corridor, and it is extremely clear the 407 Freight Bypass (with its generous 400+ meter minimum corridor width, due to the massive hydro corridor to south and 407 (+allowance for expansion) to the north - permitting roughly 200 meters of safety buffer space on both sides of corridor)

Eventually it would be cheaper for CN/CP to accept the Bypass. CN would put up the now-less-useful North Toronto Subdivision for a pretty penny, and for CP to put up the Milton line for sale too. Would be costly but the name of the game would be to make these routes as unappeling as possible by having North America's strictest rail cargo standards on these lines.

The NIMBY issue is still something to work with, but the frequent multiple annual derailments can be politically used as leverage to force CN and/or CP to decide to wye towards the 407 Freight Bypass, and defacto end up stop using the densely-populated mainlines. It frees up so many corridors capable of moving several additional Highway 401's worth of people across Toronto. (Heads up: Just a mere 8 Lakeshore West GO Trains, move more people than 1 hour of peak hour 401 traffic!)

It's going to be a very long haul, possibly involving lots of money and lawsuits, but we'd better get started because this is a public-transit-expansion goldmine for our grandkids
 
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drum118

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De-facto expropriation via looser safety standards on the 407 Freight Bypass.
It would be cheaper for CN/CP to accept the Bypass and give up the now-useless North Toronto Subdivision.
First of all, Hydro One will not allow something built on their lands these day not related to them.

2: 407 has an 99 lease and only will be used by them.

3: Removing 407 & Hydro One lands, how much land is left for the bypass??

4: Since this is a share corridor for RR, you will need 3 track at least if not 4 to meet current & future needs.

5: Since CP is looking at a new yard to the east and CN sees no need at this time, what is needed to get CN to its current yards??

6: Since CP & CN have intermodule yards on the existing lines, what will happen to them as well trains dropping off or pickup cars during GO service window?

7: From a safety factor point, how much clearance is needed between the RR and the Hydro One lands as well 407??
 
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mdrejhon

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All legitimate questions, that will use up a lot of money to solve.

I'm inclined to believe this is a project for our grandkids --
-- that I am beginning to agree with on.

But we have to start looking at it now if I want our grandkids to see this.

Begin with a study and go from there, bit by bit. Talk and negotiate to all stakeholders for a decade or two. Sieze every unfortunate future rail disaster as an opportunity to muscle more giveway, bit by bit. Some creativity will be needed (play Hydro One off 407 consortium, bidding war for slivers of land, do a few dirty tricks, thread the centerline of the rail corridor between both, possibly taking 1.5 rail corridorwidths from each in certain cases). Pool massive amounts of future money from multiple parties (Ontario high speed rail, federal rail subsidy, Metrolix RER II or III initiatives, etc) to pull it off and win the jackpot of several transit corridors GTHA-wide, make sure it's not a waste, etc.

No sense ignoring this potential transit jackpot goldmine today. Otherwise, we won't see it until the 22nd century.
 
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CodeMonkey

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When the province sold the 407-ETR, they retained the right to build rail transit lines that parallel the 407 route, but I recall reading comments over on Steve Murno blog some time ago that population flow prevented the province from using that right. I can't recall the exact wording, but I do remember it had something to do with how people travel in this area that made it unfeasible.
 

Northern Light

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A Timmies inside a GO station would make mad bank. I'm surprised that it didn't happen years ago.
Many moons ago, (like 10 years) I wrote to the TTC to suggest more retail inside stations, particularly of the coffee shop variety, esp. where they could position stores so that they had both paid/unpaid area counters.

So I got a response back that said (paraprhasing) ......no retailer has expressed an interest, and its too much bother to look and see where we could do this, we probably wouldn't make much money at it.

That got on my nerves, but to amuse myself, I wrote to Tim Horton's at the time.......which got a reply to the effect of ....'The TTC hasn't tendered the opportunity for any new retail spaces we're aware of, and we don't proactively approach potential landlords to create space for us'.

**

I love my country dearly, I think its one of the best, if not the best places to be a citizen on this earth......but there are moments where I see
the Canadian failure to grasp opportunity or innovate.....in ways far more interesting or valuable than the above.....but this sorta typifies the if it ain't badly broke
don't try to improve on it attitude.

Glad to see Metrolinx getting off its duff on this one.

I chided them about this in their mobility hub consultations.....

Now if the TTC would just follow suit.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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Go stations are slighty different than TTC subway stations IMO. The types of commuters are different, think of the TTC commuter rushing to catch their subway train, connecting bus, etc; vs the GO commuter who drives to the station already with Timmies in hand, with 5 mins or so to spare before the train arrives. It just seems to me that GO riders are more prone to down time at their stations and so might be more likely to make a purchase like a timmies at the station.

The fact that many have suggested matching stations with retail (even outside of the station proper) such as supermarkets, LCBO, etc shows a greater propensity for GO passengers to use these stores.
 

Jonny5

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A Timmies inside a GO station would make mad bank. I'm surprised that it didn't happen years ago.
You would need to make a lot of money for it to work properly. It's several hundred thousand just to franchise a kiosk,. Full stores can hit $600,000. On top of that Tim's takes a cut of the revenue. Coffee doesn't make enough money, you need to sell the high margin stuff like sandwiches and combo meals too. It's not clear to me how much interest that would generate. Then there is a staffing issue that the bulk of your customers will all be arriving in and around the same few times each day. You can't have a 5 minute line in a time sensitive situation like a train station or customers will just get something at a Tim's on the way before arriving, meaning you need to be overstaffed much of the time.

Locating outside the station as a building on the premises can work depending on what Metrolinx means by 'partnership'. If Metrolinx wants a cut of revenue too, or charges too much rent, then you must have an extraordinarily good location for foot traffic (maybe Port Credit) or a drive through by a major arterial (Clarkson or Eglinton).

I think it's actually pretty complicated to make a Tim's inside or outside a GO Station work, and I can see why they may pass on the idea when there's logistically easier locations with proven traffic available all over or Metrolinx siphons off too much.
 

mdrejhon

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I think it's actually pretty complicated to make a Tim's inside or outside a GO Station work, and I can see why they may pass on the idea when there's logistically easier locations with proven traffic available all over.
Places like Port Credit would be a great place; it's adjacent to residentials. And with all-day 15-min 2-way service, there will be far more traffic in 2023 than today.

So would a place like pedestrian-friendly West Harbour GO (once it gains all-day 2-way train service in the coming decade), as well as new pedestrian-friendly infill stations like Caledonia GO as they would be a transfer point between two frequent-service routes (Crosstown LRT and Barrie GO RER).

Many of these retail will take 10 years to arrive, so the correct time to begin planning and sending feelers to gauge interest -- is pretty much right now.
 

wopchop

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Locating outside the station as a building on the premises can work depending on what Metrolinx means by 'partnership'. If Metrolinx wants a cut of revenue too, or charges too much rent, then you must have an extraordinarily good location for foot traffic (maybe Port Credit) or a drive through by a major arterial (Clarkson or Eglinton).
I suppose that I should have been more clear. When I say 'inside the GO station', I meant inside the station grounds (ie. could be a separate building).

I think that this would work even better with a grocery store, as people might be more inclined to stop at the grocery after exiting the train, instead of waiting in the inevitable GO station exiting traffic jam.

At a station like Oakville or Clarkson, which have daily ridership of 13,000 and 11,500, could probably support something like this.
 

andrewpmk

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Finch subway station has *two* Tim Hortons. Presumably with electrified GO service, major GO stations will be much busier than they are today and will easily support retail, and there will be less of an issue with demand being heavily concentrated at certain times of day.
 

dowlingm

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Many moons ago, (like 10 years) I wrote to the TTC to suggest more retail inside stations, particularly of the coffee shop variety, esp. where they could position stores so that they had both paid/unpaid area counters.

So I got a response back that said (paraprhasing) ......no retailer has expressed an interest, and its too much bother to look and see where we could do this, we probably wouldn't make much money at it
IIRC there was an issue extending food retail into some TTC stations because of lack of sufficient available water, that the cost and associated disruption of plumbing more in was deemed to be more than would be made back from the retailers. I can see where TH is coming from too as commercial operators need to tread warily with TTC post MFP scandal.

The difference between GO and TTC is in the proportion of people who transfer from train to car. TTC riders mostly split train-walk or train-bus-walk, which isn't conducive to carrying much and splits the customer base between those who pass through the fare gates and those who don't because they are transferring to/from a bus. I've always thought stuff like dry cleaning and medium sized grocery would be obvious for GO stations since pretty much everyone will be exiting the fare zone and people can throw their purchases into their vehicles.
 

rbt

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You would need to make a lot of money for it to work properly. It's several hundred thousand just to franchise a kiosk,. Full stores can hit $600,000. On top of that Tim's takes a cut of the revenue. Coffee doesn't make enough money, you need to sell the high margin stuff like sandwiches and combo meals too. It's not clear to me how much interest that would generate. Then there is a staffing issue that the bulk of your customers will all be arriving in and around the same few times each day. You can't have a 5 minute line in a time sensitive situation like a train station or customers will just get something at a Tim's on the way before arriving, meaning you need to be overstaffed much of the time.
A modern multi-menu Tims might work okay. Coffee and donuts in the morning, and something else from Restaurant Brands International in the evening (shared staff/kitchen) doing evening takeout service. Bonus if you can order ahead with your train number and have it hot and ready when the train arrives.

Does RBI have anything other than Tims and Burger King and Cold Stone? Something family-ish (Swiss Chalet) might work well.

Obviously, only GO stations already in dense neighbourhoods or retail strips or with local bus hubs will work. Mimico, Oakville, Maple, Ruthurford, ... Something like Barrie South would be a huge struggle even if they made it street-side retail.
 
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