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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

denfromoakvillemilton

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As a resident of Brampton who commutes to Toronto...I would be far more impressed by my politicians if they said "we got you an every 15 minute shuttle to Weston where you can free transfer to the every 15 minute UP to Union" than them saying "we got you hourly service direct to Union"
I would too, but so many people would howl and I think that's what would carry them to Union.
Yeah, I've noticed you tout that a few times. Is it a "seat all the way to Union"? No, it's a compromise, a very workable one compared to the alternatives. There is the challenge of getting *every present Sharyo DMU in reliable service* to make it happen. We're still left in the dark as to how possible that is.

What you project is *ostensibly* DMU service for now until electric actually happens (and again, my skepticism of roll-out dates is shared by most). Whether that is enabled by a through service to Brampton, and then a shuttle to the airport at, say, Etobicoke North or a new stop at Woodbine Race Track is a point worthy of discussion. Or as you imply: Brampton commuters having to change at the two stations mentioned.

Here's a scenario, kosher to the 'political pressure' factor that *will* arise. The Libs are going to be desperate for every vote they can get. Pandering (whether warranted or not) is going to be rampant.

Libs state: (Weasel slant of this fully intended) "We've heard your concerns, and we will address them. Starting within the next two years, prior to electrification (gets them off that hook) we will be buying in some 'off the shelf' low floor DMUs to satisfy this pressing demand. These will be cascaded to branch lines later when this section becomes electrified and EMUs run the route. Due to the pressing demand and the lead time necessary to order these units, we will do this as a 'sole source contract'".

As mentioned by Paul, I think it was, some time back: What happened to those rebuilt VIA RDC's? Are they fast accelerating and suitable for this role? No, they're very heavy and slow to accelerate, BUT, they just might be readily available...and to lease...a big plus, as it keeps funding minimal. Remember, VIA just jumped at the opportunity to service Halifax commuter. If RDCs are used, then Fan's concept would be the way to do it. Stopgap measure? Absolutely. Will it win votes? Well, it's better than a vacuum.
Agreed with you again steve


Here is what they said



I think Wynne will have to do something, or at least keep the original promise if she wants to be premier until 2022.
 

crs1026

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As a resident of Brampton who commutes to Toronto...I would be far more impressed by my politicians if they said "we got you an every 15 minute shuttle to Weston where you can free transfer to the every 15 minute UP to Union" than them saying "we got you hourly service direct to Union"
I don't disagree.... but with the current track configuration the best they could do is 30 minutes, even just Bramalea-Weston. It's pitiful how little of an investment would change that....build the fourth track from Weston Road down to Weston GO station. (segments of it are already laid, but not connected to anything).

I have worked with so many people who work downtown and live on the GO routes, who would regularly stay into the evening (for work, or pleasure) if there were a later train available. Many use the bus when there is no train, but that does discourage some users.

As anyone who has been to an evening Jays' game knows, people can plan their lives (to the minute) around an hourly schedule. Although it's not optimal - and many would arrive at Union hoping there is a bus on the half-hour rather than wait longer for the train.

I'm surprised that GO would not be at the head of the parade arguing for this service - it's a big breakthrough in terms of getting people to think of GO as more than LSE/LSW. LSE/LSW should give good experiential data on how long it took to build midday and evening service.

- Paul
 

steveintoronto

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Den: Thanks for posting that diagram. There's been so many promises that it's hard to keep track of them, and to see it in print again refreshes the memory, and allows *exact reference* to what was promised. I remember many of us getting excited seeing that, only to have hopes dashed yet again.

For the Libs to get re-elected, they're going to have to show something tangible, even if stopgap.

Edit to Add: Further to Paul's point on the track (and I'm sure many, like myself, look out the window to see where those segments start and stop, and how tantalizingly close it is to being contiguous). Even if the Libs put a rush on that, it would be *something* to engender a sense of imminent service.

It's an interesting discussion to figure out just what would be needed in the way of track to achieve a 15 min schedule for a shuttle service from Bramalea to (Weston?)A new stop at Woodbine Race Track would radically reduce the number of shuttles needed to do fifteen minutes service, and also the length of single tail track needed at each end of the shuttle.

Some readers are skilled at configuring such a situation. How much is needed to make this scenario work? It's something the Libs might be desperate for to save their sorry azzes.

There's still the scenario of running RDCs express from Bramalea to Union, perhaps one stop at Bloor for the subway connection. The RDCs will do it in good time if not stymied by stops in between.

It then becomes a question of paths/slots and platform availability at Union. Since Bramalea is touted to become even more of a regional hub, the passenger load is there to justify it.

Thoughts?
 
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TOareaFan

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I don't disagree.... but with the current track configuration the best they could do is 30 minutes, even just Bramalea-Weston. It's pitiful how little of an investment would change that....build the fourth track from Weston Road down to Weston GO station. (segments of it are already laid, but not connected to anything).
But, still, 30 minute service to Weston to connect to every other UP train is still superior service/access to Union than hourly trains that continue thru to Union.
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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I don't disagree.... but with the current track configuration the best they could do is 30 minutes, even just Bramalea-Weston. It's pitiful how little of an investment would change that....build the fourth track from Weston Road down to Weston GO station. (segments of it are already laid, but not connected to anything).

I have worked with so many people who work downtown and live on the GO routes, who would regularly stay into the evening (for work, or pleasure) if there were a later train available. Many use the bus when there is no train, but that does discourage some users.

As anyone who has been to an evening Jays' game knows, people can plan their lives (to the minute) around an hourly schedule. Although it's not optimal - and many would arrive at Union hoping there is a bus on the half-hour rather than wait longer for the train.

I'm surprised that GO would not be at the head of the parade arguing for this service - it's a big breakthrough in terms of getting people to think of GO as more than LSE/LSW. LSE/LSW should give good experiential data on how long it took to build midday and evening service.

- Paul
Agreed Paul. But even then, Metrolinx would actually have to show they want to do it. I think 1/2 hour from Mt pleasant is more then fair, but we have track constraints. The problem is the lack of will. We deserve better. Look at Barrie... They said they want to do AD2W from allandale, but beteewn King City and Bradford there is only on track still!
Den: Thanks for posting that diagram. There's been so many promises that it's hard to keep track of them, and to see it in print again refreshes the memory, and allows *exact reference* to what was promised. I remember many of us getting excited seeing that, only to have hopes dashed yet again.

For the Libs to get re-elected, they're going to have to show something tangible, even if stopgap.

Edit to Add: Further to Paul's point on the track (and I'm sure many, like myself, look out the window to see where those segments start and stop, and how tantalizingly close it is to being contiguous). Even if the Libs put a rush on that, it would be *something* to engender a sense of imminent service.

It's an interesting discussion to figure out just what would be needed in the way of track to achieve a 15 min schedule for a shuttle service from Bramalea to (Weston?)A new stop at Woodbine Race Track would radically reduce the number of shuttles needed to do fifteen minutes service, and also the length of single tail track needed at each end of the shuttle.

Some readers are skilled at configuring such a situation. How much is needed to make this scenario work? It's something the Libs might be desperate for to save their sorry azzes.

There's still the scenario of running RDCs express from Bramalea to Union, perhaps one stop at Bloor for the subway connection. The RDCs will do it in good time if not stymied by stops in between.

It then becomes a question of paths/slots and platform availability at Union. Since Bramalea is touted to become even more of a regional hub, the passenger load is there to justify it.

Thoughts?
They need to actually step up and commit the funding. Only way to get people out of their cars.
 

steveintoronto

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They need to actually step up and commit the funding. Only way to get people out of their cars.
In the case of "Mt Pleasant to Union", there's the issue of just two tracks through Brampton to Georgetown, those tracks being CN main freight. It's still a massive kink in electrification and more frequent service on that stretch (albeit with reduced loadings on the freight railways, ostensibly larger gaps for passenger are available).

Where that isn't a problem is with Bramalea south to Union, albeit Bramalea is able to be unencumbered by virtue of a dedicated passenger track north from the CN main junction to the Toronto By-Pass. This is partly what Paul is talking about, it's conspicuously missing, but only by small sections.

Whether justified or not, Metrolinx have an excuse on not committing to more service north of Bramalea. Where they truly don't have an excuse is of south of Bramalea, where they're just finishing up a second GO only platform.

To satisfy AreaFan's scenario, it might be just a case of finishing off the missing track, buying/leasing some diesel shuttles in, and doing *some form* of connecting Brampton area commuters via Bramalea south to either intersect UPX, or whisk them right down to Union. The latter has a number of advantages, as well as challenges. More stock needed, and berthing space at Union among them. Advantage would be speed by running express, not having to mesh with UPX (save to perhaps mesh *in between* UPX arrivals so as to have platform slots) and overall capacity, since UPX might reach capacity soon, and best not to cram UPX at a junction when it is already loaded.

Doubtless, the plan has challenges. Doubtless also that they can all be addressed. And beyond doubtless that some of the finest multi-rail corridor in North Am, let alone Canada, is being wasted, and begging to be used much more intensely.
 

drum118

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Just because some want 15-60 minute service, does the ridership justify it??

Unless you are moving about 500 riders an hour, rail service is useless and better off with buses regardless the longer travel time.

People talk about getting hourly service into Hamilton, but 10-25 riders doesn't support it and that how many were on my 2 buses on Friday.

With the current rolling stock, going to be some time before you see 30-15 minute service to Mount Pleasant
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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In the case of "Mt Pleasant to Union", there's the issue of just two tracks through Brampton to Georgetown, those tracks being CN main freight. It's still a massive kink in electrification and more frequent service on that stretch (albeit with reduced loadings on the freight railways, ostensibly larger gaps for passenger are available).

Where that isn't a problem is with Bramalea south to Union, albeit Bramalea is able to be unencumbered by virtue of a dedicated passenger track north from the CN main junction to the Toronto By-Pass. This is partly what Paul is talking about, it's conspicuously missing, but only by small sections.

Whether justified or not, Metrolinx have an excuse on not committing to more service north of Bramalea. Where they truly don't have an excuse is of south of Bramalea, where they're just finishing up a second GO only platform.

To satisfy AreaFan's scenario, it might be just a case of finishing off the missing track, buying/leasing some diesel shuttles in, and doing *some form* of connecting Brampton area commuters via Bramalea south to either intersect UPX, or whisk them right down to Union. The latter has a number of advantages, as well as challenges. More stock needed, and berthing space at Union among them. Advantage would be speed by running express, not having to mesh with UPX (save to perhaps mesh *in between* UPX arrivals so as to have platform slots) and overall capacity, since UPX might reach capacity soon, and best not to cram UPX at a junction when it is already loaded.

Doubtless, the plan has challenges. Doubtless also that they can all be addressed. And beyond doubtless that some of the finest multi-rail corridor in North Am, let alone Canada, is being wasted, and begging to be used much more intensely.
300 million for hourly service is not asking a lot. IMO of course. My problem with the UPX idea is I don't want people complaining about transfers.
Just because some want 15-60 minute service, does the ridership justify it??

Unless you are moving about 500 riders an hour, rail service is useless and better off with buses regardless the longer travel time.

People talk about getting hourly service into Hamilton, but 10-25 riders doesn't support it and that how many were on my 2 buses on Friday.

With the current rolling stock, going to be some time before you see 30-15 minute service to Mount Pleasant
60 mins for Mt Pleseant, Barrie, Mt Joy is fine. I just think we should do better. And advertise more too.

Hamilton will have the numbers, people just need to know which station it will be and when.
 

crs1026

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Just because some want 15-60 minute service, does the ridership justify it??
If the ridership isn't there on this route by now, then The Big Move is a seriously flawed strategy.

I can buy the argument that the real benefit comes when ML can run 2WAD all the way to Mount Pleasant, and that is dependent on some things that can't happen yet - but what was the business case for Georgetown South if not to achieve the RER- level service?

If GTS was just aimed at peak period one-direction commuting, then why was so much invested in this line and little or nothing invested in the Milton line? Since 2007, when GTS was initiated, ridership on the Milton line has grown faster, and is now almost double what the Kitchener line is carrying.

If we are looking for lightly used GO trains to cancel in the interest of economy, We ought to watch head counts out of Kitchener or Guelph. I'm glad to see the new trains coming there, but I'm dubious they will fill up either.

- Paul
 

steveintoronto

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300 million for hourly service is not asking a lot. IMO of course. My problem with the UPX idea is I don't want people complaining about transfers.

60 mins for Mt Pleseant, Barrie, Mt Joy is fine. I just think we should do better. And advertise more too.

Hamilton will have the numbers, people just need to know which station it will be and when.
I was just about to address that too. What Drum is overlooking is weekend service, as well as mid-day, since there are no K-W trains, let alone Goergtown trains on that route on weekends. Which is one of the reasons the UPX is now busy on weekends. Ridership has gone up notably since being open to 'the plebes'. There's obviously demand on that alignment up to Brampton.

But further to that, "justifying" service by initial ridership numbers if highly misleading. Go by what the *highways* are showing, and often that's grid-lock. No wonder buses downtown don't show great numbers. I dread getting stuck on a 33 to Union, or a 21. Even the Hamilton expresses aren't what they used to be with gridlock downtown more often than not.

Thirty minute service to Bramalea mid-day makes a lot of sense, given that not too many coaches are empty. (read shorter trains, 3-4 coaches) But of course, Drum, as you pointed out with the GO exec the other day: "I'll be on a 14 car train to Oakville in twenty minutes, and thirty minutes to get out of the parking lot".

That can be viewed many ways....not the least the car mindset. That's exactly what Metrolinx is supposed to be addressing: "The last mile".

[300 million for hourly service is not asking a lot.] It wouldn't even be that much I don't think, but even if it were, it's a pittance compared to the cost of widening (yet again) the 427 et al.
 
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steveintoronto

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If the ridership isn't there on this route by now, then The Big Move is a seriously flawed strategy.
Indeed, a little over a year ago:
By Tess Kalinowski
Fri., April 17, 2015
BARRIE — GO Transit will add about 700 train trips a week — most in the off-peak hours and on weekends — within five years as the regional transit agency works toward its $13.5 billion “transformational” 10-year regional express rail plan.

GO currently offers about 1,500 trips a week on its regional rails. That will increase to about 2,200 in five years, and the provincial Liberal government is promising that by the time its electrification program is built out around 2024, there will be 6,000 weekly trains.

Premier Kathleen Wynne went to the Barrie South GO station on Friday to announce the service enhancements that will follow from the Liberal government's plan to sell off shares of Hydro One to pay for transportation infrastructure.

“We're talking about a culture shift in terms of the way people move in this region. If we look at other parts of the world where people know it's more convenient to get on the train, get on public transit, than it is to get in the car, what we see is people doing just that,” she said.

“There's such an appetite for increased service. That's what's driving this shift,” said Wynne.

Regional express rail will provide 15-minute frequencies on electrified core sections of the GO Transit train system, including all day on the Lakeshore East and West lines between Burlington and Oshawa; Barrie between Union Station and Aurora; Kitchener between Bramalea and Union; Stouffville between Unionville and Union Station.

The Stouffville and Kitchener corridors are key to Mayor John Tory's plan to run SmartTrack commuter trains on electrified GO tracks.

But the GO electrification timeline released Friday suggests that Tory's SmartTrack plan won't be built within seven years as he promised. The Kitchener and Stouffville lines won't be electrified until 2022-2023.

There will also be 15-minute peak service on the Kitchener line between Mount Pleasant Union Station; between Lincolnville and Union on the Stouffville line and between Hamilton and Union Station.

The Barrie line is on track for the biggest expansion in the next five years. Its current 70 train trips a week will increase to more than 200. GO will add 24 weekend trips by 2017 and 20 off-peak weekday trips by 2018. There will also be an additional two weekday peak trips by 2020.

“I can't overstate how transformative regional express rail will be for this line,” said the Premier.




There were no specifics on electrification timelines promised for the Milton and Richmond Hill lines but the government is committing to 25 more trips between them.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said there will be more specifics on those sections as the government negotiates more commuter service on tracks used and owned by freight giants CN and CP. The Milton line is a CP mainline, CN owns the Kitchener line from Brampton to Georgetown and the Lakeshore West line west of Burlington.

“Until we are in a position to go forward with a freight rail rationalization plan, which we are working on, we will continue to face those challenges. That doesn't mean the Milton and Kitchener line won't be seeing more service. They will be but we have to continue to have those conversations,” he said.

The Richmond Hill line needs $1 billion in flood mitigation and a grade separation in the Doncaster area.

A delighted Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said his city's local transit service has seen a 10 per cent increase in ridership over the last year and it serves the GO stations more directly.

“Because of this announcement today we are going to have to think about how we provide more transit service to Allendale (station) and this location because very clearly there is going to be all-day service and Barrie Transit needs to be closely integrated with that to get people here so they can get to Toronto,” he said.

Lehman called regional express rail “an essential piece” in tackling regional gridlock and noted that Toronto's Mayor John Tory agrees with the rail solution.

Del Duca would not say how the government plans to fund other regional projects such as the downtown relief subway and the Hurontario LRT given that the GO expansion is expected to eat up all but about $3 billion of the $16 billion earmarked for transit over the next decade.

Those projects are in various states of readiness, he said.

“Over the next days we will be in a position to say more about how we plan to deal with implementing those projects that are closer in terms .1of readiness and also advancing those that require additional work,” said Del Duca.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/tr...0-per-cent-more-trains-in-next-5-years-s.html

So what's the deal here? Are they to be trusted for their word, or not? Oddly, I thought they meant it. Silly me....
 

denfromoakvillemilton

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If the ridership isn't there on this route by now, then The Big Move is a seriously flawed strategy.

I can buy the argument that the real benefit comes when ML can run 2WAD all the way to Mount Pleasant, and that is dependent on some things that can't happen yet - but what was the business case for Georgetown South if not to achieve the RER- level service?

If GTS was just aimed at peak period one-direction commuting, then why was so much invested in this line and little or nothing invested in the Milton line? Since 2007, when GTS was initiated, ridership on the Milton line has grown faster, and is now almost double what the Kitchener line is carrying.

If we are looking for lightly used GO trains to cancel in the interest of economy, We ought to watch head counts out of Kitchener or Guelph. I'm glad to see the new trains coming there, but I'm dubious they will fill up either.

- Paul
The big move was always about votes. Even now we're talking 2030 before the DRL comes on down. If go was serious they would add 2 new tracks from Kipling to Milton now. I don't even live in these places, but this hurts the economy and produces grumpy motorists!

I was just about to address that too. What Drum is overlooking is weekend service, as well as mid-day, since there are no K-W trains, let alone Goergtown trains on that route on weekends. Which is one of the reasons the UPX is now busy on weekends. Ridership has gone up notably since being open to 'the plebes'. There's obviously demand on that alignment up to Brampton.

But further to that, "justifying" service by initial ridership numbers if highly misleading. Go by what the *highways* are showing, and often that's grid-lock. No wonder buses downtown don't show great numbers. I dread getting stuck on a 33 to Union, or a 21. Even the Hamilton expresses aren't what they used to be with gridlock downtown more often than not.

Thirty minute service to Bramalea mid-day makes a lot of sense, given that not too many coaches are empty. (read shorter trains, 3-4 coaches) But of course, Drum, as you pointed out with the GO exec the other day: "I'll be on a 14 car train to Oakville in twenty minutes, and thirty minutes to get out of the parking lot".

That can be viewed many ways....not the least the car mindset. That's exactly what Metrolinx is supposed to be addressing: "The last mile".

[300 million for hourly service is not asking a lot.] It wouldn't even be that much I don't think, but even if it were, it's a pittance compared to the cost of widening (yet again) the 427 et al.
Exactly. These overflow trains on LSW and LSE are ridiculous and border on unsafe. Just Mt pleasant, mt joy or Barrie. to union on the weekends would free up the highways and show others that the GO is not just and Oshawa-Oakville service..
Indeed, a little over a year ago:
By Tess Kalinowski
Fri., April 17, 2015

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/tr...0-per-cent-more-trains-in-next-5-years-s.html

So what's the deal here? Are they to be trusted for their word, or not? Oddly, I thought they meant it. Silly me....
And only midday service on brampton since then.


Metrolinx needs to produce results.
 

TOareaFan

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Just because some want 15-60 minute service, does the ridership justify it??
I am no expert and don't have the knowledge that you have....but it seems to me that running, say, 4 or six car GO train shuttles between somewhere in Brampton (as far in as you can go but that may just be to Bramalea) to Weston on evenings and weekends at, say, 30 minute frequencies can probably be achieved cheaper, with less resources, than running full length (10 or 12 cars) all the way to Union hourly....without, also, duplicating service that is already there.

If (and it is an if) ridership grows to the level that overcrowds those small(er) GO Trains or the UP can't handle the amount of people transferring...then look to extend the trains in size and route to Union.
 

drum118

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I'm not over looking anything even for the no mid day or weekend service.

What kind of backlash will Metrolinx get if they put hour service on lines where there is no service now and 3 years later they kill it due to poor ridership???

Who is going to pay for lines that are under performing to maintain them just say we are doing something???

The Big Move is very flaw as well having the wrong project built first that are very weak over stronger ones.

The Milton Line is a prime example of being put on the back burner when it has the 2nd highest ridership after LSW

Some service can't be brought on line faster due to lack of infrastructure at cost big bucks and time to bring it on line.

Until you fix the 3 points on the KW line, can't run more train or look at weekend. You could look at weekend service, but it will be only a few short trains then running a few times of the day.

Getting a train to Cambridge is a decade or so away since there is only a single track running between it and Milton that needs either passing sidings, but must be duel to triple track.

Then there is still the issue having crew to operate these new service and one of the main reason service is slow coming on line.

In 2003, GO was GTA and today its Southern Ontario and that is a totally different system.

If you want to look down the road, Toronto will still be the main hub, but Hamilton and London could become regional hub to service the needs around them more than Toronto to a point.

No mater what length of train you put on line, it still has the same operating cost just like a bus or streetcar.
 

dunkalunk

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I know a lot in Kitchener will be happy with regular (not even hourly) passenger GO bus service along Highway 6 to tie in Waterloo/Wellington into the frequent Lakeshore Line. In the 10 years it's going to take to fix the bottlenecks on the Kitchener line, there could easily be DMU service on the parts of the line GO owns and has little conflict. Bramalea-Union is the obvious one, but Kitchener-Guelph is a pair that is under-served where no real transit connection exists (apart from Greyhound).

There are quick wins that GO is ignoring due to its legacy Toronto-Centric hub and spoke transit model. They are beginning to move in a different direction and expanding their scope, but the pace of that change is frustrating for many.
 

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