By the end of this month, GO Transit train commuters travelling along the Barrie line from stations south of Aurora can enjoy hourly train service in both directions every day.

This week, Ontario's Transportation Minister, Steven Del Duca, met local member of the provincial parliament Chris Ballard, York Region chair Wayne Emmerson and Metrolinx chief executive officer Phil Verster at Aurora GO Station to announce that new hourly and daily train service starts Saturday, December 30. (Ballard is also Ontario's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.)

Verster (left), Emmerson, Del Duca and Ballard announcing the new service at Aurora GO Station, image @stevendelduca

GO trains already operate along the Barrie line weekends, but with the new schedules, trains will operate to and from Aurora every hour, instead of every 75 minutes. Three southbound trains continue to serve the entire line between Allandale Waterfront GO Station in Barrie and Union Station Saturday, Sunday and holiday mornings. Three northbound trains serve the entire line afternoons.

Tuesday, January 2, GO introduces hourly service in both directions along the line between Aurora and Union Station Monday-to-Friday midday (meaning from about 9 AM until 3 PM) and evenings. (Trains already operate southbound between Barrie and Union during morning rush hours and northbound afternoons.)

A GO train arrives in Aurora, image, Chris Ballard and Metrolinx

GO is also extending some train trips to and from Bradford GO Station late morning, early afternoons and late evenings. The long-term goal is to operate all-day service to and from Barrie by 2025 as part of the Metrolinx plan to introduce regional express rail service along many of its commuter corridors.

Since GO expects that most people travelling between downtown Toronto and stations south of Aurora will be riding trains, it's cancelling much of its bus service along the corridor to and from Union Station GO Bus Terminal. However, it's also enhancing bus service for passengers travelling further northward beyond Aurora. That town's GO station becomes a hub, with timed connections for northern commuters to transfer between buses and trains.

Updated map of GO train and bus services on the Barrie corridor, starting December 30, image, Metrolinx

The minister also announced that the trains start serving a new GO station, Downsview Park, as of December 30. At the new station, passengers can connect with TTC's new Line 1 Yonge – University subway extension, which opens this Sunday, December 17. Since the new subway also serves York University's Keele campus, GO is restricting train service to York University GO Station only to rush hours.

Similarly, GO's Highway 407 buses start dropping off and picking up passengers at the new terminal at Highway 407 Station on the Line 1 extension as of December 30.

We will continue to update you as Metrolinx improves service along the Barrie corridor and its other lines. Join the discussion by leaving your comments in the space below this page or on our Forum.