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Hamilton: VIA Rail says no to James St. North, GO still on board

By shost at 9:28 am on Sunday, March 30, 2008

from the Hamilton Spectator:

“”The James Street location just isn’t conducive to us to serve our customers, so we will continue to serve the Hamilton area through Aldershot and Grimsby,” said Via spokesperson Catherine Kaloutsky.”


“GO Transit managing director Gary McNeil said they will continue with plans to open a second station at LIUNA, supplementing daily service from the TH&B Hunter Street Station.”

- Steve

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Hamilton: Indeed, a new GO or VIA Station in 2009!

By shost at 11:12 pm on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

GO continues to expand it’s horizons and may just end up at the cusp of Niagara according to the Hamilton Spectator:


“Metrolinx, headed by former Burlington mayor Rob MacIsaac, pressed the idea on the provincial government and the announcement was in the budget Tuesday.
MacIsaac said last night that GO trains using the LIUNA stop will supplement, not replace, existing service at the renovated TH&B Hunter Street GO station and bus terminal. “

““VIA has indicated that if GO will consider it, they will consider putting it on as a stop (for Toronto to Niagara trains).”

.Perhaps, the mayor [of Hamilton] said, this could also open the door to expanded GO Train service into Niagara region”

The relevance of this for Waterloo Region or Guelph is the fact GO appears to still be in the mood to expand..

 - Steve


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Ontario Budget 2008: Lakeshore, Stouville line improvenets and Hamilton (!) North train extensions?

By shost at 8:50 pm on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First: Part of the Ontario 2008 budget included many Transit related items. I will highlight key GO Transit improvements only

a) Money to acquire 20 additional bi-level Bombardier coaches to alleviate the Lakeshore line capacity issues

b) Money to install passing sidings on the Stouville and Bradford/Barrie lines (leading to all day service on some)

c) Money has now been allocated for a new Train Platform at “James Street North(!)” — but for what train service? VIA Rail? GO Transit has not been announced to be extended to North-East Hamilton yet.

At the end of the day — this GO Transit money is being allocated based on Metrolinx (former GTTA) reccomendations and does not include any details about any transit improvments – GO or otherwise — in Guelph or Waterloo Region.

Sources: The Globe and Mail “No blockbuster transit surprises” and other articles as of 8 PM 03/25/08


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The ongoing woes of Transit Parking in Canada: An Analysis by David Graham

By shost at 5:19 pm on Thursday, March 20, 2008

In a psuedo-response to the GOKW.ORG article about GO Parking, David Graham has posted an analysis of current transit system parking issues. He further answers the question why Guelph and other new GO line benefactors need to ensure Transit Parking is planned effectively. He also cites an example of a current problem in Montreal where parking is a major concern as well as has illustrated examples of GO’s current parking woes.

Guelph is no stranger to the lack of parking… the problems at Bramalea are the same at the Guelph VIA Station but on a scale of 1/20.

David’s thoughts can be found here http://www.davidgraham.ca/entries/20080320.shtml

- Steve Host

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Go Stations: How they are arranged, how many parking spaces?

By shost at 10:23 am on Saturday, March 15, 2008

How are GO Transit Stations around the Greater Toronto Area arranged, and how many parking spaces do they hold? Let us look at a few and consider these as options for Guelph and Waterloo Region:

(Sources: All image data from http://maps.google.com, station information from http://gotransit.com)

Appleby (Burlington East) Station: 2422 parking spaces. Typical of the large Lakeshore line parking lots and stations with all-day service

Next — Brampton Station. Situated in downtown Brampton and shared with VIA Rail. Brampton and Guelph’s downtown  share a number of similarities, except Brampton has had GO service for nearly 30 years. Note how one parking lot straddles the OBRY (future Brampton north to Milton line service?)

Markham GO Station — a much smaller station on the Stouffville line with only 266 parking spaces.

Milton GO — what could be touted as similar to Guelph’s “Lafarge Lands” except Lafarge is much larger. Milton GO Station has room for 1082 parking spaces for a town of 55,000 people. Part of the station area in the north-east quadrant has been developed since this image was taken. A large Loblaws superstore, restaraunts, and other modern shopping stores are now situated there. Also constructed and not shown is a kiss-and-ride area, bus terminal and drop-off area, and additional parking spaces.

It should also be noted that Hamilton GO Centre has no official GO Parking spaces. Patrons are left to use municipal or other pay parking lots — and of course, you could take Transit.

- Stephen C. Host, Guelph

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GO service to Barrie roaring success

By shost at 10:19 pm on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

FEB 08 2008

Transportation Reporter

The Toronto star
Less than two months after it restored service to Barrie, GO Transit says the customer base has already matured.

“The parking lot is full,” GO managing director Gary McNeil told the board of directors yesterday.

The new Barrie station has 480 parking spaces. Before relaunching Barrie service in December, GO officials thought it would likely take months for that to happen.”

The article mentions they are already in discussion to open a second station.

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Guelph: Your GO Train Challenge

By shost at 10:03 pm on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guelph might have GO Trains servicing our city in 5 years or less. GO is slated to perform an Environmental Assessment on extension of train service in 2008/9 to Guelph and beyond. What does this mean? A summary of our current challenges:

a) GO Train stations *REQUIRE* 500 to 1000 parking lot spaces. Most suburban GO Stations meet this requirement and to ensure success, Guelph will be no different.

   – Barrie planned for 150 riders to start, and within 2 months has filled their lot of 480 parking spaces. They are already in discussion to re-open Allendale station (Source: Toronto Star, Feb 8 2008)

   – Downtown must meet this requirement if it is to be the only GO Station. 300 spaces would be a minimum requirement for start-up of service with concrete plans for expansion upon service commencement. If this is not possible, we must look elsewhere or add a second (or third) station to meet it’s needs. Do not forget GO riders park FOR FREE with a train ticket!

b) As service expands and suceeds, two additional stations will eventually open in Guelph. Our GO Stations would be Guelph West, Downtown, and Guelph East, each with 500 parking spaces. Other Suburan areas with GO have stations 2 to 5 KM apart.

 - Lafarge (at Silvercreek and Paisley) is an ideal location for a Guelph West station. 2.5 KM west of Downtown, it is close to highways and can easily attract South Guelph, West Guelph (via Paisley), and north Guelph, Fergus and Elora residents.

- Approximately the Watson Parkway area would be an ideal east-end station location.

C) GO Trains REQUIRE integrated transit. Initiatives such as discounted or included bus fares for GO Train or bus ticket holders would be a welcome idea, and has precedent in cities that recently added GO Trains such as Barrie.

 - Guelph is already in progress with plans for an integrated Transit Hub which should meet this need in due time for any GO service. However, we must get Guelph Transit on board when the time comes.

There are other challenges, but these are the items that directly affect our residents and municipal politicians.



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David Graham presents to Guelph City Council re: Potential GO Train use of Lafarge Lands

By shost at 9:20 pm on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

David Graham, a contributor to GOKW.ORG has made a presentation to Guelph City Council regarding the Lafarge lands. His presentation was one of over two dozen made on the subject of Lafarge but was just one that discussed GO Train use


David and I have been discussing the potential of this property for GO Train use for 5+ years and it has been on my mind since 2001 when I snapped the planning application photo (used in his presentation). Kudos to David for making the presentation to Council.

David makes many great points and with luck some good ones will be remembered by our politicians, citizens, and developers.

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Guelph Mercury: Rail transit opportunities grow

By shost at 11:11 am on Sunday, March 2, 2008

By GOKW.ORG Contributor David Graham:

“Rail transit opportunities grow”


Also can be found on his blog at http://www.davidgraham.ca


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