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Some information to help you vote today..

By shost at 9:06 am on Monday, October 25, 2010

A few pieces of information to help you vote today: Hot in Waterloo region is the subject of Light Rail (streetcar) transit, which has been planned and debated since about 2003. This writer feels strongly the sucess of Light Rail will also depend on a method to get in/out of town for outings, such as a hockey or baseball game in Toronto, and Go Transit would be a welcome link in the chain.

TriTAG (Tri Cities Transit Action Group) has posted a survey of candidates, not too disimilar to the survey we did on GO back in 2006, and this may help our readers choose who to vote for:

http://www.tritag.ca/blog/2010/10/18/candidates-unsure-about-lrt-but-support-transportation-change/

Survey searches here:

http://tritag.ca/election2010/

Also, an article on GO Transit from TriTAG:

http://www.tritag.ca/blog/2010/08/09/go-trains-to-toronto-will-be-competitive/

If you are in Guelph — and your candidate is running again, you can search our 2006 survey here, as we did not have resources this year to re-run a survey, and most of the candidates are running again.

http://gokw.org/?page_id=32

Good luck to all candidates, and voters.

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The Record: “Still waiting for GO Trains” / GO Bus to Waterloo successful

By shost at 9:51 am on Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thanks to reader Gord for the tip:

http://news.therecord.com/article/798849

Suprise? (not really) — GO Bus service to Waterloo region has been successful

 Ridership on GO Transit buses has more than tripled in less than a year as university students embrace intercity transit.

Now there’s word GO Transit may soon launch a plan of some sort to extend commuter trains to Kitchener.

GO buses launched last November, to help build ridership toward trains. Buses stop at Waterloo universities as well as in Kitchener and Cambridge.”

and further in the article

“Regional Chair Ken Seiling anticipates an announcement soon about commuter trains that could launch in Kitchener next September.”

Great. At least Waterloo remembers GO Trains may be coming, while the debate there rages over the proposed transit (light rail) system.

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Guelph Tribune: GO considering single GO departure to KW/Guelph in 2011, VIA Integration, and free Guelph VIA parking ends monday

By shost at 8:46 pm on Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well well, not a few days after our remarks does an article come in the Mercury, written by Doug Hallett, appearning to be largely taken from City of Guelph staffer Rajan Philips, which states no less:

 

  • GO appears to be considering adding a single train in 2011 to start service, with no new platforms or parking required (use existing infrastructure)
  • GO and VIA may decide to integrate, so ticket holders of VIA 86/7 and the possible GO train can choose which train to ride. This would give users two options for commuting to Toronto with a single ticket
  • Free parking at Guelph’s VIA station ends Monday. (We mentioned this a long time ago, and also remind readers that Kitchener went pay for parking 5  years ago! Guelph commuters were lucky to have parking!)

http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/article/221747

VIA parking article:

http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/article/221743

… and need we state the obvious: the fact commuters are driving to Georgetown or Milton to get GO service only reminds us all there is demand for Train service in Guelph. I would personally welcome a single GO train if it was integrated with VIA, at least it is a start, but alas only multiple trips and a parking solution will attract the ridership to sustain service in the long term.

- Steve Host

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GO Trains are NOT coming in 2011, and other election rhetoric

By shost at 7:46 am on Saturday, October 9, 2010

A few notes about the Guelph election scene, and some words for our politicians  and media employees:

http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/article/220985

David birtwhistle, one of the only actually challenging candidates to incumbant Karen Farbridge is rallying against the Transit Terminal.

  • What commercial harm will occur to landowners near the Station, especially hotels and restaraunts when thousands of people a day are walking by to take trains or the bus? Sure, the won’t get off the GO train to have some drinks and dancing at Trappers Alley/The Palace (ha ha ha!) but any Hotel that close to a transit amenity is sure to have some benefit. Commercial real estate and business will find solution to the problem..
  • Who really thinks GO Trains are coming by 2011 anymore? This is not possible, seeing that no shovels are in the ground and it really is a 2 year construction project at minimum. Time for a reality check, Trib editors..
  • David, do you take the bus? have you walked from Greyhound’s Toronto station to Union Station to catch a train due to our dismal train service to Toronto, only to realize it’s a good 10 minute walk? While St. Georges Square to Carden St is not 10 minutes, it’s quite inconvenient. Integrating transit is a forward thinking idea that should happen, get out of your car, take the bus or train in and out of town and see for yourself why.

GO Parking in Guelph an election issue?

http://www.guelphtribune.ca/opinions/article/220971

Need I remind our readers (Wait, i’m preaching to the Choir!) that GO is responsible for parking for its patrons, having the City of Guelph solve the problem on our own should not be required. In theory, GO should provide ticket revenue sharing in consideration of either parking and/or transit access for GO ticket holders. Yes the City of Guelph may have helped steer the downtown location.. if GO sees sufficient demand they will act alone and build a station as required elsewhere with parking. Mark my words, just it will take you a few (5? 10?) years to see it come to fruition..

What’s going on in Waterloo region? Please forward your links and discussion.

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U of G Students rejoice! Guelph <-> Hamilton bus service returns!

By shost at 7:26 am on Saturday, October 9, 2010

http://www.thespec.com/news/crime/article/264211–new-bus-service-links-hamilton-guelph

“London-based carrier Aboutown Transportation Ltd. began providing twice-daily service between the University of Guelph and downtown Hamilton Monday

There has been no regular service between the two cities since Coach Canada cancelled its service last year.

Those brave enough to make the trip with GO or Greyhound have had to detour through Toronto, taking up to four hours and paying up to $46 to cover 52 kilometres.

There has never been rail service between the two hubs.”

This is false, though. There was Rail service on both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific from Hamilton:  Canadian National ran from Hamilton to Palmerston via Galt/Preston (Cambridge), Guelph, Fergus/Elora until about 1960. CPR Service from Hamilton to Guelph ended in April 1955.

Glad to see students have an option to/from Hamilton, as a former user of this service in student days it is most welcome.

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GO purchased the Don Branch in April 2009..

By shost at 10:01 pm on Thursday, October 7, 2010

Not really SW Ontario related, but it is Transit news not really reported elsewhere to date. Somehow slipping under the radar was news that GO Transit purchased the “Don Branch” from Canadian Pacific Railway in April 2009. Metrolinx (GO) has been purchasing rail corridors for years, usually after freight traffic has largely left the railway. Direct ownership of the rail corridor allows the Passenger operator to have  control of infrastructure and planning, as opposed to your GO train stuck behind a long freight train.  Nonetheless, the Don Branch purchase is interesting because NO go trains operate over this line, nor have they ever in regular service. This line would be required to operate on the Peterborough line if it ever was to return to passenger service. (The last passenger services over this line was the VIA Rail “dayliner” (RDC) service to Peterborough until 1990)

Here is informtion from Vanessa Thomas, GO Public Relations on the purchase, for the record:

Q – Can you confirm whether or not GO has purchased the “Don Branch” from the Canadian Pacific Railway? Is this indeed owned by Metrolinx or GO?

  • Metrolinx purchased the Don Branch, which is part of the CP Bellville Subdivision, from CP in April 2009.
  • The Don Branch is just over five kilometres of single track that connects the Union Station Rail Corridor to the CP Bellville Subdivision.
  • The Don Branch runs from around Queen St E. (just west of Don River), crosses over the Don River near Riverdale Park, continues north along the Don Valley Parkway, crosses over and under Bayview Avenue, to join with the CP Bellville Subdivision tracks near Millwood Road just north of the DVP.

Q Is there any documentation supporting this? There have been no press releases to this effect, despite the public releases for purchase of other rights of way in Toronto. 

  • The purchase agreement between GO and CP for the Don Branch would be the documentation that is on file with Metrolinx’s legal department.
  • For a number of years, the Don Branch has not been active, or used by CP, prior to the purchase by Metrolinx.
  • If the decision is made for future activation, this corridor will require significant capital rehabilitation work to be preformed.
  • No major announcement about the purchase of the Don Branch has been made to the media because there is currently no impact to members of the public, and there has been no decision as to how and when this infrastructure could be used.

 

 

 

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