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Guelph: Tunnel is coming soon, Parking parking and more parking, plus more articles and reaction

By shost at 10:30 am on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sorry to our Kitchener-Waterloo friends, please send us your news, but Guelph is going to dominate due to the sheer volume of projects on the GO downtown (ha ha ha, what a bad pun!)

Guelph residents recall the Pedestrian Tunnel that was recently closed, only months before the start of GO Service, as well as the very imposing fence that has gone up on both sides of the tracks. This has forced people to stop taking the unsafe shortcut over the tracks but to walk all the way around to get to the VIA Station. But the kiss and ride is currently under construction, and how will people get to the platform from the kiss ‘n ride? The good news is it appears GO is planning to build the new Tunnel sooner rather than Later — which Guelph commuters and VIA riders will be elated to hear. An exerpt from a recent (2010) plan is below:

And this article in the Mercury (written by a staffer, not an editorial) making the case to drive to Georgetown instead of getting a City Parking Pass (which ignores the fact you can get parking at lots further away from the Station for $35/month and the time it takes to drive to/from Georgetown)

http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/632248–commuter-train-not-as-cheap-as-you-think

And the Guelph Tribune gets in on the action:

http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/go-trains-arrive-in-guelph-dec-19/

I’m glad to see the very issues we saw many years ago are being brought to the forefront by GO customers.

Stratford viewpoint (Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph (not mentioned) become more competitive due to GO Transit)

http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3384665

London: Are we next? http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/11/25/19020256.html

Breslau ripe for Growth (You bet — all that farmland will soon be homes thanks to skyrocketing property prices in KW and the future Brealau station)

http://www.therecord.com/opinion/editorial/article/630253–breslau-is-ripe-for-growth

Note that there is also plans for a wal-mart and major shopping centre in Breslau which will also affect Guelph’s west shopping centre goals.

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Photo of first GO Test train November 26 2011, other articles and reaction to the news

By shost at 4:34 pm on Saturday, November 26, 2011

So, the first qualification/test run for the GO service to Kitchener began the day after the announcement. I managed to get a photo of the train as it headed back to Toronto from a test run to Kitchener in the early afternoon:

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=1879

http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=1880

UPDATE: and Gord Spence sends these photos from Kitchener: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rev_aviator/6407407879/in/set-72157626669958078/

Some interesting reactions from GOKW readers as well as editorials in other publications. Some people are frustrated by the schedule and lack of parking options, saying they will continue to drive to Milton for train or even sticking to the bus at Aberfoyle. As well, there is demand for reverse commuting from Toronto as this Globe and Mail editorial discusses:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/globe-to/torontonians-commuting-to-waterloo-frustrated-by-go-transits-new-rail-link/article2250390/

What’s your reaction? Do you plan to take the GO train?

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UPDATED: GO trains start December 19 – full commuter and fare schedule

By shost at 10:58 am on Friday, November 25, 2011

Live from the media event in guelph

Liz Sandals made the announcement

Acton not to be included initially but added later (in 2012)

The following information added after the event:

Train departure times for Commuters (All GO/VIA trains listed for commuters)

Train #             Kitchener    Guelph         Toronto           Toronto        Guelph       Kitchener

GO #1             5:52 AM       6:14AM         7:53 AM          DP4:45 PM     6:18PM      6:42PM

VIA 86/7         6:29 AM        6:57 AM      8:20AM           DP5:40 PM      6:52PM      7:20 PM

GO #2           7:10   AM       7:32AM      9:08AM           DP 5:45 PM    7:15 PM*     7:42PM

* Note – Liz Sandals press release incorrectly stated 7:42 PM for second GO train arrival at Guelph and I have estimated a more correct arrival time as 7:42 is the correct Kitchener train arrival

Note 2: Both announcements/media releases for fares and schedules was from the MPP’s and NOT from Go Transit.

COST: One way single ticket fares are $14.60 from Kitchener and $11.70 from Guelph.

TRANSIT: Transit integration is not yet ready (Presto cards, single fares, etc) but GO Transit and Guelph Transit management indicated that this is also in the works and will be integrated. Guelph Transit is prepared to react to Commuter needs and add services as required in order to make a smooth commute for anyone using Guelph Transit to get to the station on -time.

GO/VIA integration: Check with GO/VIA to see if there is any integration of your ticket to choose either train, this had been doen in the past in Brampton but is probably something that needs to be negotiated between all parties

Parking: No parking integration yet, ask GO to work on integration options, or choose your best municipal or private parking option as required. (Guelph parking rates are from $30-80/month depending on the choice of lot for a monthly pass)

ACTON: Acton Station is delayed due to agreements required with property owner (Old Hide House) but will be added at a later date.

Remember folks, this is a starting point, improvements and plenty of them are still on the table. If things take off, integration will be fully entrenched with parking and transit in KW and Guelph, new stations will be pursued by GO for park and ride (Breslau will be the first addition there) and it is also likely GO may add additional trains. The only wrench I see in the addition of additional trains is the layover at Kitchener cannot be expanded.

I plan to be on the train on the 19th in the morning and will return by next earliest bus. See many of you there.

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GO Train announcements: 10 AM, Guelph Station, 10:30 AM, Kitchener Station Friday Nov 25

By shost at 5:50 pm on Thursday, November 24, 2011

What a day to be out of town, about 8 people sent e-mails, called, or commented, including CTV news.

http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/629615–go-transit-to-make-guelph-announcement-friday

http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/629657–date-for-kitchener-go-trains-to-be-revealed-friday

EDIT: Both MPP’s for Kitchener and Guelph announced the event and both are scheduled for the same time. This definately rules out a train as it can’t be in both places at the same time.

What we do know is GO trains are going to start rolling very soon as Bombardier crews (same that run the CN line GO trains) need to become familiar with the line and will run this on empty trains prior to the start of service.. stay tuned and see some of you in Guelph at 10 AM.

- Steve

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GO Trains to start before 2012, announcement and date still pending: GO Transit

By shost at 12:47 pm on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks to Nick A and Gord S for the tips: Go Transit is still adamant that trains will begin rolling before 2012 begins. With only a month and a half left in this year, it seems rather odd that the schedule and fare has not been published or announced. Surely political forces are at work as they want to live up to the promise of a 2011 launch.

Kitchener MPP John Malloy has gone on “Record” to state just this.

The following was posted on GOKW.ORG by Sean:

@TriTAG (Blog Waterloo) Twitter just tweeted:
Not official, but word is that GO Train service from Kitchener to start on December 19.

For what it’s worth, GO supporters and commuters wait with bated breath for the start of service.

Here are some photos of the construction in Kitchener courtesy of our spy Gord Spence

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rev_aviator/6341781267/in/set-72157626669958078/

Anyone been to Acton lately? Will they have a station stop?

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