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GO Trains to Cambridge – $110 million (at least) – Metrolinx sidelines plans but continues to meet with Waterloo Region

By shost at 7:33 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2012

An interesting article out of Waterloo region, Metrolinx is still meeting with “The Region” to discuss plans on GO trains to Cambridge, but the budget is obviously not there for a project of this size.

It’s not Metrolinx’ fault though, considering that the Province (MTO) will spend hundreds of millions to widen highways between Parry Sound and Sudbury, or North Bay. $110 million is a flash in the pan compared to some road budget expenditures.

Nonetheless,  this is a good summary of why GO trains to Cambridge have not been pushed much further, mostly due to the double tracking of 17 miles of track from Campbellville to Galt which would be required at a minimum.

http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/676771–go-train-dream-for-cambridge-sidetracked

Keep fighting, Cambridge, one day you will win, the 401 can only be widened so many times and so far before realizing the better bang for the buck would be spent on our underutilized people moving corridors such as our rail lines.

- Steve

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[Guelph] Response to Howitt Park Neighbourhood Group: Fence the railway, please.

By shost at 12:30 pm on Friday, February 24, 2012
The following was sent to the Guelph Tribune in response to the following article,
http://www.guelphtribune.ca/news/silvercreek-parkway-extension-worries/
and also copied to the Howitt park Neighbourhood Association (http://www.hpng.ca/):
To the Howitt Park neighbourhood residents:

 It was quite appalling to read in the Guelph Tribune February 21 that
one of your residents is encouraging people to "Just have to cross the
tracks" to access the new development in the Lafarge Lands from Howitt
park, and to avoid placement of fencing along the railway right of way.
All this despite the addition of GO trains on an already busy railway
which is a recipe for more needless deaths.

 Please, fence the railway. On average, one person EVERY YEAR DIES IN
GUELPH on our Railway tracks and most of which on the busy freight and
passenger "North Mainline". Most of the deaths have been unfortunate
incidents of people tresspassing on the railway despite the dangers.
Furthermore, many recent fatailities occured at the adjacent Margaret
Greene park (Guelph Mercury, October 2 2011 and July 29 2007) also due
to reckless trespassing and disregard for railway safety. Does it only
take four months to forget someone has died and to move on as if nothing
happened? Let's not forget the fact CN police could charge anyone
crossing the railway with tresspassing, which comes with a hefty fine
(up to $5000, and possibly jail time).

 You do have an alternative, a legal, signaled public crossing or a
railway tunnel, but who will foot the multi million dollar bill for this
when the Silvercreek Underpass will be built and provide a perfectly
safe alternative?

 The Railway has been in place since 1855 and it was our founding
fathers that decided to cut the park in half in the name of
transportation progress. Only when the railway is properly fenced in
will these accidents be (mostly) prevented.

 Hence, you should take back comments which encourage trespassing on
the railway, those affected by the many deaths would most certainly
appreciate it. Finally anyone who wishes to get involved in promoting
railway safety in the community is encouraged to contact Operation
Lifesaver at http://www.operationlifesaver.ca [1] or if you see unsafe
behaviour, call the CN police at 1-800-465-9239

 Stephen C. Host
 Guelph, Ontario
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PRESTO cards come to Guelph and Kitchener GO February 21

By shost at 2:48 pm on Friday, February 17, 2012

A reminder: anyone with expired 2 or 10 ride Guelph or Kitchener tickets send any your stamped/used spare tickets to the GHRA, visit their website at http://www.ghra.ca for contact information.

Thanks to reader John C.  sending the following from GO Transit:

Starting Tuesday, February 21, PRESTO, the new fare card, can be used at both Guelph Central and Kitchener GO stations.

You can obtain a PRESTO card at Union Station or any other manned GO station at which PRESTO cards are issued. PRESTO can be used on GO for train trips between PRESTO activated stations as well on GO Buses.

For a limited time, you can save the $6 card issuance fee by switching from GO 10-ride tickets or monthly passes to PRESTO. Simply take your valid 10-ride or monthly pass to Union Station or any other manned GO station at which PRESTO cards are issued to receive the offer.

Visit http://gotransit.com/public/en/fares/presto.aspx for more information.

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Changes to GO ticket handling, further Presto deployments coming

By shost at 11:24 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

GO’s 25 year old system for 2 ride and 10 ride paper tickets is coming to end in June 2012. This presentation by Metrolinx, released today indicates the details of the plan:

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/docs/pdf/presentations/Board%20Feb%2016%202012%20Changes%20to%20Ticket%20Cancelling%20on%20the%20GO%20System%20FINAL.pdf

Now, A request: Would a commuter who has used up their paper ticket be so kind to mail your Guelph or Kitchener cancelled tickets to the Guelph Historical Railway Assocaition? This group would welcome saving some of these tickets for our collection, in the near future a Guelph or Kitchener cancelled ticket will be an interesting item for a museum :)

Please mail your cancelled 2 ride, or 10 ride tickets with Guelph or Kitchener stamps to

G.H.R.A

PO Box 21054
35 Harvard Rd.
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 4T3

Thanks!

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GO Train ridership initial numbers – 150 people per day ride the train from Kitchener and Guelph stations

By shost at 12:42 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2012

Go Transit has answered questions regarding average daily ridership, between December 19 2011 and January 27 2012 the average daily ridership was 150 persons. Divided as follows:

* 85 passengers per day from Kitchener (With about 100 parking spaces provided by the City of Kitchener)

* 65 passengers per day from Guelph (No parking provided by GO, riders have to use City of Guelph parking options)

According to The Record, these numbers were in line with GO’s estimates for initial ridership, and GO expects ridership to continue to grow.

For comparison, The Barrie expansion in 2007 within 2 months saw ridership numbers of 400+ people, and provided free parking. GO has since re-opened a second station in Barrie (Allandale) and added parking.

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