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Go train ridership up – what’s next for GO riders?

By shost at 10:17 pm on Thursday, May 9, 2013

According to sources, GO Train ridership between Acton and Kitchener is up to a few hundred a day, I’m told about 500.  This is good news if true. Continued ridership growth means GO will get serious about further investments.

About 30 minutes can be shaved off a GO train commute, possibly even 15 minutes more if express to union are implemented.

Politics and money will surely play a role in what happens, but in no particular order here is what could happen:

  • At-grade crossings in Guelph cost GO 10+ minutes – close/underpass all roads in Guelph would cost $40M
  • At grade crossings in Kitchener – Weber St is already in progress, others will cost about $40-60M.
  • Fix Breslau Bridge – $20-40M (This is the slow point just outside of Kitchener)
  • Add CTC signals to entire line ($20M ?)
  • Change a departure to Express (Express from Georgetown to Toronto and vice/versa would be ideal!) – $0?

Some of this is expensive, some of this isn’t. It’s up to GO to prioritize what is next but it will be the money that makes it happen. Ridership growth will only help make it happen – faster trains = more riders.

From this list it seems clear that changing one of the GO departures – perhaps the under utilized train to Express may help people jump on it and increase ridership from the west at the expense of riders from the east..

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Comment by Tom West

May 10, 2013 @ 10:41 am

The cost of an express isn’t zero – it would remove service for those stops between Georgetown and Union, and thus require an additional run to replace it. In the extreme case (new trainset required), it would cost $40m.
(By the way, a run with no stops between Georgetown and Union would save 15-20 minutes. Allow 2-2.5 minutes per stop skipped).

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Comment by Trev H

June 1, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

Well I take the GO every weekend from Toronto to Guelph, and it looks like track work is underway. VIA has a page up too: http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment/project/guelph-subdivision. If you can get more detail on time savings and project schedule, it would be very interesting to learn about.

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Comment by Robert Wightman

August 7, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

“Change a departure to Express (Express from Georgetown to Toronto and vice/versa would be ideal!) – $0?

The cost is definitely NOT $0. As some one said the train to run the local service would cost money $30 – $40 million plus the additional operating costs.

“From this list it seems clear that changing one of the GO departures – perhaps the under utilized train to Express may help people jump on it and increase ridership from the west at the expense of riders from the east..”

It may be underutilized between Kitchener and Mt. Pleasant but both those trains leave Brampton with Standing room only. What are we supposed to do? crowd into the next train so you can get a faster ride. We used to get seats; now we stand.

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