Although it’s not the two-way, all-day GO Train service that the region’s been asking for over the last decade, the Government of Ontario announced that GO Train service will be expanding again in time for the new school year.
“We’re delivering on our promise to expand transit in Ontario by offering more service, more trains and more choice for GO customers,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney in a media statement. Mulroney, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) King Surma, and the CEO of Metrolinx Phil Verster all made the announcement at Union Station Thursday morning.
“For GO Transit, this means an expansion program that will transform GO into a comprehensive two-way, all-day rapid transit system with service every fifteen minutes on core segments of the network,” Mulroney added.
The big picture? The government and Metrolinx is adding 84 more train trips and extending another 65 each week starting on August 31. The affected lines include the Lakeshore East, the Lakeshore West, and yes, the Kitchener line which rolls through the Royal City.
Specifically, there will be three new eastbound trips, and three new westbound trips; one in the morning, one around midday, and one in the evening. The eastbound trains will leave Guelph at 8:19 am, 3:19 pm, and 9:19 pm and arrive at Union Station at 9:51 am, 4:47 pm, and 10:51 pm respectively. The new westbound trips will leave Union at 12:53 pm, 9:53 pm, and 10:53 pm and arrive at Guelph Central Station at 2:22 pm, 11:22 pm, and 12:22 am respectively.
In an additional change, a 6 pm train along the Kitchener line will now run express to Bramelea GO and continue on stopping at all stations to the end of the line at Kitchener. Passengers travelling to Bloor, Weston, Etobicoke North and Malton will have to catch a new train at 5:45 pm.
“These changes are another major step in our GO expansion program. The new express option for Kitchener will save customers 20 minutes in their daily commutes. We’re doubling rush-hour service for West Harbour GO, and weekend Niagara service will now run all year,” said Verster. “Offering nearly 150 new and extended weekly GO train trips means our customers have more options to travel when they want to go.”
Guelph’s MPP welcomed the news.
“This is good news for my constituents, who need more options to travel within the Greater Golden Horseshoe and who are hurt by the current shortfalls in service,” said Mike Schreiner in a statement. “It also creates more connectivity along the Toronto-Waterloo tech innovation corridor, which is key to taking advantage of the $26 trillion global clean economy.”
Still, Schreiner was also quick to point out that a lot more work needs to be done on regional transit.
“While these stepwise changes are helpful, the Ford government should provide a timeline of when all-day, two-way service will be in place. This would give businesses and people predictability and allow us to hold them accountable to promises,” Schreiner added.
“And before hourly GO service is a reality, there is no reason we cannot fill the gaps with express bus service between cities including Guelph, Hamilton, Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo.”
In addition to those changes, the evening train service on the Stouffville line from Union Station will be reinstated and extended to the Mount Joy GO station with the construction along that line concluded.
To see the new schedules and plan your trip, check out GO Transit’s website here.