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GO Transit
Logo
System map
GO Transit train lines
Reporting mark GOT
Locale Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), plus environs
Dates of operation 1967–present
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) (standard gauge)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Website http://www.gotransit.com

GO Transit (reporting mark GOT) is an interregional public transit system in Southern Ontario, Canada. It primarily serves a conurbation designated the "Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area" (GTHA)[1], with operations extending to several communities beyond the GTHA proper in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. GO carries over 50 million passengers a year using an extensive network of train and bus services; rail service is provided by diesel locomotives pulling trains of unpowered double-deck passenger cars, while most bus service is provided by inter-city coaches.

Canada's first such new system since before World War II, GO Transit began regular passenger service on May 23, 1967 under the auspices of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Over time it has been constituted in a variety of public-sector configurations, today existing as a division of the provincial crown agency Metrolinx, a body with overall responsibility for transportation planning within the GTHA. Metrolinx, in turn, is governed by a board consisting of appointees of the province.

Service area

The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) consists of the City of Toronto, the City of Hamilton, and the surrounding Regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham. Each of these cities or regional municipalities has representation in GO's governance structures. GO Transit also reaches beyond the GTHA into Niagara and Waterloo Regions, and Peterborough, Simcoe, Dufferin, and Wellington Counties, although service to these non-GTHA jurisdictions is generally less extensive and, with some exceptions, bus-based only.

In total, GO trains and buses serve a population of 8 million in a 10,000 km² (4,000 sq.mi.) area radiating in places more than 125 km (78 mi) from downtown Toronto. Present extrema are Hamilton and Waterloo to the west; Orangeville, Barrie, and Beaverton to the north; Peterborough and Newcastle to the east; and Niagara Falls to the south.

The GO system map shows seven train routes, all departing from Toronto's Union Station and mostly named respectively after the outer terminus of train service. Although colours and letters, noted below, are assigned in a consistent fashion to each line in all official media, in colloquial parlance lines are only ever referred to by their names.

Cab Control Car of a GO Train with a view of the CN Tower in the background.
A Lakeshore West line (to Hamilton, with buses and seasonal weekend trains to Niagara Falls)
B Lakeshore East line (to Oshawa, with buses to Newcastle and Peterborough)
C Milton line (to Milton, with buses to Waterloo)
D Georgetown line (to Georgetown, with buses to Guelph)
E Barrie line
F Richmond Hill line
G Stouffville line (to Lincolnville, with buses to Uxbridge)

The Lakeshore East and West rail lines frequently operate on an interlined basis: most off-peak and some peak-period trains provide through service between stations east and west of Toronto. With this exception, however, direct movement between the various "legs" is quite limited. While several GO buses run on orbital routes that connect multiple legs, all rail-based interchange from one line to another (with the aforementioned exception of the Lakeshore lines) requires switching trains at Union Station. (Trains on multiple routes pass through or by each of the Bloor, Danforth and Scarborough railway stations, but each station is assigned to a single corridor and only accordingly-routed trains stop there.)

Rail

A GO Transit train on its way out of Toronto
All GO Trains consist of bi-level railway cars

GO trains are easily identifiable; all rolling stock is green and white, and the coaches are double-decked and shaped like elongated octagons. These Bombardier BiLevel carriages were originally designed for GO in the 1970s, and are now used by a number of other commuter railways across the continent. GO Trains generally operate in a push-pull configuration.

Most GO Train routes operate only in peak rush-hour periods and then only in the primary direction of travel. For example, as of June 2009, the Stouffville line service consists of five trains leaving Lincolnville each weekday between 5:18 and 7:42 a.m.[2], and five trains leaving Toronto each weekday between 4:18 and 6:30 p.m[3].

There is off-peak train service on parts of the Lakeshore and Georgetown lines. Hourly trains operate on weekdays off-peak hours and weekends between Aldershot and Oshawa. The Georgetown line has a more limited off-peak train service between Toronto and Bramalea.

Although it has always owned its locomotives and coaches, GO's trackage was originally owned entirely by commercial railways Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. In 1988, GO shifted part of the Lakeshore East line onto its first-ever section of self-owned purpose-built trackage. Since 2000, GO has incrementally acquired further trackage from the two commercial railways, including the Union Station Rail Corridor, the entire Barrie line, significant portions of the Georgetown and Stouffville lines, and a smaller portion of the Milton line. On the remainder of its rail network, GO is still required to work closely with CN and CP, who continue to own and operate the tracks, switches and signals.

Until recently, all train crews were also employees of one of the two railways, and GO Train service has been previously disrupted by non GO Transit-related labour disputes. A five-year contract with Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. meant 160 unionized engineers, conductors and newly coined "customer service ambassadors" replaced Canadian National crews operating the trains on six of GO's seven lines. Bombardier will continue to run trains with three-person crews, but their functions will change. Traditionally, the conductor focuses on safe operation, but also does customer service. Bombardier will put two engineers on each train, each driving in just one direction. When not driving, the spare engineer will handle operations. The crew person stationed in the accessible coach, formerly the conductor, will be a customer service ambassador.[4] On the remaining line (the Milton line), GO continues to contract out the operation of its trains to the Canadian Pacific Railway, where operations continue as before.

Bus

image
Founded 1970
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Service area Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), plus environs
Service type Intercity coach service
Fleet 316 [5]
Operator GO Transit
Web site Official Web site
GO Bus number 2172 awaits passengers.
GO Transit Orion V 2000 at Finch Bus Terminal bound for Newmarket.
Due to the introduction of York Region Transit's Viva Blue line, the GO Newmarket "B" is to be discontinued in April 2010.[6]


Each train route has a corresponding GO Bus service for the times (and directions) when (and where) the trains are not operating. These accept the same tickets as the trains and in many cases serve the same stations. For example, buses operate from Toronto to Milton, and from Aldershot station in West Burlington to Hamilton, at all times except the weekday evening peak when trains are available. Some train routes are similarly extended by buses at all times, as noted in the list of routes, with through buses when the trains do not run. Thus buses to Guelph operate from Georgetown in the evening peak, and from Toronto at other times. Buses serving downtown Toronto operate to a terminal adjacent to Union Station.

Still other GO Buses are independent of rail services. Some parts of the route network use expressways (such as the frequent Toronto–Hamilton express bus via the Queen Elizabeth Way) while others are more local in character. Toronto Pearson International Airport is served by two routes: one from Brampton to Yorkdale and York Mills subway stations, and one from Mississauga City Centre to Richmond Hill City Centre.

Most GO buses are of inter-city coach design, and carry approximately 50 passengers. Double-decker coaches debuted in April 2008, exclusively operating on GO's Highway 407 and Highway 403 corridor on the Oakville GO Station branch.[7] They feature reclining seats and other amenities.[7] Once GO receives more, it will provide service to York Region.[7] GO also operates several Orion V buses, which more closely resemble conventional urban transit buses. These vehicles are used primarily on routes that are more local in nature, such as the Yonge Street and Highway 2 (Kingston Road) corridors. When York Region Transit took over most of the service on Yonge Street, a number of these Orion Vs were sold to them. All GO Buses are diesel-powered.

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Terminals

GO Bus service uses 15 bus terminals, with numerous intermediate stops and ticket agencies, in addition to providing off-peak and express services to GO Train stations.[5] The terminals have a wide range of owner/operator/user relationships; GO owned facility with exclusive use or shared with local service; municipal transit operation shared by GO; intercity terminal shared with Greyhound, Coach Canada, etc. During the school year there are also thousands of rides a day to the York University Bus Loop, one of the biggest transit hubs in the GTA.[8]

Connections

GO connects with every municipal transit system in the GTHA, plus Barrie Transit, Peterborough Transit, Guelph Transit, Grand River Transit, Niagara Transit, the Niagara Parks Commission People Mover and St. Catharines Transit.

TTC connections

Thousands of passengers move between GO and TTC service at Union Station on Toronto's Front Street

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) provides the most connections with GO Trains and convenient connections can be made between the trains and TTC buses, streetcars, and subway trains.

Immediately adjacent to the GO concourse at Union Station is the Union subway station on the TTC's Yonge-University Spadina line. The Union subway station also includes the terminus for the TTC's Harbourfront (509) and Spadina (510) streetcar lines.

Four subway stations on the TTC's Bloor-Danforth line either are close to or directly connect to GO Train stations:

The Leslie subway station on the Sheppard line does not currently connect with the nearby Oriole GO Station on the Richmond Hill line, but there has been consideration given to building a connection to TTC Leslie Station in the future as the platform at Oriole was recently moved further north to allow for it.

Additionally, three GO bus terminals are on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line, at Finch, York Mills, and Yorkdale, and one is located on the Scarborough RT at Scarborough Centre.

All GO Train stations within the City of Toronto are adjacent to TTC bus routes, and Danforth, Exhibition, Bloor, and Long Branch stations are also on streetcar routes.

Connections with other operators

Municipal transit systems outside Toronto remain purely bus-based to date. Buses operated by Barrie Transit, Peterborough Transit, Durham Region Transit, York Region Transit, Brampton Transit, Mississauga Transit, Milton Transit, Oakville Transit, Burlington Transit, the Hamilton Street Railway, Guelph Transit, Grand River Transit, St. Catharines Transit, Niagara Transit and the Niagara Parks Commission People Mover connect with GO stations and stops in their respective jurisdictions.

York Region's Viva bus rapid transit system interchanges with the GO Train system at two stations. Viva Blue, Viva Purple and Viva Pink connect with Langstaff GO Station on the Richmond Hill line, and the peak-only Viva Pink connects with Unionville GO Station on the Stouffville line (Viva Purple and peak-only Viva Green are located nearby).

Ridership

GO runs 180 train trips and 1,430 bus trips daily, carrying about 197,000 passengers on a typical weekday — 155,000 on the trains and 41,800 by bus.[9] GO says that their ridership growth has continually exceeded expectations. In 1967, the first year of operation, 2.5 million passengers were carried. The combined rail and bus system today handles more than 50 million riders annually[10], and it was announced on October 11, 2006 that GO Transit had recently achieved its one billionth passenger mark.[11]

At least 96% of the train ridership is to and from Union Station in downtown Toronto, while about 70% of all bus passengers travel to and from the City of Toronto.

Inside a GO Train, upper deck with stairs leading down at the back
Number of Passenger Trips (2008) [12]
Rail corridors
    Lakeshore West 14,766,700
  
Milton 6,707,600
  
Georgetown 4,315,800
  
Barrie 3,084,900
  
Richmond Hill 2,269,200
  
Stouffville 3,299,100
  
Lakeshore East 12,040,200
  
Subtotal - Rail corridors 46,483,500
Bus-only routes
GO Bus Services 8,199,100
  
Total - GO System 54,682,600
  

History

Oakville GO Station, the original western terminus for all-day service

GO Transit was created and funded by the provincial government in 1967 as Government of Ontario Transit (hence the acronym 'GO'). It began as a three-year experiment on May 23, 1967[13] running single-deck diesel multiple units on a single rail line along Lake Ontario's shoreline. All day GO Train service ran from Oakville to Pickering with limited rush hour train service to Hamilton. GO trains carried 2.5 million riders that first year and was considered to be a success. GO Bus service, which started out in 1970 as an extension of the original Lakeshore train line, has since become a full-fledged network in its own right. It feeds the rail service and serves communities that trains do not reach.

Expansion continued in the 1970s with the introduction of the Georgetown line in 1974 and the Richmond Hill line in 1978. In 1978 the GO Transit bi-level railcars were introduced, although many of the bi-level trains had to run with a single level cab car at first. Finally in 1979 the current GO Train concourse at Union Station was built. In 1981 the Milton GO Train line opened, followed by the Bradford and Stouffville lines in 1982.

Towards the end of 1982, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Communications, James Snow, announced the launching of GO ALRT (Advanced Light Rail Transit), an interregional light rail transit program.[14] Although this plan didn't come to fruition, it was decided that certain parts of the GO ALRT proposal would live on, in the form of a GO Train extension of all-day GO Train service to Whitby and Burlington. The tracks between Pickering and Whitby were originally built for the GO ALRT system but were soon converted to handle conventional GO Trains. All day GO Train service was brought to Whitby in 1988.

In the 1990s, the era of continuous growth came to end. Ridership shrank as a result of a recession in the early part of the decade. In spite of this, GO extended limited rush hour GO Train service to Barrie, Guelph, Acton and Oshawa in 1990. In the same year, GO also introduced off-peak train service on the Milton line, much of which only operated as far west as Erindale. Similarly, all-day GO Train service was extended to Burlington on the Lakseshore West line in 1992. However, in 1993 then Ontario premier Bob Rae announced a "temporary" reduction in spending on services. Consequentially GO Train service to Barrie, Guelph and Acton was eliminated. All day GO Train service to Whitby and Burlington was reduced to rush hours only (while limited rush hour train service to Oshawa and Hamilton remained in place). All day Lakeshore train service existed only between Pickering and Oakville. In 1995 a new set of tracks and a station were built in Oshawa, allowing for frequent rush hour GO Train service to Oshawa. In 1996, off-peak service ceased on the Milton line.

In January 1997, the province announced it would hand over funding responsibility for GO Transit to the Greater Toronto Area municipalities (which consist of the City of Toronto, and the Regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham) and the neighbouring Region of Hamilton-Wentworth (which became the new City of Hamilton on 1 January 2001). In exchange, the province would assume certain other funding responsibilities from municipal governments.

In 2000, all day GO Train service was restored from Burlington to Whitby and finally brought to Oshawa (although weekend & holiday Lakeshore GO Train service would still only see service between Pickering and Oakville). GO Train service was fully restored along the Lakeshore East line to Oshawa in 2006, and along the Lakeshore West line to Aldershot in 2007. The Bradford line was extended to Barrie South GO Station in 2007, restoring GO Train service to Barrie for the first time in 15 years. In 2008, train service on the Stouffville line was extended to Lincolnville GO Station.

On May 14, 2009, with the passage and approval of the 'Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Transit Implementation Act, 2009', GO Transit was merged with Metrolinx.

Future expansion

The majority of GO Transit expansion projects presently underway fall under the funding umbrella of the GO Transit Rail Improvement Plan, or GO TRIP. This initiative, though seen as substantial at the time of its initial proposition in the mid-2000s, has since been dwarfed by a further slate of new GO infrastructure proposed in MoveOntario 2020, the provincial transit plan announced in 2007.

A GO Train Delays board in the Long Branch Train Station

GO TRIP

GO TRIP is a jointly-funded plan, with the federal, provincial, and municipal governments contributing to the costs on a one-third/one-third/one-third cost-sharing basis. The majority of federal funding was committed by the then-Liberal federal government through their Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. Detailed information on these expansion projects can be found on the GO TRIP website.

GO TRIP's priority was augmenting the capacity and reliability of the existing GO rail network, but not substantively expanding the catchment area or adding new corridors. The majority of spending was allocated to reducing the interface between GO Trains and growing volumes of CP and CN freight traffic. This included rail-to-rail grade separations where GO's north-south lines cross east-west freight lines: the Snider Diamond, where the Barrie line had crossed the CN York Subdivision, was replaced by an overpass completed in June 2007; the Hagerman Diamond, where the Stouffville line had crossed the same CN line, was replaced by an underpass completed in November 2008. Work at the West Toronto Diamond to take the Georgetown line's tracks under CP's midtown Toronto mainline began in November 2006.

GO TRIP's one substantial extension of rail service involved restoring train trips to the Barrie area, using trackage beyond the then-terminus of Bradford owned by the City of Barrie (who acquired the right of way following CN's abandonment.) A somewhat shorter extension of rail service was made possible by pushing the Stouffville line's passenger terminus several kilometres further northeast of Stouffville proper to the new Lincolnville GO Station, at 10th Line and Bethesda Road in Whitchurch-Stouffville, where an existing layover facility was located. Two new infill stations were built as well: Mount Pleasant Station on the Georgetown line opened in February 2005 and Lisgar Station on the Milton line opened in 2007.

Other capital projects included adding increased track capacity on the CN and CP-owned railway lines so that more GO Train trips would be possible. Third tracks were added from Burlington station to Bayview Junction (between Aldershot and Hamilton) on the Lakeshore West line, from Cherry Street in Downtown Toronto to Scarborough station on the Lakeshore East line, and from Mount Pleasant station to Bramalea station on the Georgetown line. A third track is under construction between Port Credit station and Kerr Street in Oakville; once completed there will be at least three tracks on the Lakeshore West line from Union to Bayview Junction. Track upgrades on the Milton line to run more peak and off-peak trains were planned, but remain uninitiated. GO TRIP also attempted to curtail GO's need to move "deadheaded" trains back to its main Willowbrook Yard in the evening and then out to the terminii in the early morning by constructing train layover facilities at the periphery of its rail network. New train layover facilities were built in Milton, Barrie and Hamilton; one proposed for immediately west of Mount Pleasant station is on hold[15].

Other expansion initiatives

Improvements to Union Station's platforms, tracks and signalling system has been an ongoing process for GO Transit. In January 2010, GO began construction on a major renovation of Union Station's trainshed.[16] The City of Toronto, owner of the station proper, has planned a major redevelopment in parallel, which will see private sector partner Osmington manage a significantly expanded station space.[17] City-led renovations are slated to begin in Spring 2010.[16]

Fleet expansion is also ongoing, including buses and Bombardier Bi-Level Rail Cars, and the replacement of old locomotives with more reliable and powerful models. GO will be a key user of the Presto Card, a unified smartcard-based payment system for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area similar to the Oyster Card used by Transport for London in the United Kingdom.

GO has stated that it views the primary obstacle to further ridership growth has been a limited supply of park-and-ride spaces at its suburban stations, along with an existing train trips travelling at or above their maximum passenger capacity. Plans for decked parking at Ajax, Aurora, Burlington, Centennial, Clarkson, Erindale, Oakville, and Unionville stations have been drafted, with construction currently underway in Whitby (completion is scheduled for later in 2009). GO's first ever decked parking garage opened in Burlington in September 2008. Platforms at most Lakeshore and Milton corridor stations have been lengthened to permit 12-car train sets; construction is underway at Appleby, Clarkson, Streetsville and Hamilton stations to lengthen the platforms, with Mimico being the last station requiring this work.

GO is also developing a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that will provide extensive east-to-west express service across the GTA, using transit priority measures and park-and-ride stations with links to local transit. GO's already popular Highway 407 express buses, launched in the fall of 2000, are the BRT's precursor, showing that demand for such service is already there. It has grown and flourished, with greatly improved services and new park & ride lots. The GO 407 corridors are now among GO Transit's fastest growing services, yielding 12,000 rides on a typical day. As part of this service, GO Transit is collaborating with the City of Mississauga to build new, exclusive bus lanes along Highway 403. Mississauga's BRT website has more information on this new project.

MoveOntario 2020

MoveOntario 2020 was announced by Dalton McGuinty in the leadup to the 2007 provincial election as a provincially-initiated transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area. Unlike previous plans, there is to be no expectations of municipal contributions for capital costs, with a two-thirds/one-third funding arrangement between the province and the federal government foreseen. As of 2010, however, the Harper government has indicated it will not provide wide-ranging funding, but rather contribute to individual MoveOntario 2020 projects at its discretion.

Of the estimated $17.5 billion worth of projects, a significant portion are to involve GO expansion. These include a number of new train corridors.

Proposed train routes

Bolton line

This line would follow a CP rail line from Union Station through western Toronto and Woodbridge to the suburban community of Bolton, Ontario, replacing a bus service that currently encompasses two inbound and two outbound trips. Because of a rapidly growing population in the area and stronger transit connections that have been developed in last few years between Brampton and Vaughan, it is quite likely that train service on this route will be introduced within the next few years.

Seaton line

This line would use CP's Belleville subdivision to run from Toronto through northern Scarborough and east to Brock Road in Pickering. The line would likely be introduced after further development of the Seaton new town in Pickering. GO Trains originating at Union might reach the Belleville subdivision by potentially using disused CP Trackage in the lower Don Valley or by following the existing Stouffville line then shifting onto Belleville subdivision trackage via a new connection structure near Kennedy and Sheppard. Alternately, trains might originate along the Midtown Corridor (see below).

Locust Hill line

This line, like the Seaton line, would use CP's Belleville subdivision, then branch at the Agincourt yard onto CP's Havelock subdivision and continue northeast to Brock Road in the small community of Claremont, within the city of Pickering. This line would serve the growing community of Cornell in Markham, as well as the established Morningside Heights subdivision in Toronto. If the proposed Pickering International Airport is built, it will likely also connect to this line.

Although it was not been proposed in MoveOntario 2020, it is possible that trains on this line may eventually run to Peterborough. Extensive track upgrades would be necessary to allow trains to reach desirable speeds.

Midtown Corridor

MoveOntario 2020 also proposed adding passenger service on the CP freight mainline that cuts through Toronto to the north of the downtown area. The midtown corridor runs from the Junction (intersection of many CN and CP lines, as well as the GO Georgetown and Milton routes) to the Don Valley. Service could involve an extension of the Seaton and North Pickering routes westward, or a combination of trains from the Georgetown and Milton lines. Passenger service would need to be restored to the former North Toronto Station on Yonge Street, or a new station would possibly be built adjacent to the Dupont TTC Station at Spadina Road.

While this proposal would take pressure off of Union Station, and would arguably become one of the more popular and lucrative of the new lines, it faces tremendous roadblocks and is the least likely of the new routes to be implemented. Canadian Pacific is strongly resistant to allow operation of GO trains on its tracks, and this line would use its most congested route, the mainline. The TTC is highly opposed also to a competing corridor to its Bloor-Danforth line. Furthermore, the proposed transfer points to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway would require new construction and would swamp existing stations. GO passengers transferring to the TTC at Union Station are moving "counterflow" and take advantage of some rare rush-hour spare capacity on the line, whereas the new station would only add to the growing congestion on the Yonge and University segments. On the surface, the midtown corridor appears to require the least increase in infrastructure and should be the simplest to implement, but is in fact the most difficult from a bureaucratic perspective.

Pearson rail connection

MoveOntario 2020 re-proposed providing train service between the Pearson Airport and Union Station via the Georgetown line. Because the Airport is located some 5 km from the line, a proposed spur line would need to be constructed to connect the trains to Terminal 1. Extensive corridor upgrades and new trackage along the Georgetown line would also be required.

A controversial proposal to provide a high-speed rail link on this corridor was announced as a transportation priority by the previous federal Liberal government in 2000. The project was opposed by residents in places like Weston. A re-launched environmental assessment concluded in October 2009, and construction is slated to begin upon the completion of the West Toronto Diamond project.

Despite the absence of train service, GO has expanded its bus routes to the Airport, adding a GO bus service on April 26, 2008. This bus operates at hourly intervals, 21 hours a day from Pearson on a route that goes between its Square One Bus Terminal in Mississauga and the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal at Hwy. 7 & Yonge St. with connections there to the Viva bus rapid transit network, which operates in York Region north of Toronto.

Line extensions

GO is also making plans to expand the rail service along the Lakeshore East line, towards Bowmanville. The rail alignment from the Oshawa station, will have the rails going north, with a rail bridge over Highway 401 west of Stevenson Road and going east along with the main CP rail line. There will be possible station stops near Stevenson Road, Simcoe Street, Bloor Street and Courtice. Construction is expected to begin in early 2011 and be completed by early 2013.

Expansions beyond GO's present service area

Although not provided for in MoveOntario 2020, previous government announcements and proposals have foreseen expanding GO's service area by introducing commuter bus services to Niagara Region, and to Waterloo Region to build the market for train service. Both Waterloo and Niagara regional governments are strongly in favour of GO Trains service being brought to these areas.

Service expansion to Peterborough has also been proposed. The federal government announced funding for a commuter train route to Peterborough in its 2008 budget, but it is uncertain who will operate it. Neither GO Transit nor federally-owned Via Rail have expressed any interest. GO offered a compromise by beginning a train-meet bus service on September 5 2009 between Peterborough and Oshawa, making stops at RR10 & Highway 115, downtown Peterborough and Trent University.

In April 2009, it was announced that GO bus service would be extended into the Niagara Region. A station and park-and-ride facility is currently under construction in Grimsby, with a scheduled opening date in June, 2009. Further extensions to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls are planned, with service commencing by September, 2009.[18] It is expected that GO rail service will eventually be extended into the region.[19] On 14 May 2009 transportation minister Jim Bradley announced that GO Transit will provide weekend and holiday train service from Toronto to Niagara Falls, with four trains per day per direction stopping at St. Catharines, Burlington, Oakville and Port Credit stations en route to Union. GO also expects to run commuter bus services to Niagara region and Peterborough as of September 2009, and to the Region of Waterloo as of October 2009.

Vehicles

A new MP40 #604

As of December 2008, GO Transit operates a total of 328 buses, 71 locomotives and 470 coaches, of which 52 are cab cars. For their rail services, GO Transit uses a mixture of EMD F59PH locomotives and MotivePower Industries MP40PH-3C locomotives. The MP40's are significantly more powerful with 4000 bhp vs the 59PH's 3000 bhp. The coaches used in GO Transit's trains are all various models of Bombardier Transportation's Bi-Level coach, with a seating capacity of 136 to 162; 142 in IV series, and a claimed standing room space for 276 standees.

For bus services, GO Transit has a variety of buses made by Prevost, Orion, MCI and Alexander Dennis.

Staff

GO has a workforce of 1,447 (2007).[20]

In its earlier years, much of GO Transit's staff were actually employed by private companies and worked for GO under contract. As GO has expanded, many positions have gradually been brought in-house, such as its bus drivers, and GO has consolidated its contractual arrangements primarily with Bombardier Transportation.

Today, all staff are employees of GO Transit, with the exception of train maintenance personnel, who are contracted from Bombardier Transportation, and conductors and engineers on trains, who are employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway on the Milton line and employees of Bombardier Transportation elsewhere. Bombardier conductors and engineers are all trained per Transport Canada on Railway Operating Rules, allowing them to operate GO Trains on mainline railway tracks.

Unionized staff are part of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 235, and generally based in Toronto.

Special Constables

GO Transit has Special Constables patrolling the transit agencies' properties and vehicles, as well as enforcing the Criminal Code and related violations of GO Transit by-law # 2. They are also known as Transit Enforcement Officers. The GO Transit Special Constables are appointed by the Ontario Provincial Police and have police authority for a variety of federal and provincial acts. These officers patrol the GO system and can arrest and enforce a variety of laws. Their authority is essentially no different than that of a police officer during certain situations. Jurisdictional police are actively involved in the safety and security of the GO system and work together with GO Special Constables. GO Transit also employs Provincial Offences Officers (internally known as Customer Attendants) to enforce and assist with the proof of payment system. They are not to be confused with a GO Special Constable. GO Transit Special Constables are outfitted in blue shirts with blue striped cargo pants and blue forge peaked police caps. The GO Special Constables are trained and equipped with batons, pepper spray, handcuffs and body armour. All front-line GO staff are trained in CPR. GO Transit Enforcement operates a 24-hour emergency call dispatch centre that is able to dispatch Police and Special Constables to all areas served by GO. Customers are also encouraged to report any crimes on GO property to the enforcement dispatch number 905-803-0642, as well as contacting the local Crime Stoppers. GO Transit Special Constables travel in marked vehicles. They use Crown Victoria, Dodge Dakota, and Chevrolet Uplander. These vehicles are equipped with two-way radios and red emergency lighting as well as prisoner cages. GO Transit enforcement staff are obligated to produce proof of appointment ID under the GO Transit Act 2001 when requested. For this reason, officers are given wallet badges, warrant cards and appointment card for provincial offences.[21]

By-law No. 2

GO Transit By-law No. 2[22] are rules and regulations governing the actions of passengers and employees while on Authority property. It can be enforced by a "proper authority" which is defined in the by-law as: "an employee or agent of GO Transit wearing a GO Transit uniform; an employee or agent of GO Transit carrying an identification card issued by GO Transit; a GO Transit Special Constable; or a municipal police officer." The by-law covers rules regarding, fare payment and conduct while in the system.

Contractors

  • Bombardier Transportation - Responsible for GO Train maintenance and train crewing since June 2008.
  • Pacific Northern Railway - Responsible for track and signal maintenance on all GO transit owned trackage
  • Gray Coach Lines - defunct
  • Travelways
  • Charterways Transportation Limited
  • Penetang-Midland Coach Lines (PMCL)
  • CN engineers and conductors used to operate all GO Trains excluding those operated on Milton line until 2008. Both GO transit and CN mutually decided to discontinue the crewing of GO trains by CN employees. GO was not satisfied with the quality of service that CN was providing. For examples, many crews would "book rest" (i.e. take a shift off) before the Friday afternoon rush hour period. This occasionally resulted in cancelled trains because there would not be any personal available to fill in. Also CN charged exorbitant rates to provide crewing. CN's priority is their freight service which generates significantly more revenue on a per employee basis than the passenger service. They were more than happy to have all their employees who operated on the passenger service return to freight service. It also reduced their hiring requirements.
  • CP engineers and conductors still operate GO Trains though on Milton line only.
  • Exclusive Advertising - Represents 4,350 interior poster faces and 1760 digital monitors throughout the GO Train fleet.

Facilities

North Bathurst Yard office
Layover at Don Yard
GO Transit Facilities (currently incomplete)
 Facility   Year opened   Operating Details   Notes 
GO Transit Willowbrook Yard 1970s 125 Judson St., Toronto, covering 17 hectares of land and 13,000 m² of workshops. Formerly CNR repair facilities
Don Yard 2007 Layover facility for 10 trains during the day Formerly, CNR Don Sorting Yard west of the Don River and north of the Gardiner Expressway
North Bathurst Yard 1987 Layover facility for trains between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street south of Front Street. Currently closed for renovation until 2010. Tracks are formerly used by CNR yard
Georgetown GO Station 1990s Layover facility for trains overnight and weekends for trains on Georgetown line; backup battery supply Shared VIA Rail - train stop
Lincolnville GO Station 2008 Layover facility and for trains and terminus for Stouffville line
Milton GO Station layover yard 2006-2007 For overnight storage and temp storage for trains on Milton line storage for 6 12-car train sets
Steeprock Bus Garage 1979 200 Steeprock Drive; Storage for 130 buses, 70 bus staging areas, 20 repair bays. For buses in the GTA
GO Transit West Region Office 3500 Wolfedale Rd., Mississauga, Ontario
GO Transit East Region Office 81 Middlefield Rd., Toronto, Ontario; offices northeast of CPR Agincourt Yard
Hamilton GO Centre 1996 Outdoor bus terminal and rail station
Milton GO Station 1981 Outdoor bus storage in parking lot
Newmarket Bus Terminal 1970 Outdoor bus terminal with commuter parking lot
Newmarket Bus Garage 18110 Yonge St., Newmarket, ON. Indoor bus storage and repair bays.
GO Transit Barrie Layover Facility Allandale Station Lands on Lakeshore Drive. For overnight storage and temp storage for trains on the Barrie line. Storage for 4 12-car train sets.
Bramalea GO Station 1974 Outdoor bus storage in parking lot

A new rail facility for GO Transit is being planned in Whitby, located west of Thickson Road along the Lakeshore East line and is scheduled to be complete by early 2013.

GO buses are also stored and serviced in Aberfoyle, Ajax, Barrie, Beaverton, Bowmanville, Bramalea, Caledon, Hamilton, Oakville (until February 27), and Oshawa .

References

  1. ^ Metrolinx About Us
  2. ^ GO Transit Schedule Table 71: Lincolnville to Toronto
  3. ^ GO Transit Schedule Table 71: Toronto to Lincolnville
  4. ^ GO deal swaps CN crews with Bombardier personnel, Toronto Star Nov 09, 2007
  5. ^ a b GO Transit, the year in review 2007-08
  6. ^ http://transit.toronto.on.ca/archives/weblog/2010/03/08-less_go_bu.shtml#more
  7. ^ a b c Pearce, Sean (9 April 2008). "Stacking the deck for transit service". Markham Economist and Sun. http://www.yorkregion.com/article/72769. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  8. ^ GO 407's one millionth rider at York University
  9. ^ (PDF) APTA Transit Ridership Report. American Public Transit Association. 2009. p. 32. http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/Ridership/2009_q3_ridership_APTA.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  10. ^ GO Transit: Ridership
  11. ^ Statement by The Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Transportation, Toronto October 11, 2006.
  12. ^ 2008 GO Transit Ridership Figures
  13. ^ GO celebrates 40 years of success
  14. ^ Drost, Peter (2006-11-10). "The GO-ALRT Program". Transit Toronto. http://transit.toronto.on.ca/gotransit/2107.shtml. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  15. ^ GO Transit Presentation to City of Brampton Council
  16. ^ a b Union Station reno to chase away gloom
  17. ^ Head Lessee, Construction Manager and Metrolinx on board for Union Station Revitalization: Full steam ahead
  18. ^ Bergsma, Marlene. "Go Transit coming to Niagara". Niagara Falls Review. http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1511432. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  19. ^ Bergsma, Marlene. "GO Transit coming to Niagara by September". St. Catharines Standard. http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1511405. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  20. ^ Wyatt, David A.. "History of Regional Transit in Toronto, Ontario". http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/alltime/toronto-suburbs-on.html. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  21. ^ http://www.elaws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_01g23_e.htm#BK10, Appointment of officers (6) GO Transit may appoint in writing one or more of its employees as an officer or officers for the purposes of carrying out the by-laws passed under subsection (1), and any person so appointed is a constable for that purpose and for the purposes of section 33 of the Highway Traffic Act. 2001, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 11 (6). Certificate of appointment (7) A person appointed under subsection (6) shall, while carrying out his or her duties under the appointment, have in his or her possession a certificate of the appointment and shall produce the certificate upon request. 2001, c. 23, Sched. A, s. 11 (7).
  22. ^ GO Transit By-law No. 2

External links


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