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30-minute service for most off-peak GO trains
along the Lakeshore lines starts June 29

go train on lakeshore west line.jpg

Update — Monday, April 22, 6:35 p.m.: Robert Lubinski pointed out a glaring error that we missed: GO Transit has already been around longer than 45 years — and not just 44 as the Star’s article suggests. Thanks, Robert.

Starting Saturday, June 29, GO Transit is increasing the frequency of trains operating along the 01 Lakeshore West and 09 Lakeshore East lines to every 30 minutes during off-peak hours.

GO says that this significant increase of service results “from years of careful planning and construction to expand service on this line”. Since 2006, GO has been upgrading and improving the infrastructure along the Lakeshore lines to prepare for this 30-minute service. It’s bought rail corridor segments from other train-service providers and has upgraded the tracks on these two lines.

For example, in 2009, GO installed a third track on the Lakeshore West line between Union Station and Port Credit and between Kerr Street in Oakville and Hamilton, which has gave it extra flexibility to add more service and capacity.

Starting June 29, GO trains that currently operate hourly along the Lakeshore lines between Aldershot and Oshawa GO Stations will run every 30 minutes, seven days a week. This adds 263 new train trips in total along the line, including:

  • nineteen new trips Mondays to Fridays, 24 new trips Saturdays and 15 new trips Sundays and holidays along the 01 Lakeshore West line; and
  • eighteen new trips Mondays to Fridays, 24 new trips Saturdays and 15 new trips Sundays and holidays along the 09 Lakeshore East line.

In the Toronto Star, transportation reporter Tess Kalinowski calls the move “the largest single service expansion of [GO Transit’s] 44-year history”. She quotes Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Glenn Murray, who claims that, “This is the final step in turning GO from a bedroom commuter service into full, regular transit”.

Kalinowski’s article continues:

“The $7.7 million annual increase in GO operating costs from the 30-minute Lakeshore line boost is expected to attract 50 per cent more GO riders almost immediately, said Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig.

“On a typical weekday, 60,500 people ride the Lakeshore West line and 51,500 ride east of Union Station, frequently packing the 1,500-seat trains.

“There’s still plenty of room in the off-peak, however, when trains attract about 350 riders on average.

“As well, McCuaig said, “The renewal of Union Station will triple the size of the GO passenger concourse, double the size of the platform and transform the train shed.’”

A post on the CBC News Hamilton website reports that GO will provide half-hourly Lakeshore line train service:

  • from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and from 7:30 until 11:00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays;
  • from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturdays; and
  • from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sundays.

GO already offers service with greater frequency during rush hours.

GO will also provide more frequent bus service to connect with the trains.

It will post the schedules for the new service on-line in mid-May.