Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Why No Evening or Weekends Trains for GO Transit

Posted by auroracitizen on July 21, 2010

Thank  you for hosting this blog to allow residents to voice their opinions and concerns.

Here’s something I can’t figure out: why does the GO train run all day long from east to west but not north to south? And why no north-south weekend service?

The north-south trains are certainly full during commuter hours and the GO buses are often packed on weekends. As an Aurora resident who enjoys dining downtown, theatre and sightseeing, I would LOVE to have the same service as the people in Pickering or Burlington. I don’t get it. The tracks are there. The trains exist. The demand is likely there. But the service is not.

Personally, I would eagerly take advantage of a mid-day train to Barrie or downtown. I often take the GO bus downtown on Saturdays when I go to see shows or shopping. The bus, however, is NOT the train. The ride is uncomfortable — stuffy air, bumpy roads, sometimes stop-and-go traffic. I recently took the train from Toronto to Niagara and wow, what a difference. It was a lovely ride — and there were hardly any people on the train in the middle of a summer Saturday.

Think about this: Our Saturday GO buses are quite full and the Toronto-to-Niagara train is nearly empty. But the Toronto-Niagara Saturday riders have a wide-open schedule and we have only a few, crowded buses. We are constantly told that people should take transit rather than drive, but if the service is not convenient, how can we do so?

I would love to read what others have to say about this. How can we get all-day and weekend GO train service to take us north and south — downtown and to Barrie — the same way that the east-west service runs?

Or am I the only one who feels this way?


11 Responses to “Why No Evening or Weekends Trains for GO Transit”

  1. Jytte K Gillies said

    I grow up in Denmark where buses and trains is a service that the citizen’s take for granted – sort of a citizen’s right. Whenever the local goverment try to take out service’s, the citizens write and storm the City Hall, and what do you know, service it back. We can’t all live in the big cities, but it’s hard to get around in a small town without a car. Not everything should be measured in the mighty dollar.

  2. Anonymous said

    I would like to see an express train to Aurora as well

  3. Jack Morgan said

    I completely agree that North / South train service should be available in the GTA on evenings and weekends. According to some comments it looks like it may happen at some point in the future. The problem is that it’s needed NOW. I live in newmarket and many times throughout the year i’m tempted to trek to downtown Toronto for a baseball game, the ex, hockey game, just to shop, etc and every time I just decide it isn’t worth it. The traffic, the stress, the time, the parking, the expense … the list goes on. The traffic is ridiculous and taking public transit is crazy. It takes me about 2 hours to get from newmarket to union station – taking viva and then the subway. GO does offer bus service, but i’d rather be stuck in traffic in my own car than on a bus. The train only takes 40 minutes – they could even offer an express train or similar that i’m sure could get down to union in 20 minutes. The tracks are there, why not use them to their full potential. I’ve already emailed mayor miller about this without a response. I’m sure it would increase Toronto’s tourism significantly. Why not market Toronto to the GTA instead of the rest of the world? Some things just make too much sense i guess.

  4. Robert the Bruce said

    I always look to the Washington, DC transit system. They have a rapid transit systems that reaches so far into the suburbs and runs so frequently that who needs a car there? I have always questioned why the east-west Lakeshore GO line gets such a regular service but the north-south routes do not. Given where populations are moving to, it makes no sense.

    However, until the collective transit systems of GO, YRT, Viva, TTC, and all of the other systems get their acts together, there will be a lot of cars on the road. The eco folks are trying to get people to use public transit and leave the cars at home. The problem is that you may not be able to get where you need to go, and if you can get there it may take you 2 to 3 hours to do so. For example, I had a client in Burlington – QEW and Apppleby area. I would drive there for a 9:00am arrival – leave home by 7:30/7:45 and there would be no problem. To do the same on GO…. I would catch the 2nd train from Aurora, get on the Lakeshore train to Burlington and then have to get someone to pick me up at the Appleby station… I got there about 10am and the cost was crazy.

    I would certainly use weekend service – bring it on.


  5. evelyn.buck said

    Who did it in Boston?

  6. Richard Johnson said

    I have GOOD NEWS for you. I thought your question awas a good one so I called GO’s PR department. It turns out that there will be increased all day service on weekdays as well as increased service on weekends when the track improvements have been completed at the Tronro junction. The necessary track and service upgrades should be in place by the Pan Am Games in 2015.

    Also go to the GO website and on the top right-hand corner there is a link to”Expanding and Improving”. Select “West Toronto diamond grade separation”. When these upgrades are completed there will be no conflict between GO and CN freight trains and GO will then be able to run longer trains more frequently (including on weekends).


    As was also mentioned at the last council meeting, the GO station is going to be further upgraded and improved now that the town has sold a small street to GO.

  7. White Knight said

    I am all for train service all day and especially on the weekends. I have always envied those who can take the train to work; I, unfortunately, have a job where my car is a requirement of my employment and am stuck with daily gridlock. I would welcome the opportunity to use the train on weekends.
    I grew up in England, which has an amazing commuter train system and we took the train into town always on a Saturday for shopping and lunch etc.
    I would support any initiative to bring extended GO train service and would much rather see my tax dollars spent in its support rather than on the futile expenses they are currently being channelled into.

  8. traffic said

    I believe GO transit is slowly working towards all-day service. I believe that it will start with limited all-day service by the end of 2010 or early 2010. This means a couple of extra trains through the day – but not a Lakeshore line quality. Eventually it will be all-day and weekends too. The problem as I understand it is that the tracks must be twinned in certain sections especially where they cross the two big east-west freight main lines. I think some of this has been done. You may want to search their web site.

    Yes, it would be nice to train down Saturday morning, shop, catch a Jays game, dine, then train home.


  9. Bob MacWilliam said

    Absolutely true.

    Imagine how different it would be if this service existed. Imagine one step further with dual tracks that could handle trains in both directions. I lived outside of Boston in a suburb like Aurora where this type service was available. It was great! Many times we’d go into the city for a weekend lunch or evening out and ride the trains.

    Not to mention the environmental impact. Imagine how many car trips would be eliminated if great train service existed like this. A side benefit of the Boston experience was that home values in the town increased significantly because of this great service – a win all around. I think it’s one of those things that just makes too much sense to ever actually be done by government.

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