The system seems to be working. Metrolinx, operators of the GO Tranist system of trains and buses, has announced that they will building a new train station in Acton, which will allow commuters in the area to get a train in their own backyard as opposed to driving to Guelph or Georgetown.
So this is kind of huge. Obviously, Metrolinx sees new growth opportunity here, especially since train service to Acton, both VIA and GO, was discontinued in the 1990s (about the same time GO trains stopped coming to Guelph). Sadly, the historic Acton train station is no longer there to send off or receive riders, its home at the corner of Mill St. E. and Eastern Ave. having been turned into a vacant lot for a long time ago. You'll note in the above picture the architectural similarities between the old Acton station and others along the old Grand Trunk rail line.
This news comes on the heels of recently announced cuts to VIA rail, which include a fewer number of trains running across the county, and in the case of local VIA service, no more staff at either the Guelph or Kitchener stations. Yes, if you want to buy a ticket to ride the VIA it will have to be online, which effectively prevents many of the people who use VIA - the elderly, people with limited income, Mennonites - from taking their trains.
So at least there's this good tranist news on the horizon. Here's the press release from Metrolinx:
TORONTO, July 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Metrolinx is moving forward on its plans for a new Acton GO Station.
With a land lease agreement with the Town of Halton Hills, Metrolinx is beginning construction of a new GO station in Acton this month, with construction to continue into 2013.
"We are pleased to bring GO rail service to Acton and provide additional options for travellers in this very busy corridor," said Gary McNeil, GO Transit President. "With the addition of this new station, we are making it easier for residents to choose to leave their cars at home and use GO Transit."
The additional stop along the Kitchener line (formerly GO's Georgetown line) also helps to meet the demand for expanded and more frequent service in the region. This new stop provides a connection between Acton and downtown Toronto, but also supports commuters travelling between Acton and the Georgetown and Brampton areas.
"Investing in a new GO station for Acton will mean better access to public transit and increased services for commuters," said Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "The McGuinty government has continually supported public transit to help take cars off the road, keep our air clean and contribute to a better quality of life for Ontario families."
Acton GO Station will be served by two morning and two evening trips on GO's Kitchener line. Schedules will be available at gotransit.com later this year. Fifty parking spaces will be provided with the opening of the station, with an additional 60 spaces to be added after service begins. In total, GO expects to be able to provide approximately 110 parking spaces for GO customers.
"This is great news for Acton and area residents," said Town of Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette. "The addition of this service in our area gives commuters and students in our area a public transit choice for traveling to work or school. We are very excited for the restoration of train service to Acton after an absence of nearly 20 years."
The new station will provide an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience through its design, which will include platform lighting, CCTV and public announcement system, an accessible mini platform, designated waiting areas and two heated platform shelters.
For more information on GO services, the public can call 416.869.3200, 1.888.GET ON GO (438.6646), 1.800.387.3652 TTY, or visit gotransit.com.
GO Transit is the Province of Ontario's interregional public transit system linking Toronto with the surrounding regions of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). GO carries about 62 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services that spans over 10,000 square kilometres. GO Transit is a division of Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario. Follow GO on Twitter and Facebook.