About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Get on GO December 19th

So it was good news at the GO Transit announcement earlier this morning as  GO Transit President Gary McNeil, Guelph MPP Liz Sandals and Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge announced that GO trains are coming to Guelph starting on December 19th. The logic, I suppose, is that it'll be a softer run over the holidays, when most people get time off from work, so that all the kinks are worked out in time for when rush hour is back to full capacity in January. 
According to the GO website, two round trips daily will run from Kitchener to Toronto weekdays. The GO train will depart Guelph at 6:14 am and 7:53 am with arrival times at Toronto Union Station at 7:32 am and 9:08 am. In the afternoon, trains will leave Union at 4:45 pm and 6:18 pm to arrive in Guelph at 5:45 pm and 7:53 pm. A one-way ticket will cost $11.70.
The trip will take between an hour and one and a half hours, considering that the average drive on the Greyhound during rush hour has been pushing two hours the last year, this should offer some smoother sailing to Guelph commuters. I, for one, cannot wait.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You’ll notice that half of GO’s trip between Kitchener and Toronto takes place between Kitchener and Georgetown. VIA Rail also currently schedules an hour and two minutes between Kitchener and Georgetown. VIA’s half hour advantage comes from not having to stop at Mount Pleasant, Bramalea, Malton, Weston and Bloor.

The province’s announcement for GO train service on Kitchener was done on the cheap. For around $18 million, we got a two-track layover yard, an extended platform in Kitchener (closing off a street), and platform work in Guelph.

What GO and VIA would love to add is track and bridge upgrades west of Georgetown, and some double tracking, which would allow both services to shave a half hour from their travel time. I believe there’s been some money announced for this project, but the Goderich&Exeter Railway is dragging its feet, which is a bloody shame.

Also on tap is an integrated transportation hub for the City of Kitchener, using land at the King/Victoria intersection. This will combine a new VIA/GO stop, inter-city buses, Grand River Transit buses and LRT. This project is being pushed forward by the Region of Waterloo which has expropriated the land.

So, it’s an on-the-cheap extension, but there’s a good possibility for more investment, especially if the service proves to be popular, and I think it will be. This could mean more trains (GO and VIA), better stations and better track, for faster service. And if Kitchener gets more trains, I’m sort of hoping that they’ll be separated from the Georgetown rush hour runs. Operate Georgetown trains from Mount Pleasant (along with full service between Union and Mount Pleasant), and have the rush hour Kitchener trains stop at Kitchener, Guelph, Acton, Georgetown and Mount Pleasant before operating express to Union. That should save even more time.