Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas y'all (and to you donkeys, too)

From my family (that's my 12 year old being a tree) to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rides on GO Transit free this New Year's Eve after 7pm

Trains will run on a Sunday schedule throughout the day and then free in the evening.

More info here.

ICYMI: TTC discounts using Presto begin January 7

Let's relive 2015

Like a broken record, the Lakeshore GO line has been plagued with broken switches. It's Groundhog Day!

It's like living in 2015 again!

There's been no outreach from GO Transit or Metrolinx to passengers who have been extremely inconvenienced by this issue. The lastest break occurred, again, along the stretch between Oshawa and Whitby. I was on the 4:30 pm train from Union last night and that train made it into Oshawa without any issues. Trains after it weren't so lucky. Crews worked all afternoon and into the evening repairing the switch.

It appears to be holding up as there were no problems this morning.

On Twitter there were lots of questions about why this is happening, why it keeps breaking, why can't it just be fixed and be done with it? I've been told it all comes down to what's needed to keep the system running in order to prevent a full scale shutdown of service, forcing passengers east of Whitby to use Whitby GO as the starting/ending point. Can you imagine? Passengers would lose their minds.

Hopefully the fact that the next two weeks should see lighter than normal passenger traffic and they can shut down the line to permanently fix the problem without inconveniencing thousands of passengers.

I don't have answers for how this is logistically done. I'm just a passenger, not a railroad expert. However, I think I could find the patience needed to figure out how to get to work if a shutdown was needed to permanently fix the problem.

An update to the Metrolinx not being a nice neighbour story

Backstory <

Metrolinx RER Public Consultations Ignore Resident’s Concerns

Longboat Avenue residents have submitted a formal complaint to the Ontario Minister of the Environment to dispute the recent approval of the Metrolinx RER Electrification Environmental Report ( Residents were blind-sided by this approval as consultations were ongoing. This approval may contravene the MoE Environmental Assessment Process (

As part of the Regional Express Rail plan, Metrolinx is proposing to add a new track, E0, along the Union Station Rail Corridor East. This track will run within 15 meters of public and private housing and businesses, including a daycare center. Residents have expressed concerns relating to safety, noise, pollution and environmental degradation. Metrolinx has provided inaccurate and incomplete information to residents. Metrolinx  did not provide the required notifications with respect to the RER Environmental Report. Metrolinx is deliberately ignoring public safety and environmental concerns. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Could be fun times getting home tonight

From: GO Transit [
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 10:57 AM
Subject: Lakeshore East Disruption

Due to a switch problem there are no trains between Whitby and Oshawa. GO Buses will take passengers between Whitby and Oshawa until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Has it been all for nothing? This blog? NOOOOOOOOOO ... despite the feigned ignorance at the Townhall, Metrolinx senior management are indeed aware of this website and my existence (you just need to catch up on Twitter)

This email.

date:Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 2:19 PM
subject:metrolix townhalls


If I werre you I would be concerned that people who are supposed to be listening to their passengers would not know who the #1 GO train blogger is. Your own website claims the site is read by transit agencies and don't you think your honesty is now being questioned? Has it been all for nothing? 


(Love the site by the way)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Barrie GO Train passengers to get a boost in service

Metrolinx is moving forward with our expansion and transformation of the GO Transit network with new and improved service on the Barrie corridor.

Starting December 30, Barrie line passengers will see new midday and evening service from Monday to Friday, in both directions between Aurora and Union Station, and more weekend service, too. There will also be extra morning, afternoon and late evening train service between Bradford GO Station and Union Station.

Customers will also have the opportunity to connect easily to the TTC subway at the new Downsview Park station. Downsview Park GO station is integrated with the TTC’s Line 1 subway expansion. All Barrie line trains will make stops at the new Downsview Park GO Station beginning December 30.

We are also opening a new GO bus terminal at the new Highway 407 Station on the TTC Line 1 subway extension to give customers better connections.

GO bus customers should check the new schedules as several routes are being realigned to serve the new Highway 407 Station on the TTC Line 1 extension.  There are also some changes to Barrie GO bus services to improve schedule reliability and provide better connections with expanded train service on the Barrie line. 

Key Facts:
·         GO will now run 230 train trips per week on the Barrie line, up from 118
·         Downsview Park GO Station is GO’s 66th station
·         There will be nearly six times as much service for passengers on the Barrie line as there was 10 years ago

For a summary of all service additions and schedule changes, visit

Monday night, 11 passengers were trapped in an elevator at Whitby GO for close to 2 hours

You'd have to be a very fast runner, anyway

Is this GO bus message for dogs or people? #gotransit

A post shared by Tim Lemieux (@timlemule) on

Interesting... GO Transit's fare evasion rate is less than 1% (as per a 2014 report)

Whoever has promoted the blog, I thank you

I haven't seen numbers like this on posts for well over a year....

Let's not forget about the other Ontario taxpayers who subsidize our commute

The woeful saga of switches and signals

Winter is just starting folks, and, due to mild winters since the last deep freeze of 2014, it appears Metrolinx has forgotten about GO Transit and its system.

This week has been unacceptable. Trespassing incidents aside, there is no excuse for shoddy maintenance or neglect. Asking passengers who pay close to $400 a month to get to work to have patience, and to continue have patience, is disrespectful. It is not fair to those of us who get into work one to two hours late, and then have to stay late to make up the time, only to face switch issues on the way home, whereas five hours of our day was spent commuting is... well, it's just plain wrong.

This was raised at the Townhall on Tuesday night and Metrolinx's management team accepted responsibility, admitted it wasn't right and pledged to do better. And on Twitter, Metrolinx's media spokesperson admitted there were failings. Accountability is important but admitting failure means striving to do better. We've got four more months of inclimate weather to get through. Winter comes every year. Winter happens in other countries with far more extensive commuter networks and their switches and signals operate quite fine.

Enough with bad winters, Metrolinx. Let's work on making winter on the GO better.

I also realized that at the end of the year board meeting for Metrolinx, there was no fare increase. Considering we got slammed in September, and with the woeful service issues this month, there would have been a full scale riot if they even tried to push one through for next February. We pay enough. We're also tired of learning about $100 million dollar cost overruns on Metrolinx projects. You can't have this kind of mismanagement of infrastructure and then come begging with your hand out to the passengers inconvenienced by these boondoggles *cough* Burlington *cough* for more money.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

‘Ask Metrolinx’ Town Hall Draws New Ideas, Shared Concerns

TORONTO: December 13, 2017 – Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster hosted the first “Ask Metrolinx” town hall on Tuesday night, giving the public an opportunity to put their questions about transit and transportation in the GTHA directly to both him and the senior management team.
Two-thirds of the questions were asked live by the audience in the room at Union Station and via our livestream feed. The other questions were chosen by the public from 170 submitted online. Senior leaders listened intently as interested community members shared their issues and concerns, their ideas and suggestions, and committed to a number of follow-up meetings in communities around the GTHA.

Topics included:
  • Dealing with service disruptions
  • Managing poorly performing contractors
  • Where fare dollars go
  • Electrification and hydrogen technology
  • New stations and accessibility
  • Parking (stop building parking structures or build more)
  • Noise mitigation both for service increases and construction

Town Hall by the numbers:
  • 170 questions were submitted online ahead of the event
  • 733 votes on their favourite question
  • 35 questions submitted through livestream
  • 75+ people attended the town hall
  • 100+ watched livestream

A video of the town hall will be posted online at All questions submitted will be answered over the coming weeks. In addition, Phil Verster committed to making the town halls a regular event to encourage public participation and feedback.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

‘Ask Metrolinx’ Town Hall an Opportunity to Engage with Senior Management

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster is hosting the first “Ask Metrolinx” town hall to give the public direct access to both him and his senior management team to answer questions about transit and transportation in the GTHA.

This is an opportunity for our neighbours, customers and community members to engage directly with leaders at Metrolinx as we move forward with planning, building and operating the region’s transportation system. 

Here are the ways you can engage with us:
·         Questions can be submitted online at – or asked in real-time (online or in-person).
·         Participants will have the opportunity to prioritize the questions submitted online by voting for their favourites at the week leading up to the event.
·         The town hall can be attended in person or via live webcast.
·         A video of the town hall will be posted online after the event.

The team will be available to media following the questions from the public.
Date:               Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Time:             6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location:        97 Front Street West
                        Peter R. Smith Boardroom – 4th floor

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Renovations at GO Burlington hit the five year mark

Date:               Fri, 1 Dec 2017 21:07:52 -0500
From:              GO Voyageur
Subject:           December 1, 2017… Is it time to party?

Hi Cindy,

Well, it’s December 1, and that means but one thing — the renovation of Burlington GO station celebrates its fifth anniversary.  So, what to do?  Another premium cupcake from Longos, the finest Metrolinx-green china that Dollarama has to offer, a candle, et voilĂ !

I don’t see the solar panels planned for the roof.  Do you?

Construction pylons still litter the walk to the East tunnel.  An electrical extension cord snaked its way from the outlet, up the pillar, across the rafters, and into a work area behind temporary doors that have been there an eternity.  Two construction folk emerged from behind the doors to chat in the sunny corridor and then disappeared again.

One of the elevators to the West tunnel was not usable.  Hmmm… I didn’t actually test the other one.  My bad.

The foyer of this station is huge, but there isn’t much in the way of seating.  For those hoping for a cup of java on their way to work, dream on.  There are stories that a Tim Hortons location is coming (“soon”?).

Sorry, no party.  But the weather was beautiful!



Friday, December 1, 2017

Health update: I'm a cycling machine

As most of you know, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself back in April, brushed off my bike and got back on the proverbial horse, despite pain and injury. My highest weight in 2017 was 286 pounds. Today I weigh...

... are you ready for it?


This has been the most frustrating journey to get here but I persevered and pulled off this:

It's been a little hairy to ride in the evenings in Courtice. The town itself isn't very big and there are only three bike lanes - none of which are connected. To really get a good distance, I'd ride up to Hampton (and to Enniskillen on weekends) but it's too dangerous to ride the narrow, rural roads at night. So my night rides have been short, about 15 km, and infrequent, because although I'm prepared for the cold, I really do not like riding in wind, and it's been really windy.

But I gotta keep moving, right? So at the beginning of the month I forced my husband off the couch and now we walk, five times a week. We're averaging about 3 km a walk because my knees get extremely sore as they are riddled with arthritis. We walked 4.5 km recently and I was almost crippled by the time I got home. But ride 35 km non-stop? No problem. 

Someone mentioned putting together a Crazy Train cycling group for the Ride for Heart this coming June. I'm down. I'll post details on here, and on Twitter, once it's closer to registration. Now don't get too excited, I'm only interested in the 25 km route.

I haven't done a 50 km ride yet. My longest distance is 36 km. Let's stay realistic, k?

The goal now is to get to 238 pounds which was my original goal weight and I made it back in March of 2014. It is totally possible to lose 20 pounds in four months and I'm going to try my hardest to get there.