Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

In a comment in response to the proposed 5% fare hike expected to be approved this Thursday, Pete wrote:
Gas prices are down and are expected to stay below a $1 well into the new year and beyond. Canadians are expected to save $30 a week which means it will cost you half of what it used to cost you to drive to the station, so suck it up as you will well be able to afford it.
I ride a bus.


Squiggles said...


The odd time I drive to the station but I either walk or takes the bus. So it takes me months to empty a tank of gas. So the fall in the price doesn't save me any money.

People are questioning WHY the price of fares will be going up this coming year. They are repeating what they were told LAST year about that increase was because of the price. So they are waiting to see what the excuse for this blatant example of highway robbery.


C.J. Smith said...

I'm pretty sure it's to pay for the parking garages, 30 minutes service on LSE, those god awful (but fully accessible) double decker buses and increased service on the Milton line and the much delayed implementation of the stop announcement GPS thingy.

April said...

It doesn't cost me $30 a week in gas to get to the GO Station.

We were promised that they were going to extend the LSE out to Bowmanville. Hasn't happened. I don't use service during off peak hours and I don't take a double decker bus (that never seem to work). And there are no seats.

What am I paying all this extra money for?

And falling gas prices are a BAD THING. It means a recession. So . . . maybe I won't have a job and won't have to pay GO fares.

outburst said...

I'm not convinced it is really cheaper when you do the math, though that will vary from person to person.
I think the GO generally is faster, so I get more time with my family. It's better for the environment, normally better for your stress levels (though public transit rage does exist) but it can be very expensive. I pay $250 a month on average and still pay for a car that sits in my driveway most days.
It would be nice if this government agency were more open about its expenses, and more upfront with users about why increases are needed, because otherwise, I'm going to do the math, weigh the pros and cons and look long and hard at that car in my driveway.

C.J. Smith said...

Re: transparency

I'd like to know how much it costs to clean off the graffiti EVERY DAY for the trains. We pay that bill.

And I'd like to know what measures GO Transit is taking to prevent this vandalism and if this fare increase will be put towards securing the train yard.

Bicky said...

I just want a justification for an increase that's twice the rate of inflation.

Nahid said...

Parking fares should be decoupled from the train/bus fare. I shouldn't have to subsidize people who drive and park at the station while I walk to the station. I wonder how much parking actually costs as a percentage of the total fare. I'd bet it's quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across the published list of Metrolinx employee salaries. Made me vomit in my mouth a little bit...

Nora1968 said...

I disagree with the suggestion to decouple parking from the main fare. Sure, some people are in a position to take the bus (VERY few walk, I'm sure) but the vast majority of us are using the GO in the first place because we live in areas remote enough to make driving the whole way very costly. I attended a research group hosted by GO a couple of years ago on the subject of having paid parking at GO stations - needless to say, the response was NOT positive. But more importantly, no one on their end was suggesting that the fares would DECREASE as a result (i.e., if you're paying $8.78 now, the fare wouldn't suddenly be $6 and $3 for parking). The paid parking fee would be on top of the existing fare (meaning that drivers getting on at Oshawa could end up paying $25/day, even with the Presto discount). Bus and pedestrian GO passengers wouldn't save anything.

George said...

It could be a lot more expensive to take the GO as the province subsidizes 20% or so of each trip taken. The rest comes from the fare box. The province (meaning the taxpayers) pays 100% of the cost of capital projects and equipment so all this expansion of Union, new stations, new equipment, parking garages etc doesn't come from fares, but the operational costs do.

I can see paid parking happening in the future.

For everyone's education, reserved parking pays for a large chunk of the lot and garage costs so the actual parking cost in the fares is very low.

And yes, I learned all this from simply asking and finding the right places to search for info.

Still, 5% increase is too much.

TomW said...

My bet for paid parking: the cost of parking will accompanied by a drop in fares of that cost. (At least, for the first year).

Anonymous said...

I would imagine that decoupling the parking cost would come part and parcel with ending the co-pay of fares on local transit. If people who drive have to pay to park at the station, I would assume that people who take the bus to/from the GO Station won't get a $0.75 ride anymore either.

If GO is going to cut costs, it doesn't make sense to end one of those programs while maintaining the other.

I've been on both sides of that argument. When I drove to the station, I was appreciative of the free parking, knowing that part of everyone's GO fares go towards keeping that parking free. Likewise, when I took the bus to the station, I was appreciative of not having to pay $3+ each way on the bus, knowing that a part of everyone's GO fares to towards subsidizing local connecting transit for those who take the bus to/from the station.

Those who drive are more likely to ignore the subsidy they enjoy and clamour for GO to discontinue the local transit co-pay, and those who take the bus are more likely to ignore the subsidy they enjoy and clamour for GO to discontinue free parking. Funny how that works.

C.J. Smith said...

Thus is true. ^^^

Nahid said...

The purpose of the co-fare isn't only to discourage driving/parking; it also works as a limited form of fare integration. A person travelling from Yonge/Bloor to Square One shouldn't have to pay 3 fares just because they are using 3 different transit systems. In many jurisdictions, in this situation you'd pay by distance rather than paying a new fare for each system, regardless of how many different systems you use. I don't think the co-fare will ever go away, but the way it works may change to make transit fares even more integrated across the GTA.

Anonymous said...

Parking fees would just plain be the wrong move.

They give GO the wrong incentive. GO should be motivated to provide people who would otherwise drive with a financially realistic option to take the train instead. This requires building parking lots.

Instead, this would make it easy for GO to simply raise parking fees and gouge until enough people are forced to return to the roads.
They'd aim for the price point where demand is reduced to match what parking is there.

GO rakes in $$$ for nothing, why should they do more? Meanwhile the commuters are left in the lurch.

Anonymous said...

We all know GO/Metrolinx is bleeding money and has been for years. its the end of 2014 & they still believe in the "Honor System".
Jesus! if the majority of Ontarian's were honest, a lot less people would be inside our jails!
it's about time GO introduced turnstiles (Throughout Europe & US) that would only allow you access onto a train via inserting valid ticket or tapping presto to activate turnstile. I think GO believes only a handful of people are dishonest, how about trying thousands daily!
we all see it daily!

2) 5% increase is not bad overall, atleast you'll get something back, like more new trains and buses, expansion etc..
Tim Horton's added 6.25% on to a medium coffee, but what benefits could we gain out of there hike? Nothing, it's still a crap coffee!

Ben E Hill

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, the barrier to implementing turnstiles (what a terrible pun) is that most GO stations don't have concentrated points of access (e.g. track 1 at Oakville is connected to the parking lot along its entire length). What you'd have to do is build some sort of barrier so that people could only enter through designated entrances. Judging by the crowding that already happens when busy trains arrive, I doubt that'll be a popular sell.

However, I imagine it'll have some effect if fare gates were implemented at Union Station, as people would be forced to validate at least their outbound trip. That said, the throughput and space requirements would also make it difficult, unless you set up an entire row spanning the entire ticket hall from the sales office all the way to Dairy Queen. Of course, since you have other points of access (York St, Bay St, ACC), you'd have to install gates there too...

I agree with the suggestion, but I think it'll be a nightmare to implement. It would certainly be easier at stations with island platforms (like Erindale, Cooksville, Long Branch etc.), but in any case, it's a long way off.

Of course, this doesn't replace fare inspections and enforcement. Even though the London Underground has barriers at most stations, they still have a number of "revenue protection" officers that roam the system checking fares. I don't know how one would estimate the number of people not paying for train trips, but if we're going to spend money on fare gates, they should actually help increase revenue. I'm sure people would be even more frustrated with a fare increase to pay for new fare gates!

Anonymous said...

"GO should be motivated to provide people who would otherwise drive with a financially realistic option to take the train instead. This requires building parking lots."

Instead of, say, aiming to increase local transit usage? Phooey.

I sometimes drive to the train, and have occasionally used local transit. I'd be fine with paying for parking, or even paying more for local transit, if it could get me to the station when I needed to.

But right now, the focus is on the traditional GO core, not stopping people from driving -- just allowing them to drive, but closer to home.

It won't happen overnight, but if parking lots are the main focus of GO expansion, we'll see 30 storey lots instead of good local transit, and that is the wrong direction