Friday, December 14, 2018

Why is this considered "historic"? It's GO Train service, not the invention of commuter rail into terrain that's never been traversed

News Release

Ontario Delivers Historic Weekday GO Train Service to Niagara Falls
New Morning and Evening Train Service Will Start Four Years Ahead of Schedule

December 14, 2018 11:00 A.M.

ST. CATHARINES — Ontario's Government for the People continues to deliver on its promise to get people moving faster by adding regular weekday GO train service to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines for the first time.

Today, Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation, Kinga Surma, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP Niagara West, along with Leslie Woo, Chief Planning and Development Officer, Metrolinx, visited the rail station in St. Catharines to announce that the government will introduce long-asked-for weekday GO train service to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines on the Lakeshore West line.

“Our government is keeping our promise to get people moving and make life better for everyone in Ontario by expanding GO train service to Niagara Falls,” said Yurek. “We are working with our railway partner, CN, to use the existing rail infrastructure to expand GO Transit service for people in Niagara Falls and St. Catharines four years sooner than promised.”

Beginning on January 7, 2019, people travelling by GO Transit between Niagara Falls and Toronto's Union Station will benefit from a new morning trip with an evening return every weekday. The morning train that currently starts from West Harbour station in Hamilton at 6:39 a.m. will now start in Niagara Falls at 5:19 a.m., stopping at St. Catharines before continuing on to Toronto. In the evening, the existing train from Union Station at 5:15 p.m. to West Harbour will continue on to serve St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.

“This is great news for people in Niagara Region,” said Oosterhoff. “Weekday GO train service between Niagara Falls and Toronto will help connect the region and create new business opportunities.”

“We are very excited to introduce this essential commuter rail service to this market. Regular weekday GO trains have never operated out of Niagara Falls or St. Catharines before,” said Leslie Woo, Chief Planning and Development Officer of Metrolinx. “This is new territory and a sign of more great things to come.”

“Today's announcement is a demonstration of our commitment to improving the transportation experience and getting people moving. We make every decision with the customer – the Ontario taxpayer – in mind. Our Government for the People looks forward to continuing to provide better transportation across the province,” said Yurek.

Source: Ministry of Transportation


Tal Hartsfeld said...

Finally getting around to doing some of the things they should already have been doing starting eons ago.

Meanwhile, here in Columbus Ohio U.S.A. I board a city bus at 8:45 in the morning and the seats smell downright RANK!!
I don't know how the city budget ranks in terms of funding for COTA, but one would think that it could at least put enough aside for the multiple cases of Febreze their maintenance crews could spray on the fabric seats of some of their buses.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter which party is in power, although this government is particularly enamoured with hyperbole; but there are no run-of-the-mill announcements. Every decision the government makes is to be promoted and treated with as much reverence as the Second Coming.

GO Voyageur said...

The Ontario PC’s preach cost-cutting one day and announce a money wasting scheme like this the next.

Starting Jan. 7, a near-empty 12-car GO train and a near-empty double-decker GO bus will leave Niagara Falls at 05:19. The bus will connect with the same train at Burlington station at 06:44. As documented previously on TCT, there is a $3.00 surcharge on GO train travel in and out of Niagara region. Passengers GOing to Burlington and points east on the LSW line will pay more than they did previously to get to the same place at the same time. Note, too, that the seasonal train from The Falls to Toronto deadheaded first from TO to NF. How much does an equipment movement like that cost?

Will the Ontario PC’s operate this train for one board period and then cancel it claiming it’s a money-losing venture? Or are they already maneuvering in advance of the next provincial election?

And we criticized Steven Del Duca for political meddling in the affairs of Metrolinx.

Skin Man said...

I hope I don't sleep through my stop at Aldershot....wakes up in Niagara Falls.

Ed said...

If anyone has taken the NF train already, you've probably noticed the rails and rail bed are in terrible shape and needs to be fixed. The train rocks and rolls and makes all kinds of racket going that route. When you hit the regular GO rails, it's all quiet again (relatively speaking).

I can see CN hitting up GO for track and rail bed upgrades.

That being said, I wonder just how much fare revenue if any will be generated by this route. I like the idea of expansion, but not expansion that doesn't make a dime. Courtice would have been a better expansion. I would like to see the planned rail route through Oshawa to get to the old Knob Hill Farms store. All the GM rail trails from the south to the old north plant are now bike trails so they couldn't be used.

GO Voyageur said...

IMO, the (limited) benefit of this train service is for passengers travelling between Niagara Falls / St. Catharines and Hamilton who lost their Coach Canada route four years ago…