Veterans Ride Free on Warriors’ Day

English: GO Transit train at Exhibition Station

Exhibition Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As is common practice for Warriors’ Day at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), veterans of the Canadian military ride free on many of the local transit agencies.  A veteran will be allowed to bring a companion with them.  The free ride also applies to families of deceased veterans with some agencies.

Veterans should wear their uniforms, medals, or something that would specify that he/she is a veteran.  Families of deceased veterans should bring some sort of identification. Continue reading

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Union Station’s Bay Concourse Closes

English: Union Station, Toronto

Union Station, Toronto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As of today, August 16th, 2015, GO Transit is closing its Bay Concourse at Toronto’s Union Station.  This is to allow for GO Transit and the City of Toronto to work on renovating this portion of Union Station.

Work is scheduled to take two years, however based on how the station is coming along overall, it may take longer.

During construction, passengers will be able to access the platforms either through VIA’s concourse, or through GO Transit’s new York Concourse on the west end of the lower area of Union Station.  Both the York and Bay Teamways, which both are equipped with PRESTO machines, will remain open during the construction period.

For access to platforms, the following options will be available:

VIA Concourse:  Platforms #4, #5, #8, #9, #12-#27.

York Concourse:  All platforms, except #3.

York East & West Teamways:  All platforms, except #3.

Bay East & West Teamways:  All platforms, except #3.

Access to the subway and PATH system will remain.

Let’s hope everything goes as planned and we can look forward to a new Bay Concourse in 2017!

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GO Transit Summer Service

Niagara Falls 2015 006GO Transit has started its summer excursion trains on its Barrie and Lakeshore West lines.

On Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays, GO Transit will be operating train service from Union Station to Barrie (Allandale Waterfront station), and between Union Station and Niagara Falls.

Trains on the Barrie Line operate as follows:

Northbound:

Trains depart Union Station at 12:20, 16:20, 18:20, and 22:20.  Trains will arrive at the Allandale Waterfront station in Barrie at 13:55, 17:55, 19:55, and 23:55.

Trains will make stops at York University, Rutherford, Maple, King City, Aurora, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury, Bradford, Barrie South, and Allandale Watefront.

Southbound:

Trains depart Barrie at 09:40, 14:10, 15:51, and 20:10, arriving at Union Station at 11:18, 15:48, 17:31, and 21:48.

On the Niagara Falls line, trains will operate as follows:

Friday evening:

Westbound from Union Station at 18:20, arriving in Niagara Falls at 20:24.

Eastbound from Niagara Falls at 20:40, arriving at Union Station at 22:44.

On Saturday, Sundays, and holiday Mondays, trains will operate as follows:

Westbound:

Departing Union Station at 09:00, 16:18, and 20:00, arriving in Niagara Falls at 11:04, 18:22, and 22:14.

Eastbound

Departing Niagara Falls at 08:30, 11:30, 19:20, and 22:30, and arriving at Union Station at 10:34, 13:34, 21:21, and 00:34.

Trains operating to and from Niagara Falls will only stop at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington, and St. Catharines.

 

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TTC to make Tokens & Tickets Obsolete

English: The token used by the TTC between 197...

The token used by the TTC between 1975-2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has announced that it will be making tokens and tickets obsolete sometime in 2017.  The TTC has announced that its whole fleet – buses, streetcars, and subway stations – will have PRESTO readers by the end of 2016.

The TTC also announced that the PRESTO card will also enable the elimination of the Day Pass currently offered by the TTC.

Ticket and Token sales will tentatively stop at the end of 2016, but will be accepted as payment until sometime in 2017.

Also on plan is to all passengers to pay by credit or debit card as well.

PRESTO card

PRESTO card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also, current TTC employees who work in the ticket booths at subway stations will become Station Attendants and will assist passengers at stations with using ticket machines or assist with inquiries.

I do have some concerns with this procedure:

1)  How will this affect fares?  While it is assumed that PRESTO will operate on the TTC as it does on other systems whereby regular users will see reduced fares (that would bring the total costs to users to those of the current Metropasses.)

2)  What will occur with Day Passes.  While the PRESTO card will eventually have a maximum daily rate equivalent to a day pass, under the current system those using a day pass can bring another adult, or a couple teenage children, with them for free on weekends, how will this occur in the future?  Removing this option only increases costs for passengers, not encourages passengers using the system.

3)  What about the occasional user, like a tourist for example.  What options will they have other then use a credit or debit card?  And what if it is not accepted?  Tourists are not likely to spend $6 on a PRESTO card that they may only use on a single trip to Toronto, especially if they are only visiting the city for a short period of time.

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Reduced GO Train Service on June 20th, 2015

GO Transit train west of Union Station.

GO Transit train west of Union Station.

GO Transit has announced that it is reducing service along the Lakeshore West line on Saturday June 20th, 2015.  Instead of 30 minute service, trains will only operate every hour.

GO buses will still operate on their regular service, as does the Lakeshore East line.  However, passengers travelling westbound may have to wait up to 30 minutes at Union Station as only every other GO train will continue west of Union Station. Continue reading

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Decreased Service on GO Transit’s Lakeshore East Line

English: GO Transit engine #558, an EMD F59PH ...

GO Transit engine #558, an EMD F59PH III diesel locomotive, approaches a level crossing at Galloway Road as it pulls its train east from Guildwood station on Lakeshore East line service in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This weekend, June 12th to 15th, 2015, GO Transit will only be providing hourly train service on their Lakeshore East line between Union Station and Oshawa.

The decrease in service starts with the cancelling of the 7:08 p.m. westbound trip from Oshawa and the 7:48 p.m. eastbound GO train from Union Station on Friday June 12th.  Normal service levels will return Monday June 15th with the first scheduled eastbound and westbound trips.

30 minute service remains on the Lakeshore West line.  There will also be two extra trains on Saturday and Sunday heading eastbound from Exhibition at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. making all stops to Oshawa for people attending the Honda Indy.

The reduction in service is to allow GO Transit to install two pedestrian tunnels under Eglinton station to make the station fully accessible.

To see the schedule for the Lakeshore East line this weekend, please check here.

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No Subway Service from St. Clair. W. to Downsview Stations

The Toronto Transit Commission's St. Clair Wes...

The Toronto Transit Commission’s St. Clair West station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The TTC has announced that there will be no subway service between St. Clair West station and Downsview station on the Yonge-University-Spadina (YUS) line this weekend – May 30th and 31st, 2015.

During the closure, buses will replace the subway service.  Wheel-Trans will offer an accessible bus between St. George station and Downsview for those with disabilities.  Simply as a TTC employee for assistance. Continue reading

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