On Friday April 19th GO Transit announced that it would begin operating every 30 minutes along its Lakeshore line during off peak hours starting June 29th. This is an improvement over the 60 minute service that operated up to now.
This announcement is long overdue and has been discussed for years. The costs for doing this is $7.7 million per year, but allows people more opportunities to travel along the route.
The 30 minute service will operate between Aldershot in the west and Oshawa in the east.
A new Hamilton station, on James St. is due to open in 2015 according to the Toronto Star, and more trains will operate there potentially once that occurs.
Currently, outside of the morning and evening rush hour, trains depart Aldershot at 43 minutes past the hour, and from Oshawa at 41 minutes past the hour. Starting June 29th trains will depart Aldershot at 13 and 43 minutes past the hour, and from Oshawa at 11 and 41 minute past the hour unless GO changes the times when the new service starts. GO announced that they would provide more information in May, so we will have to see if there will be any changes to the schedules outside of the extra trains.
It is great to see this improvement to GO’s services and hope is that service will be improved on their other lines in the future, especially as the debate over transit, and transit funding, has intensified recently. But as this improvement comes before new funding sources (i.e. toll roads, regional sales taxes, etc.) are implemented and show that the Government is not only serious about improving transit but gives drivers a reason to keep their cars at home prior to any new tolls or other options are implemented. Sometimes we need to see better service before ‘transit taxes/tolls’ are implemented so people will buy into the increased costs that come with operating a reliable transit system.