Remember GO Transit? The commuter train that you often don’t want to book for.
Toronto- and Hamilton-area commuters are spurning GO’s new 27-hour trip between Toronto and London, Ont., saying the train is carrying fewer people than a half-full TTC bus.
Going by the Simon Goodman Facebook group, where commuters of GO trains are having their say, the new service is barely carrying 15 per cent of GO’s normal ridership. “I have not been to London this morning and the line is barely any longer than the one I’m on,” one person commented.
“Today has been TERRIBLE. Not only has it been very short … but there are many empty seats and many commuting from all around our region are cutting back,” wrote another.
Another person in the same group wrote that GO’s arrival “could be dangerous … traffic has never been worse in my lifetime so if people who work in London can’t get to work they are in danger of driving their vehicles.”
About two years ago, the Canadian Press reported that the average trip on GO’s 58 daily trains takes 46.4 minutes, one of the slowest average daily trains in North America. A major initiative to improve the service has been a series of electric locomotives.
Nancy Gray, head of the Greater Toronto Transit Commission, told the Canadian Press that GO had “robust” data showing that GO was matching the average speeds of its electric locomotives.
Other passengers have praised the service. “It is better than boarding a TTC bus or riding the city’s buses in rush hour and wait at least 15 minutes for the next one,” another commenter said.
The Canada-wide average wait for a bus is 41 minutes, according to the Toronto Transit Commission. By contrast, GO is last for bus average waits.
Well, here’s a little fun fact: GO’s 32-hour trip between Toronto and Montreal is believed to be the longest, and the service is sometimes criticized by Montrealers for “over-serving” its crowds, especially in the summer.
However, GO’s new trip from Toronto to London is coming at a price: Users will pay about 45 Canadian dollars more for the longer train, compared to bus fare. In the course of one day, Toronto costs would increase by about 45 percent, unless the current traffic woes are somehow worked out.