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GO Transit EA study for Georgetown to Kitchener expansion complete

I just received the following in the mail. It's not even on GO Transit's website yet. Looks like good news all round. Short version: "Details of the preferred alternatives include these stations: Acton - Hide House; Guelph - Downtown VIA; Breslau - Greenhouse Road and Kitchener - Downtown VIA, and a layover facility at Nafziger Road, Baden."

The EA study report can be viewed in person at the following locations from July 23rd to September 7th:

I'm disappointed that, as I predicted, the nearest park-and-ride for Guelph will be in Breslau rather than at Lafarge, something we will pay dearly for down the road, but that this study recommends going right through to Kitchener downtown from the outset is very good news for transit in this region indeed.

Posted at 10:35 on July 21, 2009

This entry has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.

Column on UK vs CA rail service | transit | Column: GO service is coming to Guelph


Denis Agar writes at Tue Jul 21 18:50:44 EDT 2009...

I guess we'll just have to see about the park-n-ride situation. Personally, I think the Lafarge land is too valuable; too close to downtown to be used for parking. I'm sure you'd agree that in a perfect world, no one would need to drive their car to the train. And I agree that park-n-rides can be useful temporary measures in specific situations. But I don't think Guelph needs one. It's a dense city with an unusually good transit system, centered around a hub only minutes from the train station. To be honest, I think that the rail service will be able to compete with driving on its own merits, without having to debase itself with excessive amounts of parking.


David Graham (cdlu.net) writes at Tue Jul 21 19:05:02 EDT 2009...

Denis,

I applaud your idealism but I disagree on just about every front (which is unusual for us!), except for the bit about 'in an ideal world'.

GO ran trains to Guelph from 1990-1993. They were a failure and ultimately cancelled largely because parking was not available for those trains. The city has grown by 50% in population since then.

I know that if I were commuting to Toronto, unless I lived in the downtown core itself, even I would drive to the station given our current transit system, because while the transit system is more than adequate for commuting downtown within the city (as I currently do), it is far too slow to be useful for those planning to use it to leave town on a daily basis.

At the moment, I take an 8:26 bus to be downtown just before 9. If I wanted to take the bus to the train to Toronto, I would be taking a 6:26 bus to arrive at the train station at 6:55 for the 7:05 train to Toronto Union, arriving 8:20 -- and that's on the Via, which is measurably faster than the GO. Similarly, I wouldn't get home until after 19:30. Driving I could leave half an hour later and get home half an hour earlier.

Lafarge is, as I have demonstrated time and time again, the ideal place for a park-and-ride station in the city. I've always been in support of parking where it helps people get out of their cars, but against new road systems where it encourages people to stay in them. Lafarge is definitely the former, offering an ideal, central location with minimal disruption to residential communities.

Moreover, not all commuters live inside Guelph city limits, and for people living around highway 24, 6, or 7 outside of town in any direction, a downtown station with inadequate parking is simply a non-starter.

Now, that said, the city has committed to building no fewer than three major new parking garages in the downtown core. If other stations are anything to go by, these will be swamped once built, providing no, or negative, benefit to downtown businesses. Full lots before 8-6 aren't a lot of good to the 9-5 crowd.

Lafarge was an ideal location for a variety of reasons and its sacrifice will be to our detriment. Surely the Costco that will go there instead will be of much less social value to us than a parking lot that would allow people to stay off our major highway corridors.


Steve writes at Tue Jul 21 22:51:15 EDT 2009...

http://www.metrolinx.com/Docs/Agendas/Jul13_09/Agenda_Item9-GO_Transit_Expansion_Plans_and_Capital_Projects-P_Deck.pdf


Commuter writes at Tue Aug 11 10:30:10 EDT 2009...

Hi David,

Thanks for the great article! As a current VIA commuter I can't wait for 2011.

By the way, I looked at the Appendix B but couldn't make sense of the schedules. You point out that the new combined schedule for VIA and GO trains to Guelph will add four eastbound morning GO trains originating in Kitchener, and three additional afternoon VIA trains in each direction through Guelph between Toronto and London. Can you help make sense of the times that these trains would run?


David Graham (cdlu.net) writes at Tue Aug 11 10:51:32 EDT 2009...

Hi Commuter!

Your timing is excellent. I just posted the entire schedule in my most recent entry which I was writing at the same time as you were writing your comment.

Thanks!


Commuter writes at Tue Aug 11 10:54:34 EDT 2009...

Thank you so much! And thanks again for the great coverage. Keep it up!


CSH writes at Tue Oct 6 13:13:50 EDT 2009...

Based on your experience when (year, month) do you think we will see the first go train from Guelph to Toronto.

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