Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Locale||Greater Toronto Area|
|Years of operation||1967 – Present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8½ in (1435 mm)|
GO Transit, officially known as the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GTTA), is Canada's first, and Ontario's only, interregional public transit system, established to link Toronto with the surrounding regions of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). GO carries 45 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services. Since it began regular passenger service in May 1967, more than three-quarters of a billion people have taken GO trains and buses.
GO trains are easily identifiable; they are double-decked, green and white, and the cars are shaped like elongated octagons. These Bombardier BiLevel carriages were originally designed for GO in the 1970s, and are now used by a number of other commuter railways across the continent. GO buses are not double-decked (though the agency is considering buying double-decker buses for use on some high-traffic routes), but they are also characterised by a green and white colour scheme. Most GO buses are inter-city coaches.
GO trains and buses serve a population of five million in an 8,000-square-kilometre area (3,000 square miles) radiating from downtown Toronto to Hamilton and Guelph in the west; Orangeville, Barrie, and Beaverton to the north; and Port Perry, Oshawa, and Newcastle in the east. The buses extend GO's service as far as 100 kilometres (over 60 miles) from downtown Toronto. GO connects with every municipal transit system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, including the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
The Greater Toronto Area consists of the City of Toronto and the surrounding Regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham. GO Transit also serves the neighbouring City of Hamilton, and reaches into Simcoe, Dufferin, and Wellington Counties.
There are seven train routes, which all depart from Toronto's Union Station:
At peak rush-hour periods, train service is available at all stations.
In weekday off-peak hours, trains run only on the Lakeshore between Oshawa in the east and Burlington in the west, and on the Georgetown line between Union Station in the east and Bramalea in the west. On weekends, trains run only between Pickering in the east and Oakville in the west. Bus connections extend the Lakeshore service to Newcastle in the east and Hamilton in the west.
Off-peak GO Bus service between Union Station and other railway stations (train-buses) give passengers more choice when travelling to and from downtown Toronto before and after rush hour when the trains aren’t running, even on weekends.
Many municipal transit systems connect with GO Trains. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) provides the most connections with GO Trains and convenient connections can be made between the trains and TTC buses, streetcars, and subway trains. Immediately adjacent to the GO concourse at Union Station is the Union station on the TTC's Yonge-University Spadina subway line. Connections at Union Station with the TTC's Harbourfront (509) and Spadina (510) streetcar lines are also possible.
Three stations on the TTC's Bloor-Danforth subway line and one on the Sheppard line are close to GO Train stations. TTC Kipling has a direct connection to GO Kipling (on GO's Milton line), TTC Dundas West is near GO Bloor (Georgetown line), and TTC Main Street is near GO Danforth (on the Lakeshore East line). The TTC Leslie station does not currently connect with the nearby GO Oriole station on the Richmond Hill line, but there has lately been consideration of moving GO Oriole next to TTC Leslie Station in the future.
GO runs 178 train trips and 1,166 bus trips daily, carrying about 170,000 passengers on a typical weekday — 145,000 on the trains and 25,000 by bus. GO says that their ridership growth has continually exceeded expectations. In the first year of operations, 2.5 million passengers were carried. The combined rail and bus system today handles more than 45 million riders annually.
GO Transit was created and funded by the provincial government in 1967 as Government of Ontario Transit (hence the acronym 'GO') and was financed entirely by the Province of Ontario until the end of 1997. The Province subsidized any operating costs that were not recovered through revenue, as well as all capital costs. Responsibility for the system was then transferred to the Toronto Area Transportation Operating Authority (TATOA) and later to the Greater Toronto Services Board as part of the province's 'downloading' initiative, before finally returning to province as a Crown Agency under Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GTTA).
GO began as a three-year experiment in May 1967 running single-deck diesel multiple units on a single rail line along Lake Ontario's shoreline. Lakeshore GO trains carried 2.5 million riders that first year and was considered to be a success. GO Bus service, which started out as an extension of the original Lakeshore train line, has since become a full-fledged network in its own right. It feeds the rail service and serves communities that trains do not reach.
In January 1997, the province announced it would hand over funding responsibility for GO Transit to the Greater Toronto Area municipalities (which consist of the City of Toronto, and the Regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham) as well as the neighbouring Region of Hamilton-Wentworth (which became the new City of Hamilton on 1 January 2001). In exchange, the province would assume certain other funding responsibilities from municipal governments.
A year later, on 1 January 1998, the GTA municipalities and Hamilton-Wentworth (now the city of Hamilton) began to fund GO Transit, cost-sharing all of GO's capital expenses and any operating costs that are not recovered through passenger fares and other revenue. On 1 January 1999, a new municipal agency created by the province came into being: the Greater Toronto Services Board (GTSB), composed of regional chairs, municipal mayors, and local councillors from the GTSB's service area. GO Transit transferred over to the municipal sector as an arm of the GTSB on August 7, 1999, thus completing the process that had begun with the funding change of 1998.
On September 27, 2001, Ontario Premier Mike Harris announced that the Provincial government would be taking back responsibility for GO Transit, and putting $3 billion into public transit in Ontario. For the practically impoverished GO, it was a welcome funding commitment.
The GO Transit Act, 2001 was passed by the Ontario Legislature on December 5, 2001. As of January 1, 2002, GO Transit is no longer the responsibility of the municipalities of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton. GO has returned to provincial responsibility as a Crown Corporation, and the Greater Toronto Services Board no longer exists.
GO Transit has a ten-year plan in place, which includes provisions for new train stations, more parking spaces at existing stations, and increasing service on some (or all) existing train lines. While no new train lines are being planned, here are some of the improvements being planned, or in the process of completion:
- Construction of the Mount Pleasant Station on the Georgetown line (Highway 7 and Creditview Road) continues, but the station is now open for service.
- Expanding the Highway 407 bus service to York University
- Increasing available parking spaces at Bradford, Milliken, Milton and Stouffville stations.
- Construction of a new Kennedy station, which will allow for transfers to/from the TTC (Bloor-Danforth Line, Scarborough RT or connecting TTC bus services) slated to open for service by June, 2005.
- Improved overnight train storage facilities at Bradford, Milton, Richmond Hill and Hamilton; permitting GO Transit to operate longer trains, improve train schedule reliability add new train trips.
- Installation of railway crossing protection arms at various roads.
- Improving accessibility to GO Transit's services for the physically challenged.
- Fleet expansion, including buses and Bombardier Bi-Level Rail Cars, and the replacement of old locomotives with more reliable and powerful models; permitting more train and bus trips, along with longer trainsets.
- Extending platforms at several Lakeshore and Milton Corridor stations to permit 12-car train sets by 2008.
- Adding a new station on the Milton Corridor, located near Highway 401 and Winston Churchill Boulevard in Mississauga, named Lisgar, which will open in 2007.
Larger-scale infrastructure improvements are also being planned, including:
- Rail-to-rail grade separations where the Bradford and Stouffville lines cross CN's east-west freight line, to allow for increased service, and at the "West Toronto diamond," to take the CN tracks under the CP tracks so that more trains can run more reliably
- Increased track capacity on the Georgetown line's busy section between Brampton and northwest Toronto to allow more frequent train movements
- Track upgrades on the Milton line to run more peak and off-peak trains
- A third track from Mississauga to Burlington on the Lakeshore West line, and one from downtown Toronto to Scarborough on the Lakeshore East, to facilitate improved schedule reliability and increased service on the Lakeshore and Stouffville corridors
- Improvements to Union Station to increase passenger access and capacity-handling
Expansions beyond GO's present service area — initatives that are part of the project funding announcements made by the Ontario and the Canadian federal governments, including:
- Extending the Bradford line train service to the Barrie area, using track corridor owned by the City of Barrie
- Introducing commuter bus services to Peterborough, to Niagara Region, and to Guelph and Waterloo Region to build the market for train service
GO is also developing a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that will provide extensive east-to-west express service across the GTA, using transit priority measures and park-and-ride stations with links to local transit. GO's already popular Highway 407 Express buses are the BRT's precursor, showing that demand for such service is already there.
Vehicle: 211 buses, 45 locomotives, 314 coaches (2000) Employees: 1,193 (1991)
Source: Toronto Region, Ontario http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/alltime/toronto-suburbs-on.html
- GMDD EMD E9A locomotive
- GMDD F59PH I locomotive
- GMDD F59PH II locomotive
- GMDD F59PH III locomotive
- GMDD F59PH IV locomotive
- GMDD GP40TC locomotive
- GMDD GP40-2L locomotive
- GMDD F40PHs locomotive
- GMDD GP40U locomotive
- GMDD F59PH locomotive
- Hawker-Siddley RTC-85SP Single level self propel unit
- UTDC Bi-level I coach
- UTDC Bi-level II coach
- UTDC Bi-level III coach
- UTDC Bi-level IV coach
- UTDC Bi-level V coach
- UTDC/Bombardier Bi-level VI coach
- Bombardier Bi-level VII coach
- Tri-Rail Bi-level coach - leased
- West Coast Express Bi-level coach - leased
- GM T8H-5307A
- GM S8H-5304A
- OBI Orion 01.508
- OBI Orion 05.501
- MCI MC9
- MCI 102A2
- MCI 102A3
- MCI 102C3
- New Flyer D40S
- Prevost LeMirage XL40
- MCI 4500
- Gray Coach Lines - defunct
- Charterways Transportation Limited
- Penetang-Midland Coach Lines (PMCL)
- Brampton Bus Terminal
- Finch Bus Terminal - former GO York Region Terminal
- Newmarket Bus Terminal
- Oshawa Bus Terminal
- Scarborough Town Centre Bus Terminal
- Union Station / Bus Terminal
- Yorkdale Bus Terminal
- York University GO Station (Bradford Line) - off campus
- Willowbrook Yard
- North Bathurst Yard 1987 - formerly of CN
- Guelph Junction (Milton)
- Steeprock Bus Garage 1979 - stores 100 buses, 50 bus staging areas, 12 bus repair bays
- CN MacMillan Yard
- East Region Office - Middlefield Road and McCowan Road.
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