In my last post, The Friday Rush, I proposed that we work with universities and colleges within GO Transit’s service area to give students PRESTO cards. Outside of Toronto and its inner suburbs, most university and college students receive a local transit pass as part of their tuition, but giving them the same discount on a PRESTO card allows students to save money on out-of-town travel as well. In addition to the benefits that the transit agency will see, this will nearly eliminate the cascading delays GO experiences every Friday when students attempt to purchase tickets on board the bus instead of from the ticket counter.
After some offline discussion amongst friends and colleagues, I would like to throw this question out to the world:
Whereas giving riders PRESTO cards will result in much higher instances of use and re-use than if riders are required to seek out and purchase the cards, would it be a good policy decision to replace single-ride GO tickets entirely with pre-loaded, pre-activated PRESTO cards?
As I sit down to write this blog post, my GO bus is about to leave the lovely Hamilton GO Centre eastbound to York University. After snaking through downtown Hamilton, the bus will arrive at McMaster University, where it will be delayed by 10 minutes or more loading the typical Friday rush of post secondary students going home for the weekend. Despite GO putting up “buy before you board” signs at stations and terminals, and despite there being ticket booths on campus, many will choose to buy their single-ride tickets from the driver – delaying service for both students and commuters alike. This situation will occur on campus and in university towns across southern Ontario, but in my opinion, it doesn’t have to be this way. Continue reading →
In addition to the kids (and myself, this time) returning to school, one of the things we can count on every September is transit service changes across the GTHA to reflect an overnight change in travel patterns. This year was no different, but two small changes this year are noteworthy. Continue reading →
The demand for housing close to transit will increase to the point where the desire to keep urban neighbourhoods stable will buckle under development pressure, while owners of homes in auto-dependent suburbs will be unable to sell their properties due to the high cost of commuting – this great upheaval is what we face if we do nothing as gasoline prices and congestion continue to increase. In my first post about building an integrated transportation network we established the baseline network of today. In this fourth post, we will look to 2020 and analyse the network as it will likely be. Continue reading →
Wednesday, the Urban_Empress and I boarded the #47 GO bus bound for downtown Hamilton, a city which many lump in with the supposedly-homogenous “905″. Shortly thereafter, another passenger boarded the same bus at Burlington Carpool Lot. But, they soon realized that they were travelling in the wrong direction. This individual got off at McMaster University for the return trip to York University, but it left us wondering what could be done to prevent this from happening. Countdown timers at stops could be helpful, but these did not stop a couple from boarding a late night bus to Brampton last week when they really wanted to go to Square One. We expect perfection from our transit agencies, but we must concede that there is a small group of people who will forget to tap their PRESTO cards, will board the wrong bus, or will miss the announcement of an upcoming service change. Continue reading →
Today, the Stouffville GO train line runs from Union Station eastward, sharing the Lakeshore line to Scarborough (Junction) GO station before turning northward. It heads due north to Unionville before snaking through Markham to the edge of the urban boundary. Eventually, the line reaches Stouffville and the terminus at Lincolnville. Bus connections extend the line to Uxbridge, and while only peak-hour train service is provided today, the construction necessary to bring all-day service to central Markham is largely complete. Continue reading →
GO Transit’s summer weekend excursion train service was never the only option for those who wanted to visit the falls but weren’t interested in driving. The joint VIA Rail / Amtrak Maple Leaf train to Toronto was always an option, as well as Greyhound and Coach Canada buses, but the GO trains (and the buses which run all year) brought the sustainable options to the front of the public consciousness. While the falls are best enjoyed in the summer, the Urban_Empress and I decided to spend Valentine’s Day alongside one of the seven wonders of Canada. Continue reading →