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It looks like there’s not much happening this January. As far as the bus service changes go, there’s only schedule adjustments, the usual seasonal reinstatement of Highway 407 and university (Mac, UW/WLU) runs, and a few cuts to buses, such as those that weren’t cut when the Kitchener Line trains were restored. There are a few minor cuts elsewhere, it’s very much a reallocation rather than an overall increase.


Mx's Board and Executive, and the gov't ought to be embarrassed at not even having comprehensive restoration of hours in place at this point, let alone long overdue improvements!
 
Hello All:

This is my proposal for go buses classifications/ ideal routing:

Generally:
-Regional buses are meant to be used when it is infeasible to use trains
-Also supposed to supplement regional trains
-Buses meant to be time competitive with trains and car (1.5X time of car max)
-Generally most "city of Toronto" Stations not served except union station and subway stations


6 main types of GO buses:

1. GO "insert corridor name" Corridor bus
-Serves every regional rail station on the corridor (not serving City of Toronto stations).
- Any important destination that happens to be on the way to be served ( city centres or universities) but not going out of the way to serve them.
- Any higher order transit(metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served
-Basically A rail replacement bus
- 0 transfers from any given stop stop to Toronto

2. GO "insert corridor name" Corridor Express bus
-Serves important regional rail stations (not serving City of Toronto stations).(or ones that are easiest to reach and require few detours)
- important destinations that happen to be on the way will not be served unless deemed highly important (city centres or universities) but not going out of the way to serve them.
- only most important higher order transit(metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served
- 0 transfers from any given stop to Toronto


3. GO "insert corridor name" Corridor Long Distance bus
-Serves every regional rail station on the corridor up to a certain point then skips all stops until destination (not servicing City of Toronto stations).
- Any important destination that happens to be on the way (up until a certain point) to be served ( city centres or universities) going out of the way to serve them in the far away areas.
- Any higher order transit (metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served (up until a certain point)
- 0 transfers from any given stop to Toronto


4. GO "insert corridor name" Corridor Long Distance express bus
- Serves important regional rail stations up to a certain point then skips all stops until destination. (not serving City of Toronto stations)
- important destinations that happen to be on the way will be served (city centres or universities) going out of the way to serve them in further away areas.
- important higher order transit (metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served (up until a certain point)
- 0 transfers from any given stop to Toronto

5. GO "Future Corridor" Corridor bus
-Serves some future station candidate spots on the corridor (not serving City of Toronto stations).
- Any important destination that happens to be on the way to be served ( city centres or universities) but not going out of the way to serve them.
- Any higher order transit(metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served
- used to gauge demand for future rail
- 0 transfers from any given stop to Toronto



6. GO "insert non - radial highway" Corridor bus
-Serves destinations on the corridor (not serving City of Toronto stations).
- Any important destination that happens to be on the way to be served ( city centres or universities, or Park and Rides) but not going out of the way to serve them.
- Any higher order transit(metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served
- uses HOV lanes to boost speed
- gauges demand for future REM like service
- multiples transfers may be needed from stop to destination

7. GO "insert non radial road" Corridor bus
- travels on non-radial roads but not highways. travels between population centers and stations
-Serves destinations on the corridor (not serving City of Toronto stations).
- Any important destination that happens to be on the way to be served ( city centres or universities, or Park and Rides) but not going out of the way to serve them.
- Any higher order transit(metro, BRT, LRT) that happens to be on the way to be served
- multiples transfers may be needed from stop to destination
 
None of this is necessary. There's a crossover at Lancaster street east of the station, which GO already uses in order to access Shirley Yard, which is on the north side of the tracks. From that switch eastward to the end of double track is 2.8 km, which is enough to schedule a meet with relatively little delay.

Switch at Lancaster Street
View attachment 446581

Green segment is double-tracked, dots indicate switches.
View attachment 446580

But this discussion is moot anyway because they are building passing tracks in Guelph and Breslau as we speak, which are both better located than this one.

I ignored that section because more often than not CN leaves a line of cars parked in it just east of the expressway. I suspect the GO trains in the 4 eastern storage tracks have to depart eastbound and then reverse back to the station. Stupidly there's no facing point switch for trains departing that yard westbound until the one you highlighted west of Lancaster, blocked off from the storage yard by that line of parked freight cars.
 
I think there are benefits from a GO train stop at the Kitchener boardwalk. @KevinT I know you are from Kitchener do you have any thoughts

Justification:
1. Municipality owned land at the boardwalk
2. Major bus terminal in the vicinity
3. significant density coming in in that area
ex
1671726454677.png

4. Was in the consideration be the terminal of Kitchener go in 2009
5. Scheduled to be Terminus of ION stage 3 BRT( in 20 year Ontario transit plan)
6. 5 kms from Kitchener go - > enough tine to accelerate
 
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I think there are benefits from a GO train stop at the Kitchener boardwalk. @KevinT I know you are from Kitchener do you have any thoughts

Justification:
1. Municipality owned land at the boardwalk
2. Major bus terminal in the vicinity
3. significant density coming in in that area
ex View attachment 446800
4. Was in the consideration be the terminal of Kitchener go in 2009
5. Scheduled to be Terminus of ION stage 3 BRT( in 20 year Ontario transit plan)
6. 5 kms from Kitchener go - > enough tine to accelerate
Right now there is a homeless encampment full of homeless people doing crack. It's not a good image for the downtown of any major city.
 
It looks like there’s not much happening this January. As far as the bus service changes go, there’s only schedule adjustments, the usual seasonal reinstatement of Highway 407 and university (Mac, UW/WLU) runs, and a few cuts to buses, such as those that weren’t cut when the Kitchener Line trains were restored. There are a few minor cuts elsewhere, it’s very much a reallocation rather than an overall increase.

The adjustments are small but very much needed. The last timetable change was only for trains, which broke many of the timed transfers between trains and buses. This reconciles them again.
 
There's way more service on the entire 407 corridor in general. Extra weekday trips for the 41 between UTSC-Sq One, 56 getting 30 min day service back, and a couple additional trips on the 52. Combined service between Trafalgar/407-RHC and Oshawa-407 Station will be even more frequent than ever. Then there's the 30 min day weekend service on the 47 which is a much needed benefit as it gets really packed when it leaves McMaster at times, and combined service between Hamilton-407 station will be more frequent as well. This is probably the only corridor that has seen a huge improvement out of the changes.
 
I think there are benefits from a GO train stop at the Kitchener boardwalk. @KevinT I know you are from Kitchener do you have any thoughts

Justification:
1. Municipality owned land at the boardwalk
2. Major bus terminal in the vicinity
3. significant density coming in in that area
ex View attachment 446800
4. Was in the consideration be the terminal of Kitchener go in 2009
5. Scheduled to be Terminus of ION stage 3 BRT( in 20 year Ontario transit plan)
6. 5 kms from Kitchener go - > enough tine to accelerate
Agreed.

In the long run Breslau probably has more strategic potential if we consider greenfield development but Boardwalk would do a lot more in the next 10-15 years.

Honestly the projects should probably be paired.
 
Based on @anb 's comment about 407 bus services, I made a consolidated timetable for the 407 West corridor (Hamilton - Square One - RHC). These routes are spread across 3 timetables in on GO's website (tables 40, 41 and 54).

The frequencies seem pretty similar to pre-pandemic.

During the AM Peak, service between Square One and Hwy 407 is generally every 10 minutes or better.
407Wa.PNG


During the midday, service is also typically every 10 minutes or better, thanks to some extra services out of McMaster
407Wb.PNG


During the PM Peak, service remains frequent.
407Wc.PNG


It's only after midnight that headways start to exceed 25 minutes. There is 24/7 service along the corridor, with route 40 running hourly overnight.
407Wd.PNG


Many buses continue beyond RHC to the 407 East or 401 East corridors.

In addition to the routes shown in the timetable, the following services also provide overlapping service:
- Route 25 between Erin Mills and Square One
- Route 29 between Erin Mills and Renforth
- Route 48 between Bramalea and 407
- Route 54 between 407 and RHC

The full spreadsheet is available here.
 
Based on @anb 's comment about 407 bus services, I made a consolidated timetable for the 407 West corridor (Hamilton - Square One - RHC). These routes are spread across 3 timetables in on GO's website (tables 40, 41 and 54).

The frequencies seem pretty similar to pre-pandemic.

During the AM Peak, service between Square One and Hwy 407 is generally every 10 minutes or better.
View attachment 447104

During the midday, service is also typically every 10 minutes or better, thanks to some extra services out of McMaster
View attachment 447103

During the PM Peak, service remains frequent.
View attachment 447102

It's only after midnight that headways start to exceed 25 minutes. There is 24/7 service along the corridor, with route 40 running hourly overnight.
View attachment 447101

Many buses continue beyond RHC to the 407 East or 401 East corridors.

In addition to the routes shown in the timetable, the following services also provide overlapping service:
- Route 25 between Erin Mills and Square One
- Route 29 between Erin Mills and Renforth
- Route 48 between Bramalea and 407
- Route 54 between 407 and RHC

The full spreadsheet is available here.
This is amazing - GO's bus services are usually a massive pain to understand because of all the separate timetable documents for each route.

What's worse, it's not even easy to know which timetables to check because the official system map is completely useless for looking for GO bus routes, so you basically just have to open lots of timetables and look at the route maps to even check if the route is useful to you. I think most GO bus riders probably just blindly follow Google maps or whatever and have a next to no understanding of where any routes actually go apart from the routes they regularly use. Most riders of other systems probably at least have a vague idea of where service goes.

Does anyone know of any unofficial maps that exist that actually depict all GO bus routes? Such a map really needs to exist.
 

CN has lost a major customer on the Fergus Spur. As a result, the job which services the line is no longer based in Cambridge. Abandonment is likely around the corner which means that GO service to Cambridge by this route is likely off the menu.

IMO, extending the Milton line has always been the better option as busses would likely be better suited to Cambridge - Guelph journies and connections with the Kitchener Line.
 
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CN has lost a major customer on the Fergus Spur. As a result, the job which services the line is no longer based in Cambridge. Abandonment is likely around the corner which means that GO service to Cambridge by this route is likely off the menu.

IMO, extending the Milton line has always been the better option as busses would likely be better suited to Cambridge - Guelph journies and connections with the Kitchener Line.

Interesting news, but I don't understand your conclusion.

Surely CN abandoning the Fergus spur makes the Guelph to Cambridge routing more attractive to Metrolinx, not less. Metrolinx would have fewer conflicts (CN operations) to GO service on that corridor, and potentially lower capital costs too.
 
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Interesting news, but I don't understand your conclusion.

Surely CN abandoning the Fergus spur makes the Guelph to Cambridge routing more attractive to Metrolinx, not less. Metrolinx would have fewer conflicts (CN operations) to GO service on that corridor, and potentially lower capital costs too.
Operational conflicts with freight are not really a concern with this project. The problem comes from the fact that since Cambridge GO service is not an immediate priority, neither Metrolinx or the region of Waterloo are likely to purchase the RoW leading to it being redeveloped in pieces.
 
This is amazing - GO's bus services are usually a massive pain to understand because of all the separate timetable documents for each route.

What's worse, it's not even easy to know which timetables to check because the official system map is completely useless for looking for GO bus routes, so you basically just have to open lots of timetables and look at the route maps to even check if the route is useful to you. I think most GO bus riders probably just blindly follow Google maps or whatever and have a next to no understanding of where any routes actually go apart from the routes they regularly use. Most riders of other systems probably at least have a vague idea of where service goes.

Thanks!

The challenge with mapping GO's bus routes is that they're so variable. In my timetables you can see that the service patterns vary quite significantly over the day. Route 45 only runs in the morning and afternoon, meanwhile routes 47G and 47D only run in the afternoon and evening. This variation is very useful as it allows GO to closely match service patterns to travel patterns.

Inevitably, many of the service customizations make the routes less intuitive. For example, a few years ago they started through-running many of the 407 East and 407 West bus routes. This is definitely an improvement for passengers, since it cuts down transfers, but it made the timetables a mess. Instead of one 407 East timetable and two for 407 West (route 40 always had its own timetable for some reason), there are now 3 for 407 west and 2 for 407 East.

However, there are certainly some improvements GO could do to service legibility, without actually changing the routes. For example, Routes 56 and 41/47 are shown on different timetables (tables 54 and 41 respectively) despite effectively being branches of the same route. During the midday, the two routes are blended to provide a 15-minute service from Oakville Park & Ride to Richmond Hill Centre via Square One, Bramalea and Hwy 407 Station.
Capture5.PNG

They should include route 56 in table 41 so people can actually see the regular 15-minute service in one place.

Meanwhile route 48 should be removed from table 41 and given its own timetable since it has only shares the corridor for a single stop (Bramalea - 407 Stn) and adds it a lot of unnecessary clutter.

They also could rationalize route numbers and letters. Services which pimarily follow the same route should have the same number, and routes which have little in common should have different numbers. Route 21 could probably use a second route number to help cut down on the alphabet soup. For example, most of the services to Square One and Lisgar are independent from the services to Meadowvale and Milton.
Capture2.PNG


Meanwhile routes 41 and 47 are actually the same route - route 47 is just a short turn branch. They could instead be 41 and 41B for example.
Capture1.PNG

They could also use some rationalisation of branch letters. It could be useful to have some trends in letter choices, similar to how the TTC used to reserve the letters E and F for express branches. This would help make branch letters easier to remember. For example 25C could have been 25E.
Capture4.PNG


They should also eliminate redundant letters, like the TTC has done. Branches which merge together and run to a common terminus don't need different branch numbers, since nobody boarding the bus needs to distinguish between them. For example westbound routes 41 and 47 could both just be "41".
Capture3.PNG

Does anyone know of any unofficial maps that exist that actually depict all GO bus routes? Such a map really needs to exist.
I did try making some service maps a few years ago: Here is a map of the weekend service from 2017:
GO2017.png

I made the map specifically for the weekend service because the service patterns are simpler and more consistent than on weekdays. On weekdays you'd need a map for early mornings, then a different one one for the AM Peak, another one for early midday, another one for late midday, one for PM Peak, one for early evening, and one for late evening/overnight.
 
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