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I don't think it needs to break even either. We never have the expectations for roads to break even.

Yes but taxpayers should not be subsidizing tourism to Niagara Falls. Unfortunately as many of us know that train is overloaded with people that the Falls cannot easily support.
 
GO has sneakily removed the $15 weekend pass from their website. That's too bad...sometimes I'd get the weekend pass even though I only needed a day pass, so that I could go to more places on the 2nd/3rd day.

That's a shame. Regular GO fares remain terribly expensive compared to driving from my end of the GTA, more so once I add a travel companion or two.
 
Yes but taxpayers should not be subsidizing tourism to Niagara Falls. Unfortunately as many of us know that train is overloaded with people that the Falls cannot easily support.
Taxpayers subsidise so many offensive wastes of money, I'm not sure a tourist train should be anywhere near the top of the list of things to be upset about.
 
Yes but taxpayers should not be subsidizing tourism to Niagara Falls. Unfortunately as many of us know that train is overloaded with people that the Falls cannot easily support.

As soon as there are tolls on the QEW, you will have a point.

Level playing field.
 
The question is not whether transit should be subsidized. The question is whether the best use of transit subsidies is to provide absurdly cheap weekend getaways to Niagara Falls, rather than making GO Transit actually affordable for travel within the GTA and for travel between cities near each other, like Kitchener and Guelph.

The issue is the use of a flat rate regardless of distance. $10 for a 260 km round trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls is $0.04/km, which is absurdly cheap. $10 for a 34 km round trip from Downsview Park to Union is $0.29/km, which is just as expensive per km as driving your own personal vehicle (excluding parking).
 
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The question is not whether transit should be subsidized. The question is whether the best use of transit subsidies is to provide absurdly cheap weekend getaways to Niagara Falls, rather than making GO Transit actually affordable for travel within the GTA and for travel between cities near each other, like Kitchener and Guelph.

The issue is the use of a flat rate regardless of distance. $10 for a 260 km round trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls is $0.04/km, which is absurdly cheap. $10 for a 34 km round trip from Downsview Park to Union is $0.29/km, which is just as expensive per km as driving your own personal vehicle (excluding parking).

Essentially agree with you; though would add........

I think it depends on which budget the Niagara subsidy comes from; if it comes from the Ministry of Tourism, then I think that works fine.

Its a comparatively cheap investment in total dollars, and the spin off in sales tax revenue and/or casino earnings, on average, more than covers that cost.

By contrast, a weekday commute, in most cases, occurs whether or not the fare is reasonable; which means there is not the same net economic spinoff and revenue recovery.

Of course, this is not entirely true, as expensive daily commutes can determine where people live and what jobs they obtain, and therefore can carry benefits and consequences both personal and social. These, however, are probably more challenging to measure.
 
Essentially agree with you; though would add........

I think it depends on which budget the Niagara subsidy comes from; if it comes from the Ministry of Tourism, then I think that works fine.

Its a comparatively cheap investment in total dollars, and the spin off in sales tax revenue and/or casino earnings, on average, more than covers that cost.
Sure, if the Ministry of Tourism wants to subsidize Niagara trips from their own budget that's wonderful, as long as that subsidy actually gets used to address the catastrophic overcrowding that WEGO faces everytime a train dumps 1700 people at Niagara Falls station. For example, trains to Niagara should be limited to 8 coaches max, and to provide the necessary capacity during the summer additional round trips will be required (notably a second trip from Toronto to NF in the morning).

Personally I doubt there would be enough economic benefit to justify that level of subsidy, given that even if they doubled the cost of the train it would still be cheaper than any of the alternatives, and the ridership loss would likely be quite modest. I suspect that there was some form of tourism subsidy for the GO+WEGO packages people used to use before the $10 weekend pass and eliminating that double-fare seems like a good use of tourism-supporting funds.
By contrast, a weekday commute, in most cases, occurs whether or not the fare is reasonable; which means there is not the same net economic spinoff and revenue recovery.

Of course, this is not entirely true, as expensive daily commutes can determine where people live and what jobs they obtain, and therefore can carry benefits and consequences both personal and social. These, however, are probably more challenging to measure.
The question of weekday commutes is irrelevant to the discussion of a weekend day pass.
 
Sure, if the Ministry of Tourism wants to subsidize Niagara trips from their own budget that's wonderful, as long as that subsidy actually gets used to address the catastrophic overcrowding that WEGO faces everytime a train dumps 1700 people at Niagara Falls station. For example, trains to Niagara should be limited to 8 coaches max, and to provide the necessary capacity during the summer additional round trips will be required (notably a second trip from Toronto to NF in the morning).

We're not in disagreement.

The question of weekday commutes is irrelevant to the discussion of a weekend day pass.

I was specifically addressing your comparison to a less subsidized, shorter, 'commuter route' as alternative way to spend subsidy.

And again, I agree with you; I was simply pointing out that the specific benefit lowering the cost of that alternate route may harder to define. (hotel occupancy, and retail sales in NF are by comparison easy to quantify)
 
I was specifically addressing your comparison to a less subsidized, shorter, 'commuter route' as alternative way to spend subsidy.

And again, I agree with you; I was simply pointing out that the specific benefit lowering the cost of that alternate route may harder to define. (hotel occupancy, and retail sales in NF are by comparison easy to quantify)
And I'm pointing out that trips within the GTA are not 'commuter routes' on the weekend, they have a major recreational function just like the trip to Niagara Falls. People head to downtown Toronto to see sports games, theatres, go shopping, visit friends, go to the pub, etc.

For clear evidence of how important fares are to intra-GTA ridership, just look at the weekend ridership from the inner 905 to downtown via the subway, compared to GO Transit. Sure, the subway is more frequent, but it's also much slower and less comfortable, so that doesn't explain the entire discrepancy. The remainder of the difference is attributable to the high cost of riding GO Transit, especially when you need to connect to the TTC for your last mile. On those trips, taking the GO train is more than double the cost of taking the subway.

Screenshot 2023-11-30 at 15.28.30.png
 
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And I'm pointing out that trips within the GTA are not 'commuter routes' on the weekend, they have a major recreational function just like the trip to Niagara Falls. People head to downtown Toronto to see sports games, theatres, go shopping, visit friends, go to the pub, etc.

Fair.

I think its probably still much harder to measure the impact.

For argument's sake, we cut the cost of weekend service on the GO Barrie Corridor from Downsview Park to Union (which I'm all in favour of)......

Can we measure the tangible impact on retail sales or restaurant sales or sales of Jays tickets?

I suspect the data would be very hard to pull out.

One would have to show a net uptick; which also presumes that people willing/able to go to these things are currently taking a pass due to the price of said fare, as opposed to driving or taking TTC.

That's not a suggestion that we shouldn't lower than fare/increase that subsidy; just that it would be harder to pull that from a tourism envelope.
 
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