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Combined London and Middlesex County have well over half a million people. And we're talking about a single bus route running 4x per day as a major accomplishment? It's hilariously ridiculous. Are expectations for transit that poor in London that y'all see this as a big win?
Part of the problem is London is still a very car centric city. St Thomas, even more so. So, any improvements are a great thing. TBH, if GO was not so Toronto focused, This area could have seen intercity commuter bus by now.It could have even seen a GO train Connecting in from places like St Thomas, Kitchener,Brantford/Hamilton,Sarnia and Windsor areas. Obviously, they need to start with something and a 4x a day bus is a great start. The London GO failed most likely due to not getting into Union by 9am and not leaving after 5pm.
 
Part of the problem is London is still a very car centric city.

Well aware. My wife is from London and we're there every holiday. My FIL owns a business across the street from Covent Gardens. Well aware of what's being built there. Which is why I think talking about this one bus route is ridiculous.

TBH, if GO was not so Toronto focused,
GO (despite the name) was setup and is designed as a regional transit service for the GTHA. It doesn't exist, nor is it mandated, to run random transit services throughout the province.

The London GO failed most likely due to not getting into Union by 9am and not leaving after 5pm.

The London GO experiment failed because it was a limited frequency offering that took 4 hrs to get to/from Toronto. Faster and easier to take Flixbus if you don't want to drive. Even VIA was faster and more frequent. I think everybody has learned their lesson and won't try that again before serious investments to raise travel speeds. This service is best left to VIA.
 
Well aware. My wife is from London and we're there every holiday. My FIL owns a business across the street from Covent Gardens. Well aware of what's being built there. Which is why I think talking about this one bus route is ridiculous.

I lived there. I still have family there and visit many times a year. I experienced the bus first hand and it was bad then and not much better now.

GO (despite the name) was setup and is designed as a regional transit service for the GTHA. It doesn't exist, nor is it mandated, to run random transit services throughout the province.

I know,and it is a shame that it could not become (G)overnment of (O)ntario transit.... That is what it stands for, sort of.

The London GO experiment failed because it was a limited frequency offering that took 4 hrs to get to/from Toronto. Faster and easier to take Flixbus if you don't want to drive. Even VIA was faster and more frequent. I think everybody has learned their lesson and won't try that again before serious investments to raise travel speeds. This service is best left to VIA.

The time it took was not the problem. Neither was the frequency. The problem was that it arrived after 9am, and left before 5pm, preventing those that would use it to actually be able to use it for the regular 9-5 office job. As soon as I saw the schedule, I knew it would fail and would be canceled.
 
I know,and it is a shame that it could not become (G)overnment of (O)ntario transit.... That is what it stands for, sort of.

What a service is named for is irrelevant. There's no mandate and there will never be. GO (and now Metrolinx) was never designed to be anything more than a Toronto regional transport operator. Any other region wanting similar services has to campaign to get their own regional transport agency. Not try to make GO operate there just because of the name. That's some dumb kindergarten level policy thought.

The time it took was not the problem. Neither was the frequency. The problem was that it arrived after 9am, and left before 5pm, preventing those that would use it to actually be able to use it for the regular 9-5 office job. As soon as I saw the schedule, I knew it would fail and would be canceled.

They could have changed the schedule and it wouldn't have made a lick of difference, when there were much faster options for slightly more cost. The value proposition was terrible. Bus, shuttle and VIA options were all better.

I lived there. I still have family there and visit many times a year. I experienced the bus first hand and it was bad then and not much better now.

Not one person I know in London is talking about this route. They are talking about the BRT and the Adelaide St grade separation.
 
What a service is named for is irrelevant. There's no mandate and there will never be. GO (and now Metrolinx) was never designed to be anything more than a Toronto regional transport operator. Any other region wanting similar services has to campaign to get their own regional transport agency. Not try to make GO operate there just because of the name. That's some dumb kindergarten level policy thought.

That is my point. Yes, it is a GTHA thing, but is should no longer be that.

They could have changed the schedule and it wouldn't have made a lick of difference, when there were much faster options for slightly more cost. The value proposition was terrible. Bus, shuttle and VIA options were all better.

At the time, London housing was a lot cheaper. For Toronto/GTA residents, using something they know to get to/from work would have been an easy sell. I feel like it was done as a way for the government to say "We tried it and it did not work."

Not one person I know in London is talking about this route. They are talking about the BRT and the Adelaide St grade separation.
No one in my family is talking about transit.As soon as they could afford a clunker, they got it and have never looked back.
 
What a service is named for is irrelevant. There's no mandate and there will never be. GO (and now Metrolinx) was never designed to be anything more than a Toronto regional transport operator. Any other region wanting similar services has to campaign to get their own regional transport agency. Not try to make GO operate there just because of the name. That's some dumb kindergarten level policy thought.
With that said, if there were some commuter bus network that were to be formed in London, I wonder if GO may be able to operate it. Institutional knowledge, and all that. Obviously, this would need expansion of funding and some kind of satellite facilities setup.

It may or may not be worth creating a new agency ("Ontariolandlandmania") for intercity and regional transit outside the GTHA. I, for one, would strongly support either option.
They could have changed the schedule and it wouldn't have made a lick of difference, when there were much faster options for slightly more cost. The value proposition was terrible. Bus, shuttle and VIA options were all better.
Could have been a Kitchener-London service, perhaps. Certainly not with the pilot project setup, but the NML is open and we should be trying to capture the value of that line.

As a side note, we should be designing the Bramalea-Georgetown section of the Kitchener Line with some kind of intercity corridor in mind for RER.
 
Combined London and Middlesex County have well over half a million people. And we're talking about a single bus route running 4x per day as a major accomplishment? It's hilariously ridiculous. Are expectations for transit that poor in London that y'all see this as a big win?

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The time it took was not the problem. Neither was the frequency. The problem was that it arrived after 9am, and left before 5pm, preventing those that would use it to actually be able to use it for the regular 9-5 office job. As soon as I saw the schedule, I knew it would fail and would be canceled.
You seriously believe that commuters would’ve flocked to a four hour long train ride if only it arrived before 9? Really??
 
You seriously believe that commuters would’ve flocked to a four hour long train ride if only it arrived before 9? Really??

Railfan projection. Because he will ride a train any chance he gets, irrespective of travel time efficiency, he thinks a lot of other people think the same way. 8 hr roundtrip is useless for anybody but a retired person taking a specialist appointment in downtown Toronto. And even most of them might just prefer the bus or VIA.
 
With that said, if there were some commuter bus network that were to be formed in London, I wonder if GO may be able to operate it. Institutional knowledge, and all that. Obviously, this would need expansion of funding and some kind of satellite facilities setup.

It may or may not be worth creating a new agency ("Ontariolandlandmania") for intercity and regional transit outside the GTHA. I, for one, would strongly support either option.

Could have been a Kitchener-London service, perhaps. Certainly not with the pilot project setup, but the NML is open and we should be trying to capture the value of that line.

As a side note, we should be designing the Bramalea-Georgetown section of the Kitchener Line with some kind of intercity corridor in mind for RER.

If we are looking at being able to go seamlessly from one transit system to another, why does there need to be more bureaucracy?

You seriously believe that commuters would’ve flocked to a four hour long train ride if only it arrived before 9? Really??
Flocked, as in full all the way to Kitchener? No. Flocked as in more than 30 people? Yes. When family is in a bidding war with someone wanting to move from Toronto for a post war house in an average neighbourhood, that tells me that there may be something to it. Go back over 50 years ago to 1967. The original GO trains were all single level cars. It was until the mid 70s that the bilevel cars appeared. Back then,who would take an hour long train to get into the city? The answer, a lot more than anyone likely thought,. So, who would ride 4 hours into the city? A lot more than anyone here thinks.
 
Railfan projection. Because he will ride a train any chance he gets, irrespective of travel time efficiency, he thinks a lot of other people think the same way. 8 hr roundtrip is useless for anybody but a retired person taking a specialist appointment in downtown Toronto. And even most of them might just prefer the bus or VIA.
If Via were able to be more flexible, I'd suggest adding one earlier train every weekday. There is already at least 2 trains in the evening that would work for commuting. But, since Via is not a commuter service, we need to look at the commuter service in Ontario.
 
With that said, if there were some commuter bus network that were to be formed in London, I wonder if GO may be able to operate it. Institutional knowledge, and all that. Obviously, this would need expansion of funding and some kind of satellite facilities setup.

It may or may not be worth creating a new agency ("Ontariolandlandmania") for intercity and regional transit outside the GTHA. I, for one, would strongly support either option.

Nowhere else do you see the big city regional transit authority run services in a completely different city that don't actually connect to the big city. It's like asking Transport for London to run regional services in Manchester. Most people, even those not from the UK, would find that idea ridiculous. But simply because GO has Ontario in the name, some railfans think they should do that. Create a SWO regional transit authority, give them a budget and build them a hub in London.

But, the problem here, is that this isn't actually a pressing need for most of SWO, so that's why it's not being done. That's not the same as the GTA. What do you think would happen to a party that proposed reducing GO services? Would any provincial or federal politician even lose their seats for cutting transit funding in SWO?

Could have been a Kitchener-London service, perhaps. Certainly not with the pilot project setup, but the NML is open and we should be trying to capture the value of that line.

I think it took 2 hrs from London to Kitchener. So it didn't even make that trip commutable. The truth is that until we do some major upgrades to the NML, SML and the track to Windsor. I would argue that London should have a regional train network centered on London with spokes to Hamilton, Kitchener and Windsor. But until this kind of service can be built in earnest, we're better off just using buses to offer competitive travel times and at least build travel patterns that will provide a base for rail service later.

As a side note, we should be designing the Bramalea-Georgetown section of the Kitchener Line with some kind of intercity corridor in mind for RER.

We should be doing a lot of things with the Kitchener line that we're not. At this point, best to maybe let GO RER/Expansion play out and see what happens with VIA HFR. If we're all really lucky, 2035 could have VIA HFR running and Kitchener Line substantially electrified, we can finally start a real discussion of HFR West via Pearson and Kitchener.
 
The challenge discussing failure and success on here tends to be what the definition of what success is. Taking this back to the bus between London and St Thomas, What is your definition of success of it?

Mine is that the buses are full or near full both directions. Failure is a near empty bus for one or more of the scheduled times.
 
Nowhere else do you see the big city regional transit authority run services in a completely different city that don't actually connect to the big city. It's like asking Transport for London to run regional services in Manchester. Most people, even those not from the UK, would find that idea ridiculous. But simply because GO has Ontario in the name, some railfans think they should do that. Create a SWO regional transit authority, give them a budget and build them a hub in London.
Therein lies the problem.

This province loves cheaping out and building low-value projects. Dump the money where it shouldn't go.
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It is a bit silly, but I think the frustration stems from a (perceived) lack of attention in regional transit outside of the GTA. People see GO in the GTA, they want that because it's a service that exists, opposed to some future regional agency.
But, the problem here, is that this isn't actually a pressing need for most of SWO, so that's why it's not being done. That's not the same as the GTA. What do you think would happen to a party that proposed reducing GO services? Would any provincial or federal politician even lose their seats for cutting transit funding in SWO?
No, it's not as pressing as regional service in the GTA, but that doesn't make it a bad proposal. The cost is, or should be, relatively low, and we should be viewing this as an essential service anyways, much like how we will build roads to Grand Bend and St. Thomas despite not being as much of a priority as an extension of the 401 Collectors-Express system to Winston Churchill.

As for politicians - they're a stain in this province's transit planning, everywhere from Toronto to Ottawa to Hamilton to London. And of course, Queen's Park. I've got no solutions for that.
I think it took 2 hrs from London to Kitchener. So it didn't even make that trip commutable. The truth is that until we do some major upgrades to the NML, SML and the track to Windsor. I would argue that London should have a regional train network centered on London with spokes to Hamilton, Kitchener and Windsor. But until this kind of service can be built in earnest, we're better off just using buses to offer competitive travel times and at least build travel patterns that will provide a base for rail service later.

We should be doing a lot of things with the Kitchener line that we're not. At this point, best to maybe let GO RER/Expansion play out and see what happens with VIA HFR. If we're all really lucky, 2035 could have VIA HFR running and Kitchener Line substantially electrified, we can finally start a real discussion of HFR West via Pearson and Kitchener.
Well, yes, the argument is that we should be upgrading the NML to better standards and run trains over the upgraded line. This line comes first at least partly because getting control over the track will be easier than, say, getting control of the line to Hamilton.

As for letting things play out - we have a habit of letting things play out, and then costs balloon and service worsens because we didn't do anything to plan ahead for corridors, like with the dead flyover at Scarborough Junction. In this case, even if it's just space left in the track design or service design for intercity rail, it would greatly help with future HFR planning. Of course, we have no such forwards vision in this country, so things cost far more than they should, and various plans get debated, and debated, and debated, and here's a new iteration ...
 

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