Metrolinx has answers for your burning transit questions

Customers and residents have tons of opportunities to ask transit questions in-person and online, including our popular Town Hall series which is coming to Vaughan later this month.

We know you’re wondering about it. So just go ahead and ask.

As Ontario’s largest public transit agency, we have tons of tires turning – from GO Transit expansion across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region to ongoing light rail construction projects, as well as managing UP Express trips and making sure your PRESTO fare card works when you tap it.

All that work impacts a lot of customers, often on a daily basis. So naturally, as we look to improve, build and increase our services, we always ask for your input.

Photo of the crowd and people stepping up to the microphone to ask questions at the town hall.

Residents and customers came from near and far to ask transit questions.

While you give us feedback online, and even through snail mail, one of the most popular avenues to conversation has been the Metrolinx Town Hall (which customers may know as Ask Metrolinx) community event series, where Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster and his senior management team sit down in person with people from across the region.

The next one takes place in Vaughan, on June 24th – held at Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Drive West.  The event starts at 7pm. We’ll supply the chairs and ourselves – you bring your questions.

If it’s on your mind, then this is a time and place to ask.

A crowd gathers to ask a panel of Metrolinx leaders questions.

A crowd gathers at the Metrolinx Town Hall in Whitby on May 2, 2019.

If you can’t make it in person, you can participate online by going to Metrolinx Engage and watch the livestream. If that doesn’t work, you can also submit questions in advance on Metrolinx Engage for Phil and his team to answer.

And since we promised to take every opportunity – in as many ways as possible – to answer your questions, here are responses to some queries we know are on the minds of customers across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.

1. Recently a new Lakeshore East train was added to the schedule for the morning commute. Is there any talk about adding additional trains earlier in the morning?

We are continuously looking at opportunities to introduce more trips to serve our customers better. The recent additions we’ve made to Lakeshore GO train service are proof of that. Our plans for Lakeshore East GO train service include 15-minute, two-way service all throughout the day, seven days a week – and even more frequent service during peak travel periods. We add services when and where we can, looking at factors like customer demand, ridership potential, availability of equipment, and any infrastructure upgrades we might need to accommodate more trains in the system. We’ll keep your feedback in mind as we continue to plan for more GO train service in your community. 

2. Is the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation project still proceeding as envisioned?

After extensive community engagement over three years, the Davenport Diamond project includes significant enhancements to the design and public realm underneath the Guideway that ensure local connectivity and benefits while still providing for improved GO rail service on the Barrie corridor. Financial close on the Guideway is expected for approximately Summer 2019, with construction to start in approximately Fall 2019 and be completed in approximately mid-2023. Construction on the public realm elements will start in approximately 2023 and last until approximately Fall 2024. 

3. What is the status of the expanded GO Train service to and beyond Stouffville? Is the 2nd track being installed?

The second track is currently being installed along parts of the Stouffville Line. Right now, Sheppard to Steeles is 90 per cent complete, and Sheppard south to St. Clair is 50 per cent complete. We are working hard to expand service on the Stouffville line. For example, in March 2019, we extended five midday weekday trips to serve Centennial, Markham and Mount Joy GO Stations.

4. Are there plans to improve the PRESTO student discount on GO Transit?

We are always interested in ways to make transit a more attractive option for more people, and that most certainly includes students. We’re looking at fares right now to better meet the needs of our customers and attract new ridership. Looking at student fares is part of this. Making our service easier to use makes sense not only from a transit access perspective but also from a business perspective.

5. Will Durham Region receive consideration for a more efficient, timely and comfortable form of transport for the Highway 2 corridor?

We’re currently in the planning stages for the Durham-Scarborough bus rapid transit (BRT), an approximate 36-kilometre bus rapid transit corridor that will serve urban growth centres in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Scarborough, and connect with Scarborough Centre, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and TTC Line 2. The Durham Scarborough BRT would provide more reliable and frequent bus service to enable you to get where you are going, faster. It would help to meet the increasing demand for more rapid transit along the corridor, linking communities and employment on both sides of the Toronto-Durham boundary. The BRT corridor will be designed so that it can be upgraded easily to an LRT if required, similar to the approach in many cities, such as Ottawa. To participate in consultations click on the link below:
https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/engagement-initiatives/durham-scarborough-bus-rapid-transit

 6. When will you bring more parking to Maple GO?

GO Customers now have access to more parking at Maple GO Station. In May 2019, it was announced that the temporary parking spaces at the Rodinea Road parking lot will become permanent, to better serve GO Transit users. The addition of these new parking spaces gives commuters at Maple GO Station a total of 1,351 parking spots.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx Advisor, social media and media relations