Important Upgrades – Weekend Stouffville GO Train service replaced by buses to support infrastructure upgrades

GO train service on the Stouffville line is being replaced by GO bus service between Lincolnville GO and Unionville GO this weekend (May 8-10) to accommodate track work along the Stouffville corridor.

Even as regular life has paused for many of us, transit expansion work carries on full steam ahead.

That’s why this weekend (May 8-10) Metrolinx is replacing regular Stouffville Line GO Train service with GO buses between Lincolnville GO and Unionville GO stations.  The transit agency is working on rail infrastructure improvements that will allow for increased train capacity and improve service reliability.

What do you need to know?

  1. Starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 8, all evening Stouffville trains will be replaced with bus service. Buses will run express to Unionville GO and make all stops to Lincolnville GO.
    • The last northbound train to depart Union Station is at 8:15 p.m.
    • The last southbound train to depart Mount Joy Station is at 5:31 p.m.
  2. On Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10, train service will be replaced with bus service between Lincolnville GO and Unionville GO.
  3. GO customers looking to travel between Milliken GO, Agincourt GO, Kennedy GO and Union Station are being asked to take the TTC.
  4. Regular service will resume on Monday, May 11 in time for the morning rush.
Image shows tracks being worked on.

Track work taking place near Lincolnville GO Station earlier this spring (Metrolinx photo)

Why does this need to be done now?

Metrolinx is working on bringing more GO Train service across the region, including on the Stouffville line. These important rail infrastructure upgrades and general maintenance work helps ensure safe and reliable service for GO customers. This type of work is very labour intensive and can only be done safely when trains aren’t running. Additional weekend service changes will be required later this spring as construction progresses. GO customers will be given advanced notice before these changes happen.

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Photo of track work being done on the GO Stouffville corridor in 2019, prior to COVID-19 physical distancing rules (Metrolinx photo)

Here’s how Metrolinx is keeping GO bus customers safe during COVID-19

Metrolinx has been working tirelessly since January to implement over 40 strategies to help keep everyone healthy and safe on our system, most of which are permanent actions that customers will see going forward, such as:

  • Increased deep cleaning at all stations, trains and on buses.
  • New hand sanitizer dispensers on buses and in stations.
  • Application of a long acting antimicrobial germ protecting barrier on trains, buses and stations.
  • The seats behind and in close proximity to our staff on vehicles have been blocked to help with physical distancing.
  • Specialist vacuums (HEPA vacs) that remove tiny particles like the droplets that transmit COVID-19 are now part of the new cleaning protocols.
  • Polycarbonate screens to protect bus drivers as well as in stations to provide some protection for staff and customers
  • Frontline staff now have re-usable cloth face coverings, face shields, gloves and hand sanitizer.
  • Education for both customers and staff has been key and has helped change behaviours such as regular hand-washing, staying home if sick, cough/sneeze etiquette, as well as physical distancing.
  • Giving bus drivers the option to exit the bus before passengers load and unload
  • Bus drivers no longer accept cash to reduce physical interactions
A dispenser is shown attached to a bus door.

Close to your reach – How the hand sanitizer dispenser looks on a GO bus door. (Metrolinx photo)

Ridership for GO Transit is now down by approximately 90 per cent, and our bus and train service is working very well without crowding. We are asking our GO Bus drivers to monitor the passenger levels on their buses and advise their supervisor if passenger levels start to increase. For example, observing customers not having the space to sit a few rows apart from one another. We will adjust service to ensure physical distancing is provided as our passenger levels start to grow.

Story by: Scott Money, Metrolinx media relations senior advisor