The passing of former premier Bill Davis and his legacy on GO Transit

On Sunday, August 7, 2021, the sad news came out that former Ontario premier Bill Davis died at the age of 92.

Metrolinx is sending sincere condolences to the family and friends of former Ontario premier Bill Davis.

Flags at all Metrolinx buildings are lowered to half-staff to honour his legacies – including the expansion of GO Transit under his leadership.

A lifelong and highly respected resident of Brampton, Davis was premier from 1971 until 1985. During his tenure, he ensured GO Transit grew beyond the three-year experiment that was launched in 1967 by the late, former premier John Robarts.

GO trains initially ran on a single rail line along Lakeshore and carried approximately 2.5 million riders the first year. GO bus service was also launched in 1970.

When premier Davis was elected in 1971, GO Transit became a permanent service. Expansion continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s with the introduction of the Kitchener line in 1974 and the Richmond Hill line in 1978.

That same year, bi-level coaches were also introduced. In the early 1980s, the Milton, Barrie and Stouffville lines opened.

Metrolinx News documented the history of GO Transit during its 50th birthday celebration.

Metrolinx is proud to continue serving customers today, and to honour former premier Bill Davis who played a part in the rich 54-year history of GO Transit.

Story by Anne Marie Aikins, Metrolinx head of media and public relations