GO Transit introducing service changes amid Ontario's stay-at-home order
Any essential workers still relying on GO Transit to get to and from work should be aware of a number of service changes coming into effect next weekend following the introduction of Ontario's stay-at-home order.
Metrolinx announced this week that they're introducing several temporary service changes that will particularly impact weekend and evening GO Transit customers as well as UP Express riders.
"As Ontario enters a newly announced state of emergency, GO Transit and UP Express service will still run as public transit is an essential service – however public health guidelines recommend travel be limited to essential trips only," reads a Metrolinx blog post published Thursday.
"The planned shifts follow ridership trends the transit agency says have been brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and demonstrate the biggest challenge ever faced by the Canadian transit industry – as well as most Canadians."
Beginning on Jan. 23, buses will replace trains along the Barrie, Stouffville and Kitchener lines during weekday evening and weekend periods, and there will also be reduced service for UP Express between Union Station and Pearson Airport.
#COVID19 Update: Some train service will be temporarily replaced with buses starting Jan 22 on the Stouffville line, and Jan 23 on the Barrie & Kitchener lines. Get more details on this & learn how we’re making better use of resources while demand is low: https://t.co/wbPuPs1kVA pic.twitter.com/HgZ2774OQe— GO Transit (@GOtransit) January 14, 2021
On the Stouffville GO corridor specifically, weekend train service replacements will start on the evening of the Jan. 22 to allow for construction work along the corridor, and buses will be temporarily replacing trains first thing every weekday morning and in the evenings.
UP Express trains, on the other hand, will only run hourly at times of day with typically low ridership, but trains will continue to operate every 30 minutes during busier hours.
#COVID19 Update: Starting January 23, UP Express service will be temporarily reduced to make better use of resources while demand is low. More details can be found here: https://t.co/vQcns2T3Ga pic.twitter.com/pATxgSDNhA— UP Express (@UPexpress) January 14, 2021
Specifically, during weekdays, UP Express trains will run hourly in the middle of the day and late in the evening, and on weekends they'll run hourly in the mornings and evenings.
The operating day will also be shortened, with the last trains departing from Union at 10 p.m. and from Pearson at 10:27 p.m. during the week, and the first train departing at 6 a.m. and the last trains departing from Union at 10 p.m. and from Pearson at 10:27 p.m. during the weekend.
"The latest changes come as COVID-19 cases are rising in Ontario and overall ridership is down by more than 90 per cent," reads the blog post.
"Metrolinx officials say as Ontario starts to recover, and more customers return to GO and UP, services will again be adjusted and reinstated to meet that demand."
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