GO trains to start running between London and Toronto but they'll be incredibly slow
In just over one month, Toronto residents will be able to get on the GO (train) and end up in London, Ontario, for the first time in history — and vice versa!
Unfortunately, the journey will take about four hours each way: More than twice as long as driving, and nearly twice as long as riding with VIA Rail.
But hey, it's a start, and Western students can certainly use a splash of good news this week.
Ontario's provincial government announced Wednesday morning that GO train service will finally be expanding into southwestern Ontario with new daily weekday trips between London and Toronto. The route will also include stops in Stratford and St. Marys.
Beginning as part of a pilot project on Monday, Oct. 18, the new service will see one train leave from London for Toronto's Union Station "in the early morning" and return sometime in the evening.
Exact times have yet to be announced, but with one train per weekday each way, GO's offering still pales in comparison to VIA's six daily one-way trips to London, most of which are estimated to last just over two hours.
Cool, @Metrolinx is doing a Toronto-London GO train pilot! Though only a single AM London->Toronto & PM Toronto->London trip. And it'll take 4 hours.— Kevin Rupasinghe (@RupasingheKevin) September 15, 2021
Hope they can add reverse direction trains & cut travel time soon to pilot a more useful service! https://t.co/VcjFwiatRx
That said, GO Transit tickets are a lot cheaper than tickets for VIA Rail trains: A one-way ticket from Toronto's Union Station to the Kitchener GO (the farthest point on the line right now) costs less than $20.
The same trip with VIA Rail can be as expensive as $89 (business class), $34 for economy.
Metrolinx has yet to announce a pricing structure for the London-Toronto GO Transit route, but some people (like students who'd likely spend the entire trip studying or sleeping anyway) would surely be okay with a slightly longer journey to save a few bucks.
"The people of Southwestern Ontario deserve better access to a safe and reliable transportation network," said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney on Wednesday when announcing the new route.
"Under Premier Ford's leadership, we are taking concrete action and keeping our promise to extend much-needed GO service all the way to London for the first time."
The province says it is "working closely with VIA Rail and CN to extend service and explore ways to improve the speed and frequency of passenger rail service," meaning that travel time on GO trains between London and Toronto could be cut back in the future.
By investing in a fully integrated transit network, Ontario continues to support the growth and transformation of cities and their greater regions across the province.
"We're so pleased to expand GO train service to Southwestern Ontario for the first time, connecting to three new municipalities and extending our network an additional 120 kilometres across one of the province's fastest growing regions," said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster.
"By extending service to London, we're building a transit network that will help better move people and better connect communities for decades to come."
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