Nobody is using the new GO Transit line out of Toronto that everyone was so excited about
Despite excitement about a new transit line to bring passengers from London, Ontario, to Toronto, the service is proving less successful than planned in its first few months, according to the latest ridership numbers.
Starting mid-October, Metrolinx began running GO Trains between hubs in the two cities to the tune of $2.6 million per year for one round-trip a day.
But, the ride has not been very popular in its first month and a half, with most trains running mostly empty — each carrying between 31 and 43 passengers, which is, as the Star puts it, fewer than a half-full TTC bus.
It is also far lower than a six-coach GO Train's capacity of 972 people.
It’s a brand new service. We need to give it some time to grow. Niagara was like that at first too— Anne Marie Aikins (@MetrolinxSpox) December 5, 2021
But, the agency still has hope for the service, with spokesperson Anne-Marie Aikins noting in a tweet this weekend that it is still brand new.
"We need to give it some time to grow. Niagara was like that at first, too," she wrote on the platform.
She also noted to the Star that the pandemic is still taking its toll on public transit ridership everywhere, and that London and its surrounding area is one of the fastest-growing in the province, meaning the route will be critical for the future.
who wants to spend 4 hours on a train when Via takes less time? it's only ever going to be practical with high speed like most other countries now have.— Terry B (@GTBray) December 6, 2021
The four-hour-long route is quite notably double the time of competitor Via Rail's train between the two cities — though it is cheaper — making stops at connecting hubs in Stratford, St. Marys and Kitchener, rather than traveling direct.
We'll have to wait and see how numbers improve as we wade out of the pandemic, and whether Metrolinx will add more trips at different times or can the initiative altogether.
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