Commuter Rail can be as effective as Rapid Transit

Go Transit

The topic of using existing commuter rail lines in GTA has been brought into discussion a few times. With politicians bringing ideas to solve transit woes in the GTA and in Toronto by creating a Downtown Relief Line or One City Transit Plan, all of which that incorporate existing rail lines. They are on to something.


Adding specialized TTC Trains or by having special Go Trains running frequently at peak times could help solve some of the transit woes face by downtown Toronto and the GTA. Instead of investing cost and labour into new infrastructure it would be feasible to work with the existing infrastructure to improve it.

At the moment most trains on the GO Line operate in the early morning and in the afternoon, brining workers into and out of the city. With a few lines offering all-day service. What should be done, is turning all lines into all-day service. This would eventually lead towards having a rapid-transit system on the rail line.

More importantly, having a rapid transit system on the rail, commuters would be able to choose between taking the TTC or the GO. This would hopefully reduce some of the stress on the TTC subway lines.

This idea is not far off and could actually be done with the correct investment and planning. I suggest you take a look at this article Make the effort, and commuter rail can be as effective as rapid transit ,which provides more detail on this topic.

Read More: The case for a Regional Transit Line

Read More: The OneCity Plan and Shifting Transit Landscape

Image by: Nathan Colquhoun


How do you get to the city-core?

For the most part, we either drive to Downtown Toronto or take rail (TTC Subway, GO Train, and the TTC Streetcar). The opposition for having buses in the city core is that most believe that 40 feet vehicle would add to the already congested core and reduce business and development along its route.

This is not the case, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has been proven to provide quality-uninterrupted service along its path. It has the ability to increase pedestrian traffic, reduce congestion, and introduce and increase transit orientated development.

Although, we are not currently seeing any type of BRT construction in larger cities, they are predominant in suburban spaces through the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Mississauga, Brampton, and Vaughn all have BRT routes. With the case of the VivaNext line along Highway 7, there is a number amount of development and investment projects taking place due to the expected traffic.

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Image from: NuPress Group Australia