Wednesday June 5, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday June 5, 2013

No all-day GO by 2020?

Provincial transportation agency Metrolinx said Tuesday it cannot confirm whether Hamilton will have all-day GO service by 2020, now that getting it in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games won’t happen.

Though Metrolinx says it is still “committed” to full service —running GO trains between Hamilton and Toronto every 15 minutes during rush hour and every half-hour during the rest of the day — the agency can’t provide a specific time frame.

However, MPP Ted McMeekin says Hamilton can expect “a further expansion” beyond the extra four trips a day by 2017. Beyond that, he said GO officials would have to provide specific details about timing and service levels.

These are wildly different scenarios from the 2011 promise made by former Premier Dalton McGuinty that his government was “committed to having two-way, full-day service seven days a week, and we will have it in place for Hamilton in time for the Pan Am Games.”

Plans for beefing up Hamilton’s GO service to that level made their way into provincial planning documents, including a report from 2008 called GO 2020.

Provincial officials now say that instead of all-day GO service, Hamilton will receive four extra trips per day by 2015 — two in the morning and two in the evening — via a new station on James Street North.

The Hunter Street station will keep its current level of service (four trips in the morning and four trips during afternoon rush-hour). (Source: Hamilton Spectator)