GO Ottawa? (Updated)

On July 27, David Cavlovic passed on another Ottawa Sun article in this thread.  He comments:

Well, NOW it’s getting really ridiculous.

That’s all we need. It’s not enough that resources are stretched in the GTA, let’s stretch it in other cities as well.

Toronto Transit CORPORATION. Oh dear. Harbinger of the future?

[The article’s author is not in touch with Toronto’s transit system as we saw yesterday.]

 Fortunately, there is a bit of good sense on Council:

River Coun. Maria McRae, who is also the chair of the city’s transportation committee, said there is no reason why GO Transit and OC Transpo can’t work together.

“We can do both,” said McRae. “We should pursue that GO model for outside the city, but not lose focus on Ottawa’s transit issues.”

[Original post follows] 

David Cavlovic passed on the following item of interest from the Ottawa Sun.

Ottawa could be moving from the O-Train to the GO Train.

With Mayor Larry O’Brien mapping out an ambitious inter-regional commuter transit plan for Eastern Ontario, the province’s biggest regional commuter carrier, GO Transit, is expressing interest in helping the city with its plan.

“It’s definitely something we would look at,” said Jamie Rilett, communications director for Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield, whose department operates the Government of Ontario (GO) network in the Greater Toronto Area.

“When it was first brought up to us and we discussed it with various mayors and members from the Ottawa area, it was made clear to them we would look at any proposal they had and if they were interested in having GO participate in whatever way then it’s definitely something we would consider,” said Rilett.

[The full article goes on to talk about how wonderful GO is, and manages to get some of the facts wrong.]

Amusingly, this is yet another situation where a comment comes not from the GTTA but from the Minister’s office.  At tomorrow’s GTTA meeting, maybe they can discuss a small eastward expansion of their territory.

More to the point, Ottawa has to decide whether it wants a commuter rail network providing relatively infrequent service oriented to peak demand, or a transit network.  These are two completely different things.

6 thoughts on “GO Ottawa? (Updated)

  1. Well, the GTTA is not responsible for GO yet, and its mandated area does not include Ottawa, so I can’t see where the GTTA would have a reason to comment. However, the comment should have come from the chair of GO Transit, not from the minister. But, hey, it’s election time…

    Steve: Gee Whiz — Politicians hogging the limelight. I would never have thought they were so crass.

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  2. The Ottawa Sun. What a rag, it is almost as bad as the Toronto Sun.

    Having lived in Ottawa for a number of years, I can say without a doubt that a regional system is not needed in the least.

    Seems to me that Ottawa is trying to find the cheapest mode possible to replace it’s bus system. It seems they haven’t learned from their mistakes (re: the Transitway).

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  3. The best part is that this regional diesel system will feed into the Ottawa VIA station in phase one. If anyone has attempted to catch a bus from the Train Transitway station on a weekday, you know you are going to have dozens of passing “green express” half-empty buses, a few overcrowded 95 buses, and perhaps in 20 minutes a 95 with room to spare. And 2 out of 3 times, the driver of that 95 bus will kick you off at the next stop, Hurdman, as it short-turns.

    Of course, providing commuter rail to places like Cassleman, Manotick and Carp are bigger priorities than the mess that is the Transitway. Thank “transit advocates” that sunk a flawed, but still useful, LRT plan and came up with this.

    Imagine – a rail service feeding a bus system!

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  4. Oh dear… A hub that’s a short walk to thousands of offices seems like an essential ingredient for GO’s success. Service to Ottawa’s train station is roughly equivalent to having GO’s Toronto hub at Summerhill station instead of Union. Great for a cross-town route; not great as the primary destination.

    Smiths Falls, Brockville, and Cornwall are a long way from downtown Ottawa. I’m a bit dubious that they’re such a major source of commuter traffic; it might make sense to try GO Bus-style service first to see if the demand’s really there.

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  5. GT&EOTA?

    When do we get GT,KW,&EOTA? The GT,KW,NP,S-W,&EOTA* must be around the corner.

    *Greater Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara Pennisula, Sarnia-Windsor & Eastern Ontario Transit Authority.

    Steve: Not as funny as it sounds when you look at GO’s expansion map that is part of their presentation at tomorrow’s GTTA meeting (I will post links to that and other related reports separately) — rail service to KW and Niagara Falls! If they can get to Ottawa, can Montreal be far behind?

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