Earlier today I learned that Bill 163, the act to amalgamate GO Transit with Metrolinx and dump the politicians from the new Board, is expected to pass third reading imminently with proclamation shortly thereafter.
This means that the planned Board meeting on May 15 will be the new, wet behind the ears, but ever so non-political board. Whether they will choose to meet in public much less discuss anything of consequence remains to be seen. The date is still on the Metrolinx events calendar, but a week is a long time in politics.
This may be a simplistic question, but does this means Robert MacIsaac is no longer Chair?
Steve: MacIsaac is chair of the interim board, but Rob Pritchard is heading up the transition planning for the GO/Metrolinx merger.
Do you know if any amendments were made to the original Bill via the clause-by-clause review by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs? As you know, both Transport 2000 Ontario and TRAC made presentations to this Committee. Various changes to the Bill were proposed by these groups. These were then written up by the NDP into proposed amendments. Some of the amendments were relatively non-controversial and had a lot of support, eg advance the date of the Investment Strategy from 2013 to 2010.
Steve: The bill as amended does not make any substantive changes beyond giving Metrolinx a regime for charging “administrative fees” (fines that are not called “fines”) respecting parking and stopping or fare rules established by Metrolinx bylaws. There is no change in the date for the Investment Strategy.
Surely this won’t mean that GO Transit’s name will be changed to Metrolinx, similar but for the last letter to so many transit system.
While I would hate to see GO lose either its name or its LOGO, I wouldn’t mind seeing something other than chlorphyll green for the colour scheme. It matches the colour on the Highway signs for the 400 series Hwys and of course that’s no coincidence but at least the Highway signs don’t fade.
Steve: At this point, I don’t think anyone has decided what to do about system names. GO is a major part of the new Metrolinx and will likely fight tooth and nail against rebranding. However, other political (and egotistical) considerations may prevail.
Many of us have wondered how to persuade those who insist on commuting to downtown by car to GO. Now we know. One Robert Pritchard is extensively reported in today’s Star (page GT1 with a nice big photo on GT2) as having changed his commute from a farm in Durham to GO Transit, and all it took was being appointed a big cheese at Metrolinx. Now all we need is to expand the Metrolinx Board to 5 million people and gridlock as we know it will be history.
GO’s legal name has changed a few times over the years (Greater Toronto Transit Authority, Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority), but it always has operated as GO Transit and still will?
Internal announcements to GO staff about this have stressed that “GO Transit” will remain the operational brand for the service. That doesn’t mean that the new board won’t at some point change things, but I really can’t imagine anyone seriously suggesting that “Get on the Metrolinx” has the same ring as the current slogans.
How do we get more people to ride downtown on GO?
Fix some problems first:
One jack*** walking stupidly along the train tracks can stop an entire GO line (or more than one) if he’s hit. (Don’t worry though, The Toronto Star will publish a story about this idiot and make us feel bad for him)
All of the GO lines that go anywhere useful (Lakeshore West, Milton) are already over-crowded. If you want to cram more people onto the system, you need more trains, and more slots to run them in. I really don’t care one bit who is at fault here (GO, CN, Government) all I care about is that whoever the heck is at fault do something about it.
GO stations purposefully have limited parking (to try and force people on to local transit) but that local transit often does not have the slightest clue how to properly move people around *cough*Durham*cough* If you are going to build a successful network, you need to start as close to the doorstep as possible.
The TTC is far too arrogant to ever work properly with GO. If you want GO to be successful in our city you will be more than one (Union Station) good connection between the subway and GO Transit. Kipling and Kennedy are good starts, now how about Leslie. You will also need better bus connections (Royal York South VS Mimico GO) which might mean the TTC may have to run *gasp!* GO shuttles.
Lastly, with the delays that never seem to end, perhaps they need to rename GO to STOP and replace the O with a red octagon :p
Steve: TTC and GO have problems both ways — GO thinks its job is to bring people in to downtown from the 905, not to serve the 416, and they have no interest in integrating their operations or fare structure with the TTC.
The status of Bill 163 is now listed as “Third Reading Carried on Division”. Can anyone clarify exactly what this means?
Steve: They voted and it carried. The phrase refers to situations having a counted vote rather than a simple voice passage. The “division bell” is rung to signal that a vote is about to take place, and this gives members a chance to assemble. The term “division” comes from the original parliamentary practice of members assembling on the “pro” or “con” side of the house to be counted.