As GO Transit celebrates 50 years, the province is looking ahead to the largest commuter rail project in Canada.
GO Transit, short for Government of Ontario Transit, began operating on May 23, 1967.
The system was just a 14-stop commuter rail line from Hamilton to Pickering, but in its first year of operation, GO Transit carried 2.5 million riders, exceeding its projected ridership for that year in just six months.
Since 2003, GO Transit has built 14 new stations, rebuilt four existing GO stations, extended its rail network by nearly 90 kilometres and added more than 31,000 parking spots across the system.
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In 2009, GO Transit merged with Metrolinx to improve the coordination and integration of transit in the GTHA.
Today, GO Transit accommodates about 70 million trips per year on seven rail lines, connecting to 15 GO bus terminals and 17 municipal transit systems across the GTHA.
Now, the province is undertaking the largest commuter rail project in Canada, GO Regional Express Rail, to electrify the system, with more two-way, all-day service, and service extended to Niagara Falls and Bowmanville, a $13.5 billion investment.
Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are partnering for the project, planning electrification, track upgrades, bridge and station modifications, and grade separations.
“Congratulations to all staff members, past and present, on GO Transit’s 50th anniversary. GO Transit is an essential part of Ontario’s transportation network and I look forward to continuing to work with Metrolinx to improve and expand GO services,” said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.
If all goes well, the number of weekly trips across the network will increase from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 by 2025.
The Toronto Railway Museum has opened a new exhibit in celebration of GO Transit, past and present, showcasing a fully restored original GO train coach.