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Bradford, neighbouring towns fuel GO ridership growth

Metrolinx is reporting strong growth on its Barrie GO corridor from April to November last year
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2018-11-28-bradford go train snow2
A GO train pulls away from the Bradford station. Jenni Dunning/BradfordToday

Bradford West Gwillimbury commuters are helping to fuel the strongest GO Transit growth in its entire network, according to Metrolinx.

With Bradford GO ridership up by 14.6 per cent from April to November 2018, as well as burgeoning ridership from nearby communities such as Newmarket, East Gwillimbury and Aurora, the Barrie GO train corridor on which the local stops are located saw 21 per cent growth over the same period in 2017, a Jan. 30 Metrolinx blog post stated.

The Barrie GO corridor outgrew ridership on the Lakeshore East and West GO lines, which sit at five per cent and three per cent, respectively.

“With our renewed focus to put the customers first, our team is increasing service to help provide new reasons for our customers to travel with us no matter their trip purpose or destination,” Metrolinx chief marketing officer Mark Childs said on the blog.

Overall, GO Transit and UP Express ridership tops 52.5 million from April to November last year, Metrolinx reported.

UP Express, the train service that connects riders every 15 minutes from Toronto’s Union Station to Pearson International Airport in a reported 25 minutes, also saw a 16 per cent increase in boardings over the same period, Metrolinx stated.

In December 2018, BWG council voted to sell a piece of land north of the GO Transit station to Metrolinx for an expanded parking lot. The vacant parcel of land is on Dissette Street next to the GO rail lines and just north of the existing station.

Metrolinx is expected to start construction for an expanded parking lot in BWG in April 2020.

In Newmarket, Metrolinx announced in November 2018 it was putting the brakes on a planned new GO station near the town's future transit hub at Mulock Drive and Bayview Avenue.

That’s because Ontario’s Conservative government decided it would pursue private-sector partnerships to build any new GO stations.

In the meantime, the Town of Newmarket is forging ahead with what’s known as the Mulock GO Station Area Secondary Plan, which includes development of lands east along Bayview, west to Cane Parkway on the north side of Mulock, and an area on the south side of Mulock.

The secondary plan excludes the proposed site for the GO station itself at the intersection of the railway line and Mulock Drive.

The secondary plan project will guide growth and development around the future GO station to ensure the creation of a pedestrian-friendly, transit-supportive community, according to Town of Newmarket documents.

The lands pegged for development could include such things as parks and open spaces, trails, restaurants and small businesses, housing and even new streets.

Local ridership by the numbers from April to November 2018:

Bradford West Gwillimbury 

  • Up 14.6 per cent
  • Average daily riders: 422
  • Total ridership: 103,000

Newmarket

  • Up 14.9 per cent
  • Average daily riders: 501
  • Total ridership: 123,000

Aurora

  • Up 30.5 per cent
  • Average daily riders: 2,200
  • Total ridership: 527,000 

East Gwillimbury

  • Up 20.1 per cent
  • Average daily riders: 574
  • Total ridership: 141,000

Source: Jan. 30, 2019 blog post by Amanda Ferguson, Metrolinx senior advisor, media relations and issues.

- With files from Jenni Dunning




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