After unsuccessfully trying to get answers from Metrolinx about what it would take to get all day GO service into Hamilton, the Bay Observer talked to some transit experts familiar with the process who requested anonymity, and gleaned some interesting facts. Sources say the implementation of 15 minute GO service will likely be a gradual process rather than a major event. “With a company like GO you build up service to meet demand, you don’t build up service to create demand. Transit accommodates growth—does not create it.” The source also pointed out that all-day 15 minute service will actually result in a lot of empty trains outside of rush hours. That will result in increased operating costs: “It’s not the capital costs that kills you—it’s the operating costs. There are no media events and ribbon cuttings for operating costs—just capital costs.”
The source was unable to explain why the enhanced GO service is first going to use the Hunter Street Station. “Metrolinx’s plan originally was to have full service to the West Harb station and only rush hour to Hunter Street. Somehow that has got reversed.” While there has been a lot of media coverage of the eventual extension of GO service to Niagara it’s expected the initial service will be limited to rush hour. Somewhat surprisingly recent transit studies indicate that many Niagara commuters’ final destination is actually Hamilton, not Toronto. It’s expected that even if a Niagara commuter’s final destination was Toronto they will be forced to change trains in Hamilton. This would be a precaution against a bottleneck in Niagara affecting the entire Lakeshore line.