The transit option for getting to York’s Keele campus improved a little more Monday with the announcement of increased GO bus service to and from Pickering.
GO Transit has added more buses from its Pickering Station. The service, which travels along Hwy. 407, will now run every 25 to 30 minutes throughout the day between 5:15am and 6pm. Service from Pickering Station runs hourly from 6:40pm until 10:45pm. Return trips from York run every half hour from 6:45am until 8:45pm before reverting to the hourly schedule.
Right: Front row, from left, Tony Wong, MPP Markham, Harinder Takhar, minister of transportation, Shamini Selvaratnam, VP education for the York Federation of Students, and Mario Sergio, MPP York West; back row, from left, Gary Brewer, York VP finance & administration, and Peter Smith, GO Transit Chair
Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar also announced Increased service between the Keele campus and Hamilton’s McMaster University.
Takhar chose York’s Keele campus as the site to make the announcement about several GO service changes affecting three university campuses in the GTA in order to highlight the provincial government’s efforts at making transit more attractive to its users, many of whom are students. “By expanding bus service to and from these universities, we are making GO Transit a better choice for students, staff and faculty.” said Takhar. “For example, York University students living in Pickering can reduce their daily commute time by up to an hour, leaving more time for study or campus activities.”
Takhar said GO expects ridership to increase by 200,000 riders a year on the York University route alone, a 15 per cent increase over current levels.
Shamini Selvaratnam (left), vice-president education for the York Federation of Students and a student who commutes from Pickering, thanked the minister on behalf of York students and said she was very glad to see the service improvements. “A service that is convenient and affordable is something students value,” she said.
To the roar of buses behind him on the Commons Road, Gary Brewer, York vice-president finance & administration, also thanked the minister for his announcement and took the opportunity to get in another plug for a subway to York Region. “While there is serious gridlock on the major roads in the northwest quadrant of the city, half of our 50,000 students ride public transit to York,” said Brewer. “We continue to work with all three levels of government to see the extension of the Spadina subway through York University and into York Region, which will provide a lasting solution.” He added, “We look forward, Minister, to your return to York to announce the subway extension.”
GO service improvements announced Monday also included expanded Hwy. 407 express service between the University of Ontario Institute of Technology/Durham College and Scarborough Town Centre.
“These routes are in high demand,” said GO Transit Chair Peter Smith. “Service is being expanded to help accommodate rapid growth in these areas and make GO a better option for riders.”
“We’re building a transit culture in this province,” said Takhar. “We’re doing this by providing better service. These GO bus improvements could attract as many as 250,000 new riders this school year.”
GO Transit carries more than 45 million riders annually. Ridership is expected to double within the next 20 to 30 years.
Local MPPs Mario Sergio (York West) and Tony Wong (Markham) joined Takhar outside York’s Centre for Film & Theatre, where GO buses drop off and pick up commuters daily.
Photos submitted to YFile by Timothy Hudson, communications manager, Office of the Dean, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies.