More GO parking, another new train
In mid-August, Metrolinx announced that a welcome addition of more than 250 new parking spots will be constructed at the Streetsville GO station by 2018, bringing parking capacity to about 1,700 spots. The new parking space will be located between the existing tracks and the west parking lot.
During the past three years, 100 new parking spaces have been added at Streetsville, on the east side of the tracks. These new spots, accessible through Streetsville at Station Road, are now in service. These east-of-the-tracks parking spaces expanded an existing lot using local land bought by GO Transit for the purpose of parking expansion. As well, Streetsville now features free, designated carpool spaces.
Most importantly for weekday commuters, one new eastbound and one new westbound train will begin service after Labour Day. The new eastbound train will be an early morning run, leaving Milton at 5:59 a.m. Estimated local arrival times for the new train would be about 6:10 at Lisgar, 6:15 at Meadowvale and 6:20 at Streetsville. The new westbound train will leave Union Station at 5:55 p.m. each weekday.
Instead of trains pulling out of Streetsville at full capacity, the new train’s 1,600 seats will enable more riders who get on at Erindale, Cooksville and Dixie to get a seat on the morning GO train.
It is similar in the evening, where the extra train will enable more commuters to have a seat on the way home if they arrive on the platform at Union Station within five or six minutes of the westbound Milton train’s departure. Those westbound trains between 4:50 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. are often standing room only when they get in motion at Union Station. It can be a half-hour stand until seats become available as the train begins to significantly empty at Cooksville.
For commuters using the Square One Bus Terminal, construction will begin this fall on an additional new 130 parking spaces, bringing the total parking space at Square One to more than 330. The Square One terminal now includes a new station building to better protect passengers from weather, three GO service windows, and accessible public washrooms.
Ontario’s transit contributions to Mississauga
Since 2003, the Province has provided $307 million to the City of Mississauga to improve and expand public transit, including:
- $167 million through the Gas Tax Program;
- $65 million for the implementation of the Mississauga Transitway, as well as an additional $48 million to the project through GO Transit;
- $26.5 million toward the development of transit along the Hurontario and Dundas corridors;
- $48 million through various vehicle funding programs to buy new transit vehicles, and other one-time funding.
In 2003, GO service on the Milton Line consisted of five eastbound trains in the morning and five westbound trains in the evening, each pulling ten passenger cars. The Milton GO Line is now served by nine eastbound trains in the morning, and nine westbound afternoon trains, each pulling 12 passenger cars. This means more than double the capacity to move commuters since 2003. As well, all the stations on the Milton Line have been upgraded. The Lisgar Station was newly built in 2006-07, completed under budget and ahead of schedule, and entered service on September 4, 2007. Parking at Meadowvale and Streetsville have both greatly expanded during the intervening years, and MiWay (i.e. Mississauga Transit) connector buses now allow many more commuters to leave their cars at home and get to the GO system entirely on transit.
The Presto Card
The advanced technology in Metrolinx’s Presto Card has made fumbling for exact change, lining up to buy multi-ride tickets, inserting $20 bills into TTC token dispensers, and ordering monthly passes things of the past. Gone are the days when the western Mississauga commuter needed to pay three different companies for transit in three different ways: exact change for the connector bus, a pass or ten-ride ticket for the GO train, and a token for the TTC subway. Today the Presto Card, used by the overwhelming majority of regular commuters, does it all.
Thinking of a gift for a senior in your life? Consider getting him, her or them a Presto Card, and linking the Autoload function to your own credit or debit card. For the lucky senior (or student) in your life, that gift of an autoload on your own credit or debit card allows them to take the bus, GO Transit trains and buses, and much of the TTC with a single tap, and no more worry about exact change, passes or tickets.
More GO Transit reading