If you build it, they will go away.
That’s the news Metrolinx delivered this week, when they released “long-delayed” reports that said riders would be so frustrated by Tory’s SmartTrack stops that they would get back in their cars. It’s a conclusion that threatens the Weston GO station, too.
Weston has been quite lucky to have both a GO and a UPX stop, but when the Mount Dennis station is finished in 2022, our luck may run out. Like the Weston station, the Mount Dennis station will connect with the GO and the UPX—but in addition, it will have a link with the Eglinton LRT and busses. Will Metrolinx have three GO and UPX stops within 10 km: Weston, Mount Dennis and St. Clair?
This week’s report suggests they might not. Every stop slows down riders and drives them away from the service.
Obviously, there are four options:
- Closing both the GO and UPX stations
- Closing the UPX
- Closing the GO
- Closing neither
Your correspondent bets that Metrolinx will close the GO station—and would close both if they could. The reasons are clear:
- GO Trains accelerate and decelerate slowly, so an additional stop causes more inconvenience.
- Ridership must be down a great deal now that the UPX is cheap
- Very few people get on the GO in Weston going to Kitchener, and fewer still who would not take the UPX one stop in the wrong direction to Mount Dennis to get on the GO heading out of town.
Two solutions would be an integrated fare or fare by distance, so Westonians could get on the UPX and not be penalized for jumping on another mode of transit at Mount Dennis. Your correspondent doubts very much that Metrolinx will miss a chance to burn Westonians, however.