The recent discontinuation of the GO Transit London route has left commuters and advocates disheartened, as reflected in a poignant tweet capturing the last trace of GO Transit in Stratford. While the hope for its eventual return lingers, criticisms and frustrations voiced on Twitter shed light on the inherent flaws that plagued this route, making its demise almost inevitable.
The last trace of GO Transit in Stratford. I’m sure that GO will return one day, but hopefully service includes track upgrades and better schedules. pic.twitter.com/0ePa64D2mr
— Alex Glista 🇨🇦 (@AlexanderGlista) December 26, 2023
One recurring theme in the criticism is the subpar speed of the trips, with dismay over the four-hour travel time from London to Toronto. Such inefficiency puts GO Transit at a disadvantage compared to other modes of transportation, like VIA Rail or private cars, raising questions about the competency of its scheduling and operational strategies. Tracks were left to rot for decades, imposing a speed limit of 50 km/h on much of the route, points to a severe lack of infrastructure maintenance and investment. Basic track upgrades could have significantly improved train speeds, making the service more competitive and appealing to commuters.
The discontinuation also prompts a broader reflection on the state of transit in Ontario. In the 90’s the government prioritized cars and highways over public transit, focusing on a car-centric mentality. This has resulted in a transit system struggling to keep up with the demands of an ever-growing population and expanding urban areas.
But lets compare this with transit systems in Japan, Korea, and Europe. The development of these transit systems underscore the inadequacies of Ontario’s transit network. These international examples showcase the success of comprehensive, efficient transit systems that cater to diverse city nodes, ensuring seamless connectivity. Governments at various levels, in Ontario, need to prioritize and revitalize our transit infrastructure.
The discontinuation of the GO Transit London route seems to be a result of a combination of poor planning, inadequate infrastructure maintenance, and a historical preference for individual transportation over public transit. While the hope for improved transit systems persists, it will require a fundamental shift in priorities and a commitment to comprehensive, well-maintained infrastructure to ensure the success of public transit in Ontario.