GTHA (Greater Toronto Hamilton Area for those of you who didn't know) commuters and Torontonians everywhere are always relieved to see the beauty of the big green and white zooming past the railway crossing.
The GO has been comfortably and speedily moving the GTHA for 50 years (someone get her some gold, better yet, gold train please). It has been a reliable friend to all of us commuters and frankly, we may never have made it to work on time had it not been for the GO.
Obviously, like anything that has been around for this long, there's a history, and it is worth noting that history in order to appreciate our number one transit system!
1. In 1967, our beloved GO Train was fully functioning and open to the public!
Half a century ago, our one and only GO Train became the region's first commuter rail service, with 14 stations along Lake Ontario. Like we needed another reason to think we're the best city in Canada. "Hey government of Canada, it's us again...Toronto. We've actually been talking, and we want our own rail service. We'll love it, and take care of it, and won't want anything else ever again! Thanks, Cana-dada and mama!"
2. No one expected the GO to be this BIG.
Actually, the GO was only supposed to be a three-year experiment. But it shattered expectations by meeting its projected second-year passenger volume in just six months. At that time, the Lakeshore GO Train carried 2.5 million passengers and was considered a success... who would have thought that those numbers would increase so much with the years to come. Needless to say, what started out as a small project became something bigger than anyone could’ve imagined
If you build it, we will ride it. We may also spill on it, sleep in it, run after it, rely on it, love it, and NEVER take it for granted.
3. Getting around the GTA became easier thanks to the GO Bus!
The first GO Buses opened in 1970, linking the GTA from Newmarket to Toronto and Oshawa to Hamilton. Commuters everywhere were overjoyed at the convenience of getting to work on time!
Imagine your life prior to this amazing invention? Imagine no GO Bus or GO Train... it's no surprise that we rely on it so much.
4. The GO Train became so popular that it needed extra leg room.
The first bi-level trains were introduced in 1978 with a seating capacity of 162 passengers (70% more than single-levelled).
We're assuming these lovely smiley faces are gleaming because they just learned this cool fact AND were about to board the raved about bi-level train. Maybe they also learned about GO's futuristic expansion plans. Either way, great smiles!
5. The Unionville GO Station was born in 1991.
Main Street Unionville has got to be the cutest little village in Ontario with a whole lot of history too! It's a street of galleries, independent shops, musical concerts, festive decor, and some seasonal delicately placed snowflakes. Thanks to the Unionville GO Station opening in 1991, traveling to this adorable little town has never been so simple. If you've never visited this magnificent little place, then what are you waiting for? Hop on the GO and discover this snow globe-like village.
6. The GO is kind of a superstar?
Bentley the green train is a lot more than just a train. In 2005, the Canadian soap opera Train 48 aired on TV. But what many people don't know is that the show actually took place in a railway car of our beloved GO Train on Lakeshore Westline, taking commuters from Toronto to the suburb of Burlington, Ontario.
The show followed the lives of 12 commuters and their everyday interactions from arguments about what went on at work to complaints about their horrible bosses. Every episode was full of real life scenarios that every GO Train commuter could relate to.
7. In 2006, GO celebrated its one billionth passenger.
That's one billion, happy customers who rely on the GO to take them from point A to point B. Where would we be without the GO Train today? Well, I just don't even want to know.
8. The GO Train will celebrate its 50th anniversary this May!
Wow! It's really been around for that long? YUP! And it's still going strong.
On May 23, 2017, the GO will celebrate 50 years of operation. Let that sink in... the GO has been around since your parents' time!
9. The GO is planning to connect the beautiful GTHA even more!
Light Rail Transit is the most efficient way to transport people within densely populated areas. The GTHA is not getting less populated, meaning more people will need to get around than ever before. Metrolinx (the GO’s operator), is planning and building and connecting the expansive space with 53 kilometers of slick new rail. They’re also adding 52 kilometres of new bus routes in York Region and Mississauga and upping the number of buses that arrive at Union Station during peak hours (from 29 to 50 by 2025!).
The GO Train has been around helping people get to where they need to go for quite some time now. It's no wonder that it still remains one of Ontario's most popular ways to travel around Toronto and the GTHA. This has made it possible for people to pursue careers in the downtown Toronto area even if they're living in Hamilton and vice versa!
On May 23, join us as we celebrate the GO Train's 50 years of operation. That's 50 years of helping young professionals get to work on time, helping students get to school on time and back home for the summer, and even helping families get to Toronto for an epic Blue Jays Game in the summer or a Leaf's game in the winter.