General News

Metrolinx announces plans to discontinue ‘vital’ GO Transit bus service in Bolton

June 13, 2019   ·   0 Comments


Local residents were rocked late last week after news filtered through to the community that two “necessary” GO Transit routes that currently run through Bolton will soon be discontinued.

The 38 and 38A GO bus routes are the only form of public transit in Bolton. Operated by Metrolinx, the 38 travels from Bolton to Malton, while the 38A transports residents from Bolton to the York Mills bus terminal. It was announced last week that the lines would be discontinued on June 29.

A Metrolinx release last week announced the company was discontinuing, reducing and adjusting services on several low-performing routes, highlighting the fact that low ridership on the Bolton lines was an ongoing issue. 

“We are always monitoring our services to ensure we’re using our resources when and where they’re needed most. We’re discontinuing and reducing service on some GO bus routes due to low demand,” the release reads. “We value all of our customers, and we don’t make these decisions lightly. In these cases, there is not enough demand to justify running the services.”

Statistics posted by MTO stated Route 38/38A has 220 daily boardings, but has seen a 7.9 percent decrease year or year in boardings. 

The GO Bus brought in approximately $198,000 in revenue last year, while operation of the buses cost Metrolinx $857,000 in 2018 – a loss of $659,000. 

An online petition launched by local resident Dina Bax last week has thus far garnered 245 signatures. In the message associated with the petition, Ms. Bax noted that people felt stranded and isolated as a result of the proposed route cancellation.

“Discontinuing this route stands many people from getting to work or school, and leaves the entire town out of the transit service and having easy access to the city,” Ms. Bax wrote. “There are no alternative routes listed for Bolton on the GO website, and it seems like they don’t care about providing their service for the people that depend on it.”

She continued, “Sign this petition to prove to GO Transit that the people of Bolton require this service, and leaving us stranded without first consulting the community is unjust, exclusionary and entirely inconsiderate.”

Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson was quick to react to the news, admitting on social media he was shocked by the discontinuation. 

“I was disappointed to hear that Metrolinx is planning to cancel the GO Transit 38/38A route. I have heard from many residents who will be affected by this cut,” Mayor Thompson stated. “I want the province to know that Caledon is about people, not numbers. The decision to cancel the GO Transit route to Bolton greatly impacts our residents who rely on this service.”

Mayor Thompson visited the Bolton GO bus station, located on Mayfield Road at Highway 50 last Wednesday (June 5) to speak to local residents who will be effected by the decision to cancel the routes.

“Cancelling this route is very detrimental to these people. A lot of people are saying they may have to sell up and move. Also, this is part of a real problem for a lot of students, who work but also go to school and rely on the bus service,” Mayor Thompson said. “This is completely wrong. We need to get to the bottom of it. We’re trying to get a transit system going here in Bolton, now they cancel the GO. It just cuts the arm right off. It’s unacceptable.”

In the aftermath of the announcement, Mayor Thompson revealed he has held talks with Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek, who, he says, has committed to having Ministry and Metrolinx staff work alongside Town of Caledon staff to “consider a compromise”. He also reserved praise for local MPP Sylvia Jones for “responding quickly” to the situation.

A community meeting is taking place tonight at the Albion Bolton Community Centre, Meeting Room C at 7 p.m. Mayor Thompson is asking residents to attend and meet with the Town’s manager of transportation and staff to share ideas and possible options for staff to then present to Metrolinx and the MTO.

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