Seriously, is it possible to write too much about GO Transit in Niagara?
Don’t think so.
It’s nirvana, black gold, Texas tea, to many residents here. (Note to anyone under 55: that’s a Beverly Hillbillies reference in honour of Earl Scruggs, co-performer of the show’s theme song, who passed away last week.)
Anyway, as occasionally happens, I had submitted my GO column the other day when other requested information, mainly ridership statistics, trickled in.
But that’s what blogs are for, right? A place to deposit additional information in timely fashion.
Here we go, then. GO Bus service started in Niagara in September 2009. From then until Dec. 31, GO carried about 61,000 passengers on the route. I don’t know if this is fair or not, but if you extrapolate those four months over a whole year, you’d get 183,000 trips.
For all of 2010, there were 150,000 trips on the route. Data isn’t available, yet, for 2011.
OK, let’s move on to the “tourism” GO train that runs on summer weekends.
The first year, 2009 (June through to October, and Thanksgiving weekend), there were about 50,000 riders.
In 2010 (May through to September), there were about 30,000 riders; in 2011 (May long weekend, June through September, and Thanksgiving weekend) there were also about 30,000 riders.
This doesn’t strike me as a lot, and ridership isn’t trending upward as time goes on. But what do I know?
GO spokesperson Vanessa Thomas, who dug up the numbers for me, said transit agency officials are “very pleased” with the results.
Mind you, she is in public relations.
St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley got back to me after deadline, too. I asked if there was an update on when we might expect GO Train service to Niagara.
“The government is evaluating its options now according to the budgets that have been provided to each ministry. So, that will be a decision that will depend upon the availability of additional funds,” said Bradley.
How tragic I couldn’t get this enlightening information in my column!
OK, Jim, how about the idea, as St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan believes, we’ll find out about future train service some time this year?
“I have not heard of a decision being rendered this year. Right now, the focus is on wrestling with the deficit and then trying to make a determination after that where in the future the government might go with the service.”
What can I say? The man knows bland.
Tense, stress-filled week coming up. What, local governments will be trying to come to grips with spiraling expenditures? Don’t be ridiculous.
The office playoff hockey pool is next Wednesday. Frankly, I’m on a bad streak and need to up my game. As a potentially good sign, though, I did finish second in a March Madness basketball pool. Sadly, I think it had more to do with the pathetic bracket choices of my fellow competitors rather than my selection acumen. Still, I’ll draw on any inspiration I can.
A guy called the other day with a tip of sorts. He said I could poke fun at the city over it. Sorry, that’s not my style. But I’ll do it, anyway.
The city has attached a Cultural Capital of Canada banner on a lamp post just outside the entrance to the new parking garage.
That’s right. Extolling our cultural eminence at the front of a parking garage.
Hey, it’s funny.
Speaking of weird juxtapositions, how about the sign in front of the new pool at Pearson Park?
The sign, as always, states: Kiwanis Aquatic Centre, opening Fall 2011.
Doesn’t the city own a can of paint? Surely, it could cover up the last part and do the following rewrite: Kiwanis Aquatic Centre, opening … um, we’ll get back to you.
For those of you who don’t get out much and rely on my never-ending Son of Port Tower updates, a wooden shell of the presentation centre/model suite is partially up.
The Port Mansion and My Cottage have been toast for awhile.
It’s going to be a weird summer in Port Dalhousie.