2016-04-15 Fri


I have made the executive decision to spend time in Melun. Melun is at the south-east end of the RER line “D2”, the longest line in the Transilien system.

This morning I met a friend who arrived by GO train from Bradford. Bradford is on the Barrie line. The trip from Bradford takes 85 minutes. The entire trip from Barrie to Toronto takes about two hours.

Since the GO trains make only one trip in and one trip out, each train (from Barrie, Stouffville, Richmond Hill etc.) runs for four hours each day. This is called a “Transit System” in Ontario.

Ontario GO trains sit idle for twenty hours each weekday, twenty-four hours on weekends.

The Transilien trains (RER and the SNCF) run eighteen hours each day in both directions.

Ontario GO trains spend more time sitting idle than RER trains spend running.

Do not let anyone get away with claiming that Toronto is a world-class city.


So I waited for my friend and listened to a local podcast on current affairs. A subway line is being extended to York University. When the subway line begins operation students will use it to commute to York University.

York University is about a million hectares of car parks with a few buildings scattered about. You need a car to drive from one building to another.

Today’s students have spent their formative adult years driving their own cars each day.

Tomorrows students will, in part, spend their formative adult years taking public transit. This will be represented by a slight increase in transit use, perhaps as much as five percent. Welcome, but not earth-shattering.

In ten years time Tomorrows students will marry and have children. Those children, at about age fifteen, will have grown up taking public transit, accompanied by and encouraged by their parents.

That is, there will be a twenty-five year lag between enhancing a system and its widespread acceptance by the population.