If you go with GO

It’s September and you’re travelling home from college for the weekend.

Asking your parents for a ride can cost $40 or more.

Using a system like Megabus may be cost effective at about $14 a trip, but, from St. Catharines, Megabus only reaches areas within the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, leaving some students stranded and Greyhound tickets can be costly.

This is when GO Transit can help.

If you’re a student living in the Golden Horseshoe, GO Transit can bring you home for no more than $25.

If you plan to travel with GO, you can look forward to little planning, and an easy travel experience from St. Catharines to Burlington.

Transferring from Burlington to connecting trains can be confusing and schedules can be intimidating and difficult to read, especially with major changes being made to services across the province.

Starting Sept. 3, service from Brantford to Aldershot and Cambridge to Milton, with connecting train lines to provide access to other stations, will make travel somewhat easier for those living further west than Hamilton, and further south than Kitchener.

Adjustments have been made to GO’s most popular train line to improve Lakeshore’s reliability, and, travellers can expect increased service for Milton, Guelph, Acton and Kitchener.

GO’s website offers four options for trip planning, plus copies of all schedules, up-to-the-minute service updates for all routes and a fare calculator to help determine the total cost of your trip.

Triplinx, the customizable tool designed by GO’s parent company, Metrolinx, is one option for mapping your route home with. Once you input a starting point, which can be as generic as the city you wish to begin from and where you’d like to end your journey, Triplinx will give the fastest options according to the information provided.

Triplinx also allows you to change parts of your trip, so if you’d prefer to walk from the Brantford bus terminal rather than take another bus to get home, Triplinx will calculate your route accordingly.

GO Transit also provides a free SMS/Text service called “On the GO” designed to provide users who regularly use the same bus or train route with all service updates that may impact their commute to and from the station.

Once you actually begin your commute, GO buses are equipped with television screens at the front of the bus that highlight the current stop, as well as all following stops in order of arrival. In addition to screens providing a full list of stops, similar to the train systems, all stops are announced immediately after the previous stop, and again as the bus approaches the stop, giving users plenty of notice when they need to exit the bus.

While the whole experience of using GO Transit can be intimidating and overwhelming to begin with, GO Transit employees are always a good source of information when it comes to help locating stops, platforms and reading schedules.

“I only use GO to travel at home from Union Station, but it’s very easy”, says Joshua Alexander, a first-year Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program student.

What advice do GO employees have for new users?

A spokeswoman for Metrolinx, GO Transit’s parent company told Niagara News that first-time users are encouraged to check GO’s website for updates and travel information.
For more information on GO schedules, or to talk to a GO representative, visit gotransit.com or call 1-888-438-6646.

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