Nora Medina of Richmond Hill writes about GO Transit’s bus and train stop at Highway 7 and Yonge St.
“Commuters that rely on the bus service from Langstaff station (Highway 407 routes to York University, U of T Scarborough, etc.) have to wait for the buses outside on Langstaff Road. The bus shelters only accommodate up to nine people. Unfortunately there are about 25 to 30 of us that wait for the 9:00 a.m. bus. What makes this issue totally unacceptable is the fact that there is an enclosed waiting area — heated, monitored with video cameras, emergency buttons and benches — just a few metres away.”
She asks why buses can’t stop there instead.
Bill Jenkins, GO’s Director of Customer Services responds:
“Although the parking lot area in front of this shelter building was designed to be able to accommodate buses, it is now being used for reserved parking as well as a kiss & ride for dropping off and picking up train and bus customers.”
He tells In Transit, “GO Buses stop on Langstaff Road, south of this building, where there are standard bus bays and shelters.
“This bus stop operation is faster and technically better to operate, and customers already on the bus prefer this to pulling into the parking lot.”
This isn’t the only ‘disconnect’ in the area. Just across the tracks from the GO stop is Richmond Hill Centre terminal, a major transfer point for York Region’s Viva bus network.
These two stations have the potential to become the “Union Station passenger hub” for York Region, but right now you need to catch a local bus from one to the other. There is an unofficial walking route across the rail line, but part of it follows a dirt path.
Mary-Frances Turner of York Region says that a fully enclosed walkway is to be built across the tracks, hopefully later this year, so transit riders can use stairs and elevators to get between the stations.
Asked if it wouldn’t have been better for a direct link to be ready when the Viva terminal opened in 2005, she says, “In an ideal world, sure, but this is complicated and needed a lot of levels of approval to have it fall into place.”
She says that the existing Richmond Hill Centre stop was part of a basic first phase of the Viva network, and future phases —which include exclusive bus lanes on Yonge Street — should result in a more convenient and comfortable station.