GO Train riders taking the Lakeshore West line should brace themselves for six months of service cuts and disruptions, including some trains that will only travel one stop.
Beginning September 6, weekday evening service along Lakeshore West will be reduced in both directions to accommodate construction of the Hurontario LRT near Port Credit in Mississauga. According to Metrolinx, construction crews need to install an underpass under the Lakeshore West corridor, which will require the closure of "at least two tracks."
To start, beginning at 7:45 p.m., the number of evening trains heading westbound out of Toronto will be cut by half, running just once every hour. The trains normally scheduled to leave Union Station at 9:15 p.m., 10:15 p.m., and 11:15 p.m. will travel just one stop to Exhibition. Additionally, three of the westbound trains that do make it out of Toronto -- departing at 7:45 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 9:45 p.m. -- will only run to Aldershot with bus connections to West Harbour GO.
On the Eastbound tracks, three evening trains that would normally leave West Harbour at 9:13 p.m., 10:13 p.m., and 11:13 p.m. will now begin their route at Aldershot at 9:10 p.m., 10:10 p.m., and 11:10 p.m. The eastbound route will also have a few trains making short single-stop trips between Exhibition and Union at 9:51 p.m., 10:51 p.m., and 11:51 p.m.
The revamped schedule is expected to last until February 2023, but Metrolinx says it is working to fill in the evening service gap to West Harbour even sooner.
The Lakeshore West reductions are the latest in a series of disruptions made to accommodate transit improvements. The Lakeshore East and Stouffville GO Train lines are set to shut down entirely during the weekend of September 24, and the Barrie line will undergo construction the weekends of September 10, October 29, and December 7.
In a Metrolinx blog post published on Wednesday, the transit agency addressed the closures, writing "Sometimes construction leads to service reductions. That means train service going down to once-an-hour, or with buses replacing trains for an evening or a whole weekend. Metrolinx understands that, while absolutely necessary, these decisions can present an inconvenience, so they are not taken lightly."
Metrolix Senior Manager for Rail Corridor Access Control Patricia Henriques said that ultimately, the shutdowns will allow for better service in the long run.
“We understand that this is not ideal for people who planned to go watch a game that weekend and they need to find a different way to get to the game," Henriques said. "But we hope they can see that we are building for them, to provide a better service, that is faster and more frequent.”