GO Train commuters can breathe a sigh of relief.

The province announced Friday that GO Train service will increase along the Lakeshore lines, almost doubling the frequency of off-peak travel.

Currently, trains run hourly between Aldershot and Oshawa. Trips will start running every 30 minutes, seven days a week starting Saturday.

“This is liberating to the 905,” Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation, told reporters on Friday as he tore up the old GO Transit schedule.

This is the largest expansion of GO service, according to Murray.

“We are building now, we are dealing with congestion now, and we aren’t messing around. We have a premier that is getting business done,” Murray said.

The funding for the expansion of service is being paid for by Ontarians via the gas tax and income tax.

Murray said he hopes the increase in service will encourage people to get rid of their cars and save the province money.

What does this increased service mean in terms of numbers of trains? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Adds 263 train trips every week
  • 18 new trips on weekdays (Lakeshore East line)
  • 24 new trips on Saturdays (Lakeshore East and West line)
  • 15 new trips on Sundays (Lakeshore East and West line)
  • 19 new trips on weekdays (Lakeshore West line)

“We are anticipating another 6,000 riders on the east and west line. We don’t expect that to happen on day one, it will be a gradual build up,” said Gary McNeil, president of GO Transit.

This initiative is part of Metrolinx’s plan called The Big Move that aims to transform transit in the GTA and Hamilton area.

Toronto’s plans for the Downtown Relief Line and Yonge subway extension are included in Metrolinx’s plan.

When reporters asked Murray about the city’s transit plans, he had this to say: “I have a very strong message for my friends at city hall: It’s time to make a decision. We have been very patient during transit debates but we need clarity. We need clarity from the mayor.”

On July 16, Toronto city council is scheduled to meet and Murray said that is its last chance to take a clear position on transit plans.