GO 50th Anniversary

Now arriving 1970s

The '70s were an exciting time in Ontario. Between 1971 and 1976 alone, the province's population rose from 7.7 million to 8.2 million, with over 80 per cent of people settling in urban areas. And they all had places to go and people to see.

⟵ 1960s 1980s ⟶

Building new ways to
keep people connected

Customers boarding GO Bus circa 1970s

GO Transit bus service

In September of 1970, the first buses operated by GO Transit were unveiled at Queen's Park. The service linked Oshawa on the east and Hamilton on the west, with a bus commuter service running north to Newmarket from Toronto.

Dial-A-Bus Service

In October of 1973, GO launched on-demand minibus service to provide door-to-door service for commuters between their homes and select subway stations and plazas. The Dial-A-Bus service ran six days a week until 1976.

GO Milestone

As demand for GO Bus services grew, so did its fleet and number of terminals. To meet this demand, GO launched new services including bus service timed to the arrival of GO Trains – making connections easier.

GO transit system map 1970s

GO is growing

In the early '70s, the GO Transit system expanded further by introducing Richmond Hill-Toronto GO Bus services and more daily train trips.

GO-ALRT vehicle circa 1970s

In one of its most ambitious plans, GO proposed its GO-ALRT (Government of Ontario Advanced Light Rail Transit) System. This forward-thinking concept centred around a network of high-speed, driverless electric trains spanning the GTA and operating at subway speeds and frequencies. Although it didn't come to fruition, it paved the way for future innovations and enhancements.

As expansion continued, GO introduced its Georgetown line on April 27, 1974. It served the Bloor, Weston, Malton, Bramalea, Brampton and Georgetown stations. In May of 1975, monthly ridership was 35,998. A year later, that number rose to 63,223.

GO transit schedule 1974
GO Train CN Tower in background circa 1970s

To much fanfare and media hype, the tip was placed on the CN Tower in 1976. As the world's tallest free-standing structure, the CN Tower became an instant tourist attraction. Visitors were encouraged to take GO, which conveniently stopped at Union Station.

Here are the GO routes that got commuters from A to B in 1970.

View Timetable

1978 1978

Going north

On April 29, 1978, service to Richmond Hill began with three trains running in each direction along train lines that were previously used for CN passenger services.

GO Train Richmond Hill service map circa 1970s

Minimum Fare 70

Maximum Fare 2.25

Children 35

In the 1970s, the minimum fare an adult could buy was 70¢ and the maximum fare was $2.25. Children got on for 35¢, just a few cents more than the price of a cup of coffee.

GO Train bi-level car 1978

New bi-level trains

On March 13, 1978, GO introduced its first bi-level trains. Seventy-eight trains were put into service and the inaugural trip was taken by Number 906. With a seating capacity of 162 passengers, the bi-level train offered 70% more seating than the single-level cars, which sat 96.

In the early '70s, Canada embarked on metrication – the process of switching over to metric from the imperial system of measurement.

December, 1979

All in a day's work

Chat icon

In 1979, ticket security clerk Eric was sorting through used tickets and found an antique gold ring and a note from its owner, who had dropped it into the fare box by accident. The misadventure ended happily when Eric returned the ring to her home personally after work that day – a moment of relief for the owner, but all in a day's work for Eric.

Moving on up

In 1979, GO Transit moves into its new home – Union Station, Bay Concourse.

Union Station circa 1970s