GO Bus Coming to Cobourg

For almost two decades, Cobourg and Port Hope residents have been asking for GO Transit to extend their service to Cobourg.  Up until recently, Metrolinx has said that there is not a business case even though they only want 20% of costs covered since Transit is generally subsidized.  The biggest potential number of riders would be by workers commuting to Toronto – these have often gone by VIA but currently VIA has no trains at times suitable for commuting (see Resources below).  But today, MPP David Piccini announced that starting in July, 2022, there will be an on-demand GO bus service connecting all of Northumberland.  The Bus will be “On-Demand” and not a fixed route and will connect to the Go Train at Oshawa Station.

GO announcement
GO Announcement

The announcement was made today by Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs.  As well as Warden Bob Crate, I saw several of the County’s Mayors at the event but no-one from Cobourg even though the announcement was at Exit 472 car pool lot just north of the 401.

The pilot service will start in July and between now and then we will get more details although “on-demand” probably means something similar to Cobourg’s current Transit system which requires patrons to book via phone or internet (see link below).

David said that work on this idea started in 2018 and included the County as well as Metrolinx and other Municipalities.  David thanked everyone for their contribution and said it was a “Historic Day for Northumberland County”. Further: “This is a game changing announcement. After years of hard work, our community will now have more options to access the GO network for the first time ever.”


9 July 2022

The pilot project of actual bus service is now expected to begin Sept. 5


Cobourg News Blog report

County Web site

Other Media

Northumberland News

  • Port Hope makes a Push for GO – 20 October 2005 – the reported VIA usage in 2005 was: “Between 150 and 175 people board Cobourg’s 7 am VIA train everyday and the 9 am train carries between 80 to 90 passengers”.

CBC News

VIA time table for 20 April

Cobourg to Union Station Union Station to Cobourg
8:51 6:32
11:37 8:32
13:02 11:32
15:04 12:17
15:21 15:32
17:21 17:02
21:10 17:32

The trip usually takes about 1 hr 15 minutes.

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Mary Nolan
2 years ago

Is the go transit bus actually operating from Cobourg now or about to start soon? I can’t find any info about it.

2 years ago

I wonder is the car-pool lot at exit 472 big enough to handle the potential capacity requirements? is there an overflow capacity somewhere?

Reply to  Gerinator
2 years ago

Whatever happens, it’s a great idea since Greyhound discontinued service to areas up north.

2 years ago

As with any travel or commute, there are two considerations; Time + Money. VIA was $67 round trip to Union–52 minutes one way, with one stop with Wi-fi and reserved seating. The value proposition worked as it was well used by 100+ residents daily.

Lets be polite and just say this Metrolinx/Go/On Demand solution is something very ‘different’…..If re-elected….(?)..Mr. Piccini and his staff should commit to using this GO alternative for 100% of their travels to Queens Park for the next 4 years as the most economical use of taxpayer money. They will have a dozen stops each way along the mind-numbing 4 hour round trip to second guess this election promise to commuters….

David Piccini
Reply to  Dunkirk
2 years ago

Respectfully, this comment ignores two important things.

First, VIA is a federal issue. Nonetheless, I have written to both the CEO of VIA and also the Minister responsible imploring them to reinstate this route. I’ve come to bear with what I can, using the agencies and partnerships at my disposal.

Second, the assertion of four hours is simply incorrect. The on-demand service takes passengers directly to Oshawa for the express train to Toronto. Discussion over the last few months included the milk run through Newcastle and along 401 and I did not accept that.

Appreciate these comments and share concerns over VIA, but don’t shoot the messenger whose actually trying to do something!

Lemon Cake
2 years ago

I’m not 100% clear on how on demand would work – do you just book and they come here? I find Via very expensive – I need to be in the city a few times a week and since the days vary I can’t book ahead. In the past it’s ended up being cheaper and more convenient to drive although with higher gas prices it’s about the same now.

Reply to  Lemon Cake
2 years ago

Via Rail was excellent for commuters. The best value was the commuter pass. 20 one way trips at 16.25 one way =325+tax for the pass which had to be used within 30 days. Like many, I bought this pass every month and it saved me a lot of money and time. Best way to get to the city and back in comfort. I wish Via would resume their 7:00am train from Cobourg to Toronto.
I wonder how much the on demand bus would cost….

Reply to  Diana
2 years ago

Perhaps via should offer the same service and pricing but extend the expiration date to 60 days. Many people are working partial weeks now. Service has to match demand and this would make it more feasable for some. 60 days would also allow many to use the service for travel other than work since the economy has now opened up. Ie. Hockey,ball,theatres,restaurants etc.

Reply to  Diana
2 years ago

Sadly the commuter pass has been cancelled effective June 30, 2022.

2 years ago

I thought there was an on-demand GO bus stop in Port Hope operating not that long ago, 2010-2015 or thereabouts. Also, GO bus connects with Trent University and other area stops on a regular basis. Anyone know about the Port Hope stop?

Reply to  MiriamM
2 years ago

On demand? That’s just another term for forget about it. It’s not a real Go Bus service.