GO buses inside the Union Station Bus Terminal

New milestone reached for growing service at Union Station Bus Terminal

400 bus trips (arrivals and departures) set a record for activity.

May 30, 2023

Traffic in and out of the Union Station Bus Terminal (USBT) has been growing since it opened in December 2020 and a major milestone was reached on Sunday, May 21.

With added buses for a Blue Jays home game, long weekend visitors to Toronto and seven extra runs on Route 71 Stouffville, a total of 400 trips entered or left the terminal.

It’s no surprise that the record was broken on a Sunday as that’s typically the terminal’s busiest day of the week, with additional leisure travel and students returning to campus.

With many downtown attractions like Blue Jays games, the aquarium and museums in full swing, Sundays are a particularly popular travel day for GO Transit. 

Many passengers heading to these popular activities are taking advantage of the $10 weekend day online passes and $15 full weekend packages.

GO buses inside the Union Station Bus Terminal

The number of trips per week has more than doubled since the terminal opened.

The terminal is about more than just GO Transit service. Six other carriers also use the USBT – Ontario Northland, FlixBus, Greyhound USA, Megabus/Coach Canada, Red Arrow and Rider Express – and they’ve contributed to the growth in station use.

Third-party carriers are offering more destinations and more frequent service for commuters, and this expands options for passengers, especially those travelling beyond the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Ontario Northland offers trips to Huntsville, North Bay and Sudbury.

Private sector lines serve passengers bound for various destinations in Ontario and as far away as Montreal, New York, Detroit and Washington. Metrolinx is working to address the broader needs of our population, and this shows how dynamic and versatile the terminal has proven to be.

GO bus and workers inside the Union Station Bus Terminal

The mix of trips is approximately 60 per cent GO and 40 per cent private carriers – and having this combination of services in one location is good for riders. With GO providing both rail and bus service into Union, it serves as a great, central connection hub.

The bus terminal offers customers a unique airport-style boarding system with four designated zones and 14 individual gates on two floors – the only one of its kind in Canada.

It is designed with room for expansion as it is currently operating at about 60 per cent of daily maximum capacity.

There are plans for a new Second Cup and convenience store kiosk as new amenities that bus riders can look forward to in the future.

Travellers looking for the bus terminal, can enter through the front door, off Lake Shore Boulevard, just east of Bay Street; the pedestrian bridge connecting it to the Galleria, between the train station and arena; or CIBC Square.

by Mike Winterburn Metrolinx News senior writer