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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

GO Transit’s new bike shelters

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On a recent visit to my hometown of Brampton, I noticed a new GO Transit bike shelter freshly installed in front of the downtown Brampton station. The bike racks themselves have yet to be installed, but a surprising amount of thought went into the shelter’s construction – not only does the shelter protect locked bikes from the elements, it also sports a clever steel bicycle frame on top that is made to resemble the distinctive, 41-year old GO Transit logo.

The placement of the bicycle storage area is also interesting. Not only is it placed right in front of the 1907 station (which is also used by VIA Rail) to maximize visibility and convenience, it also replaces two parking spaces.  As described earlier, Brampton is one of the most urban GO Stations in the 905, with a bus terminal downstairs and a suddenly booming high-density growth centre, with four nearby condo and rental towers under construction. Brampton Station (along with some other 905 stations like Port Credit, Aurora and Hamilton) is relatively easy to walk or bike to from nearby neighbourhoods, and has decent local transit bus connections. It is also not overwhelmed by parking spaces, unlike many of GO’s purpose-built stations.

A second platform, already under construction, will facilitate more regular train service to Brampton, and the recent announcement of a plan for 30-minute rail service all-day service on most corridors by 2020, and the electrification of the Lakeshore and possibly the Georgetown Corridor, means that GO Transit will slowly transform from a commuter service to a true regional rail system. Something as simple as a new bike shelter is, at least as I see it, a small symbol of GO’s potential transformation. Especially as in the past GO Transit has focused on providing parking space, rather than living up to its potential as a something much more.



  1. These shelters are pretty cool. GO started installing them back in the spring, with the first one being at the Ajax GO station. There’s a photo of the Ajax shelter with bike racks installed at the bottom of this post on I Bike TO:

  2. Similar shelters have been up at Mount Joy and Agincourt stations for about a month now. Although i wish there were sides to the shelter to avoid the wind tunnel effect.

    Hopefully once Presto is in place we can have secure bike areas with security cameras, as seen here in Cambridge/Boston:

    Either way it has definitely convinced me to bike to the GO station more often. A clear step forward…now only if they’d improve access to those massive parking lots you have to bike/walk through.

  3. Thought suburban infrastructure design aimed not at drivers? Amazing!

  4. Now if only they would provide more shelters for the people standing and freezing their a**es off on the platforms all winter!

  5. Nice work Jennifer!! I know it was not easy.
    Noticed one at Guildwood GO yesterday.

  6. Beautiful.

    I’d love to see these at Toronto’s subway stations and suburban bus-stops. I prefer this type of parking investment much more than Toronto’s Bike Locker program that can only be used by a handful of people.

  7. They’ve been slowly popping up at Mississauga GO stations over the last few months. The one at Clarkson is awkwardly placed between two bus stop (29 and 8) at the bus loop, but I guess it’s the only place that’s next to a ramp instead of a staircase. As of now, there haven’t been any signs of one being installed on the south side of the PC GO. Only the standard bus racks are still there. They might have put it on the north side, but I’m not sure where it would go up htere.

  8. So this is a great idea, however there is one caveat. I purchased a bike this spring for the express purpose of riding it to the Brampton GO station, as it is only about 20 minutes away by bike. When explaining this to the salesperson at the near by Cycle Path she told me not to park my bike at the station and instead park it infront of thier store as bikes parked at the station tend to get stolen. The lot is not monitored and is fairly isolated so theives have a lot of time to steal a bike.

    Any idea if they are going to do anything for the safety of the bikes in this new shelter?

  9. Jennifer is a staff member of GO transit who has been working with others at GO transit in making these happen.

  10. The real designer of the bike shelter is a GO Transit Project Coordiinator named Claudio