This post originally appeared on UrbanToronto

GO Transit has received the 2013 Outstanding Public Transit Achievement Award from the American Public Transportation Association(APTA) at the APTA Awards Ceremonies on October 1, 2013. GO Transit, serving 65 million passengers annually with a transit network over 11,000 square kilometres, was recognized in the Large Transit System category (systems with over 20 million passengers per year).

GO Transit Outstanding Public Transit Achievement Award Metrolinx GTHA TorontoGO Transit receives the Outstanding Public Transit Achievement Award from the APTA, image courtesy of Metrolinx

GO Transit has the fifth highest rate of commuter train ridership in North America, and won the award over Canada, the United States and Mexico’s largest transit operators. GO was recognized for its work in advancing public transit in North America and exemplifying leadership & excellence.

GO Transit Outstanding Public Transit Achievement Award Metrolinx GTHA TorontoThe award recognizes GO’s advancement of public transit in North America, image courtesy of Metrolinx

GO received high marks in a number of categories including customer service, operations, marketing and communications, and employee development and engagement. With continued improvement in keeping trains on-schedule and an updated Passenger Charter, a 9% increase in ridership since 2012 with 80% rider satisfaction is well deserved. GO has also been improving its fare collection schemes with the introduction of the Presto card and the first fully integrated electronic Service Guarantee system in the world, which automatically credits fares to customers’ accounts for delayed trips.

GO’s receipt of the APTA award is testament to the relative strength of the GTHA’s regional transit system. GO Transit also has one of the highest revenue/cost ratios for any North American transit system at almost 80% cost recovery in 2012. With the announcement of half-hourly train service on its Lakeshore route, and the ongoing renovations of Union Station, Metrolinx and GO are intelligently re-investing those gains into its system. The $7.7 million annual increase in GO operating costs from the increased Lakeshore service is expected to attract 50 per cent more GO riders, while the Union Station renovations will be tripling the size of the GO passenger concourse.