Route 85 "Sydenham"
Joint GRT / GO Service


7.5 km


Rush Hour Service
GO Shuttle

Number of Branches



12 mins. (Peak)


Route recently transferred to GO Shuttle

Route 85, known as Sydenham or Sydenham GO Shuttle, is a peak GO Shuttle bus operated by GO Transit in Sydenham, Gravenhurst. The route is contracted out to GO Transit by Gravenhurst Regional Transit (GRT).

This involved GO Transit operating the buses and collecting the fares, but GRT paying for any losses in running the service. Unlike other contracted services in the region, when boarding anywhere along the route, a GRT fare or a GO Transit fare are both acceptable. For passengers transferring to and from a GRT vehicle to this bus route, there are no extra fares involved.

The intent of the GO Shuttle is to boost the ridership at the local's GO Station. For this route, it is Sydenham GO Station. The objective of this route, on a meeting between the GRT and the GO Transit in Fall 2009 was to boost the ridership at Sydenham GO Station during rush hours.

Note that GO Transit only provides weekday rush hour services. There are no saturday or sunday services. However, there are currently plans of GRT retaking the route during mid-day weekdays and during weekends, but this "retaken" route will not connect to the GO Transit station.

The former gSmart displays equipped with the GRT operated local route is not compatible with the new GO Transit operated vehicles.


Route 85 was originally a local, full-time route, created and operated by the Gravenhurst Regional Transit in 2000. The route was to accommodate the expansion of the Sydenham community, and to connect those who are far away from the base routes. The original route was named Sydenham Local. The original routing was a giant loop, looping on Township Hall Dr., Sydenham Bl., Connock St., Main St., Chiu St., Fairgrounds Bypass, and Pond Dr.. The route was not deemed successful, and was underperforming for several years. Though GRT had tweaked the route up throughout the years, by adjusting the schedule and restructuring the route, the ridership did not improve significantly.

In Winter 2008/09, NT Consulting, the marketing consulting company for the GRT, recommended dropping the route, or contract it to another local transit operator. While dropping the route seemed inappropriate, since many of the riders are seniors, and they rely on the route. The decision was made by GRT in Summer 2009, when the McAssure Line of GO Transit opened. The decision was to contract the route to GO Transit, restructuring the route to connect to the McAssure Line at Sydenham GO Station. GO Transit had agreed the terms and conditions, officially on October 22, 2009. The route was transferred from GRT operation to GO Transit operation beginning December 1, 2009. The route was also restructured on the same day, no longer serving Pond Dr., Sydenham Bl., Connock St. to provide a more direct travel and to improve travelling time. Beginning at this date, mid-day service and weekend service is cancelled and no longer offered. Commuters are encourage to use the nearby Routes 76A and 76B instead.

Unlike many other GO Shuttles, the route offers both direction travelling at any given service hour.

GO Transit also agreed to inherit the original number of the route, which is 85. Originally, GO Transit proposed to number the route 12. Since the route is contracted out by GRT, the GRT has absolute decision over the route.

In May 2010, the route offers limiting trips diverting to Locomotive Road.

Fleet UsedEdit

  • GO Shuttle Buses 30' (1980s)

Future DevelopmentsEdit

It has been known that with the increase of population in the Sydenham area, GRT might want to retake the operation of the route during mid-day and weekends to better serve the community. This has not been verified by a GRT official yet, and therefore would not likely be implemented in the near future.

Major StopsEdit

The runtime of the route is 12 minutes.

Destination SignEdit


Service FrequencyEdit

Time Period Frequency (min) Buses Used Notes
Weekday Peak 12 2
Weekday Mid / Evening N/A N/A No service
Weekday Late Evening / Nite N/A N/A No service
Saturday Day N/A N/A No service
Sunday / Holiday Day N/A N/A No service
Weekend / Holiday Night N/A N/A No service

GO Transit Shuttle buses
3 (Downtown)64 (Guelph)72 (Caledonia)85 (Sydenham)120 (Outer Lydia)142 (Garneau) (Proposed)