go train

Study suggests GO train riders being exposed to carcinogens

Toronto-area commuters who take GO Transit might want to pay attention to a new study from The Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research at the University of Toronto.

Researchers found that at certain times, GO Transit passengers are exposed to high levels of diesel exhaust - components of this pollutant can cause cancer as well as other health problems.

The study was shared with the Toronto Star before being published, and according to the Star, researchers tested trains for two components of diesel exhaust along the Richmond Hill line.

They found that there were higher levels of diesel exhaust when the trains were in pull mode (versus push mode), or when the locomotive was at the front of the train. At these times, the coaches closest to the locomotive would have the highest concentration of pollutants.

One of the study's co-authors told the Star that this shouldn't discourage people from taking GO Transit. And Metrolinx has already responded to say it's working with the researchers to implement safety measures for passengers.

The safest solution would be to electrify GO - there are plans in place to electrify 80 per cent of the GO network by 2024.

Lead photo by

Patrick Younger


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