Go train overcrowding

GO Transit promises more train cars to alleviate mass overcrowding

Train platforms at Union Station have been utterly chaotic this week thanks to some GO Transit schedule tweaks that give 905ers a taste of what it feels like to ride Line 1 or the King streetcar every day.

The problem became glaringly apparent on Monday, when the new schedule came into effect, as passengers waited in long, rowdy lines to board the Kitchener GO Transit line at rush hour.

Riders have been complaining of dangerous overcrowding conditions every evening since then, prompting Metrolinx to announce on Friday morning that two more trains would be added to the busy 5:02 p.m westbound train from Union.

What commuters want, however, is for the provincially-owned transit agency to bring back an express route it just dropped.

Prior to Monday, weekday commuters were able to board a Brampton-bound express train every night at 4:50 p.m. That train was dropped to accommodate the addition of another train on the line servicing Kitchener, Guelph, Acton, Georgetown and Mount Pleasant.

The absence of the express train has led to hundreds of commuters fighting for spots on the trains running directly before and afterwards.

"We had to change some of the existing times of the express trains, change a few things here and there with the schedule," said Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins in an interview on Thursday.

"We anticipated that it would cause some difficulties for some customers, but I think we didn't anticipate just how much it would," she said. "We are working very, very hard and as fast as we can to put some fixes in place."

Ontario transit Minister Jeff Yurek, who acknowledged the flood of complaints on social media earlier this week, said in a statement last night that GO Transit would "be adding additional cars starting Monday while continuing to evaluate options to further reduce congestion."

GO Transit Kitchener published a statement via its own Twitter account Friday morning, confirming that more cars would soon be added.

"The afternoon GO Train from Union will be extended from a 10-car train to a 12 car train," it reads.

Regular passengers aren't convinced, however, that this will do much to help the situation.

"How about going back to the previous schedules?" asked one rider on Twitter in response to GO Transit. "The new ones are horrible, did you even consult your passengers in the first place?"

"Please explain by adding 300 seat to 5:02 train how will that help me pick up my kids before 6:00 pm from Mt Pleasant?" wrote another. "Oh yeah you have the 4:35 pm stuffed with entire Brampton. PLEASE GENUINELY LISTEN BRING THE 4:50 EXPRESS BACK."

Lead photo by

Linda Wynne


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