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.
GO Transit will cause a stampede, and people will probably expire. pic.twitter.com/55nStNgVIL— Haider Inayat (@HaiderInayat) January 9, 2019
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.
5 minutes before departure. People are pushing and shoving and getting crushed trying to get on this train before the doors closed. Why doesn't the head of Metrolinx and GO come down and see this is DANGEROUS. Bring back the 450 express train to ease the burden for YOUR CLIENTS!— jezleo (@jezleo) January 9, 2019
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.
NEW KITCHENER LINE 4:35PM TRAIN. IS THIS SAFE?Is this what my 5 grand a year goes towards? Being shoved into a can in an unsafe environment. What if there was an emergency? This is worse than the service before. Someone please help GO riders! @GOtransit @CTVToronto @globalnewsto pic.twitter.com/ulv4g6k7vU— Sam (@girlnamedsamm) January 8, 2019
"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.
We’re listening to your concerns, so we’re pleased to tell you that starting Monday, January 14, the 5:02 p.m. afternoon #GOtrain from Union will be extended from a 10-car train to a 12 car train.— Kitchener Train (@GOtransitKT) January 11, 2019
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."
1) Ford Tories cancel a vital express GO Train to Brampton & Kitchener in rush hour.— Jared A. Walker (@JAWalker) January 11, 2019
2) NDP joins commuters, says bring back the train.
3) Tories get mad, say we're asking for service cuts.
Would it be so hard to just apologize for a mistake & fix it instead of lying? #ONpoli pic.twitter.com/QorxUnq2uJ
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