hurontario lrt

People in Brampton won't stop harassing construction workers building new transit lines

Though it's often young women who tend to be on the unfortunate receiving end of uncomfortable verbal exchanges between construction workers and passersby, it's the workers on some major infrastructure projects in the Toronto area who are now getting accosted in a very different way by local residents.

Transit agency Metrolinx had to put out a PSA this week after a number of what it calls "road rage incidents" in which people working on new public transportation lines have been yelled at, threatened or worse.

Drivers have been getting especially agitated about construction on the new Hurontario LRT, which will run 19 stops down Hurontario Street between Brampton and Mississauga and is well on its way to completion, slated for a 2024 opening.

According to Metrolinx spokesperson Nitish Bissonauth, harassment has been both verbal and physical, and multiple incidents have been reported in recent weeks.

These include one incident where a motorist started yelling profanities and threatened to hit workers with their car, one where someone rammed into a traffic cone in anger, and another where a driver sped through a partially-closed work area with no regard to the flaggers directing traffic at the time.

"Construction can be frustrating, we get that," Bissonauth continued. "But that's no excuse for verbally or physically harassing anyone simply trying to do their job. We have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or violence of any kind."

As detailed in a blog post on the subject on Tuesday, Metrolinx and LRT project constructor Mobilinx are now working with Peel Regional Police to keep work sites safe and fine drivers when necessary.

Crews are imploring residents — who should, if they live in and around Toronto, be well versed in dealing with construction delays — to be patient, to allot extra time for travel, to heed signage in construction zones and to keep the safety of everyone around them in mind, even when they get a little hot-headed.

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