GO Transit president Greg Percy appeared on CBC Radio's Metro Morning Tuesday, one day after a switch failure on the Lakeshore East line caused hours-long delays and cancellations that had passengers fuming during the morning commute.
"I don't blame [passengers] one iota about being upset, about being late getting to work" Percy told host Matt Galloway in an interview this morning. "We all have commitments ... and when you're late for those, absolutely you should get upset."
Percy said the delays were caused by the failure of a single switch — a piece of track with moveable points that allows trains to transfer from one line to another. There are hundreds of switches on GO's network but the one that seized and later broke Monday is located in a critical spot, near where there Lakeshore East and Stouffville corridors come together.
"It couldn't have happened in a worse place," said Percy. The switch failed at around 6 a.m., before the heaviest rush-hour traffic, but it meant that trains east of the switch on two lines had to wait in place as repair crews worked. Some trains had to head back to stations, others were cancelled. It wasn't long before the delay had a "cascading effect," leading to delays on the busy Lakeshore West corridor.