Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Turn on the oven. Set it to 450F and let it burn

from:Name Withheld
cc:"" ,
"" ,
"" ,
date:Tue, May 26, 2015 at 12:26 PM
subject:What is going on with GO Train Lakeshore East Line and what/how do you intend to repair

Mr. Percy,

I am writing to you regarding the recent issues with GO Transit Rail service, specifically the Lakeshore East Line.

As I know you are quite aware, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of incidents in which the GO trains have been impacted (late and/or cancelled trains) due to track switch problems.  While we GO commuters are more sympathetic to this issue during the cold winter months, what is going on now as this clearly is not related to weather? 

I was one of hundreds of people that were stuck/delayed on the train this past Thursday, May 21st.  As I texted my husband to advise that I would miss my daughter's soccer game, I overheard many other commuters make calls to family/friends/daycare/doctor's etc., advising that they too will be missing dinner reservations/birthday celebrations/doctors and specialist appointments/late pickup at daycare, etc.  These missed appointments cost us in late/cancellation fees (some doctors charge upwards of $50 for missed appointments), extra daycare expenses of up to $5/minute late pickup, etc. not to mention our valuable time.  We work long days and the last thing we need to deal with is sitting on a train for 60+ minutes wondering if the train will move or will we be kicked off the train and left to figure out how to get home via other transit/cab options?  Oh yes, this has happened before and I can say from experience, this is not fun nor enjoyable.

Do we not deserve a bit more respect and answers as to what GO Transit's problems are and what GO/Metrolinx intends to do to minimize and finally resolve this issue?

I feel that everyone at GO/Metrolinx really has no respect or care for regular GO transit passengers as 'they really have no other option other than drive to work'.  Yes, many of us don't have any other option other than GO Transit but we certainly shouldn't be held hostage?  Perhaps you don't care about regular GO commuters but I'm probably not off the mark in that there have been many worried executives/employees at GO/Metrolinx working on ensuring this doesn’t happen during this summer's PanAm/Parapan Games in July-August.  Won't GO transit look foolish when you can't even get volunteers/fans/ticketholders to the many events in the GTA due to 'track switch problems'.  I'm certain there are contingency plans in place to deal with this as GO/Metrolinx would not want any unfavourable media and/or Facebook/Twitter posts about how inept our rail system is. 

I've just received another email advising that the LSE 11:13 train will be late again due to earlier track switch malfunction.  I'm hoping this will be resolved before I have to catch my train this evening otherwise I will miss my daughter's soccer game, the second in the past 4 business days.

I don't expect a response; however, I just might be shocked and get some answers from someone.


(Name withheld)  - weary and frustrated GO train commuter.

P.S.  I have to take the time to say that I was impressed with the Customer Service Ambassador on my delayed May 21st train.  Although she couldn't provide us with expected times of the delay, she keep us informed (even if she didn't have any current update) and even advised that passengers could use her cellphone to make any important calls.

From: GO Transit []
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 11:16 AM
To: (name withheld)
Subject: Union Station 11:13 - Oshawa GO 12:11 train - Estimated Delay

The Union Station 11:13 - Oshawa GO 12:11 train trip is estimated to be delayed 10-15 minutes from Union Station as a result of an earlier track switch malfunction west of Union. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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Warren Downe said...

A very well written letter. We need to see more of these to bring transparency and improvements to not only GO Transit, but Metrolinx overall. I hope you receive a satisfactory reply in less than the six weeks it took Chris P. Bacon to receive his response.

Anonymous said...

As an LSW rider, I totally sympathize with LSE passengers. It seems to me that ever since they revised the Union departure platforms last month, they haven't been able to get the rush hour trains out on time - not once.

And the LSW is the busiest line; the platforms are totally packed. If you want to get a seat on the 17:18 train, which is what I usually target, you have to get there awfully early. And then you end up waiting for close to 25 minutes. And then it doesn't show up until 17:18 - the time it's supposed to be leaving - and you watch the 17:25 LSW train take off first.

This was the case on the Monday, May 25 17:18 - it arrived somewhere around 17:24, and when it filled up, the CSA announced "Sorry for the delay in pulling into Union. There was a - actually, there's no reason." He actually said that. Then he said they had to "run some tests" on the train before we could get going. Never heard that one before. And then, because we left so late and were behind the 17:25, there was significant "track congestion" and we ended up stopping three times for at least 5 minutes each time.

And this is becoming standard on a daily basis. Customer service: D-.

Anonymous said...

I am also a LSW rider and echo the comments of my anonymous friend above.

LSW seems to be going backwards but, by all accounts, LSE has it even worse.