Thursday, April 19, 2018

A broken switch caused commuter chaos for TEN THOUSAND Go Transit passengers yesterday

Did you miss this mess? I sure did. I didn't even know anything about it, which is odd for me considering I am supposed to know ALL THE THINGS when it comes to Go Transit.

A train carrying equipment became disabled yesterday morning throwing the Kitchener and Barrie lines into chaos. It was revealed later in the day that a broken switch caused the problem.

This is an email from a passenger who was caught in this mess who tells what happened:
GO Transit didn’t fail to let me down and it only took 22 emails throughout the day to realize any method of transit using GO was going to disappoint commuters on the Kitchener line.
It started off with the 5:54am  train initiating in Bramalea after a 6:15am GO garbled intercom announcement indicated the train would be canceled, and we would need to wait until 6:45am.  Several hundred people started lining up for shuttle buses that never came. Thankfully I managed to get the York Mills GO bus and had to subway it down to Union station, arriving at work one hour late.
Many people who waited for the 6:45am train didn’t get downtown until well after 9am. Kitchener GO passengers were told to find alternate methods i.e. using the Lakeshore or Milton GO lines as a train that might run was being redirected through Barrie.  The original train had been carrying ‘equipment’ and managed to break down outside of Martin.
I still find it remarkably questionable that GO cannot manage to find buses to take inconvenienced passengers to Union Station or at least provide transport to the nearest Milton or Lakeshore West station given the amount of money we pay to travel by GO. It’s pretty pathetic. They’ve never had any sort of plan B in place, but they will inundate us with emails to say you can expect delays 20 to 30 minutes etc. and it is NEVER that brief a delay.  It’s  always hours.
At least we made the news ...
I'd like to point out something in reference to a Plan B when it comes to full closure of a rail corridor. Go can't have hundreds of GO buses sitting idle in a garage waiting for a catastrophic occurrence. There is no budget for this. Generally what happens is GO will call buses off routes to service train passengers, often leaving bus passengers to figure out how they will get to work. It's a no-win all around.


RonNasty said...

Couldn't GO have arrangements with local transit authorities to use their buses in cases like this? Doesn't Metrolinx subsidize all of them?

C.J. Smith said...

That's what is supposed to happen within TTC's boundaries. But I've never known Durham Transit to send a platoon of buses when there were interruptions in Oshawa/Whitby/Ajax/Pickering.

Unknown said...

I would have to disagree with the reference to Plan B go have made several allowances and added shuttle bus is directly to union station when trains on the kitchen or line have been affected given her the 554 train was the first impacted on Wednesday and it wasn’t exactly the same volume of commuters as a 7:30am or 8 AM train, it wouldn’t have been difficult for GO to add a couple buses to at least take commuters to a Etobicoke North or one of the alternate locations they recommended I.e,. Lakeshore or Milton.

Anonymous said...

GO could definitely improve a lot of areas too.
I don’t think Lakeshore service every half hour every day is absolutely necessary when the Kitchener line is in need of back up service such as in the case. referenced above.

Do we really need emails like the one below from GO? I think their resources could be better used.

From: GO Transit
Date: April 18, 2018 at 1:38:34 PM EDT

Subject: Need a sound track for your commute?

Need a sound track for your commute?

Here's the perfect playlist! Check out the new GO Pop and GO Chill to make your journey even better.



Anonymous said...

we should really be asking what happened here, AMA isn't letting on what actually happened and what caused this (from rumors I have heard, people would not be happy of the safety violations that occurred)

Unknown said...

TORONTO – Metrolinx says thousands of people’s commutes are delayed because a train is blocking all of the tracks on the line that travels from Kitchener, Ont., to Toronto.
Spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins says the train, which was carrying equipment, became stuck sometime before 6 a.m. Wednesday due to a broken switch on the tracks.

Robert Wightman said...

@ RonNasty
Actually Metrolinx does not subsidize them except for a co-fare for those who take local transit to the GO line. Do you want all the buses in Brampton Transit to carry people downtown instead of finishing their normal runs? When sh*t happens someone has to suffer.

Anonymous said...

Yes sh*t happens and GO never seems able to take responsibility. The TTC step up and offer free TTC access when trains are cancelled...... I think since Presto has linked to local transit that adding a “few” addiitional buses’ whether Brampton/Zum/GO to alleviate the congestion isn’t such a big deal. Nasty pay attention, MANY commuters were delayed HOURS for this disruption. INSTEAD GO did NOTHING AGAIN.

Ed said...

So why should GO take responsibility for a broken CP Rail switch? CP workers are on a work to rule I believe so it's no wonder why it took so long.

If it had affected freight services it probably would have been fixed a lot faster. Another example of why MX needs a dedicated rail network outside of CP and CN.

Bicky said...

I was blissfully unaware as I was jetting off to Hawaii on the day it happened, apparently.

I'm home now and missing all things cruising!