Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ICYMI: Death on the tracks: How bad is Toronto transit’s suicide problem?

Suicide by transit is a human tragedy and a pernicious public-health challenge – and Toronto has costly decisions to make about how to prevent it. Oliver Moore takes an in-depth look at the data and what could be done to save lives.

Notable comments

  • The agency also relies also on train crews to keep watch and send back warnings about people near the track. In some of these cases, the next train will get a slow order, or may be stopped temporarily. A decision on whether to do that, though, has to be balanced against the need to keep the transit system running.
  • Fatalities using GO trains are concentrated on the lines with the heaviest service, in keeping with international research that links frequency of trains with incidence of suicide. The Lakeshore East and West lines alone account for about 60 per cent of the GO-train-related suicides so far this decade.


TomW said...

At $165,000 per km of top quality fencing, go could spend $5m a year and get the Lakeshore lines done in 3 years, and almost all the urban portions of their corridors done in ten years. Not big bucks for GO, and surely worth the money.

Unknown said...

TomW: your math only works if you do 1 side of the tracks. Unfortunately, you need to do both sides.

Other issues - tracks are accessible at every level crossing and on every train platform. There are over 150 level crossings across the GO network; at approximately $20 million for a grade separation, you're talking $3 billion. In addition, all train platforms having barriers - I can't even fathom what the cost would be.

The unfortunate reality is that those intent on ending their lives will find a way to do so regardless of what we do.