Metrolinx world in black and white photography chronicling public transit

Images capture the story of Greater Golden Horseshoe in motion.

Before the break of dawn, on a Kitchener line GO train headed eastbound toward Union Station, Ayush Bharbwaj quietly sat and stared down at his phone.

A student, he was headed to an appointment at a downtown hospital – his image, in prayer-like deep thought, reflected in the mirror blackness of the nearby train window.

And then it was all captured in a single picture taken by another traveller on yet another smartphone.

On the coldest of winter days, we recently asked Metrolinx staff to shoot photos of the important people and places that occupy our space – and illustrate what we do.

The black and white images, including the one of Ayush on his morning journey, captured quiet but important moments.

At Metrolinx, we are the sum of many vital parts. And on that frigid day, against a -30C wind-chill, we froze some of them in time.

We received scores of submissions – too many to show you here. So, as we look to use others in future blog posts, these are just a sampling of what our staff saw as they looked for those moments.

A hooded customer walks along a cold platform, with a GO train just beyond

A GO Transit customer walks along platform 3 at Toronto’ Union Station, as a Lakeshore West train sits idle in the background. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

A bus driver is seen in a reflection of his mirror.

GO bus driver, Dillon Forret, keeps his shaded eyes on the road while carrying passengers along Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

A mitted hand holds up a coffee cup with 'Mom' written on it

Morning fuel – Hot sips from her favourite mug leads Metrolinx communications coordinator Sara Wilbur out of bed and onto the Lakeshore East train out of Whitby every morning. (Photo by Sara Wilbur)

Three GO trains are seen by a station on a cold day.

At the far west end of the platform at Mimico station, looking toward Willowbrook – two trains hold still while the one in the middle is rumbling toward the platform. (Photo by Robert Pasiak).

A cardboard Go train sits on a desk.

A cardboard version of a GO Train sits near a desk at 20 Bay Street, inside a corporate Customer Communications office. (Photo by Jan Christian Acusta)

A workman takes a break after clearing ice from a platform

In the freezing cold, a workman clears the ice on the Danforth GO station platform, Track 1. (Photo by Rob Granatstein)

Students sit at desks and in lounge chairs at Humber college.

While not as obvious as a train pulling into a station or a GO bus on the road, these students are part of the future for Metrolinx. In 2023, the Finch West LRT will join the TTC, Brampton  Züm, the Mississauga MiWay and York Region Transit in providing students the transit options to make commuting to Humber easier. (Photo by Mohammed Al-Salem)

Ice drips down against the cold outside of a GO train.

Ice forms on the side of a GO train. (Photo by Thane Burnett)

A woman smiles at children as she listens to them talk about how they see transit in the future.

Erin Duffy, Metrolinx community relations and issues specialist, presents to grade 5 students at Tiffany Hills Elementary School in Hamilton as part of the Transit in Your Community Youth Engagement program. Since these presentations began in November, more than 16 schools across the city, involving more than 600 students, have been involved. (Photo by Jessica Scott)

A road, along with traffic, is shown through the front grill of a GO bus.

A GO bus travels east on the Gardiner Expressway approaching the York, Bay, Yonge exit in downtown Toronto. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

From high up in an apartment building, a GO train cuts across an intersection in Brampton. Snow covers the ground.

From above – A Birdseye view of an old school locomotive in downtown Brampton. (Photo by Mandeep Jassal)

Looking up at high glass, a figure, behind it, is seen walking above Union Station. The glass is not clear, so they look like a ghost.

Ghostly – A lone figure walks past windows in an upper walkway above Union Station. (Photo by Peter Bailey)

A young man sits looking at his phone while on a GO train. His image is reflected in the dark glass beyond.

Early to ride – Student Ayush Bharbwaj looks at his phone on an early morning GO train trip from Bramalea to Union Station. (Photo by Thane Burnett)

A young man prepares to cross a busy street, as a GO bus pulls out nearby.

A young man prepares to cross the street as a GO bus heads past, near the GO bus terminal around Square One in Mississauga. This is shot very close to the future Hurontario LRT stop. (Photo by Noelle Wannamaker)

The profile of a bus driver, wearing sunglasses, is shown, with the highway ahead.

GO bus driver Dillon Forret, against the brightness of the cold day, guides his vehicle along the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

A man looks at a piece of machinery he is working on. It's a TTC machine.

Jinil Ohh, from device manufacturer Scheidt and Bachman, uploads software to a PRESTO device in a PRESTO Training Room. (Photo by Joe Vincec)

Tracks of salt and snow are seen on a carpet.

Sure signs of Winter travel – Salt from winter boots collects on the previously clean carpet of the Kitchener Line train. (Photo by Thane Burnett)

A man walks off a bus and onto a cold platform. He has headphones on and is looking at the camera. The city and buildings are behind him.

Bus passengers disembark from a GO Transit, Superlo double-decker at the Union Station Bus Terminal in downtown Toronto. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

A woman works a PRESTO machine, as an information attendant looks on.

During the morning rush hour, a woman uses a PRESTO machine at Pape TTC. (Photo by Andrea Gusen)

A man, bundled in a winter coat, breathes out into cold air as he waits for a GO Train.

After missing his train, Harsh Dara waits in the cold at the GO train platform in Agincourt, thankful another would arrive soon. (Photo by Thane Burnett)

Cars and a nearby GO train are seen in the reflective mirror of a GO bus that's traveling on a highway.

A GO bus sits in traffic on the eastbound Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, as a Lakeshore West GO train zips past the gridlock, on the tracks just north of the expressway. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

Two people stand in the cold while waiting for a train.

Commuters wait patiently on the train platform at Cooksville GO Station. (Photo by Fannie Sunshine)

A small shelter, covered in frost, is seen with people inside. One lone man waits outside on the train platform.

At 8:50 a.m., customers wait in a shelter at the Long Branch GO Station, as a lone traveller stands outside in the cold. (Photo by Scott Money)

A GO Transit bus sits out of service, while behind, the city, including the CN Tower, looms.

Like a postcard – A GO bus, with the CN Tower as a backdrop, waits at the bus area to the east of Union Station. (Photo by Natalie Tutunzis)

The almost vacant UP Express platform is shown, after a train has left early in the morning.

7:01 a.m. – The west end of the UP Express platform at Union Station, shortly after a train has departed. (Photo by Steven Straisfeld)

Glass doors, showing images of a bus, reflects a nearby train platform.

Light reflecting off the doors off the doors at Union Station’s platform three, leading to the Union Station Bus Terminal. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

Two passengers sit and wait for a GO bus to start its journey.

On one of the coldest mornings of 2019, passengers sit silently on one of GO Transit’s Superlo double-decker buses headed to Toronto from Hamilton. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

In flashes and blurred, customers are seen rushing to catch their trains.

Ghosts by the machines – Passengers appear like spirits, looking from inside a GO train moving westbound out of Union Station during the supper rush hour. (Photo by Thane Burnett)

A GO train, snow on the front, waits for boarding passengers as the CN Tower looms behind.

During the supper hour commute home, a GO train picks up passengers at Union Station. (Photo by Rob Granatstein)