Metrolinx working to improve GO Train on-time performance

On-Time Performance Improvement Program includes heavily investing in rail infrastructure.

Metrolinx makes a commitment in its Customer Charter to be on time and we are working to keep that promise.

After a very snowy January, many GO Train customers have been disappointed with GO’s recent on-time performance, and quite frankly, so is Metrolinx.

“Regardless of the reason, we know we can do better for our customers,” said Greg Percy, Metrolinx Chief Operating Officer. “This is a top priority for Metrolinx and we have teams from every part of our business working on addressing these concerns.”

Many delays are considered within Metrolinx’s control and are eligible for the GO Service Guarantee. However this doesn’t apply for extreme weather events, police investigations, and freight train traffic across the GO network.

Percy says the transit agency is moving forward with an On-Time Performance Improvement Program, with a number of specific action items targeted to address train delays.

This includes a switch replacement program, specialized crews continuously inspecting and maintaining the devices, as well as stockpiling replacement parts for switches that are near end of life. Retrofitting GO Train doors that are susceptible to ice and snow issues will also help.

US-TrackWelding-April2013-022

In the shadow of the CN Tower, crews weld tracks. The rail lines that stretch out across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region are constantly worked on and upgraded to improve schedules.

Metrolinx spent $570 million on State of Good Repair in the fiscal year of 2017/2018, and reports the on-time performance challenges over the past several months have been the result of a combination of factors, including extreme weather.

 “You can’t completely weather proof any transportation system,” said Percy. “Planes, cars, buses, streetcars and trains will all slow down or fail during extreme weather.”

While the work continues to improve, safety will not be sacrificed for on-time performance.

These are some examples of how a single delay can have cascading effects across the GO Transit Network:

On January 21, 2019, an arson investigation at Mimico GO Station during the afternoon rush -hour led to the tracks being shut while Toronto Fire investigated. This investigation delayed nine trips across the system (five Lakeshore West, and one each on Lakeshore East, Richmond Hill, Barrie, and Stouffville).

 On January 8, 2019, a medical emergency at Union Station caused a number of trips to be delayed while Toronto EMS arrived to help an unconscious passenger. This delayed eight trips (two Lakeshore West, and three each on Lakeshore East and Stouffville) and led to one train being cancelled.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx advisor, social media and issue management.