It’s difficult to miss all the new high contrast paint just put down at Hamilton GO. Visually, it leaps up at customers. But there’s substance behind that bright green style.
It’s safe to say, Metrolinx has added a bit more than just a splash of colour to Hamilton GO Centre.
After five nights and applying approximately 2,500 gallons of bright green paint, the asphalt walkways at Hamilton GO Centre at first glance, now resemble a fairway at a professional golf course.
And there’s a good reason for that.
“The idea is to have high contrast colours to visually indicate to customers where they are safe to walk, rather than using stanchions or signs,” says Eve Wiggins, Director of Bus Operations.
It’s a tried and proven method; many airports around the world use this technique to universally identify to travellers where they should and shouldn’t walk – and painting asphalt green is also used in many different North American cities to help keep cyclists safe by making it easier for motorists to distinguish bike lanes.
As you might suspect, this isn’t your typical hardware store variety of paint. Metrolinx had to use an extremely durable product that could not only withstand all the wild weather we see in the GTHA, but also the intense foot traffic of roughly 3,200 GO bus customers pounding the pavement every day.
“We also ensured an aggregate material was mixed in for added traction in the rain and snow,” said Wiggins. Her team expects the paint should last for at least five years.
As part of Metrolinx ongoing commitment to safety, a number of other initiatives are also being undertaken at Hamilton GO.
Recently Metrolinx changed how customers boarded their buses in the terminal by creating new zoned platforms. Instead of waiting at specific bus bays, customers are now asked to wait in designated zones until their specific platform is announced.
Most trips will likely use the same zone day-to-day, but the platform may change based on which buses arrive at which time.
“Buses can now drop off and pick up passengers without driving to multiple areas of the terminal,” says Wiggins. “Reducing the number of times buses need to back-up or move really enhances safety.”
That’s important because more than 300 GO bus trips alone depart from and arrive at Hamilton GO every day, and the terminal is also used by Hamilton’s local transit agency (HSR), Coach Canada, Greyhound as well as a local casino shuttle bus service.
Other improvements customers will likely notice include more signs to better indicate crosswalk areas, as well as more frequent announcements at the terminal reminding customers to only use the designated walkways and crosswalks.
“For safety, customers should never walk in the driveway,” says George Bell, Metrolinx vice president of safety and security. “Hamilton GO customers should always use the walkways, only cross at the designated crossing areas and they should never chase after a bus.”
Customers can be fined $1,000 for crossing or walking in areas they’re not supposed to.
“More importantly, it’s not worth the risk of injury or your life,” added Bell.
Metrolinx will continue working with the HSR and other carriers to finish painting the pedestrian walkways on the south side of the terminal, as well as the new pedestrian crossing near James Street.
That work is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of September.
Story by Matt Llewellyn, Metrolinx spokesperson and senior adviser, media relations and issues.