You can’t just build and walk away. Stations and stops on GO Transit routes are now getting needed refurbishment to improve safety.
There’s a lot happening across Metrolinx.
Many of the larger projects, changes and announcements tend to dominate headlines and attract the most attention. But there’s a significant amount of work, specifically to enhance safety, happening right now across the GO Transit network.
Officials say much needed attention is being given to smaller items that still add up to significant improvements for customers – so much so, that the nip and tucks are worth pointing out.
Stations have many things in common, but there are also many things that make them unique, and in need of specific mending. What you see at Union Station or Gormley Station may not be part of the day-to-day features of stops at Lisgar, Centennial or Pickering.
As Metrolinx continues to make things happen by increasing service and announcing new infrastructure, the transit agency is taking less visible steps to improve the safety and experience of customers.
In September, customers saw the start of these fixes with the launch of the ‘Early Station Improvements’ (ESI) project. The ESI project consists of a variety of renovations across 29 existing stations. In many ways, it represents one of the early stepping stones necessary for GO expansion to maintain, and even enhance, the safety and accessibility of existing stations.
The first phase of work began at Lisgar and Centennial stations. As part of this work, these stations saw the addition of secure bike rooms and digital signage. As the project moves forward, other stations will receive much needed elevator upgrades, new platform edge tile and electrical room improvements.
Up next, change is coming to Ajax station to improve safety at the platform level while providing better signage so customers can stay up to date. New tactile yellow tiles will be installed on both sides of the island platform, as well as upgrades to digital signage on train and bus platforms and upgraded elevators.
“This project is important because it improves the customer experience and safety,” says Karla Avis-Birch, vice president, stations capital delivery at Metrolinx. “We’ve been listening to our customers and this is one of the ways we are making the upgrades they need to make their lives easier and their travel experience seamless.”
This program may seem smaller than some of Metrolinx’s other capital endeavours, but it packs a significant punch when it comes to ensuring customers, and Metrolinx employees, are safe at the stations. In particular, elevator upgrades planned for Ajax, Whitby, Oakville, Burlington and Streetsville will provide better accessible options with additional safety features.
Construction at most of the stations is not expected to last longer than three months. In the coming weeks, you will see members of the customer care team encouraging travellers to sign up to the On the Go Alerts system to get up-to-date information about construction that could be happening at your station. Many stations will require some platform closures, boarding restrictions and changes to the way passengers access the stop.
As the project gets underway, the goal is to deliver a successful project while maintaining full operation of the stations.
Visit GO Transit Improvements to learn more about the project and the many improvements that may be coming to your station.
Story by Georgina Collymore, Metrolinx capital communications senior advisor.