Metrolinx mandatory staff vaccinations and how they impact GO service

The world over, individuals and companies and governments are dealing with COVID vaccinations. Metrolinx, which recently brought in a policy that all staff would be fully vaccinated, is no different. But the loss of some staff, as the rules are fully enforced, means changes to some GO Transit service. Here’s an update on the numbers, as well as the short-term impact on some routes.

In transit, like all parts of life, there is a cause and effect.

On August 20, Metrolinx announced it was implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all staff to ensure they remain protected and keep their families, colleagues, and customers safe.

Buses sit parked.
Certain GO routes have been temporarily impacted because of staff vaccination rules coming into place. (Metrolinx photo)

The policy took effect as of Nov. 1 and many employees – more than 97 per cent of 4,700 staff – reported they are fully vaccinated. Those who have not attested to their vaccination status, or who remain unvaccinated without a medical exemption, have been placed on unpaid leave.

Metrolinx had hoped to avoid service impacts, but the loss of staff – approximately 150 employees – has resulted in the cancellation of a limited number of GO Transit bus and train trips.

The cancellations will continue for the next week and remain low – six per cent of 1,400 bus trips as well as intermittent (four to six) train trips daily. Staff have worked to ensure the trips chosen have low ridership, are spread out across the region and the passengers have other train or bus options. No first and last trips are cancelled, and staff are communicating with customers frequently to keep them updated. 

Riders have been understanding and supportive. 

Metrolinx’s priority continues to be to ensure GO service can get people to where they need to go safely, with minimal impact to schedules.

Customers are encouraged to plan ahead:

Check the website for service updates before leaving home and sign up for On The GO alerts.

Also, monitor Twitter @GOTransit and @GOtransitBus.

Sign up for GO Tracker to get real-time information about trains departure time.

Story by Anne Marie Aikins, Metrolinx head of media and public relations. Find her on Twitter @MetrolinxSpox