Wide shot of BMO Field

Tap-on before kick-off – Why TFC fans will see extra GO staff including fare inspections this weekend

Ensuring everyone’s safety at Exhibition GO is Metrolinx’s top priority. Read more to learn how the transit agency is keeping fans moving as they head to BMO Field.

Metrolinx is trying out a new approach at Exhibition GO Station during sporting events and concerts this spring and summer.

This Saturday (April 30), Toronto FC take on the Columbus Crew at BMO Field at 3 p.m.

Fans heading to the game through the station tunnel will again see an increased fare enforcement presence, extra station staff and more wayfinding measures to keep everyone safe.

Why is this happening?

As more GO Transit customers take transit to cheer on Toronto’s sports teams, Metrolinx staff have noticed some returning customers are travelling without a valid fare.

GO Transit staff are trying a new approach at Exhibition GO Station during sporting events and concerts this spring and summer. (Mike Winterburn photo)

This includes customers who purchase e-tickets and don’t realize they have to activate the ticket prior to boarding, and PRESTO card holders forgetting to tap on and off.

Staff will be on site to ensure customers activate their tickets quickly and easily, have tapped on/off their PRESTO card, or know where to find ticket vending machines if they are unfamiliar with Exhibition GO.

Customers without a PRESTO card can avoid line-ups at station ticket vending machines by taking advantage of one of the GO Transit Weekend Pass options or buying a GO e-ticket in advance online.

To ensure an e-ticket is valid, activate it five minutes before boarding.

PRESTO card users with mobile phones – whether Android or iPhone – can instantly load funds onto their PRESTO cards with the PRESTO app. Remember to tap on and off at the station.

Tickets will be checked after customers have gotten off the train and are off the platform, ensuring safe customer flow and to prevent platform crowding. The short travel time between Union Station and Exhibition does not allow enough time for staff to check fares onboard.

A look at customers buying tickets at Exhibition GO
A look at customers buying tickets at Exhibition GO. (Mike Winterburn photo)

There is a plan in action to help encourage all fans to keep moving in an orderly fashion through the station and tunnel to the game. Metrolinx is asking customers to pay attention to signage, announcements and directions from staff.

In future, there are plans to improve the infrastructure at Exhibition Station to allow for a better flow of customers.

With several events taking place downtown on Saturday, all fans heading to the game, via GO Train or through the tunnel, are being asked to give themselves plenty of time.

Customers can sign up for On the GO alerts and check GO Transit’s Twitter channel for the very latest service updates.

For GO Transit customers, the following train trips to Exhibition will give you the best chance to arrive at your seats before kick-off:

Westbound

  • 1:45 p.m. departure from Union Station, arriving at Exhibition GO at 1:52 p.m.
  • 2:15 p.m. departure from Union Station, arriving at Exhibition GO at 2:22 p.m.

Eastbound

  • 12:55 p.m. departure from Aldershot GO, arriving at Exhibition GO at 1:51 p.m.
  • 1:13 p.m. departure from West Harbour GO, arriving at Exhibition GO at 2:21 p.m.

Alternate routes for non-GO Transit customers

If you are not a GO Transit customer and normally use the station tunnel to get to BMO Field, alternate routes can help to avoid a longer than usual wait.

  • If travelling from the east, go south on Strachan Avenue to Lake Shore Boulevard, then go west to BMO Field
  • If travelling from the west, go south on Dufferin Street to Saskatchewan Road, east to Princes’ Boulevard, south-east along Princes’ Boulevard to BMO Field
A map showing the alternate routes to BMO Field that avoid going through the GO tunnel.
A map showing the alternate routes to BMO Field that avoid going through the GO tunnel. (Google Maps)

Additional safety reminders

Customers are reminded that while on the train platform, spread out as best as possible and avoid standing at the tops of stairwells.

Stay well back of the yellow line and don’t use the yellow line pass around crowded areas of the platform.

Masks continue to be mandatory on public transit.

Story by James Wattie, Metrolinx media relations advisor