Frigid temperatures impacting transit service
Passengers board a streetcar on Spadina Avenue in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (George Stamou / CTV News)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, January 5, 2018 7:49AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 5, 2018 9:49AM EST
Getting around the city and region could be a little more challenging today as the extreme cold is having an impact on some public transit routes.
Nearly 50 streetcars were out of service for the morning rush hour on Friday, many of which were pulled off the roads after breaking down amid frigid temperatures.
TTC Spokesperson Stuart Green told CP24 that 48 older-model streetcars are currently out of service.
He said that the majority of the streetcars that are out of service were pulled from the roads after being unable to operate in the extreme cold, though he did not provide an exact breakdown.
The TTC has struggled to keep many of its older-model streetcars on the road in extreme cold the last few winters, as Bombardier has repeatedly missed deadlines for the delivery of the TTC’s new streetcars.
“Some of the older streetcars have been breaking down in the cold weather. We are down about 48 streetcars this morning, not all due to the weather but many would be,” Green told CP24 on Friday morning. “We have buses running on 505 and 506 routes this morning to keep our customers moving.”
In addition to the issues with streetcars on Friday morning, subway service was also temporarily disrupted along a stretch of Line 1 after a switch became incased in ice at Davisville Station.
The service suspension between Bloor-Yonge and Lawrence stations lasted from about 6:15 a.m. to 7 a.m.
“We do go out at night and clear tracks and clear switches and ice as best as we can but on a day like today we are moving around all over the place and some of the switches can just get icy,” Green explained to CP24.
On GO Transit service was largely unaffected by the cold on Friday morning but Metrolinx Spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told CP24 that there is always an impact when the temperature dips into the –20s.
“It is so cold that it can jam doors and it can cause engine problems for both trains and buses so it causes some service issues,” she said. “This morning things thankfully went pretty smoothly. We didn’t have any broken rails or major problems at all but it is difficult.”
Marie Aikins said that due to the extreme cold all GO Transit employees who work outside on the platforms at Union Station are being told to head inside to warm up for five minutes every 15 minutes.
“They have to do that to prevent getting frost bite,” she said.
The temperature hit a low of – 23 C at Pearson International Airport on Friday morning, breaking a 59-year-old record for this date.