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Province vows to 'find a solution' to overcrowding at Brampton GO stations
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 10:10AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 10, 2019 5:45PM EST
Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek says that the province will “find a solution” to address the overcrowding that has been reported at several GO stations in Brampton following the expansion of service along the Kitchener line earlier this week.
As of Jan. 7 several trains that previously began their trips to Union Station at Georgetown GO Station began servicing Kitchener, Guelph and Acton stations as well.
The province billed the change as an expansion in service but since no new trains were added to the line it has meant that commuters in Brampton have had to cram onto trains that are already at capacity, resulting in dangerously overcrowded platforms in some cases.
On Wednesday evening, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown wrote an open letter to Yurek asking him to “add more coaches to meet the demand” and on Thursday morning the transportation minister told CP24 that his government is willing to do whatever it takes to address the crowding.
Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins also told CTV News Toronto that two more coaches will be added to the 5:02 p.m. train leaving from Union Station as of Monday morning, which will increase capacity on the route by 360 seats.
“I have told Metrolinx that they didn’t do a good enough job with this transition. They have safety officers who are going to be at the site today to help the people board and I expect a solution to this issue in the next few days,” Yurek said earlier in the day. “Whatever they need to do to fix this situation it is going to happen. We are not going to sit back and let it continue.”
‘Absolute chaos’ on platforms
A number of Brampton commuters have taken to social media in recent days to complain of platforms that are so overcrowded that trains are taking up to five minutes just to board and trains that are so packed that some people are jamming into bathrooms on board.
Speaking with CP24 on Thursday morning, Brown described the situation as “absolute chaos.”
He said that the overcrowding on platforms “suggest a very dangerous situation” that needs to be addressed in days and not weeks.
“I just hope that it is corrected as quickly as possible because commuters shouldn’t be treated like they are sardines. There are points of the day you can’t even get onto the GO train it is so crowded,” he said.
Brown said that his office has received about 1,000 complaints from “angry commuters” since the service changes went into effect earlier this week.
In his interview with CP24 Yurek did conceded that overcrowding has created a “hazard” at the three GO stations in Brampton – Mount Pleasant, Brampton and Bramalea – but promised that commuters will soon see a difference.
According to Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins, two more coaches will be added to the 5:02 p.m. train leaving from Union Station as of Monday morning, which will increase capacity on the route by 360 seats.