Cold weather wreaks havoc with transit
Codi Wilson, Chris Fox and Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2019 5:46AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:00PM EST
A number of problems are being reported on transit systems around the GTA as the city grapples with a bout of extreme cold weather two days after a large snowstorm.
Trains on the Union-Pearson Express are currently not running due to weather-related problems, the service said Wednesday night at around 9:15 p.m. Express buses are running between Union Station and Pearson and shuttle buses are running between Weston and Pearson to replace regular service. It is not known how long the problem will last.
A number of problems have also been reported with GO Train service around the GTA.
#UPExpress service is not running due to weather related equipment issues. We're running express buses between Union & Pearson and shuttle buses between Weston and Pearson. If travelling to Bloor, use TTC. Details at https://t.co/vX33ERUqnB.— UP Express (@UPexpress) January 31, 2019
Delays of up to 30 minutes have been reported along GO Transit’s Lakeshore East line due to an issue involving a switch that has malfunctioned amid the extreme cold.
Metrolinx spokesperson Matt Llewellyn told CP24 that the switch is located just east of Guildwood GO Station. He said that an “emergency fix” will be put into place tonight but said that delays will nonetheless persist throughout the evening rush hour.
In addition to the issues on the Lakeshore East line, a number of trains on the Lakeshore West line have been cancelled or delayed due to weather-related problems.
“It is a 30-year-old piece of infrastructure that is there and unfortunately it is just not able to withstand this kind of extreme cold that we are seeing right now,” Llewellyn said of the issue on the Lakeshore East line. “The good news is that we are putting a repair in place tonight – we are going to replace the blower unit there – so we don’t anticipate this will have any sort of cascading delays into tomorrow’s morning rush hour.”
Llewellyn said that Metrolinx has “invested heavily” in replacing some its oldest infrastructure in recent years but has hundreds of kilometres of track that it is responsible for.
“We are apologizing to our customers. We know that this is not convenient and we really do apologize. But we are working as hard as we can,” he said.
The TTC also reported a number of major delays on its surface routes Wednesday, though it wasn;’t clear how many of them were weather-related.
The transit delays come as the city deals with bone-chilling temperatures.
Environment Canada called for a high of -14 C today but the temperature was expected to feel closer to -30 with the wind chill.
An extreme cold warning is currently in place for Toronto and other parts of the GTA due to the conditions.
“A frigid arctic air mass and strong winds will result in wind chill values near minus 30 today through Friday morning,” Environment Canada said in its advisory. “Bitterly cold arctic air has moved into Southern Ontario overnight.
Overnight low temperatures near minus 20 degrees Celsius combined with strong southwest winds have resulted in wind chill values in the range of minus 30 to minus 35.”
An extreme cold weather alert has also been issued by Toronto’s medical officer of health, triggering additional cold weather services for people experiencing homelessness.
Warmer weather is expected on Friday as milder air arrives.
A high of -9 C is in the forecast on Friday and Saturday will see a high of -4 C. Sunday will reach a high of 4 C.