January 10, 2019 4:27 pm
Updated: January 10, 2019 10:08 pm

Metrolinx, province promise solution to overcrowded GO trains between Toronto and Kitchener

WATCH ABOVE: Video has surfaced of a packed GO train platform at Union Station after changes were made to train stops and schedules on the Kitchener line. As Erica Vella reports, passengers say they want to see changes and safety made a priority.

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The Ontario government and Metrolinx say they are taking steps to deal with the overcrowded GO trains between Toronto and Kitchener, which are creating headaches for commuters.

Monday was the first day that GO Transit adjusted its schedule, with one train now extending service from Brampton to Kitchener.

READ MORE: Expanded GO Transit rail service between Kitchener, Toronto to begin Monday

Commuters took to social media to complain about the situation on Monday, posting videos and pictures of the chaos on Twitter.

A spokesperson for Metrolinx said that once the company saw the videos emerge, it quickly began looking for solutions.

“Every quarter, we change and update services and we introduce new services,” Anne Marie Atkins said. “This quarter, we introduced Niagara service and introduced a new train into Kitchener so that was the good news.”

READ MORE: GO Transit buses no longer servicing York University’s Keele campus

“In order to do that, on Kitchener, we had to make some adjustments to some trips, change some times, change some coaches on trains, and that led, unfortunately, to some crowding and congestion at Union Station so as soon as we saw that that was happening, we began working on a fix for that.”

She said the changes were by Metrolinx for passenger safety but noted that things were far from perfect.

“We have been doing a couple of things up there like moving barriers out of the way,” Atkins explained. “Changing platforms and that sort of thing to again make it easier for the flow of customers to get on a train. So there’s a lot of things that we can do and we are doing all of them to ensure people are safe.”

“Nothing can happen immediately when you are talking about changing trips and changing trains, but we believe we are going to be able to increase the 5 p.m. train that’s very busy from 10 coaches to 12 coaches,” said Atkins. “We believe we have fixes like that coming as quickly as possible.”

Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek said that those fixes could come as early as next Monday.

“A solution will be put in place come Monday to deal with the overcrowding,” the minister said. “Right now, we do have safety officers on site to help deal with the situation. We want to come to a quick solution that’s not going to linger on. Safety is paramount, but also getting people moved is paramount.“

“I’ve given Metrolinx direction to find a solution, and that may be adding the extra cars back on. The cars were actually moved to a different train,” he explained.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown lodged a formal complaint with Yurek on Tuesday night.

He is advocating that the Ontario government returns to the old schedule until a permanent solution can be created.

“This needs to be addressed right away,” Brown told Global News. “They created a mess and it needs to be fixed, and I appreciate the fact that they recognize there’s a problem here.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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