Metrolinx is voicing concern about a “marked increase” in the volume of trespassers along its rail network during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director of Transit Safety Bill Grodzinski believes social media is a big factor, as young risk-takers climb bridges to capture photos and “risk their lives in doing so.”
Grodzinski says the Credit River bridge is an especially frequent location.
He says that special constables have been called to the Mississauga bridge more than 40 times, giving at least 100 warnings and laying 15 charges this year.
Grodzinski adds that they had a “near miss on the tracks in Niagara Falls involving a family with two young children,” just this past weekend.
Grodzinski says Metrolinx is reminding people of the dangers now, heading into fall, since GO train service will be increasing in frequency.
He adds that there’s concern people have gotten used to trains not being as frequent during the pandemic, leading to a reduced sense of risk, since “trains weren’t there and I don’t have to worry about it.”
Metrolinx is also expanding a pilot program that involved the installation of rubber anti-trespassing mats at select locations across the GO rail network.
The rubber panels create a hard and uneven surface that is nearly impossible to walk over and are designed to make people think twice before they trespass into the corridors.