It’s been a year since Oakville resident Pat Eales presented GO Transit with a petition of over 10,000 “virtual” signatures. The petition asked for a fare rebate when GO “is late more than 20 minutes,” and for better notification of cancellations or delays, as well as more cars added to trains to ease overcrowding.
The GO directors dismissed refunds without discussion at their meeting in March 2008. However, agency chair Peter Smith did announce the creation of a customer-advisory committee.
There are representatives from each rail line as well as two others. They prefer anonymity, unlike similar transit advisory bodies, but riders will eventually be able to submit complaints to the committee via the internet.
What else has GO done? Most improvements in the last year were scheduled before the public outcry, although some address concerns raised in the petition.
New crew arrangements mean one employee per train is dedicated to customers — I’d have to hear more from riders to discern whether announcements have improved. GO could begin yearly customer satisfaction surveys, which may or may not be made public.
Most stations along Lakeshore have new information displays and more are expected.
Over the year, rail service was expanded at the edges of the system (including to Uxbridge today) and a few trains were inserted along the Lakeshore route.
Less visible was a shuffle in some top staff positions at GO and a new director joined the board to specifically deal with passenger communication.