Last week I asked GO Train riders about the newest platforms at Union Station, located just outside the building’s dingy “train shed.”
Jacqueline Warmington of Oakville is one of many readers to reply. She’s been coming into Toronto on GO for 23 years and writes, “I have arrived late for work on numerous occasions since they implemented track 27.”
It takes some GO customers longer to get to the office if they arrive at Union’s southernmost tracks, thanks to extra walking distance as well as narrow doorways that cause bottlenecks each morning.
The stairs down from the new platforms are wide enough for two people side-by-side, but the doors leading to them can fit only one at a time. When a train arrives, crowds clog the platform and file slowly through the exits.
Earlier this week I forwarded to GO Transit a number of reader emails complaining about the new platforms, which opened in May. It seems a few riders may be so delayed by lineups they have switched to earlier trains. These tracks are outside the station roof and overhead canopies cover only a portion of the platform, exposing waiting crowds to rain as they make their way slowly downstairs.
These may be inconveniences, but there’s also a danger that impatient customers will bolt across live tracks to reach alternate exits.
GO Transit replied at length to the reader emails — you can read it all on my blog at metronews.ca/eddrass.
In a statement, GO spokesperson Vanessa Thomas reports the new platforms are a necessary part of renovating and expanding Union Station.
GO states the platforms are as large as they can be without removing tracks, and thereby train capacity.
While pointing out that platforms 26 and 27 have more stairwells than some older parts of the station, Thomas writes, “The width of the platform doors is narrow. The design is being reviewed to see if alternate solutions for wider doors or double doors can be developed at each stairwell.”
After checking with the City of Toronto’s building department on who oversees safety and design at the station, I am told inspectors will visit this week.
Check my blog for updates.
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