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Winter wreaks havoc on transit

Thousands of people were caught in massive subway delays yesterdaymorning as TTC workers dealt with signal problems, fainting passengersand broken train doors.

TTC What a mess. No, no, not the snow.

Thousands of people were caught in massive subway delays yesterday morning as TTC workers dealt with signal problems, fainting passengers and broken train doors.

The season’s first snowfall brought an influx of passengers through the subway system, which, combined with the signal problems at Eglinton and Bloor stations, caused the backups. A typical 17-minute journey to Bloor station from Finch took 50 minutes.

The platforms were overcrowded. People were impatient. Several fainted, causing further delays.

“In the morning, in particular, what we see are passengers fainting — and I’m not blaming them, but they don’t have breakfast,” said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross. “They come in with low blood pressure combined with close quarters and overheating causes people to feel ill and faint.”

At one point, Eglinton station was evacuated so police could investigate a suspected gas leak after three people had fainted. Trains bypassed the station for about seven minutes before a safety official determined there was no leak and the incidents were isolated.

Anxious and aggravated passengers would squeeze onto at-capacity trains, triggering safety mechanisms in the doors and causing even more delays in stations throughout the city.

Adding to the mayhem, smoke was detected on the tracks at Pape and Union stations. There were no fires but emergency crews had to ensure passenger safety inside the tunnel, causing a 24-minute delay at Pape.

“As inconvenient as it is for people, safety has to reign,” Ross said.

“Yeah, it’s frustrating, it’s hot, and it’s noisy. (But) for the most part our customers understand that transit systems around the world have operational and mechanical difficulties. Today was a particularly difficult one for everybody.”

 
 
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