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Metrolinx addresses physical distancing concerns on GO trains

As Ontario slowly opens up some businesses across the province, many GTA workers are once again using GO trains to commute to their workplaces.

Due to a 90 per cent drop in ridership because of COVID-19, GO Transit previously shortened the size of most of its trains to six cars, apart from popular trips.

CityNews received several questions from concerned viewers about the lack of space in trains and the inability to safely maintain physical distance.

In response, Metrolinx says they have reintroduced 30-minute service on the Lakeshore East line as of Monday, which includes five trips during the busiest parts of the morning and afternoon rush hours. All of those trains are full length, 12-car trains.

Five trips on the Oshawa-Union Station route are also 12 coaches long while trains to and from Hamilton never saw a reduction in cars.

The transit agency says they are keeping a close eye on the number of passengers onboard, but realize that some cars fill up more than others.

To avoid overcrowding in a few cars while others remain relatively empty, they’re asking that passengers spread out across the entire train. Instead of boarding cars based on where they enter or exit at stations, they say passengers should choose where to sit based on which train cars have the most room.

They’re also asking people to consider taking trips during off-peak hours whenever possible since ridership is still down and are “strongly encouraging” passengers to wear masks while using GO transit.

In addition, the transit agency says they’re prepared to add more coaches and modify trips quickly as more businesses reopen and more people begin using GO trains.