GO Train service being trimmed on short-term basis from Oshawa to Hamilton due to staff shortages and reduced ridership

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Published January 21, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton says nobody will be able to get to the Oakville station if the Kerr Street underpass isn't built. INSAUGA PHOTO

In the wake of a major storm, and with the ongoing pandemic continuing to impact ridership, Metrolinx is “reducing and adjusting” service on a short-term basis.

The impact of the weather, along with staff shortages due to the COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, is leading into a “planned temporary adjustment” of GO Transit service.

This will be the second reduction in rail services in recent months. A 15 per cent reduction last year did not adequately address the impact of the latest wave of the virus, which interrupted what was looking like a slow return to some travel normalcy.

GO Transit ridership had grown throughout the summer and fall of 2021. However, ridership began to rapidly fall at the end of 2021 through this part of 2022, as illness levels grew, and is currently approximately 10 to 12 per cent of pre-pandemic levels – a very similar level of ridership seen during the early days of the pandemic in 2020.

This additional reduction of rail service is 47 per cent below Metrolinx’s peak service levels in October.

Several trains were cancelled over the holidays and again on January 5 because of staff shortages and in some cases replaced by busses.

Riders on the GO East Line to and from Durham Region were not adversely affected on those days.

Customers can stay in the know about schedule changes, cancellations and trip adjustments by signing up for On The GO Alerts or checking their bus or train line’s Twitter handle. Customers should check ahead before leaving home, as trips are routinely adjusted.

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