GO-ing to improve

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By Carly Yoshida-Butryn

Due to an increase in train cancellations and delays this year, GO Transit is looking to outsource train operators from another company in order to improve timely performance.

GO train operators often call in sick on Fridays claiming they are too tired. Due to safety regulations, they do not have to work.

As a result, trains are delayed or cancelled causing major disruptions for riders – especially students.

The train operators work for CN and are not directly employed by GO.

“We realize that students have schedules as well, whether at the start of the semester or at the end when they have exams,” said Stephanie Sorensen, corporate communications and media specialist for GO.

“On average, our on-time performance is quite good, but we want to improve that.”

Nine GO train trips were cancelled from May to Aug., 23 2006. Eight of these cancellations were on Fridays.

This is an increase over the same time period last year, when only two trips were cancelled.

When CN’s contract comes up for renewal, GO is considering severing its ties and instead opting for a competitive bid, performance-based contract.

“The majority of CN crews do a great job,” said. Sorensen.

“Unfortunately there will be a few people that call in on Fridays.”

Yasim Dusoruth, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, was late for an exam last December because his train was half an hour late.

There was no explanation given to riders.

Dusoruth said that trains are usually on time and even said that GO is the best way to get downtown.

But Dusoruth does find it expensive. His fare went up over the summer and he now shells out $110 for a monthly pass.

“It’s getting to a point where I’m actually thinking of getting a car,” he said.

Nicholas Reaburn, a second-year mechanical engineering student, takes the GO train to school everyday from Mississauga.

He said he doesn’t mind taking the train and that service is great for the most part.

But last week Reaburn’s train sat outside union station for an hour, unable to pull into the station to let passengers off.

The only explanation given was that there had been “confusion at the station.”

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