Metrolinx is under fire after photos shared on social media reveal GO Transit train cars overrun by bicycles used for food delivery on the way to downtown Toronto creating what some are describing as an unsafe situation.
Reports from commuters travelling on GO into downtown Toronto have highlighted the trend of bicycle food couriers overwhelming train cars designated for bikes, creating potential safety hazards and reportedly even in some bike-free cars. The issue, observed particularly on the Kitchener line, has raised questions about emergency evacuation procedures and passenger safety.
One user pointed out the crowded conditions on a Feb. 2 journey, where the bike carriage was reportedly packed upon arrival at Union Station at 10:30 am. Worries about the implications in case of a fire or other emergencies have been voiced, with passengers noting the obstruction of exits due to the abundance of bikes.
@GOtransit can you please explain how we’re all supposed to evacuate this car on the Kitchener Line if a fire or emergency happens? Bikes everywhere and people are trapped in the middle of the coach pic.twitter.com/UZpUHOhmIk
— WB62 (@WBMetro62) February 10, 2024
The situation has sparked discussions about the need for better accommodation for bicycle food couriers without inconveniencing other passengers or compromising safety.
The overcrowding issue extends beyond designated bike cars, with reports indicating similarly packed conditions in regular seating areas along the same train line.
According to Metrolinx, the following rules apply to those looking to bring bicycles onto the trains: Bicycles are allowed on trains except during weekday rush hour service in the peak direction. For instance, bikes are not allowed on trains arriving at Union between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on weekdays and trains departing Union between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Further, the GO website indicates that you may store up to two bicycles in each designated bicycle zone onboard, indicated by green bicycle stickers at specific doors, ensuring you stay within arm’s reach of your bicycle; if zones are full, consider boarding another coach or waiting for the next train. Clearly, based on the photographic evidence, this isn’t being monitored.
Streets of Toronto has a request for comment and explanation in to Metrolinx, and we will update the article accordingly.