This past weekend was filled with crowd-loving events in Toronto. From the Canadian National Exhibition’s (CNE) return, Fan Expo, never-ending construction and the general buzz of the downtown core, it’s no surprise traffic was very bad.
But it reached a new level of gridlock when some GO buses were not able to arrive at Union Station and had to detour to other stations.
If you happened to be waiting for a GO bus, you’ll know that a huge amount of eastbound trips to Union were cut short or cancelled all together – probably leaving you stranded.
Posts from angry commuters shared on social media show the GO bus schedule filled with cancelled trips.
What fresh hell is this.
A critically underbuilt and underserved @GOtransit system, ironically grinding to a halt because…car traffic.
— Rahul Mehta (@OpportunCity) August 28, 2022
“As a result, during peak periods this past weekend, some eastbound GO buses headed to Union Station were temporarily rerouted to Lakeshore West GO train stations,” said a Metrolinx spokesperson when asked what happened this weekend.
“The decision was made to avoid a longer delay for passengers caused by busses attempting to get into and out of the downtown core amidst the traffic, and add greater certainty to passengers’ commutes.”
“Metrolinx works with our partners at the City of Toronto to coordinate bus routes into the downtown core to avoid, as much as possible, construction. We are actively communicating with our customers to ensure lots of awareness and planning can be possible while riding with us.”
blogTO asked the City of Toronto what initiatives they were doing to mitigate traffic crowding in the downtown core and a response indicated city staff are expecting even more ridiculous traffic.
“Staff are actively anticipating and planning for increases in traffic volumes, and the associated congestion, in the area around Union Station. The RESCU (Road Emergency Services Communications Unit) Operators are actively monitoring traffic cameras and providing real-time problem solving.”
Yesterday, GO could not send any buses to its downtown terminal again because of car traffic.
This is unsustainable. https://t.co/TOBIG0tIOi
— Sean Marshall (@Sean_YYZ) August 28, 2022
The city spokesperson pointed to the Lake Shore East Construction Hub, which is “conducting logistical planning of the right-of-way, reviewing Construction Management Plans, connecting travellers with real-time information, collaborating with enforcement officers and communicating impacts and changes to businesses and communities in the neighbourhood.”
Some could argue that this hub isn’t exactly doing a good job with “communicating impacts.”
The city offered an apology to commuters, “we understand that traffic congestion is frustrating and are working hard to mitigate the impacts as much as possible.”
With the Labour Day weekend fast approaching, I’m sure the traffic is going to be totally worse than before. Maybe it’s time for people in Toronto to get used to biking?