As a result of a new mandated vaccination policy for select staff, up to 3% of all GO train journeys could be canceled today.
Since Nov. 1, GO Transport personnel have been required to comply with a mandated vaccination policy, but the crews who keep the trains operating are technically employees of the global transit corporation Alstom and thus are exempt from the rule.
However, Alstom personnel are now required to comply with a separate vaccination policy, which is in line with Metrolinx’s policy, as of this morning.
According to a Metrolinx representative, around 96% of the 1,000 Alstom personnel working on GO trains are completely vaccinated and in compliance with the protocol.
But that leaves a few dozen employees who are not compliant with the policy, who will now be placed on leaves.
“The loss of even a small percentage of crew members given the current labour market shortages we are already experiencing will unfortunately result in limited train cancellations on GO Transit,” Anne Marie Aikins told CP24. “Currently there are upwards of 500 daily train trips – of those, we believe we can limit the cancellations to less than 10 -15 daily trips. We will ensure we communicate to customers the night before and early the next day if there are train cancellations planned on their line.”
So far about a half-dozen GO train trips have already been cancelled with more cancellations possible as the day goes on.
Aikins says that GO Transit is working to ensure “that the busiest trips are maintained and as much as possible, ensure there is bus service to replace cancelled trains.”
Meanwhile, full service has now resumed on the Lakeshore East line after a week-long investigation into a death of a contract worker along the train tracks in Pickering was completed on Sunday.