Schedule changes to Kitchener GO line came into effect on January 7 and almost immediately it turned into chaos for Brampton commuters.

Back in December Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek announced that there would be changes to the Kitchener GO line. Yurek touted the changes as an increase in service, and for commuters in Kitchener, Guelph, Milton, and Acton, it mostly has been. But for commuters in Brampton, it’s resulted in crowded trains, longer commuting times, and fewer options.

One of the biggest issues for Brampton commuters has been the massive overcrowding. Photos and videos posted to Twitter on Monday showed overflowing platforms, long lineups and general chaos for people waiting to get on trains headed west on the Kitchener GO line.

Brampton residents and city councillors have taken to social media to voice their concerns and to demand an immediate fix for the issue. The removal of the express train at 4:50 p.m. has perhaps been the biggest challenge for those headed back to the Brampton in the evenings.

It was a popular train and its removal has resulted in an earlier train with a longer ride and more stops, or a later train which carries even more passengers.

It isn’t just the 4:35 train (which used to be the 4:50) having issues, commuters are reporting overcrowding on almost all westbound evening trains, and the overflowing platforms have also created an unsafe environment for riders.

Mayor Patrick Brown published a letter to the Minister of Transportation Wednesday asking that the government reinstate the popular express train at 4:50 p.m. and add more coaches to meet the obvious demand. Brown also pointed out that the changes were made without consulting Brampton riders.

Minister Yurek released a statement Wednesday evening addressing the issue. “The crowding on the trains as a result of our expanded service has proven how much of a demand there is for more service. My caucus colleagues and commuters have raised their concerns over the crowding and I take their concerns very seriously,” he said. “I have directed Metrolinx to look at all options to resolve the issue of overcrowding within the coming weeks.”

A spokesperson from Metrolinx also told Bramptonist that GO Transit is “listening and monitoring all feedback” and that they would “implement adjustments, if possible.”

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