After an uproar from commuters, Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek announced Friday that Metrolinx would add two new cars to the 5:02 afternoon train to help with overcrowding.

Brampton commuters were upset last week over recent changes to the Kitchener GO line schedule, changes which not only caused overcrowding but also mean a longer commute for a lot of residents.

But will adding two new coaches be enough for commuters? Probably not. Longer commute times has also been an issue for riders.

The changes that came into effect on January 7 removed the popular 4:50 p.m. express train from Union that a lot of commuters favoured. It’s added at least an extra 20 minutes to commuting times for Brampton residents, and others travelling west of Brampton.

“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,” Yurek said in a statement last week.

Local politicians, including the mayor and NDP MPPs Sarah Singh, Kevin Yarde and Gurratan Singh, are asking for the express train to be reinstated immediately.

“People in Kitchener, Waterloo and Brampton needed improved GO Train service to help them to travel to and from work more quickly and conveniently. Instead, the Ford government has made things even worse for people,” the MPPs said in a joint statement.

When asked about the express train and whether it will be reinstated, Yurek’s press secretary Andrew Buttigieg told CBC News that “We are continuing to work with CN to add more trains as we work towards two-way, all-day service.”

But Buttigieg found himself in hot water over the weekend after he tweeted an insinuation that the problems Brampton commuters are facing aren’t a priority. This was in spite of the city’s 17 per cent growth in transit ridership in 2017, which made it the fastest growing in Canada. Buttigieg’s tweet was deleted Saturday.

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