Shahnawa Rasul, a station ambassador, stands at Bramalea GO as a train prepares to depart

Ambassadors for safety on GO Train platforms

Station ambassadors are working on rail platforms to improve safety, service and on-time departures.

Sep 21, 2023

You may have noticed some friendly faces on GO Train platforms in recent weeks. Station ambassadors are now on platforms to improve safety and on-time performance during rush hours and special events.

From when the train is just approaching the platform to when it departs, they are walking up and down the platform, answering questions, greeting people and providing a visible presence.

They also encourage people to mind the yellow line on the platform edge and help contribute to a smooth disembarking and boarding of the train.

The station ambassadors also discourage people from running up to a train after the doors have shut, which is a time when we have seen people trip and fall and injure themselves.

According to Laura-Gaye Moats, Metrolinx’s director of customer service delivery, when that happens, not only is it an unsafe situation for customers, it can also delay the train for everyone.

She also pointed to a situation where a station ambassador identified a person who was experiencing a mental health situation on the platform and made a successful intervention.

Moats says she believes the actions of that station ambassador helped save a life that day.

GO Train platform safety

The station ambassador role has evolved from selling tickets behind a wicket to being available on the platform now that ticket vending machines provide a self-serve option for paying fares.

The project began in late May at three stations – Bramalea, Clarkson and Whitby – and it expanded across the network in August to help manage the additional passenger traffic that traditionally accompanies the Canadian National Exhibition.

Station Ambassador Shahnawa Rasul speaks to passengers at Bramalea GO

Customers asked questions of Shahnawa Rasul, a station ambassador, on the platform at Bramalea GO. (Mike Winterburn photo)

Station ambassadors are also equipped with devices allowing them to use the public address system directly from the platform.

This helps keep people safely back from the yellow line, especially when there are big crowds after events like concerts and sports games.

Football fans wait for a train at Exhibition GO.

GO customers are always encouraged to spread out along the platform, like these football fans getting ready to depart from Exhibition GO after an Argo game. (Mike Winterburn photo)

Moats says the new program is already delivering results, and that the agency is receiving positive feedback from commuters

“Things like ’this person made my day because they were they there, smiling and helpful,’” Moats said.

Be sure to look for a station ambassador, wearing a distinctive safety vest, on your next GO Train trip.

by Mike Winterburn Metrolinx communications senior advisor