Lancaster Crossing in Kitchener

Rail Safety Week is front and centre for Metrolinx

Annual safety week puts a spotlight on year-round ways Metrolinx works to keep people safe.

Sep 15, 2023

Metrolinx is continually looking for ways to improve safety across the transit network.

 Rail Safety Week is just one of the ways Metrolinx is working to keep people safe in and around the rail network.

Whether it’s a new text for help service or new overpasses separating trains from people – transit safety is top of mind for Metrolinx.

That’s why Metrolinx is proud to partner with Operation Lifesaver to support Rail Safety Week 2023.

Rail Safety Week is an annual awareness campaign that’s held every September across North America. This year it runs from Sept. 18 to Sept. 24, and Metrolinx is proud to participate.

This campaign allows transit agencies, safety associations, law enforcement and other groups to come together to help educate the public with the goal of preventing incidents.

For Metrolinx, safety is central to everything the transit agency does. From customers to communities and transit staff – safety matters most.

A key part of Metrolinx’s role is introducing safety improvements as service is expanded across the region – and new subway and light rail projects are built.

GO Train and Milliken GO Station

Metrolinx works to keep customers and communities safe all year round. (EllisDon photo)

Improving safety for customers & communities

Earlier this year, Metrolinx launched a new text-for-help support program for GO Transit and UP Express customers. The service lets people discreetly report immediate safety or security concerns by texting “HELP” to 77777. The Customer Protective Services team will quickly reply to the text to understand the concern and dispatch support or local police services if needed.

This summer, GO Station Ambassadors also started playing a more active role on platforms. They are helping customers stay safe by assisting with boarding and exiting trains and providing information to those who need it.

New grade separations along Rutherford Road in Vaughan and Steeles Avenue near Milliken GO Station help make the community safer with separated areas for trains from pedestrians, cars, and cyclists.

Metrolinx Community Engagement teams are out in the community all-year round educating people, with a renewed focus around Rail Safety Week. They hold pop-ups, attend festivals, and even speak directly to students in local schools across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

On top of these concrete steps to improve safety, Metrolinx works with local safety and law enforcement agencies year-round to help spread awareness of safe behaviour around tracks and in stations. Rail Safety Week is one of many opportunities to do this.

Shahnawaz Rasul, a station ambassador, speaks with customers in Bramalea.

A GO station ambassador talking to customers about safety. (Mike Winterburn photo)

Here are some of the safety events Metrolinx is participating in for Rail Safety Week 2023:

  • Kick-off event at Union Station with Operation Lifesaver - Sept. 18
  • Operation Cleartrack: partnership with law enforcement to promote safety at locations across the region – Sept. 19
  • Platform safety pop-ups at GO Stations around the region – Sept. 20
  • Bikes on Trains safety events at Brampton GO and Union Station – Sept. 21

Rail Safety Week is just one of the ways Metrolinx is working to keep people safe in and around our rail network. The transit agency will continue to introduce safety improvements for customers, staff, and communities all year-round.

by Scott Money Metrolinx editorial content manager