Several GO trains were cancelled on Monday as a COVID-19 vaccination mandate took effect for all train staff, leading to a small but noticeable employee shortage.
“Although 96% of the over 1,000 Alstom employees working on trains are fully vaccinated, the loss of even a small percentage of crew members, given the current labour market shortages, will, unfortunately, result in a few GO train trip adjustments, with buses running in place of trains,” Metrolinx said in a blog post.
GO Train and UP Express crews were not subject to the Metrolinx-wide vaccine mandate that went into effect earlier in November. Train crews aren’t Metrolinx employees but rather employees of the manufacturer Alstrom and are therefore subject to Alstrom’s own vaccine mandate, which went into effect Sunday, December 5.
Metrolinx says they believe they can limit the cancellations to just 2% of the 500 daily trips that GO trains make every day.
On Monday morning, four trains were cancelled due to the staffing shortage: the 5:21 am train from Bradford, the 7:34 train from Bloomington, the 6:39 train from Niagara Falls, and the 5:30 am train from Georgetown.
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Further cancellations are expected throughout the day, including the 5:17 pm train from Union Station to Niagara Falls, the 8:45 pm train from Union Station to West Harbour GO, the 5:04 pm train from Union Station to Georgetown GO, the 4:15 pm train from Union Station to Bloomington GO, and the 4:38 train from Union Station to Bradford GO.
Details on alternative transportation options are available on the GO Transit website. Updates on additional cancellations will also be posted on their website.