By Declan Finucane
Published March 21, 2022
GO train and bus service across the GTA and the rail service linking Pearson Airport in Mississauga and Toronto are becoming even more accessible to customers who move around with help from a cane, wheelchair or support dog.
Officials with Metrolinx, the agency responsible for many of the public transit services and projects across the Golden Horseshoe, say they’ve partnered with the Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA) to raise awareness about accessibility on transit.
Through their combined EnAbling Change campaign, launched today (March 21) on GO Transit and the UP Express (Union Station in downtown Toronto to Pearson Airport train service), the organizations seek to let people know what services and amenities already exist and what more is planned down the road.
“Metrolinx is committed to making GO Transit and UP Express easy to use for everyone by striving to offer accessible trains, buses and stations along with trained staff to help customers with disabilities use services independently or with a support person,” Metrolinx officials said in a release today (March 21).
Officials note that work continues to make accessible the four GO stations that are currently not accessible to all people.
Metrolinx says it’s promoting accessibility through the campaign with a combination of digital and station signage, social media posts and web updates.
“Public transit is for everyone. For those travelling with a cane, a support animal or without any assistance, getting around on GO Transit or UP Express should be equitable for people of all needs,” Metrolinx officials say.
Through the EnAbling Change initiative, the OPTA, which spearheads the campaign, and its transit agency partners across the Golden Horseshoe and beyond are raising awareness of transit accessibility features, encouraging customers to consider the needs of others and promoting compliance with Ontario’s accessibility standards.
Officials say advisory committees on accessibility across Ontario were consulted as the campaign materials were being developed to ensure messaging and visuals were appropriate and clear.
The OPTA’s objective is to raise awareness of the importance of public transit to communities, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and the economy.
The UP Express, which gets tens of thousands of people to and from Pearson each week, began running on June 6, 2015, in time for the 2015 Pan American Games.