Starting next year Ontarians who use the GO Transit service can look forward to a refund if their train is late.
“The province announced that we would be having a 15 minute guarantee on our railway services starting in 2012,” says Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “What that means is that if our GO train is 15 minutes late or more, then we'll provide a full refund to the passengers.”
McCuaig adds that this is a big step for customer service as well as reliability for the service that's provided. The refund policy however, will exclude delays which involve extreme weather.
“What's not covered in the guarantee are things like extreme weather, a medical emergency, a police investigation, an accident that impacts the rail corridor,” explains McCuaig.
“In terms of weather, we're really talking about the extremes. So in the summer that might be very extreme heat. Metal expands and contracts with heat and cold and when it's very hot in this area, we actually have to slow down our trains because of the impact on the rail corridors.”
During the winter months, the transit service monitors Environment Canada's special weather statements or any watches or warnings, which provide insight for approaching severe winter storms. There is even a “snow plan” that is put into place at GO Transit.
“When we have an extreme weather alert we adjust our service so that we can try to get as much service through on time and when we have those kinds of events, those are the kinds of things we're thinking would be an exemption from the 15 minute guarantee,” says McCuaig.
What's covered in the refund policy are the mechanical operations of the train system including a rolling stop, the tracks or the signals.
Check out the Canadian Cities Forecast for your local details. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV for up-to-date coverage.