Up to three per cent of all GO train trips could be cancelled today as a new mandatory vaccination policy for some employees comes into effect.
GO Transit employees have faced a mandatory vaccination policy since Nov. 1 but the crews that keep GO trains running are technically employees of the multinational transit company Alstom and were therefor not subject to the mandate.
However, as of this morning Alstom employees are now subject to a separate vaccination mandate that is in line with Metrolinx’s policy.
A spokesperson for Metrolinx tells CP24 that about 96 per cent of the 1,000 Alstom employees working on GO trains are fully vaccinated and in line with the policy.
But that leaves a few dozen employees who are not compliant with the policy, who will now be placed on leaves.
“The loss of even a small percentage of crew members given the current labour market shortages we are already experiencing will unfortunately result in limited train cancellations on GO Transit,” Anne Marie Aikins told CP24. “Currently there are upwards of 500 daily train trips – of those, we believe we can limit the cancellations to less than 10 -15 daily trips. We will ensure we communicate to customers the night before and early the next day if there are train cancellations planned on their line.”
So far about a half-dozen GO train trips have already been cancelled with more cancellations possible as the day goes on.
Aikins says that GO Transit is working to ensure “that the busiest trips are maintained and as much as possible, ensure there is bus service to replace cancelled trains.”
Meanwhile, full service has now resumed on the Lakeshore East line after a week-long investigation into a death of a contract worker along the train tracks in Pickering was completed on Sunday.