NEWS

GO, TTC riders should expect delays due to frigid cold

02/03/2015 06:20 EST | Updated 04/05/2015 05:59 EDT
The snow that caused traffic chaos on Monday may have passed, but commuters have a new foe to deal with morning: freezing temperatures. 

As anyone who uses GO Transit or rides public transit in the city knows, the cold can causes serious problems for the aging infrastructure that many people depend upon every day. 

Though "it won't be nearly as bad" as yesterday, frigid temperatures are expected to cause multiple delays Tuesday, including holding up GO Trains on some routes. It's expected to be about -12 C during the morning rush hour. 

"They don't operate quite as well in cold temperatures," says Anne-Marie Aikin, a spokeswoman for Metrolinx. "Doors freeze, our switches freeze and that sort of thing."

GO was already reported some delays early Tuesday, though the service's online real-time service update system was down for the second day in a row. 

The TTC has also struggled to maintain regular service during serious cold snaps. Outdated infrastructure, particularly on the streetcar network, simply cannot hold up during extended periods of frigid temperatures.

The TCC preemptively pulled the 502, 503, and 511 streetcars off the rails for today, replacing them with the trusty workhorses of public transit: buses.

But even buses could run into some difficulties navigating icy streets. Toronto's transportation manager Hector Moreno says that regular road salt loses its melting power at about -15 C. There are, however, ways to extend the usefulness of salting efforts.

"We mix salt with beet juice. We also have magnesium chloride," he says. "These two products help maintain the effectiveness with temperatures up to -30, -35 C."

Despite his crews best efforts, however, Moreno says that commuters should leave extra time to get to work this morning. 

 

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