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Safety & Security

The safety of our passengers and employees is our number one priority — on GO Trains and GO Buses, in stations, terminals, parking lots, and on platforms. Our safety programs and practices have made our system one of the safest in North America.

We regularly work with community emergency response teams, such as police and firefighters, and offer a hands-on training program to ensure they are familiar with our safety procedures.

Remember if you are involved in or witness an incident on the GO system that we should know about, please report it as quickly as possible by calling Transit Safety Dispatch at 1.877.297.0642 (24 hours a day), or call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS.

Get to know and recognize your Transit Safety Officer

Transit Safety Officer

GO’s Transit Safety Officers are responsible for promoting passenger and railway safety, conducting fare inspections and protecting our passengers, employees, assets, and facilities. Whether you’re looking for directions or a lost travel bag, our Transit Safety Officers are there to make your trip as convenient and safe as possible.

This June, we proudly introduce a fresh new look for our Transit Safety Officers. The new uniform design is intended to increase officer visibility and profile at our facilities and on our trains and buses – making it easier for passengers to find the assistance they need. The new uniform reflects GO Transit’s commitment to customer service, passenger safety and easy access to friendly assistance.

Transit Safety Officers carry out a variety of daily activities to enhance service reliability, business continuity, passenger safety, comfort and security, including:

  • Friendly customer assistance and help with navigation;
  • Fare inspections to ensure the correct use of PRESTO and regular GO tickets and passes;
  • Regular on-board and mobile patrols;
  • Support to local police, fire and ambulance activities;
  • Ensure that sporting fans, concert goers and event crowds move safely and efficiently through the transit system;
  • Parking, by-law, provincial law and Criminal Code enforcement;
  • Investigate lost and found enquires, locate missing persons and protect vulnerable passengers; and
  • Promotes railway safety through community and passenger involvement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our highly visible Transit Safety Officers receive comprehensive training in customer service, law enforcement, first aid and CPR. They are prepared to handle a variety of emergencies and ensure passenger safety at all times and are strategically deployed throughout the GO Transit system. Officers are authorized to enforce GO Transit By-laws which govern passenger conduct, fare inspection and use of our facilities. Officers are authorized to enforce the following statutes:

  • The Criminal Code
  • Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
  • Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Trespass to Property Act
  • Liquor License Act
  • Sections 17, 28, 33 of the Mental Health Act
  • Safe Streets Act

To ensure the highest standards of professionalism and accountability, Transit Safety Officers are designated as “Special Constables” through a sponsorship program with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Special Constables constitute a unique category in law enforcement. Unlike police officers, whose duties have been established by legislation, Special Constables do not have specific statutory duties. Under Section 53(2) of the Police Services Act, the Commissioner of the OPP is authorized to appoint Special Constables to act for the period, area and purpose that the Commissioner considers expedient, subject to the approval of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. As a result, individuals are provided with limited peace officer and/or police officer powers as defined in the appointment.

Conditions of Appointment

The unique and focused roles of those appointed as special constable involve law enforcement, security and investigative functions closely related to the duties of a police officers. To ensure that the public trust and professionalism related to the appointment by the Commissioner of the OPP is maintained, everyone appointed as a special constable is subject to accountability outlined in the Conditions of Appointment.

For your safety

A safe and secure transit system is a credit to partnerships with police, passengers and GO’s Safety & Security Division, working together to share information and protect customers using our bus and rail service.  

If you notice a hidden or abandoned package, unsafe or prohibited activity, please say something to the nearest GO Transit employee or contact GO Transit Safety at 1.877.297.0642. In the event of a crime in progress, contact 911.

Safety on the GO Train

Passenger safety and security on the train

If you need help while on board a GO Train, press the yellow emergency strip — these are located throughout the railcars — or request assistance from the train’s Customer Service Ambassador (CSA) normally stationed in the train’s accessible car (the fifth car from the locomotive). To board a railcar staffed by a CSA, look for the yellow light on the outside of the coach, just below the roof. (Train crew members may have to leave the coach temporarily for operational reasons.)

Information about the emergency features of the railcars is posted near the entry doors, and all emergency equipment and instructions are clearly marked. Passengers can move between cars anytime, and every other window is equipped as an emergency exit. Each railcar is also equipped with a MIKEY defibrillator and a first aid kit, next to the washroom in each car.

Transit safety officers and customer attendant

Our transit safety officers are special constables, trained and equipped to handle emergencies and look out for your safety. Our Officers receive comprehensive training and are strategically deployed throughout the GO system based on public input, operational priorities, and incident tracking.

The trains may also be staffed by customer attendants, who also have extensive training in first aid and CPR.

Safety precautions at station platforms

Starting your trip safely, here are some tips to keep in mind when waiting on a platform.

  • On every train platform, parallel to the edge, there is a yellow painted line or knobby surface. Please stand well back of this safety line when waiting for a train. Trains can pass at any time, in either direction, and at high speeds. Never step onto the tracks.
  • When travelling with children, always keep them in sight and close to you.
  • Be careful of any gaps between the platform and the train while you get on and off.
  • Make sure to always enter or exit a station platform from properly designated areas, and never use either end of the platform as an access point.
  • Always obey railway crossing warning signs and signals, and never go around lowered crossing gates.
  • Crossing in front of or behind a stopped train is both dangerous and unlawful.
  • In multi-track areas, be vigilant to other train movements on other tracks in any direction.
  • For your safety, stay well away from moving trains and do not climb onto the side of or ride between the cars of a moving train.

Railway crossing safety tips for pedestrians or users of wheeled mobility devices

  • Pedestrians must obey crossing laws just like drivers do and must yield the right-of-way at railway crossings. Whether on foot or in a vehicle, the only place you should ever cross the railway tracks is at an authorized and properly marked crossing.
  • Never try to beat a train to a crossing or cross the tracks in front of a train. Trains cannot stop quickly or swerve to avoid hitting you. As you approach the crossing, stop no closer than five metres from the nearest rail of the railway track and look both ways along the track for an oncoming train. If a train is approaching, wait for the train to pass. Before you proceed, make sure that another train is not approaching the crossing on another track in the same or opposite direction.
  • When crossing a track, do not step on the rail. It’s a smooth metal surface and you could easily slip. Always step across each rail to where the footing is more stable. Watch for loose rock and debris.
  • Wheelchair users, people pushing strollers, children on bicycles, and others using items with small or swivel wheels must use extra caution at railway crossings. Small wheels can get stuck in the groove designed for the railway train’s wheels. This groove is called the flange-way. If possible, items with small or swivel wheels should be lifted across the flange-way; if this is not possible, they should cross only at a 90° angle.
  • Do not use any audio device, such as a portable radio, mp3 or CD player, or cellular phone, as you approach a crossing. It will interfere with your ability to hear an approaching train. Take the time to Stop, Look, and Listen.

Facts about commuter trains

  • GO Trains can travel at speeds of up to 160 km/h.
  • From a vehicle or standing at street level, it is difficult to judge the actual distance and speed of a train. Trains are a lot closer and travel a lot faster than you may think.
  • GO Trains are faster and lighter than freight trains. Even so, it can still take up to two kilometres or 18 football fields for one to come to a complete stop.
  • GO Trains run more frequently than freight trains, but often operate on adjacent tracks at the same time, travelling in either direction.
  • GO Trains have a locomotive at one end and a cab car on the other. The train crew can drive the train from either end. Just because you don’t see the locomotive, doesn’t mean the train is moving away from you. Often, the cab car is at the front of the train.

Safety on the GO Bus

When travelling after dusk by GO Bus, you may exit the bus anywhere on the route, as long as it’s operationally safe for the driver to stop. We ask that you let your driver know in advance where you’d like to get off.

To keep their safety skills well-honed, our bus staff take defensive and professional driver improvement courses, and participate in ongoing safe-driving competitions. They also have first aid training.

See Something, Say Something

A safe and secure transit system is a credit to partnerships with police, passengers and GO’s Safety & Security Division, who work together to share information and protect customers using our bus and rail service.  

If you notice a hidden or abandoned package, unsafe or prohibited activity, please say something to the nearest GO Transit employee or contact GO Transit Safety at 1.877.297.0642. In the event of a crime in progress, contact 911.

Protecting your vehicle at your GO station

GO Transit and the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers are working together in an effort to reduce the number of vehicle-related incidents in GO parking lots. Crime Stoppers is a partnership of the public, police, and media that provides the community with a proactive program for anonymously assisting the police in solving crimes. Posters have been put up at GO stations and parking lots with Crime Stoppers contact information. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS. Rewards may be paid for information leading to arrests and convictions. You never have to give your name. To find out more visit the Crime Stoppers website at www.ontariocrimestoppers.com.

GO works with local police forces to decrease the number of vehicles left unlocked or otherwise unsecured in GO station parking lots. With the Lock It or Lose It program, GO’s Transit Safety Officers or local police officers leave a notice card for drivers if their cars are insecure in some way — unlocked doors, open windows, valuables in plain view, or keys left in the car.

Here are some tips on how to protect your vehicle and who to contact if you would like to report a crime:

  • Always lock your vehicle, close all the windows, and don’t forget the back doors.
  • If you have an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock or alarm – use it!
  • Don’t leave valuables or your personal belongings in open sight – that includes loose change.
  • Call 911 if you witness a crime in progress.
  • If something happens to your car, report it to the Station Attendant or contact GO Transit toll free at 1.888. GET ON GO (438.6646). We will help you get home safely.
  • It is important that you keep us informed of incidents of vandalism and theft. This allows us to focus on the problem with patrols and surveillance and to work with local police.

Health and hygiene

We maintain strict cleanliness standards at our facilities, and on all of our trains and buses. We ask passengers to follow common courtesy guidelines when it comes to hygiene on our system.

For specific information on staying healthy and preventing the spread of germs, we recommend the following links:

Public Health Agency of Canada (national information)
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (provincial information)
Toronto Public Health (Toronto information)
Contact your local municipal web page for further specific regional information.

Useful phone numbers:
Public Health Agency of Canada: 24-hour hotline 1-800-454-8302
TeleHealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 or TTY 1-866-797-0007

Safety awareness programs for kids

Education is the key to injury prevention and keeping children safe around railways. Each year, GO’s Transit Safety Officers participates in rail safety events and presentations on being safe and smart around railway lines.

OperationLifesaverLogo We’re also involved in several local “safety villages,” miniature towns that teach children about the dangers of cars, trains, and trespassing on railway property. We are also a partner of Operation Lifesaver, which conducts community outreach by conducting presentations to school children.

Contact our Transit Safety Office to schedule a free railway safety presentation. Specially trained GO Transit staff members are available to speak to students in schools and driver training classes, youth and community groups, company safety programs and the general public. In addition, specialized presentations are available for educators, emergency responders, and professional drivers.

Transit industry safety programs

We are proud to be the first North American commuter rail system to become part of the American Public Transportation Association's rail safety audit program, a network of transit organizations set up for information exchange and evaluation. Members of the network, who join voluntarily, exchange ideas and data on the latest and most accepted rail safety standards, and are audited by a review committee every three years.

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