Safety & Security

Transit Safety Bike Patrol Unit

GO Transit’s Safety Officers will be piloting a new program this summer. GO’s Bike Patrol Unit will be able to target parking lots and problem areas that weren’t as easy to get to with Transit Safety vehicles. Overall, this will enhance your experience by making our TSO’s more accessible.

We promise to always take your safety seriously.

If you haven't already, please record these numbers:

  • 1.877.297.0642 - Transit Safety Dispatch (24 hours a day)
  • 911 for life threatening emergencies or crimes in progress

Call our Transit Safety Dispatch or find Transit Safety staff if you are involved in or see…

  • an incident on the GO system
  • harassment
  • parking dispute
  • a suspicious package
  • unsafe or prohibited activity

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.

Our Transit Safety Officers

Transit Safety OfficerGO’s Transit Safety Officers are primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of our passengers.

They are also responsible for…

  • friendly customer assistance
  • fare inspections
  • regular prevention and deterrence patrols
  • support for local police, fire and ambulance
  • parking, by-law, provincial law and Criminal Code enforcement
  • locate missing persons and protect vulnerable passengers
  • promote railway safety


Our Transit Safety Officers are clearly identifiable by their uniform. Every uniform includes a hat and shirt displaying the Transit Safety shield, a black vest with “Transit Safety” printed across the front, black pants with a gray stripe, and a duty belt.

Officers are authorized to enforce GO Transit By-laws, which govern passenger conduct, fare inspection and use of our facilities. Officers are also 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.

Visit the OPP website or read the Conditions of Appointment to learn more.

Safety and the GO Train

Passenger safety and security on the train

GO trains are equipped with safety features to ensure passengers are safe and comfortable while riding with us.

In case of emergency, please locate and familiarize yourself with the…

  • yellow emergency strip within the railcars. Once pressed, on-board GO personnel will be notified and will come to your assistance.
  • Customer Service Ambassador (CSA) in the fifth car from the locomotive.
  • emergency information is posted near the entry doors.
  • emergency equipment and instructions, which are clearly marked throughout the railcars.
  • emergency exits located at every second window throughout the railcar.
  • MIKEY defibrillator is in the fifth car from the locomotive (with the CSA).
  • first aid kit, next to the washroom in each car.

 

Safety precautions at station platforms

While near tracks and on station platforms fast-moving trains can pose a potential risk. It is important to stay aware and cautious. GO Trains can travel at speeds of up to 160 km/h. Trains are a lot closer and travel a lot faster than they may appear.

The following tips will help make your GO experience a safe one:Stand back from the yellow line

  • Stand back from the yellow line on the edge of the platform. Freight and GO Trains can pass at any time in either direction at high speeds.
  • Never step onto the tracks.
  • When traveling 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 the ends of the platform as an access point. This is dangerous and illegal.
  • 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.

There is a public pay phone on every rail platform that can be used to make a free call to Transit Safety Dispatch to report safety and security concerns or suspicious activity.

Railway / Road Crossing safety tips

Always…

  • Obey railway crossing warning signs and signals and yield the right-of-way to approaching trains.
  • When on foot, avoid stepping on the rail. It’s a smooth metal surface and you could easily slip. Always step over each rail as you cross.
  • Avoid using any personal audio device as you approach a crossing. It will interfere with your ability to hear an approaching train.
  • When operating wheelchairs, strollers, bicycles and other rolling items use extra caution at railway crossings. Small wheels can get stuck in the groove designed for the railway train’s wheels.
  • Take the time to Stop, Look, and Listen.

 

When approaching a crossing in a vehicle look both ways along the track for an oncoming train and be prepared to stop if required.

 

When the warning lights are activated and a train is approaching…

  • do not stop in the middle of the tracks under any circumstance
  • stop at least 5 metres from the nearest rail 
  • proceed across the tracks only when the lights have stopped flashing and the tracks are clear


To read about the Emergency Evacuation Procedures on the GO Train, see the Emergency Evacuation Procedures section below.

Safety and the GO Bus

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

Our bus operators are professionally trained drivers and certified in first aid training.

To read about the Emergency Evacuation Procedures on the GO Bus, see the Emergency Evacuation Procedures section below.

Audio Video Recording System on GO Buses

Through our Passenger Charter, we promise to always take your safety seriously.

While 87% of our customers are satisfied with GO Transit’s safety, there are opportunities to enhance safety and security for our customers and employees.

Starting Fall 2013 we’ll be implementing an Audio Video Recording System (AVRS) on some of our GO Buses. This system will record video, as well as some audio near our drivers, to:

  • enhance safety and security
  • improve customer service
  • follow up on customer complaints and suggestions
  • record and better understand passenger-driver interaction
  • provide evidence to officials for incident and accident investigations

Which GO Buses will have the AVRS?

Initially, the AVRS will be implemented on 25 of our newest double decker buses. Over the next few years, we plan to gradually implement the system on all of our buses.

There will be signs prominently displayed inside the buses that are AVRS activated.

Do the cameras monitor in “real time”?

No, the recorded data cannot be watched in real time.

How long are the recordings kept?

Recordings are kept on a removable hard drive for 72 operating hours, then automatically recorded over, permanently deleting the record.

When a hard drive has been removed from a bus due to a reported incident, GO Transit has 72 hrs. to complete the investigation and determine if an incident has occurred and if footage may be relevant to the investigation.

Investigation files containing a copy of the incident download and a copy of the incident occurrence documents will be retained by Metrolinx until the final disposition of the investigation, hearing, appeal or appeal period.

What about my privacy?

The AVRS is being installed and operated in accordance to applicable Ontario privacy legislation and guidelines. The personal information is collected in accordance with the Metrolinx Act, 2006 S.O., Chapter 16, s.5. Metrolinx’s handling of all personal information is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Please contact our System Safety Specialist at Metrolinx, 20 Bay St., Toronto, ON., M5J 2W3, telephone: (416) 869-3600 ext. 5405, if you do have any questions about the collection of public information by Metrolinx through these security cameras.

To find out more about how the information on the Audio Video Recording System on GO Buses will be managed, please see our CCTV / AVRS policy.

Safety & Security at your GO station

All GO Transit employees and your local police work together in an effort to reduce the number of incidents and vehicle-related crimes.

The number for Crime Stoppers is 1 800 222-TIPS. For more information, please visit their website.

When parking your vehicle. Always…

  • Close all the windows and lock all vehicle doors
  • Use your anti-theft device, such as a car alarm or steering wheel lock, if you have one.
  • Keep your valuables from sight – that includes loose change, GPS devices, phones, etc.

If you need help contact your nearest GO employee, local police or contact Transit Safety Dispatch at 1.877.297.0642. We will help you get home safely.

Please keep the police and GO Transit informed when incidents such as vandalism and theft occur. This allows us to collaborate with local police and coordinate our resources more effectively.

Railway Safety Awareness Programs

Education is the key to injury prevention and keeping everyone safe around railways.
Operation Lifesaver
GO’s Transit Safety Officers continually reach out to various communities addressing local issues promoting railway safety through events and presentations.

If you’re interested in having a railway safety presentation for your community group on the dangers of trespassing on railway property first-hand, please contact Operation Lifesaver.

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 Commuter Rail Safety and Security Audit program.

Members of APTA, voluntarily exchange ideas, best practices and data on the latest and most accepted rail safety standards, and are audited by a review committee every three years.

GO Transit is also a member Transport Canada’s Rail and Urban Transit Security Advisory Committee.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Your safety is our first priority

GO Transit takes every precaution to ensure the safety of passengers and public on our buses, trains and in our facilities. The following information outlines emergency procedures and provides guidance on how to evacuate from GO Trains, Buses, facilities, terminals or stations in the rare circumstance you may be required to do so.

GO facilities (including rail stations and bus terminals)

GO personnel will initiate emergency evacuation procedures for the affected site and will provide instructions on safe exit locations through our public address system. GO staff, police, fire or ambulance crews will determine the best evacuation method for passengers with mobility aids.

Travelling by train

GO Transit coach cars are built to provide you comfort, convenience and protection.

On Board Safety features include:

  • A train crew member located in the fifth coach car;
  • Yellow emergency passenger assistance strips, when pressed notifying the train crew that assistance is required in your coach car. A train crew member will attend to provide assistance;
  • First-aid kits located next to the washroom in each coach car;
  • An automated external defibrillator (AED) in every fifth coach car;
  • Emergency equipment and posted instructions in every coach car;
  • All passenger coaches are constructed of fire retardant materials;
  • Luminescent stripping on the floor of every coach car, providing emergency exit paths when visibility is restricted;
  • Emergency evacuation information posted near coach entry doors;
  • 12 removable emergency exit windows on every coach;
  • Emergency exit door release handles;
  • Smoke and heat detectors;
  • Handrails to provide assistance to safety climb up and down stairs between various coach levels.

When boarding a train, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the safety information and emergency procedures displayed inside.

Safety information and emergency procedures


These safety features, combined with the specialized training of our train crews, will help to keep you safe in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Emergency instructions

In the event of an emergency please;

  • Remain calm and seated – Listen for public address announcements and follow all instructions from your train crew, GO Transit Safety Officers staff and/or emergency responders.
  • Stay onboard the train, outside your coach danger exists until all train traffic can be stopped. So until directed to exit the coach car by a member of the train crew, GO Transit Staff or emergency responders remain seated, it is the safest place to be.
  • If you see smoke or suspect a fire – press the yellow passenger assistance strip to notify the train crew immediately and then move to an adjoining coach car.
  • If a passenger is in distress, or if you need to identify yourself as needing assistance - notify train crew by pressing the yellow emergency strip located in each coach car. A member of the train crew will attend and call for additional assistance as required.
  • Again, exit the train only when directed by the train crew or emergency responders - after exiting the car, be aware for passing trains, rough or uneven walking surfaces and other hazards.

Passenger Assist System

The Passenger Assist System (i.e. yellow emergency strip located above each window and below the window in the fifth coach car) allows you to indicate to the crew that you require assistance. It should only be used during emergencies. After pressing the Passenger Assist System, a member of the crew will respond to the area in which the alarm has been activated.

Passenger Assist System


Train evacuations

Train evacuations do not happen often. In fact, most emergencies can be managed on-board. In case of an evacuation, our train crews have been thoroughly trained on safe evacuation procedures. Each car is equipped with a fire extinguisher and other tools to assist during an emergency.

Inside the coach cars, emergency windows are identified by an instruction decal on or above the window. Once the window is removed it can be placed inside the car, away from the exit window. Please remember that an evacuation from an upper level window requires a significant drop to the ground.

Please use extra caution when evacuating a coach car through any window, particularly from the upper level. In most cases, emergency responders would be outside the car and assist lowering you to the ground.

In case of an emergency, notify a train crew member or call 911 for life threatening emergencies or crimes.

The train crew will make continuous announcements through the public address system and instruct passengers with specific procedures.

Train crew, police, fire and/or ambulance personnel will assist in evacuating passengers with disabilities and will determine the best evacuation method for passengers with mobility aids. An emergency folding stretcher may be used to help passengers with restricted mobility to exit the train.

Exit options

In the unlikely event that your coach car is evacuated, please listen for public address announcements and any specific instructions from your train crew.

Your exit options:

Option 1 - If possible, exit to the next coach through the intermediate doors located at either end of the coach.

Doors located at either end of the coach


Option 2 - Exit the coach through the lower level main access doors after the train has come to a complete stop.

Emergency door release


Option 3 – Carefully exit the train through one of the emergency windows located on all levels and only after the train has come to a complete stop (this should only occur if you are unable to evacuate through a door); emergency exit windows are located in each coach car and are clearly identified.

Emergency exit windows


Emergency Window Removal

1. Locate red plastic handles on the window and pull handles toward you.
2. Use both red handles and pull down to remove rubber strip from around the window frame.
3. Locate the metal handles on window and pull towards you to remove window pane.

Travelling by bus

Passengers should familiarize themselves with the clearly marked emergency equipment and instructions including evacuation windows, hatches, first-aid kits and fire extinguishers.

To ensure the safety of our passengers, bus drivers also receive accessibility training for bus lift equipment.

GO personnel, police, fire and/or ambulance will determine the best evacuation method for passengers with mobility aids.

To help you prepare for an evacuation, it is important that you remember to:

  • remain calm
  • leave large parcels and objects on the bus
  • use caution while exiting the vehicle
  • watch for oncoming traffic
  • stay well clear of the vehicle

GO Transit 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 provide hands-on training to ensure they are familiar with our emergency and safety procedures.

Safety is everyone's responsibility. Please take a moment to review our safety information and procedures so you know what to do in case of an emergency.