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Escalator at Yorkdale GO station on borrowed time

Escalator at Yorkdale GO station on borrowed time yorkdale escalator


What goes up must come down, and maybe even out, if its days are numbered.

Within the vast network of public transit systems that move people around the GTA, just about every station and terminal is equipped with escalators and elevators to add to the ease of movement of its customers.

The escalator between the mezzanine and bus bay levels at the Yorkdale GO Transit terminal has been out of service since last spring. Due to its age and the level of repairs needed, it is to be permanently taken out of service.  (Jack Lakey / Toronto Star)

Everyone’s range of mobility varies, which makes elevating devices a necessary part of customer amenities; for every rider who can skip up and down the stairs, there’s another who can’t, and appreciates a shortcut that makes things easier.

Have you ever seen someone huffing and puffing their way up a steep staircase, obviously labouring while a group of school kids or even a sure-footed adult, effortlessly pass them, oblivious to their distress?

That’s why it’s so important for public transit to make the trip to and from the train, bus or streetcar as easy as possible for those of us who don’t get around as well as others.

Which brings us to the GO Transit terminal at Yorkdale Mall, where bus passengers can connect with the TTC subway line and York Region Transit buses to make their way in and out of the downtown core.

We recently got a note from Pamela Clark, who says the Yorkdale GO terminal is part of her work routine, which has her wondering about the escalator that runs between the mezzanine and bus bay levels.

“Since April, I’ve been commuting daily to the Yorkdale GO station and during that entire nine-month period the escalator has been broken,” said Clark.

“Even by the usually abysmal rate at which public transit escalators are typically repaired when broken, this is obscene!”

We went there Wednesday and saw that the escalator is barricaded at the top and bottom. There’s a nearby elevator that riders can use to get up and down, but it can’t handle nearly as many people at peak periods as the escalator.

STATUS: Amanda Ferguson, a GO spokesperson, sent us an email saying the Yordale terminal, which opened in 1977, averages about 70,000 customers monthly. “Escalators that are exposed to Canadian weather — lots of people use them with wet, salty, muddy boots — or partially exposed to the outdoors, are notoriously known for frequently breaking down and needing extensive repairs and ongoing maintenance. The escalator at Yorkdale, in particular, is old and was frequently breaking down, needing expensive time-consuming repairs, and finally required complete replacement. We decided to replace the elevator with wider stairway access (which is in design now and then going to tender) to provide more reliable and efficient access to the mall, along with the elevator. The escalator will be permanently decommissioned, the stairs will be widened and riders with accessibility issues will be encouraged to use the elevator.”

Okay, but we think it would help if GO put up signs that explained the situation, if only so that people don’t think they’re stalling on a repair.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email [email protected] or follow @TOStarFixer on Twitter


Source : TheStar

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