Forgotten lunches. Feet on the seats. Smelly food.
They're all reasons why people push emergency strips on GO trains, according to Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.
On Wednesday, Aikins tweeted out her annual top 10 list of the most popular or "odd" reasons people push the emergency strips or pull emergency brakes.
One of the big ones? Washroom non-emergencies, she said, like a stall being "out of toilet paper."
Pulling emergency strips or pulling the air brakes unnecessarily can cost you a fine, delay everyone sometimes significantly & is dangerous— @femwriter
Someone else wanted to submit their resume, she tweeted, while others have pushed the strip because someone was being loud in the Quiet Zone... or clipping their toe nails.
Sometimes, people are just "testing to see if it works," Aikins said.
And the most popular reasons? People missing their stop or wanting to request a stop, she tweeted.
Or it's just "crickets," with no one admitting to it.
"Pulling emergency strips or pulling the air brakes unnecessarily can cost you a fine, delay everyone sometimes significantly [and] is dangerous," Aikins wrote.
We added signage to make it clearer pic.twitter.com/QjSM7G93IJ— @femwriter
More than 650 train trips impacted last year
She told CBC Toronto more than 650 train trips were impacted by emergency strip pushes or emergency brake pulls in 2016, causing nearly 150 hours of delays.
However, no stats are kept on "whether something is a legit emergency or non-legit reason," Aikins said.
According to the GO Transit website, the yellow strips in train cars are for emergencies only, "for when a customer is in distress, needs medical attention, witnesses vandalism, disputes, sees a suspicious package, or requires Police and Transit Safety intervention."
Emergency Brakes on trains are only for the crew's use. Don't use in the case of medical emergencies as it will delay getting medical help pic.twitter.com/0YhgldfUZ5— @femwriter
And — because this apparently needs to be said — the following are not emergencies, according to Metrolinx, so don't press the emergency strip when:
- You missed your stop
- You discovered you were going in the wrong direction
- You boarded the wrong train
- You want to request a stop
- You need directions
- You need to buy fare
Emergency alarm signage inside GO trains stresses that it should be pressed only when medical, police or fire services are needed — and the fine can be $1000 for misuse.