New Metrolinx fines aimed at getting riders to behave better

If you're thinking of throwing your backpack on an empty seat on a GO Train before putting your feet up on the seat across from you, prepare to pay a total of $150.

GO Transit says it's 'surprised' by support of new penalties for bad etiquette

Think twice before you spit on Metrolinx property or put your feet up on a vacant seat. Last month, Metrolinx increased some fines to make riding the bus and the rails a more pleasant experience. (CBC)

If you're thinking of throwing your backpack on an empty seat on a GO Train before putting your feet up on the seat across from you, prepare to pay a total of $150. 

And while it's commonplace in some countries, Metrolinx warns that you cannot hang on for a ride on the exterior of GO transit vehicles. Someone was spotted doing just that last month near GO's Danforth station. If you're tempted to do the same, that infraction will cost you $150.

"Metrolinx is increasing some fines to improve the safety and well-being of passengers and staff, and to bring them in line with other GTA transit agencies," GO Transit spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins told CBC News. "Our fines are not intended as a revenue-generation tool. They are intended to deter GO Transit customers from breaking our rules on safety, fare payment and etiquette."

New fines introduced last month

The new penalties came into effect quietly on November 5, marking the first time in 13 years that the fines have been updated.

The previous fines for "placing an object on a vehicle seat" or your feet on an empty seat were $50 each.

"Most of Metrolinx's fines were set before 2002 and have not kept pace with comparable fines imposed by other regional transit operators, notably TTC and York Region Transit," Aikins explained. "Changes to the by-law regulating fines also include new language to address issues such as the use of e-cigarettes."

Aikins said GO Transit users have welcomed the new penalties.

"We were surprised just how supportive our customers were for strengthening our fine system," she said. "They want their fellow passengers — that they spend a significant amount of their day with — to obey the rules for everyone's safety and comfort."

The full list of fines is posted online. 


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