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Sunday, December 15, 2013

$475Gs in fares Refunded By Go Transit For Being Late

TORONTO SUN - GO Transit refunded almost $475,000 in fares this past year due to delays in bringing trains in on time.
The Ontario government initiated a 15-minute guarantee that allows riders who have been left cooling their heels trackside for 15 minutes or more to apply for a full refund of their GO fare.
GO Transit spokesman Vanessa Thomas said the first year of the rebate program came in well under the projected budget.
GO’s Service Guarantee claims totalled just under $475,000 for the period of Nov. 15, 2012, to Nov. 14, 2013, she said.
The tally is for approved claims.
“This is under our estimated annual budget for approved claims, reflective of GO’s overall service reliability,” Thomas said in an e-mail.
Sasha Simons, spokesman for Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray, said GO riders appreciate the program.
“We’re pleased to see the program in place and that it has been under budget, but the goal is to have excellent on-time performance,” Simons said in a statement. “This year, GO’s on-time performance is at 96% and, if GO eliminated the delays outside of its control, it would be at 99%.”
The refund is available to passengers only if their train is delayed by 15 minutes or more — and if the reason was not outside the control of GO Transit. Delays caused by faulty switches or train traffic, for example, are eligible for the rebate.
Fares are not refunded for slowdowns due to extreme weather, police investigations, accidents or medical emergencies.
The Ontario government launched the refund program last year to bring private-sector principles to the public service.
Then-economic development minister Brad Duguid said at the time: “We think we’re going to see continued improvements in transit ridership, we’re going to see continued improvements in service and we’re going to see happier customers.”
GO trains were on time about 95% of the time at that time, with 30% of the delays deemed outside its control.
The government had estimated GO would refund about $1 million of the $350 million in fares it collects each year.
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