For us commuters, the opening of the York Concourse provides many benefits, as well as new way to get in and out of Union Station.
How does the concourse affect my daily commute? First of all, it makes access to and from the platforms easier and –above all– faster.
It doesn’t take me longer than 5 minutes now, to access the subway entrance or to get to the street. I can either take the exit to Front, York or Lower Simcoe to start my pleasant 15 minutes’ walk to Spadina Ave., where my office is located.
Little by little, the entrances are taking shape. The York Concourse is impeccable. There’s information everywhere, and even though it could seem a bit like a labyrinth walking through it for the first time, it’s so well organized that you will find your way out eventually.
This is the perk. Now the sad part is the waiting areas at the new platforms. They are still under construction, and there’s nowhere to sit while waiting for your train. This matters when you couldn’t catch it, and have to wait for the next one. We all walk or even run to get there on time, exhausted most of the times after a long working day, and having to wait and deal with people traffic and line ups is not ideal.
On top of the waiting times, you’ll witness the impolite and disrespectful behaviour of ‘line jumpers’. It’s ridiculous how so many people will do it without even showing a little bit of remorse. We know that you are tired and rushing to get comfortably seated, but please, respect the fact that others are lining up and are equally tired.
No one says anything about it, including me, maybe because we don’t want to create any scene. Nowadays you don’t know how people can react. With that said, I think that a little bit of planning, or having customer service reps from GO Transit around, could help to make the process easier and better organized.
With more and more commuters, making Union a more accessible and comfortable station is definitely a must. Half of the efforts have been made, now there’s still half way to go.
It’s also our responsibility as commuters to behave more as a community, respect each other and help make the time we spend to and from home less stressful.
*Bolivian writer based in Toronto.