GO bus passengers urged to 'buckle up' as new buses outfitted with seat belts hit the road
Dozens of new GO buses are hitting the road this month and while they may look virtually identical to the hundreds that are already in service riders will likely notice one major difference – seatbelts.
The federal government introduced new legislation in 2018 requiring that all medium and large highway buses built after 2020 be outfitted with seat belts
But because the legislation didn’t require the retrofitting of older buses, there wasn’t any immediate impact on GO Transit riders.
That, however, is set to change as the transit agency deploys 46 brand new buses outfitted with seatbelts on its routes and begins a campaign encouraging riders to buckle up.
As part of the campaign, stickers reminding customers to buckle up will be placed in the new buses and reminders will be posted on digital signage.
“Just like when you get in a car the responsibility to wear your belt is yours but we're going to do a lot of communication like we're doing now and we're going to do announcements to remind riders that if you see a seatbelt please buckle up just like you're in the car,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told CP24 on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s going to take some time for customers to adapt but it really is your responsibility as a GO customer to put the belt on if you see it.”
The move to mandate seatbelts for highway coaches was, in part, a response to the deadly crash involving a bus carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team in April, 2018.
Riders may not encounter seatbelts on their bus right away as GO’s 433 existing coaches will not be retrofitted, at least at first.
Aikins did say that staff are assessing the feasibility of doing so in the future, though.
“There is a slight difference in the seat manufacturing to accommodate a seatbelt so we're assessing our fleets we have,” she said. “We have to assess the cost of that and how we would do it.”