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Subway hits rough patch in customer satisfaction

THE FIXER

Dec 06, 2007 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter

It doesn’t look dangerous, but a small concrete patch in the subway platform at Union Station nearly sent an elderly woman on the trip of her life.

The city has begun a large renovation of Union Station’s subway area, including a second platform that will relieve the daily crush of commuters who pile onto the platform serving the Yonge and University lines.

In some places, there’s less than two metres of space between the wall and the edge of the platform, causing terrible crowding during afternoon rush hour, with people jammed together like tinned sardines. There is no wiggle room.

While waiting for the Yonge subway last week, a reader said he watched “an elderly woman stumble on an uneven part of the platform and come unbelievably close to tumbling onto the tracks.

“Even though a train wasn’t coming at the time, she was so shaken that she was in tears as she got off at College (station),” he said, adding that “I tried to talk to her, but she didn’t speak English.”

We checked it out and found a small patch of concrete was used to fill in some missing tile on the platform. To look at it, you’d never think it was a problem, but we ran our foot over it and found it to be rough enough that it could catch the foot of unwary commuters and send them sprawling.

We noticed lots of women wearing high-heeled, pointy-toed shoes waiting for the subway. Union Station is about as downtown as it gets, and fashion often trumps practicality downtown. It would be easy for a gal to snag her footwear on the rough patch and fall right off the platform, since there’s little room between the wall and the edge.




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