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GO Transit: Service thread (including extensions)

I don’t understand how it’s inherently unsafe to stick your hand in a door. I and many other passengers do it all the time in elevator doors. Metrolinx has no control over passenger perceptions of safety at the doors unless it embarks on a campaign to remove safety protections from all elevators in the province. Even then, visitors from elsewhere will continue to put their hands in.

Passengers who act reasonably are entitled to safety, even if it annoys us.
GO Transit and the TTC have emphasized a number of times that this behaviour is disruptive and unacceptable. People should know better.
 
GO Transit and the TTC have emphasized a number of times that this behaviour is disruptive and unacceptable. People should know better.
Could you link to these communications? I have never seen one from either company, and I regularly rode the TTC for years.

It is unreasonable to expect the average passenger, who has never had to pass a safety training course, should have a detailed understanding of how doors work, and how they differ between different installations (bus/streetcar/subway/commuter train/elevator).

The doors in an elevator or on a streetcar will re-open if you put your hand over a sensor. Passengers whose travel history consists entirely of elevators and streetcar could reasonably believe that all doors are like that, because their experience tells them it’s safe to put their hand in the door. It is unreasonable to expect them to understand the safety risks on a mode they rarely use.
 
Could you link to these communications? I have never seen one from either company, and I regularly rode the TTC for years.
They used to make regular announcements about blocking doors being prohibited. If someone did block the door, the guard or CSA would make an announcement too. I believe they used to also have safety posters in the early or mid 2000s.

It’s actually pretty stupid to just assume every door will magically reopen for you if you put your hand in it.
 
I don’t understand how it’s inherently unsafe to stick your hand in a door. I and many other passengers do it all the time in elevator doors. Metrolinx has no control over passenger perceptions of safety at the doors unless it embarks on a campaign to remove safety protections from all elevators in the province. Even then, visitors from elsewhere will continue to put their hands in.

Passengers who act reasonably are entitled to safety, even if it annoys us.

I'm fascinating by this take on what 'reasonable' behavior is........

I'll grant that there's lots of unreasonable behavior in the world, and many people choose to model unreasonable acts..........

But I have a tough time buying that anyone's sense of entitlement (The train with 800 people aboard should wait just for me) is reasonable. I feel that way Irrespective of the additional risk the may be taking upon themselves. Yet, that make such entitlement seem even less reasonable on reflection.

Edit to add:

Do you feel is reasonable not to leave a tip for the wait staff if the menu doesn't explicitly state that you should, in large print, and/or you've seen a TV campaign in the last year telling you its a good idea? (Sincere question, no snark intended)

My point being, are there not somethings we expect people to understand by osmosis and observation? The announcement 'Stand Clear, The Doors are Closing' is a fairly unambiguous directive.
 
It is unreasonable to expect the average passenger, who has never had to pass a safety training course, should have a detailed understanding of how doors work, and how they differ between different installations (bus/streetcar/subway/commuter train/elevator).

The doors in an elevator or on a streetcar will re-open if you put your hand over a sensor. Passengers whose travel history consists entirely of elevators and streetcar could reasonably believe that all doors are like that, because their experience tells them it’s safe to put their hand in the door. It is unreasonable to expect them to understand the safety risks on a mode they rarely use.

Personally I wouldn't trust an elevator door to reopen if it's less than about 40 cm's apart.

Subway and GO Train doors are a lot less capable of reopening - they do not spot things blocking their space (as elevator doors do) and their alarm only trips when the door has fully closed and the sensors detect an abnormal fit of the door edges. The whole cycle of alarm-stop-reopen-wait-close again takes longer and creates further pauses before the train can start moving.

If someone forcibly pries open the doors, sure, they will stop closing - but that's real dirtbag behaviour which is very likely to disable the door, causing a delay to several hundred people. If you are one of those people who do that, well, I'm judging. Most adults do know better. (PS - I believe it's actually an offense that one can be ticketed for if caught).

- Paul.
 
It’s actually pretty stupid to just assume every door will magically reopen for you if you put your hand in it.
Are there any other situations in our daily life (outside of public transit vehicles) where a power-operated door won’t reopen for you if you put your hand in? I can’t think of any in my own life. All power doors I experience in my life either have a light-based sensor in the door (elevators), or that can detect you before you reach the door (the automatic doors at most malls/grocery stores), or can be manually reopened.

But I have a tough time buying that anyone's sense of entitlement (The train with 800 people aboard should wait just for me) is reasonable. I feel that way Irrespective of the additional risk the may be taking upon themselves. Yet, that make such entitlement seem even less reasonable on reflection.

My point is that many passengers (rightly or wrongly) believe the risks of sticking their hand into a vehicle door are comparable to that of an elevator. In order to avoid preventable injuries or deaths, agencies need to take reasonable measures (such as using a non-contact based detection that does not automatically open the doors, but prevents the vehicle from moving) to keep their passengers safe.

Edit:

When I say that passengers are entitled to safety, I am referring to the company’s obligation to implement reasonable safety protections. If something is ‘safety-critical’, it should be reliable enough that you are willing to trust it with your life.

I don’t make any claims about the morality of choosing to stick your hand in the door, but I believe passengers should be kept safe if they do so. This is how safety is done in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
 
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Personally I wouldn't trust an elevator door to reopen if it's less than about 40 cm's apart.
I've never seen an elevator not reopen.

Subway and GO Train doors are a lot less capable of reopening - they do not spot things blocking their space (as elevator doors do) and their alarm only trips when the door has fully closed and the sensors detect an abnormal fit of the door edges.
Which is why you need to wave your arm so as to catch the sensor (which you can see if you look carefully). Elevators don't have so much a sensor, as piece connected to the door.

The whole cycle of alarm-stop-reopen-wait-close again takes longer and creates further pauses before the train can start moving.

If someone forcibly pries open the doors, sure, they will stop closing - but that's real dirtbag behaviour ...
Prying is a bit much - though if the operator is playing silly buggers, and the door is already closing as the first person is leaving the vehicle, then like for like. On the subway they tell you to stand back, and not charge the doors. And then sometimes the bell is ringing to close the doors while you are still watching people get out of the door you are trying to get into!
 
If you want to engrain discipline what you need is consistency. If you close always close the doors exactly at the departure time, and depart on time, then people who left too little buffer will miss the train. That will definitely make them realize that they left too little buffer. But if someone misses the train because the CSA closed the doors early well in advance of the departure time, that passenger's conclusion will not be that they left too little buffer, it will be that GO is cruel to its riders, and that riding public transit is unncessarily stressful and demeaning.

GO has no business playing mind games to trick a few undisciplined riders into getting to the station on time, at the expense of the vast majority riders who do. GO's focus should simply be to publish a realistic schedule, and try their best to reflect that schedule as accurately as possible.
I also think theres a real chance this has the opposite effect. If the train isn't leaving for a minute why not hold the door? You won't be delaying anyone.
The best option here is better ops discipline. The schedules are already often padded to high hell!
 
Edit to add:

Do you feel is reasonable not to leave a tip for the wait staff if the menu doesn't explicitly state that you should, in large print, and/or you've seen a TV campaign in the last year telling you its a good idea? (Sincere question, no snark intended)

My point being, are there not somethings we expect people to understand by osmosis and observation? The announcement 'Stand Clear, The Doors are Closing' is a fairly unambiguous directive.

I am from a culture where it is customary to tip the wait staff at a restaurant, so I would normally leave a tip. At the same time there are cultures out there when it is not customary to tip, or where tipping is rude (such as Japan, China and South Korea). While I understand it is good etiquette to tip in Canada, I would not pass judgement on someone visiting from one of those countries for not tipping at a restaurant in Canada.

Everyone here closely follows the public transport industry in the GTA, so we are more familiar with operational procedures than the average person. I would not expect the average rider to be as knowledgeable about transit as the people on this forum. When designing passenger-facing safety-critical systems (such as a door’s trap protection), the safety risks present depend on the average passenger’s perception of what is safe and what is not (as opposed to the perceptions or people on a transit forum).

If you were to take a person from another city (where they are are a regular transit rider) and put them on the TTC or GO, they likely would assume that safety in Toronto is comparable to their hometown, and that what is safe in their hometown is safe on TTC/GO. If something is safe in their hometown, but isn’t on TTC/GO, they could potentially get killed or injured when they try it in Toronto.

You can’t educate this safety issue away: if that passenger comes from a place where the trap protection on trains is at the level of an elevator, things that are intuitively unsafe to you may not be to them.

When I visited Vienna last year (where the light-barrier trap protection on their new s-bahn trains covers the whole height of the door, but only the bottom of the door on their high-floor trams), I witnessed a safety incident on a tram where a passenger stuck their hand high up in the doorway of a tram. While she did something unsafe on the tram, I don’t think she was unreasonable, as the action would have been safe on the S-bahn.
 
Ah, but there’s the problem right there. Just because something is safe does not make it reasonable.

If you’ve missed the train, you’ve missed the train. Them’s the breaks. Sticking your hand in the closing door of a train, even if it is very safe, reeks of selfishness and entitlement which is so prevalent among clients of many public facing services all across the world. People think that by paying a few bucks they are entitled to slow down a train of 800 people? Since this is a very big problem in Europe too it’s hard to do the usual thing and blame it on the stupidity and self interested narcissism that is baked in to modern North American culture, but whatever the cause, it’s vile.
 
Ah, but there’s the problem right there. Just because something is safe does not make it reasonable.

If you’ve missed the train, you’ve missed the train. Them’s the breaks. Sticking your hand in the closing door of a train, even if it is very safe, reeks of selfishness and entitlement which is so prevalent among clients of many public facing services all across the world. People think that by paying a few bucks they are entitled to slow down a train of 800 people? Since this is a very big problem in Europe too it’s hard to do the usual thing and blame it on the stupidity and self interested narcissism that is baked in to modern North American culture, but whatever the cause, it’s vile.

I'm confused about who are the narcissists. Is it the people who delay a train for seconds, or the people who think being delayed for seconds is a horrific ordeal?

The correct answer is both.
 
I'm confused about who are the narcissists. Is it the people who delay a train for seconds, or the people who think being delayed for seconds is a horrific ordeal?

The correct answer is both.
If you think the only consequence of holding doors is a few second delay.

There is the equally likely possibility that interfering with the doors could cause them to malfunction, which would require troubleshooting and probably taking those doors out of service, which would take time. This is a problem specially on the TTC, which runs super tight headways.
 
The vast majority of the public on this continent understands the principle that when the door chimes sound, if you have not boarded, then you are not able to board. Drawbridges, ferries, railway crossings, and many other functions in our society work on the same model : inches away, but beyond access when the lights begin to flash.

That’s the only way a system can stay on time. Transit is not like a supermarket, where if another person arrives, the proprietors are eager to admit them immediately. There is a continuing flow of passengers - if each arriving passenger can demand entry, the train will never leave. Breaking the flow will always seem arbitrary, but letting the clock make the decision is non-discriminatory and generally reasonable to most people. It’s human nature perhaps to dash when time is closing in on that cutoff point, but mature people accept they will lose the race sometimes..

So long as the door operator adheres to the exact schedule, as I believe GO staff generally do, then the door chimes and lights have to preempt the individual’s right to board. (That premise breaks down late at night after big events downtown, I will admit - GO needs to move more people sooner at times)

The doors on our subways and GO railcars meet the prevailing safety standard - they will reopen if they sense pressure on the closing edge of the door. This is triggered mechanically rather than optically or by radar, as a supermarket door might. Apart from crush load situations, where people may be unable to fully cross the threshold, the warnings give enough time that no one will be pinned - so sufficiently safe if people accept the design premise.

I am not in favour of switching to a remote sensing system that allows people to delay or pause the basic close-and-go function. The environment is different in terms of weather, dirt and grime, and potential for spurious objects to cause false operation. As well, ,the desired function is detecting “pinned” objects rather clearing the path for anyone approaching.

- Paul
 
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The doors on GO trains will cycle through 3 times if they detect a blockage, closing faster and harder each time, if someone continually hold the door open after the 3 cycles the door will stay open and a crew member will have to come down and manually cut out the door, which will result in a delay and a door that people can no longer use until it’s fixed at the yard after the train is out of service.
 

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