Posted by: Ian Ross | March 8, 2008

GO Transit Getting Derailed By Online Petition

Patricia Eales isn’t happy with Toronto’s GO Transit commuter train service. And she knows that she isn’t the only one.

Eales’ wants GO to refund 50 per cent of fares when trains are late by 20 minutes or more, and to provide better notification of delays.

So to get the transit board’s attention, she launched an online petition three weeks ago and sent it out to friends and colleagues. She certainly hit a chord. The petition went viral. Nearly nine thousand people have signed it. And the comments are damning.

“It is good that someone finally started something like this. I take the GO Train to go to school and when it is late I miss a lot of class, assignments and midterms!,” wrote Tracey Moniz.

“On time service is to be expected. ‘Mechanical problems’ and ‘switching problems’ are far to frequent. Fix it or pay,” added Adrian Lambert.

She has also managed to garner attention from mainstream media (Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Barrie Examiner, 680 News, CFRB) and bloggers (Simon Tonekham’s Blog, Visions for the GTTA).

This is a great example of a grassroots PR campaign. She has a clear goal to improve commuter service. And she has used different communication tactics to get her key messages out.

Eales will present the petition to the transit board at a meeting next week. With the public and media watching, GO will need to respond quickly or face another hit to its reputation and credibility.



  1. I was signing the petition and then I realized I have to pay 2 dollars? what?! Outrageous?! No, I am trying to keep from having my money robbed from go transit and now I have to pay to express myself?

  2. Alex, at the end of the petition text I included a note saying that you could close the browser at that point, without having to donate anything, and your comment would still be recorded. This is a free online petition site that derives it’s revenue by donations as well as ads. This is not something that I am asking people to do.
    I apologize if there was any misunderstanding.

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