Toronto's biggest transit hub is bracing for even more foot traffic during evening rush hour on Thursday. Union Station, the busiest transit centre in all of North America after New York City's Penn Station, serves roughly 250,000 passengers daily. That number is expected to jump by upwards of 20,000 this afternoon.
680News reporter Kevin Misener says that today's Maple Leafs Next Generation Game at Scotiabank Arena will have a serious impact on today's afternoon and evening rush. So much so, that Bay Street south of Front is shutting down at 4:30 this afternoon to accommodate the extra influx of commuters in the area.
The special Leafs game, which is slated to completely sell out, starts at an unconventional time today - 2:00 PM. As most hockey fans know, games are typically between two and three hours long. Which means that fans will start trickling out of the arena right around the end of the workday. The perfect storm for the evening commute from hell.
As of right now, GO Transit and the TTC haven't announced any additional trains to their schedules that would provide relief out of Union Station this afternoon. GO and TTC trains are operating on a normal schedule today.
However, a Metrolinx spokesperson told City News that they have been working closely with Toronto Police, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment and the TTC to keep pedestrian traffic moving this afternoon.
"Anyone who is not using transit is expected, or at least advised, to avoid Union Station because it is going to be very busy for GO Transit and TTC riders" Misener reported just before 8:00 AM this morning.
TTC riders are also being advised to walk north to St. Andrew station instead of Union to avoid the crowds and to walk on Bay Street instead of through Union Station if they aren't taking a train.