Starting Thursday, GO Transit is promising to give refunds to riders if their trains are more than 15 minutes late.

GO made the 15-minute guarantee announcement on Wednesday. Under the guarantee, riders will get a credit based on the fare they paid.

For delays such as those caused by mechanical troubles, riders can get a refund.

However, delays beyond GO’s control won’t be covered such as extreme weather conditions, track obstructions, pedestrian incidents and on-board medical emergencies.

Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli said this initiative will get more people out of their cars.

“Transit is one of the most important issues facing all levels of government today. Traffic gridlock risks choking our economy. Not just fumes from too many cars on the road affect our air quality and our environment,” Chiarelli explained.

Metrolinx statistics show GO trains have arrived on schedule 94 per cent of the time this year, up from 87 per cent in 2008.

And about 70 per cent of those delays would qualify for the credit.