Monday, May 14, 2018

Who's Not Been Serving Us Lately? Part 12

Special to This Crazy Train
By Chris P. Bacon

Route 11 — RIP

In the first installment of this series, we looked at the inefficiencies of (seasonal) Route 11 between St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake.  After four years, Metrolinx’s planners agreed with the analysis provided by TCT, because this year, Route 11 will not operate.

Instead, GO Transit has partnered with Parks Niagara (and WEGO) to get you to, and about, Niagara Falls and NOTL.  This arrangement started last year. 

Exact details of the excursion packages and their pricing remain a mystery at this time.  GO Transit advertises the travel package for $30:

Niagara Parks advertises the packages FROM $30, depending on what stops you make:

GO Transit stated that packages “will be available to purchase at the beginning of May”, yet Niagara Parks will only commit to “coming soon”.  If memory serves me correctly, Niagara Parks had problems launching their programme last year, too.

Metrolinx invites us to “Start planning your May Long Weekend GO Train trip today!”  But don’t specify you want to GO to NOTL; you’ll get this error message:

Is this another Passenger Charter violation?

As for the efficiencies of operating GO Transit’s trains, it is assumed the first train leaving Niagara Falls for Union station will continue to deadhead to The Falls from the Willowbrook yard.  If someone can provide insights on this matter, please feel free to comment.

Again, you’re welcome, Metrolinx, but there really is no need to thank us.  It’s our mission at TCT to provide you with operational insights and analyses at an affordable price.  You’ll be happy to know that this year we are holding the line on our service fees, i.e. we are working pro bono again.

As for Route 11… RIP.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Pilot testing of free WIFI on GO buses and trains started today. The buses are ones that run on the 407. No idea which trains are being tested

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Meet Harvey. Harvey is GO Transit's new parking enforcement officer

A broken switch caused commuter chaos for TEN THOUSAND Go Transit passengers yesterday

Did you miss this mess? I sure did. I didn't even know anything about it, which is odd for me considering I am supposed to know ALL THE THINGS when it comes to Go Transit.

A train carrying equipment became disabled yesterday morning throwing the Kitchener and Barrie lines into chaos. It was revealed later in the day that a broken switch caused the problem.

This is an email from a passenger who was caught in this mess who tells what happened:
GO Transit didn’t fail to let me down and it only took 22 emails throughout the day to realize any method of transit using GO was going to disappoint commuters on the Kitchener line.
It started off with the 5:54am  train initiating in Bramalea after a 6:15am GO garbled intercom announcement indicated the train would be canceled, and we would need to wait until 6:45am.  Several hundred people started lining up for shuttle buses that never came. Thankfully I managed to get the York Mills GO bus and had to subway it down to Union station, arriving at work one hour late.
Many people who waited for the 6:45am train didn’t get downtown until well after 9am. Kitchener GO passengers were told to find alternate methods i.e. using the Lakeshore or Milton GO lines as a train that might run was being redirected through Barrie.  The original train had been carrying ‘equipment’ and managed to break down outside of Martin.
I still find it remarkably questionable that GO cannot manage to find buses to take inconvenienced passengers to Union Station or at least provide transport to the nearest Milton or Lakeshore West station given the amount of money we pay to travel by GO. It’s pretty pathetic. They’ve never had any sort of plan B in place, but they will inundate us with emails to say you can expect delays 20 to 30 minutes etc. and it is NEVER that brief a delay.  It’s  always hours.
At least we made the news ...
I'd like to point out something in reference to a Plan B when it comes to full closure of a rail corridor. Go can't have hundreds of GO buses sitting idle in a garage waiting for a catastrophic occurrence. There is no budget for this. Generally what happens is GO will call buses off routes to service train passengers, often leaving bus passengers to figure out how they will get to work. It's a no-win all around.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How to tell a provincial election in Ontario is on the horizon?


By Kørn Brüm

For this story, we need some musical accompaniment from the Five Man Electrical Band (originally named The Staccatos).

Is it my imagination that Metrolinx signs are sprouting up everywhere like tulips?  On March 12, Allan Benner, reported the following:

The following day the same thing happened in St. Catharines:

And now, in Courtice, we have sightings of the following:

Is this a spring phenomenon?  As I write this article, rain, sleet, and ice pellets are pinging off my window.  That’s not very spring-like.  No, the cynic in me thinks this is nothing but another election ploy.

Grimsby, this election, you deserve a Metrolinx sign!
St. Catharines, this election, you deserve a Metrolinx sign!
Courtice, this election, you deserve a Metrolinx sign!

This election, EVERYONE gets a Metrolinx sign!

Fulfillment of promises?  Ummm…  Soon.  Yeah, soon.