Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Great. Maybe with that $8.5M the fare increase generates, GO Transit can afford a proofreader ... and maybe a better bulk emailer, seeing as I got this email twice

So many Passenger Charter violations!

Hi CJ, 
I just returned from vacation to find this response in my inbox from GO about the Stouffville line changes.  The original email to GO is at the bottom of the email.  Not only did it take 9 business days to reply (I sent in my comments on June 9th), but it doesn't address a thing.  Immediately below, I've also attached some additional correspondence from Facebook.  Feel free to use anything you want to get the word out.  
GO Transit: Facebook

Go Transit really needs to acknowledge to its Stouffville line passengers that the changes to its schedule are not to their benefit. The change will result in a significantly longer commute time, plus added hassle of transferring at Unionville Stations for those commuting further north. For example, the 11:20am-12:05pm bus from MtJoy to Union station will now become 11:08am-11:31am bus from MtJoy to Unionville Station, 11:46 train from Unionville to Union station arriving at 12:27pm. 45 minutes total time now compared to 1h19m starting next week. This is just one of the many changes as well as the evening commute at 8pm8:30pm 9:40pm are increasing by 30 minutes in duration. Please explain yourself GO.


GO Transit Hi Paul, thank you for your feedback. We'll forward your concern to our team for advisement. This new changing coming to Stouffville line next week is part of the Reginal Express Rail way project. The ultimate goal is to have all-day, two-way train on Stouffville line. You can find more information here: ^CW

will be added to GO Transit’s Stouffville line from…
Paul Gill When the ultimate goal is to have all-day, two-way service at the expense of efficiency then I think you missed linking a key priority that is crucial to your customers. If you provided service every 20 minutes, but if it takes 50% longer, are you truly offering a better service? No, you are only providing more frequent service. Fast, frequent, economical, convenient and reliable service is exactly what you customers expect. Your revised scheduling taking effect June 26th does not check the box of all of the aforementioned priorities Just so you know, my commute time is currently is 20% longer than when I first started taking GO in 2006 from the exact same station.

From: GO Transit Customer Relations <>
Sent: June 21, 2017 1:39 PM
To: Paul Gill
Subject: We've Received Your Comments EM0016007382

Dear Mr. Gill,
Thank you for your recent email regarding the recent addition of midday and evening trains to the Stouffville line.
We always look for opportunities to tailor our service to meet the needs of our customers.  Although, there are no additional changes that will be made to the board change that takes effect on June 26th customer feedback on how we can improve service is very important to us.  Your suggestion has documented for review and consideration
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.
Customer Service Representative, Customer Relations, Customer Care 

From: Cindy (Cj) Smith <>Sent: June 12, 2017 1:58 PM
To: Paul Gill
Subject: Re: Stouffville Line Changes.

That's ridiculous. Please forward me the reply. I will publish your email (anonymously) and the reply.

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:15 AM, Paul Gill wrote:

FYI - It seems as if GoTransit is touting their new train service to Stouffville, but neglect to share the whole story with its passengers.  Below is an email I sent to customer service.  Just thought I would share since I believe this is incompetent planning at its best.

As a Stouffville line commuter, I "just read the service change update that is posted here:
MORE TRAIN TRIPS. MORE REASONS TO GO. As of June 26th, we’re bringing you a lot

more service on our Stouffville Line, so you and your neighbours can get to Toronto ...

Dear Go Transit,

Following my review of the schedule, I'm shocked if GoTransit actually views this change as a benefit to all its Stouffville commuters.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but my reading of the schedule now suggests that my commute time to Mount Joy station will increase from 37 minutes currently to 1 hour 7 minutes as of June 26th from 8pm onward (with exception of 10:30pm which is 53 minutes).  In addition, underpinning this is the fact that all customers will now be expected to disembark at Unionville station to transition to a bus to proceed northward.  How can you justify that this is a progressive change that is good for your customers if the results are 30 added minutes and an inconvenient transfer on top of this?   You have a lot of explaining to do to your Markham/Stouffville customer base."



Sure his name was "Simon Smith"...

New subsidy much lower than UPX's first year in operation, transportation minister calls it ‘great news.’

The province is subsidizing rides on the Union Pearson Express (UPX) at much lower levels than it did last year, but it still costs the public about $11 every time a passenger boards the controversial air-rail link.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Oh, look! Some kind of confirmation that I'll be riding a train out from Courtice in 2025

That will put me only 14 years away from retirement and 25 years from when we were first promised a GO train in Clarington. But hey, at least the folks in Kirby will get their train long before we do.

You ready to pay an extra 56 cents to ride the LSE? Board votes on 3% fare hike this Wednesday

Because *whah* fares didn't go up in February.
And you know why, because I would have torn Union Station down to the ground, thus, saving millions of dollars having Carillion do it.

But alas, it was short lived.

For me, as someone who travels Union to Oshawa and back, it's an extra 56 cents a day. This means I'm going to be chopping legs off at the knees. You know why.


Read the Board agenda

You can already buy coffee at Oshawa GO and I like the coffee at Oshawa GO ... because southern butter pecan!

date:Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 3:05 PM
subject:Tim's and GO

From GO's quarterly report to the Metrolinx board 
"This spring, we announced a pilot project to bring  Tim Hortons to a select number of GO stations. The new partnership between The Kilmer Group and Metrolinx will provide GO Transit customers with quick, convenient food and drink options from Tim Hortons at four GO stations: Oakville, Clarkson, Ajax and Oshawa"

Last time I checked, both Ajax and Oshawa already had places where you could buy coffee... 

Pungent indeed

It may be nothing more than a case of bad optics. But even the whiff of possible political interference in Metrolinx’s decision to approve the construction of two new GO stations — despite a study strongly advising against them — is just too pungent to ignore.

Is that an ashtray built into the end of the armrest?



Photo courtesy of Metrolinx

Rolling into the work week before a long weekend like ...

Friday, June 23, 2017

When the daytrippers come on board, all kinds of stupid shit comes with them

Does this make me an elitist commuter?


And I don't care what the occasional GO train customers think of me (or the rest of us who commute for work). I really don't. The amount of email I get from people who find this site when looking up schedules or how to scam Presto, who read the posts without realizing their shit is the shit we put up with during rush hours throughout the year, and bombard me with their righteous indignation over how they feel about my opinions about foot riders, suitcase straddlers, vapists, drunks, Blue Jays fans, you name it, gets immediately marked as spam.

I. Don't. Care.

Your annual $100 to $300 Go train fare to daytrip to concerts or a party, pales in comparison to what us "elitists" pay, so we are more than entitled to ask for - and demand - better service; courtesy and a comfortable ride.

If we ask you to be quiet in the quiet zone, then you be quiet in the quiet zone.

And now that we can't even claim a tax rebate for the money we shell out, well, now we're getting even more aggressive about calling you out for your shit.

A busted or jammed door means a thousand of us are now delayed. We don't care where you need to be. We just want to get home and at a time that allows us to enjoy our families, or our garden/patio, or get to an appointment on time.

Don't be a douche. The rules are no bikes during rush hour. I don't bring mine so you can't bring yours. The end.


You can view the rest of the pictures from yesterday's initiative on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bowmanville students celebrating #CommuteWithKindness day in honour of GO Transit’s 50th Anniversary

TORONTO: June 20, 2017 – A good start to the morning can make a world of difference in anyone’s day. Students at Bowmanville High School are hoping to provide a moment of happiness and get commuters started on a cheerful note during their morning journey to downtown Toronto with their self-titled “Commute With Kindness” Day (social media hashtag: #CommuteWithKindness).

Metrolinx is pleased to support the Bowmanville High School’s 2017 graduating Students On The Leading Edge [SOLE]  Leadership class to spread cheer and pay forward community goodwill. On Thursday, June 22, 2017, students will board Union Station-bound Lakeshore East GO train or GO bus in the morning to perform random acts of kindness for customers.

The students will celebrate their second annual Random Acts of Kindness event while honouring GO Transit’s 50th Anniversary. Commuters can expect to be challenged by trivia acknowledging both GO Transit and Canada’s 150th Birthday!

Members of the media are invited to document the Thursday morning journey by joining students as they travel to Union Station. GO Transit and Transit Safety staff will be on hand to ensure the trip is a safe and memorable one for all involved.

DATE: Thursday, June 22, 2017
TIME: Oshawa to Union train – Group #1 departing Oshawa GO at 0938hrs.
STARTING POINT: Oshawa GO Station – 915 Bloor Street West, Oshawa (Bloor Street & Thornton Road).
DESTINATION: Union Station (65 Front Street West, Toronto).

Monday, June 19, 2017

Good luck getting past Drive Clean

So, how's the cycling going ...?


Despite the ridiculous weather pattern swings... I managed to get into a routine (cycling posts are still public on Facebook for those cheering me on). Friday night, I had a personal best of 30 km in under 2 hours. And as you can see from the scale picture above, I'm down 20 pounds from my highest weight this year.

I have gained back most of my mobility. There is now renewed strength in my quads. I can sort of stand up and pedal but it's wonky - the balance isn't there yet.

My new bike outperforms my old bike in ways I have come to appreciate, especially when climbing hills. It's lighter and easier to manipulate.

But the best part of this weight loss is the clothes. I can fit into almost everything in my closet but at least, I can wear all my spring and summer pieces. I am continuing to listen to my body. I take breaks. I switch up my routes. I rest. But some rides, I do push myself only to see if I can do it and when I do it, I break into tears every single time.

The police called us to tell us they have a possible ID on one of the kids who stole Veronica, but there's been no further development.

I really doubt I'll ever see that bike again.

Wendel Clark, LLC (Licensed Lawyer Cat) left the family on Saturday, June 17 after a lengthy illness ... my daughter painted this tribute