Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Go Transit (well someone) moved a bus stop. Rage ensued

Three summers ago, the region of Durham made some road improvements at Trulls Road and Highway 2 in Courtice. This also included the installation of a sidewalk on the south side of 2, from Trulls Road, east to Courtice Road. Then some lines were painted on the road on the southeast corner to take advantage of how the curb moved inward and a "bus stopping lane" was born, but it was never put in use... until last Monday (you have to admire the speed of bureaucracy - it's truly breathtaking).

The GO bus (and DRT stop) was moved across the street from the southwest corner to the southeast corner. I like it. It means drivers can make their right turns onto Trulls Road without interruption, and there's a curb to step onto, unlike the previous location which was a driveway, meaning it was a long drop to the pavement if traveling on a coach instead of a double decker. Unlike myself, other passengers DO NOT LIKE THAT THE STOP MOVED LESS THAN 30 METRES. Why? Because they have to wait for a light so they can cross to the other side of Trulls Rd. to walk home. They also don't trust drivers making left hand turns (I'm with them on that one but that's part and parcel with being a pedestrian). But this one lady was having none of it. She's been crabbing to the driver almost nightly. She's insulted she wasn't consulted before the decision was made and said drivers can't just support decisions without proper consultation.

Really? Does she think a handful of drivers got together in a room and made a collective decision to move the bus stop, then, slapping their hands on the table to seal the deal, they all got up and drove out to Courtice in a pickup truck armed with a socket wrench, pullbar and hammer and moved the stop? Did they high five each other as they drove away?

I advised this passenger to call operations/customer relations/MPP/media (I'm using my sarcasm font here). She didn't feel it was necessary since telling the bus driver was enough. Okay, lady. Passive aggressiveness for the win, right?

I'm just tired of listening to her every night.

Reminds me of that scene in Austin Powers with the golf cart

Oh brother

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Good effort on her part? Yes? No?

For those who can't see Twitter at work, the gist of this is a teacher bringing students in by GO Train to the WE Day event downtown wanted the train trip to be considered a special event, and the quiet zone eliminated. She asked her followers to tweet GO Transit asking for no quiet zones on trains today. GO Transit tweeted back that the quiet zone would remain in affect for today. The teacher was not pleased tweeting, "disappointing 20 000 young people building schools, running food drives and volunteering at shelters isn't considered "special"."

This was followed up with a tweet that read (from the Umoja Study Program): "Thanks for traveling to Kenya to build a school, but @gotransit says your passion and enthusiasm must be quiet because #WEDay isn't special!"

But one question does remain, what does GO Transit consider a special event to be?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Say it with a French accent

Homework Assignments

Special to This Crazy Train
by Hy Perbolé

We at TCT Academy pride ourselves in our unwavering mission to help fill our students’ brains with knowledge.  We work relentlessly to better the human condition noted by George Carlin years ago.  Let’s see if we can learn from the following incident and achieve some improvements.

After a dinner of satiating wonton soup at one of Niagara Falls’ renowned eateries, I bicycled back to the bus terminal and boarded the GO bus bound for St. Catharines and points beyond.  Things went well until we passed Mountain Road on the QEW.  Traffic ahead was a sea of red lights.

A quick check of Twitter revealed there was a vehicle fire ahead near Bunting Road.  The OPP had closed the QEW Toronto bound lanes at Glendale Avenue.  As we entered the exit ramp to Glendale Ave., I overheard our driver requesting reroute guidance from Operations (control centre).

I believe we could have travelled Glendale Ave. north, left on York Road, cross the lift bridge to Queenston St., right on Dunkirk Rd., right onto Dieppe Rd., across Welland Ave., and then merged back onto the QEW.  However, those local roads are in an older area of St. Catharines, and there was a risk that our double-decker (not a super low model) might snag a low hanging wire not visible after sunset.

The response that came back on the radio was astounding: “I’m sorry, but I haven’t been down that way in a few years.”


Our driver, realizing we had been left to our own devices, executed the detour route shown in the following map:

Is it not Operations’ responsibility (i) to know the detour options available to buses, especially DDs that are geofenced to routes, and (ii) to communicate those options clearly to drivers? 

And what email alert was issued for our delayed trip?  The following was:

Given that the driver had explained our predicament to Operations at approximately 20:40, why was the alert issued more than an hour later?  Clearly, this level of service from Operations is unacceptable and deserves a failing grade.

Do you remember the commitment Matt Baynie, VP of GO Transit Operations made last year?  Was that a limited time offer?  I interpreted it as an “onGOing” commitment.

Rather than call for CITs as was done previously, let’s turn this lackluster performance into a learning opportunity, shall we?

Operations, your assignment, due next Friday: Assume the QEW-Toronto lanes at Bunting Rd. are closed.  What detour guidance do you provide a driver requesting reroute instructions?  Repeat for the scenario in which the QEW-Niagara lanes are impassable in the same vicinity.  Explain all assumptions, options, and recommendations.  Please submit your assignment to Matt Baynie.

Matt Baynie, your assignment, due by month end: Produce a compendium of detour options for Route 12 drivers between Burlington Carpool Lot and Niagara Falls.  The reroute instructions are to be vetted by drivers, and easily accessible by Operations when needed.  Prepared a recommendation for a real-time bus information solution for passengers.  Explain in detail why GO Transit has not implemented any such solution even though one was promised more than three years ago.

Bonus marks: Issue a commendation for the driver whose quick thinking ensured the safety of passengers and protected the $800K++ double-decker bus.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Can you help find this locket lost on the Lakeshore East?

FOR THOSE UNABLE TO SEE FACEBOOK AT WORK: This is a long shot but I lost my silver locket and chain yesterday morning between Courtice and downtown Toronto. I took the GO train in from Oshawa station and when I arrived at work (along Bremner Blvd) it was gone. I have worn this locket everyday for 30 years and it contains pictures of my sons. The locket is engraved on both sides "Michelle" is on one side and "love mom and dad" on the other. Please, please, please share this post and pray that this will be found and returned. It's the most sentimental item I own and am lost without it

Email or contact Michelle directly on Facebook.
Please share her post. Let's do what we can to help her get the locket back.