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Friday, January 23, 2015

#CommutingLife

Commuting problems - in one picture

Revenge

Commuter rage and the planned Danforth stop

from:buschic
to:cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date:Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 5:34 PM
subject:1800 stouffville rage at adding Danforth

I ride the Stouffville corridor on occasion, as it makes my ride home more calm and less rage-inducing from idiots. Also, being in a wheelchair & multiple-disabled, taking this train helps me avoid the nastiness of TTC subways at rush hour, especially Kennedy station.

Last night, a few of the regulars and I began talking about the recent release by GO/Metrolinx about the additional stop at Danforth and the fare increase.

It quickly became a heated and very interesting discussion, about the extra 5 minutes it will add to the trip, (GO claims only 2) but we all know the issues with door donkeys and accessibility needs will prolong it.

Instead of causing people who go all the way to Stouffville and Linconville to have to spend even more time on the train (its 50+ minutes now!) why not keep the stops near the subway to non-rush hour trains? Or keep it to LSE trains only?

As a former LSE regular myself, I know all too well the hell show that is the 1753 LSE. I rarely could get on, due to crowds, as I’m in a power wheelchair and also legally blind.

Why not just have the inside Toronto stops be at Kennedy (end of Bloor-Danforth subway) and Scarbourgh? This serves a very poorly transit served area and is the only way to make that area wheelchair-accessible, instead of waiting for the TTC to get Warden and Agincourt accessible? Danforth has tons of transit infrastructure now, is also is served by the LSE -- both in rush-hour & off-peak periods.

Stouffville is starved for transit, all they have is GO. Why make it more frustrating than need be? I grew up in far east end Hamilton, and lived there until 2005, I completely see their point on this one.

Also the fare increase... oh man, THAT got intense.

From my POV, I’m limited, on both the amount of GO fare I can afford (current limit is $50 a month) as well as PRESTO in all forms, website, readers & system, being inaccessible to those who are blind.



NOTE - Cj says (courtesy of ThisCrazyTrain reader who would like to remain anonymous):

http://www.getpres.to/whenandwhere/ 

^^^ See all that information? It's one giant image. Absolutely no actual text in the important section that tells you where you can actually use PRESTO.


Providing accessible websites means more than passing WCAG 2.0 AAA. There's no excuse for this! In 30 minutes, I could do a page that looks liked this AND is acessible ... AND loads faster for everybody. Give me another hour, and I could make it work better on mobile devices than a giant image ever can.

Why should I and others like me, be forced to pay for the pathetic excuses of GO/Metrolinx? It's still lacking severely on accessibility, especially on policy on buses (don’t even get me started on THAT!) and PRESTO, more excuses by GO/Metrolinx and their minions don’t make me want to continue using it, and with gas prices dropping like a rock, how many people who DO have the option of driving, will keep putting up with GO Transit’s fare increases and excuses?


Anyhow back to buschic's email:

Several people in my area of the accessibility car, even admitted to not buying a pass for the last few months and just using GO on weekdays & driving their cars to stations farther from home, to save on GO fares.

SmartTrack plan on track: Mayor John Tory

Mayor John Tory says he’s confident SmartTrack is moving ahead on an “accelerated timetable” after his executive committee approved spending $1.65 million for further studies on the rail line plan. “We will see a full report on all of the merits of every part of it in the fall,” Tory said Thursday. City council, which must…

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A GIF after my own heart



Say it with me!

LIKE A GLUHVE!

And the opposite:

Punctuating every single one of your sentences with profanity really is annoying to everyone

I love the GO bus. It really paints a wonderful portrait of both the good and bad when it comes to humanity.

Like the man who helped the mom and her two kids down the stairs of a double-decker,  a tricky maneuver when the bus is moving (side rant: it's my understanding that the drivers of these god-awful things are supposed to use the monitors when stopped to look for passengers who are leaving and wait for passengers to safely come down the stairs - this isn't the case. I will film this).Or the Durham College student who stood up and let out a stream of profanity at a woman who had asked this student if she could refrain from swearing while describing her day at school. Hey, I'm no angel and I can swear with the best of them, but being subjected to "cocksucker", "motherfucker", "stupid cunt", "fucking this and that" in sentence after sentence in a loud boisterous tone can really begin to grate on the nerves. Sorry to republish the profanity here, but it helps to paint the picture.

The reaction was unnecessary. The woman who asked for the student to tone it down wasn't being rude. She was trying to read. I gave up reading an article on my phone because this girl was so loud.

The student attempted to justify her right to swear as much as she wanted telling the woman no one else seemed to have a problem with it since she was the only one complaining. Other passengers stared out windows or straight ahead. For people like this student, silence *is* acceptance, and this only made her bolder with her accusations.

The woman who the student was screaming at got up and went downstairs. That was a smart move. There's no point in engaging these idiots. I've learned this much. 

I chose not to say anything despite wanting to. I regret it now because my silence meant this kid felt she was in the right and she wasn't. After the woman left, this kid really went off and it was downright disgusting. Even her friends seemed a little put off by her grandstanding with one telling her to calm down which was met with laughter and more profanity.

At least someone tried.

Sitting is hard

BURN IT DOWN! BURN IT ALL!!!

from:Roberto R
to:cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date:Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 10:17 PM
subject:NOPE ON THE GO TRAIN

Hi CJ
Worked late. Got on LSE train. Walked down to find a seat. Sat down. Looked down and NOPE. I couldn't bring myself to zoom but you have to trust me when I say this is a dead cockroach. A huge MotherLovin cockroach. CHECK YOUR BAGS!
This may change your outlook on bag riding. I spent the whole train ride convinced cockroaches were crawling on my body.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Metrolinx and TTC developing a plan to accelerate rollout of PRESTO

METROLINX MEDIA RELEASE

TORONTO: January 21, 2015 – Metrolinx and Toronto Transit Commission are pleased to announce that they are developing a plan that will allow transit riders to use the PRESTO fare card throughout the system a year ahead of schedule. Transit riders would be able to use their PRESTO cards on all subways, buses and streetcars by the end of 2016 making the TTC more convenient and accessible.

Subject to approvals, TTC and Metrolinx have developed the following program:

·         Mobilizing TTC and Metrolinx resources and vendors to complete enabling work as quickly as possible.

·         PRESTO will be available at 26 subway stations by July 2015, up from the current 15 stations.

·         By the end of 2015 all legacy streetcars would have PRESTO devices installed on their front doors. Accomplishing this involves Metrolinx receiving support from the TTC to divert the equipment scheduled for the new streetcars, which have been delayed, to the existing, legacy streetcars.

·         A plan to enable PRESTO on the TTC bus fleet is being developed with the TTC so that PRESTO cards can be used on all buses by the end of 2016.

·         The TTC is also working to bring brand new fare gates to all TTC stations.

·         Focusing the initial deployment on base PRESTO services currently available on the other transit services, and adding other functions, such as payment by credit and debit cards, to subsequent releases.

·         The objective is to allow customers will be able to use PRESTO cards at all 69 TTC subway stations and throughout the entire TTC by the end of 2016.

Metrolinx and the TTC are committed to ensuring that PRESTO is delivered across the TTC system as quickly as possible while maintaining quality and ensuring a positive customer experience.

This project is part of Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan to provide residents and businesses in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with fast, convenient and integrated transit. Working through its divisions – PRESTO, GO Transit, and Union Pearson Express – Metrolinx is transforming the way the region moves.

A coach of lost souls perhaps?

GO Transit passenger alleges Metrolinx employee abusing perk

from:RS
to:cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date:Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:27 AM
subject:Fuming mad!

I am on the 7:01am train from Brampton to Union Station every weekday morning.

There is a woman who gets on with me in Brampton and sits in the same area as me.

This is a very busy train and fills up quickly.  She puts her purse on the seat next to her reserving the seat for her male friend who gets on the train 3 stops later in Etobicoke North.

Yesterday, before arriving at Etobicoke North, I watched her tell two different passengers wanting to sit there that someone was already sitting there.  These passengers had to go search for another empty seat.

The kicker is that the other day when the GO officers were checking tickets, I watched her flash her Metrolinx card to the officer and told the officer that her male friend was her guest.

So this Metrolinx employee (who is riding for free) is holding a seat for her male friend who is also riding for free, while customers who presumably pay a fare are being denied a seat.  In addition, my understanding is that when the train is full, the Metrolinx employee is supposed to get up and offer the seat to a customer.  Obviously, she is not doing this either.

She is fine example of Metrolinx employee and customer service.  This sense of entitlement makes me absolutely sick.

Passenger seeking witnesses to hit and run incident at Erindale GO Station

Krystle returned to her car last night only to discover someone had damaged her vehicle and left the scene.





Krystle contacted GO Transit who informed her they will not share any security footage that may have captured this incident with her.

She has contacted Peel Regional Police.

Krystle believes the color of the vehicle that damaged her car is white based on paint residue left behind. The incident would have happened between  8 am and 6 pm. Her vehicle was parked on Level 4, Row 4B, in the southeast area, close to the exit ramp, of the multi-level parking garage

If anyone has any information please call 416-912-5144.

This BC woman is having a really bad day (missed the ferry)


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two guys bring subway etiquette posters to life

Thanks for the lovely salt stains, lady

What does $60 get you? Why, standing room only!!! Yaaaaaaaaay!

So we can pick up and drop off TTC donkeys during the week, GO Transit has adjusted the LSE and Stouffville trains.

Going home the currently crowded to all hell LSE 4:10 pm train will become the 4:07 pm train beginning February 1 and will stop at Danforth GO Station. Arrival times at subsequent stations remain unchanged.

Nothing changes for the morning. All this panic on Twitter and on various newspaper sites was all for nothing. NOTHING!

However, that's not the case for our friends coming in from Stouffville, GO Transit decided to hose you guys down something fierce - TWO MINUTES HAS BEEN ADDED TO YOUR COMMUTE!

TWO MINUTES!

  • The weekday southbound 5:18 a.m. trip from Lincolnville GO to Union will now also stop at Danforth GO at 6:15 a.m.  Times at all other stops will remain the same including arrival at Union.
  • The weekday southbound 6:35 a.m., 6:44 a.m., 7:16 a.m. and 7:42 a.m. trips from Lincolnville GO to Union will now also stop at Danforth GO at 7:36 a.m., 7:48 a.m., 8:20 a.m. and 8:46 a.m. and will arrive at Union two minutes later, at 7:48 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 8:32 a.m. and 8:58 a.m.  Times remain the same at all other stops.
  • The weekday southbound 9:15 a.m. trip from Unionville GO to Union will now also stop at Danforth GO at 9:46 a.m. and arrive at Union at 9:58 a.m.  Times remain the same at all other stops.
  • The weekday northbound 4:18 and 4:48 p.m. trips from Union will now also stop at Danforth GO at 4:29 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. and times will be a little later at all stops from Kennedy onwards with arrival at Lincolnville GO now at 5:34 p.m. and 6:04 p.m.
  • The weekday northbound 6:00 p.m. trip from Union will now also stop at Danforth GO at 6:11 p.m. and arrive at Lincolnville GO at 7:16 p.m.  Times will be a little later at all stops from Kennedy onwards.
I suggest we riot.

Sarcasm aside, what does a "little later" mean? In what class of transportation planning is this acceptable in an essay?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Man spreaders! I have found your King!

Fitness model and actor killed while filming on train tracks

A fitness model and reality television actor  was struck and killed by a train Saturday in California.
Two men were videotaping George Plitt Jr., 37, on tracks north of the Burbank train station when Plitt was hit by a Metrolink passenger train, according to Burbank police.
Plitt also went by the name "Greg".

MORE ON THIS STORY

Toronto Mayor announces children 12 and under will ride TTC for free beginning March 1

That's all I've got.

I'm waiting on an official news release and this better be true as we're a long ways off from April 1.

But Twitter says its true and Twitter NEVER LIES.

Metrolinx CEO frequent user of free GO benefit

Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig says commuting on GO Transit for free has provided him with valuable insight into how customers experience the regional system. McCuaig, who earned $361,285 in 2013, uses GO to travel for business. He also rides from his Mississauga home to his Union Station office up to four times a week. That trip…

I made a new friend Friday



What's he smoking?

I asked him to find out (politely).

He replied, "It's called suck my ass." (rudely)

I asked if "suck my ass" was legally allowed under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. He told me to "mind your business".

Long story short, the bus driver was aware but douchepick had his tunes too loud. Also, this is the bus, not the train, so people don't stay on for very long once they've been found out.