Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eaton Centre lady is not happy with us working folk

This morning, I hopped on the 7:21 LSE, originating in Oshawa. By the way, that train can never leave on time. I've also noticed the CSAs can't get it's departure time right, either. Friday, it was the 7:23. Today, it was the 7:21. It doesn't really matter seeing as it doesn't really roll out of Oshawa until 7:25.

When we arrived in Pickering, the train was full - at least my coach was standing room only. This woman gets on with her husband and immediately begins to fret.

"Is there a seat number on that ticket?" she asks her husband, who looks as surprised as her that there are PEOPLE on the train.

He studies their day passes. "No", he says. They climb up the stairs. They come back down the stairs.

The woman looks distraught. "Are we to stand the whole way to Toronto?!" She exclaims while holding her hands out in a "WTF" gesture.

Her husband shakes his head in disgust. "Ridiculous," he says.

"And considering how much we paid!" She laments.

"And then there's the TTC cost to the Eaton Centre!" She says, clearly distressed.

Her husband pulls out a calculator. (Okay, he didn't really pull out a calculator but holy shit folks, if these people had driven from Pickering to the Eaton Centre, the fuel and parking charges would be more than the fares they paid, i.e. senior discount and senior discount, times two).

I get up and offer the woman my seat.

She takes it, which leaves me standing next to her husband. "Is it always like this?" He asks me, surveying the crowd.

"Well," I say, "We are on our way to work and it is rush hour."

"All these people work downtown," his wife muses, somewhat impressed that so many of us have jobs.

"Last time I took the train," says her husband, preparing to entertain me with tales of GO Trains past, "the coaches were never this full."

And the year that was?



Matt said...

I remember maybe 2-3 years ago on the Georgetown line, there were still seats available when we reached Weston (2 stops before Union). Now, Malton passengers (4 stops before Union) are lucky to get a seat at all. GO’s response to this surge in ridership? Negligible. They’ve added trains over the years, but none when they matter, like during the 7-8am time window when most people are trying to get downtown. They have not lengthened the cars by 2 coaches (something they have talked about for years) to accommodate more riders. They published plans about a year ago to extend the platform at Bramalea to accommodate the fabled “extra coaches”, but have yet to start on that project...a year later!!! The end result is more people crowding onto the same trains, causing the train to have longer stop times to load, which ultimately delays the train’s arrival at Union. GO’s response to this phenomenon? Push up the time when the train leaves the beginning of the line. Yes, that’s the solution! Don’t run more trains, or longer trains. Hells no...just make ‘em leave 3 minutes earlier so that you can get to the end of the line at the previously scheduled time.


And leaving Union? Forget it. If you’re not on the platform waiting for the train 5-minutes before the train arrives (nevermind when it is due to depart), you don’t get a seat. On a REALLY good week, I’ll get a seat on the 5:15 maybe twice, and the rest of the time I’m relegated to the stairs or standing.

//rant over

FRED said...

Oh the horrors of horrors that must have greeted these two when they boarded the subway train at Union!

ExGOnowTTC said...

Maybe he's still bitter about being caught up in Romantic Traffic back in '84.

Anonymous said...

Look at you complaining about 2-3 minutes. Maybe you should drive to work. Losers

Squiggles said...

What are you talking about anon?

If you don't get a seat on some of these trips, you could be standing for 30+ minutes.

As for the story, they are getting to the mall really early! And it makes me glad that I catch an even earlier train.

purple rain said...

@Anonymous at 4:21pm

Imma cut you.

Dan-1 said...

Anon be rollin', Annon be trollin'.

Matt, the Bramalea platforms look long enough to accomodate 12 cars as they are. There's that unused section at the west end with the rickety platform nobody uses. At some point, they'll have to stop adding cars and start adding trains.

I'm reminded of my rides on the afternoon Bramalea train 4-5 years ago. One could easily get a coach all to themselves leaving Bramalea or Malton. It picked up near the end when they canned them in 2008 or 2009 however. said...

Well whaddyaknow! The man and woman from this morning just hopped on the 453 pm LSE and two people near the doors, a young lady and man, graciously gave them their seats! Beat me to it. They look wiped. But she's only carrying two shopping bags! I hope they had a nice day.

TomW said...

@Matt: GO can't add more trains until the re-signalling around Union is complete (give it a couple of years). They also can't lengthen trains until every single station on the line is done.

My own morning train (Lakshore East) went from 10 to 12 cars not so long ago... one effect was that it no longer continued beyond Union, because not all Lakeshore West stations have 12-car platforms.

Bicky said...

@TomW: That's weird that your 12 car train doesn't go beyond Union. The train I get in the morning is 12 cars and it continues west past Union making all stops except Exhibition. Hmmm.

VanessaLSW said...

@purple rain: *high five*

Shirker said...

Crotchety old people are the best!

Anonymous said...

Definitely many (I might even say mostly) 12 car trains on the Lakeshore West line. I know, as I have a perfect view of Clarkson GO from my apartment and get to see every train that rolls through.

lswgirl13 said...

C.J. - you should have really got them going and told them there are tales of people actually have sex in the bathrooms.

C.J. Smith said...

Oh my goodness. I should have told them to have the grandkids show them this website. I bet their heads would have exploded if their eyes didn't bleed out first.