Friday, December 6, 2013

Matt scratches TTC brass off his Christmas card list. GO Transit management can high five themselves

from: Matt 
to: "C.J. Smith"
date: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM
subject: TTC this morning

Today my wife had to take our daughter to the doctor, so I was relegated to the TTC in order to get to work.  In hindsight, I should have stayed home.

I got to the bus stop near my house, and realized I forgot my phone at home, so I had to turn around and go get it.  Back to the bus I go; I’m sure I missed a bus because of this, but TTC’s morning schedule doesn’t really have set arrivals, just “as fast as you can” more or less.  Halfway along my ride to the nearest subway station, a group of three tremendously odourrific young men got on the bus and triangulated me with their seating choices and pinning me down with their stench.  The irony here is that I don’t believe they were travelling together.  I eventually made it to Kennedy Station, and to the subway.  The ride proceeded fine, and I transferred south at Yonge Station.  Shortly after this routine transfer is when all hell broke loose.

I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere south of Dundas Stn/north of Queen Stn, the train died.  Literally stopped moving, and the A/C turned off.  The lights went out too, save for the emergency lighting.  Being in the tunnel, we were trapped.  With no cell signal, we were at the mercy of TTC updates which took forever to come (and then came about every 45 seconds thereafter...thanks for the non-update TTC...).  The official announcement that eventually came was that there was an emergency “power down” at Queen Station due to a track-level emergency.  Was this a jumper?  A psycho pushing someone into an oncoming train?  A maintenance snafu?  Someone have a seizure and fall onto the tracks?  We’ll never know.  What they WERE able to announce was that for all the commuters who wanted to go between Bloor and Union, they’d have to take surface routes.  Very detailed instructions were given on how to achieve this.  Bravo TTC.  Glad that you were announcing this to all of us who were stranded underground and couldn’t give a flying fuck about the inconvenience to people who couldn’t get south of Bloor at the moment. 

But I digress.  25 minutes into our trip down Claustrophobia Lane, I think someone in the subway fainted.  About 30 feet from me, people were huddled around, fanning someone with newspapers.  Other passengers went to have a gawk/provide help.  Talk about a BAD time to have a medical emergency, when you’re stuck on a subway IN the tunnel, without power.  The emergency alarm was going, but clearly, no help was coming.  Does TTC have an update on what they’re doing for us entombed passengers yet?  Of course not.

About 40 minutes into the wait, they announce that power will be restored shortly and that they will “evacuate” the train at Queen station.  EVACUATE? This did not sound good; I have yet to hear of a situation on public transit where the term “evacuate” was used and chaos did not ensue, and I assure you the end result held true to my initial suspicion.  The train crawled forward, but it did not stop at Queen the way one might assume.  It barely snuck the front door of the lead car onto the platform, and the ENTIRE ridership of the train was herded through like cattle, all squeezed out ONE door at Queen station.  When we finally got off the train, there was ONE way up, so we were all bottlenecked again.  Finally, we reach the exit...FREEDOM!  Is that what you thought?  That’s what I thought.  I was wrong.  They had the fucking place locked down, and only a SINGLE door open for exiting the station.  Any other exits were locked, likely to ensure that we all left through the main doors, AND to prevent other passengers from coming into the station.  Once again, we plodded along like cattle.  I finally got out into the Eaton Centre, and made my way to street level and walked the rest of the way to work (I was planning to de-train at King Station, one stop south of Queen). 

All in all, my delay was nearly an hour.  Thank Christ my employer is fairly understanding with these things, especially considering that as I type this, there is NOTHING online about ANY sort of TTC delay this morning.  I assure you, I didn’t imagine my morning commute.

GO Transit, I promise to never speak ill of you again.  Unless you fuck me over like the TTC did today... then all bets are off.

- Matt M


Squiggles said...

Oddly enough, I took the subway to a medical appt yesterday morning around 11am. There were announcements about the earlier delay that morning. And when I was heading back around 12.30, those same announcements were still playing. But I could have sworn that it was something north of bloor.

But those are the stories that make me glad I no longer take the subway.

Anonymous said...

"Personal injury at track level".

Hey Matt, when you were being "evacuated" out of the train through the one set of doors and out the one exit, you were being evacuated through a crime scene. You're special, not that many people get that opportunity. You were very lucky that you were evacuated that quickly in that situation. With no power, the only direction a train will go is downhill, and in that case into a crime scene. Would you have preferred to slosh it back at track level to the previous station and get your shiny shoes and suit full of grime, rat poop, and tunnel dust?

Matt, in plain english, all this means is you were inconvenienced because somebody fell, got pushed, or jumped to track level and injured themselves in some way. Sorry that your life is more important that somebody else, who is probably suffering far worse than you right now. Glad that you have all your family members to go home to and hug.

Anonymous said...

Moving after 10 minutes would be a quick delay. I don’t consider a delay of 40+ minutes “quick”, in any circumstance. I don’t consider a cattle-like evacuation “lucky”, unless a bomb has gone off. And if anon thinks that Matt was the only one inconvenienced from whatever happened at Queen station, I’m sure he/she must be acutely aware that the other however many hundreds+ people on the train were not inconvenienced in the slightest, and that they all built in a 40+ minute delay into their morning commute, including myself.

Obviously, nobody missed an appointment, and nobody was late for work other than Matt and me.

First world problems, I get it – no need to freak out about something you can do nothing about. Right?

Anonymous said...

No, Matt is lucky because it wasn't his father that got pushed, jumped, or fell to track level. Matt is lucky that they chose to let the train roll on to the platform far enough to get some doors open so that he didn't have to crawl through all the sludge and crap at track level.

Tough luck that you missed an appointment. You're still alive to miss the next one too.