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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Vacation!

Up until Friday night, all my vacation plans were up in the air. I was supposed to go to New Brunswick but I won't travel without my dad so I'm in Ontario, bouncing around. This means that I will be posting sparodically throughout the next two weeks if that's okay with y'all. It's gonna have to be okay, considering I don't have any minions I can put to work around here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

It is *badly* drawn

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    2. Looks like he has a really large penis that requires its own seat.

Why not? Let's make this a mail bag day

I rarely publish the magnitude of personal email I get (okay, it's like 5 a week but it piles up if you don't read it when it first comes in) but I was inspired to publish the one from Mandy because the Quiet Zone is a popular topic (so many emails about that!) and it even has its own Twitter account @GOTrainShutUp

(Note: if I'm promoting your Twitter account, you owe me some Prairie Girl cupcakes but only the small ones. It's a big deal if I actually give you space on my soap box. Email me so I know when/where to collect. I'm not bluffing. I'm dead serious. I get requests to promote people's GO related Twitter and Facebook channels ALL THE TIME).

I liked this email from R.S. because so many people hate this GO commuter behaviour.

from: Richard
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM
subject: Jockeying

Hi CJ,

First time reader, first time question-asker-type person.

**If you choose to post this, if you wouldn't mind just using my first name or initials, it would be greatly appreciated.**

I wanted to get your take on a personal issue I have when waiting for a GO Train at one of the  tations, excluding Union.

You see, I've noticed a rather troubling occurrence when walking down the platform and waiting for the train. People start congregating around the areas where the train (usually) stops and where the doors will open. (Some days it is quite funny watching people huff and puff when the train stops 5 feet either side of where they're standing, but I digress).
People will stand by the yellow line and that is fine. Then people will also stand at or close to the glassed-in shelters, leaving room for people to continue their walk down the platform; a lane-way, if you will.

My issue is where people now stand in the middle, causing a traffic jam. A dozen people, grouped together with no room to maneuver.

I am therefore forced to:

a) walk on or OVER the yellow line
b) walk back and around the other side of the shelter
c) sit there and take it until these people start getting on the train, which then allows you to pass but now you have to run to get to a door before it closes, or my personal favourite
d) say "Excuse me" and blow through the log jam, "gently" nudging people out of the way

WWCJD?

Kind regards,

Richard

from: C.J. Smith 
to: Richard
date: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM
subject: Re: Jockeying

For a moment there I thought your acronym at the end of your email stood for What Would Jesus Christ Do? Then I realized I'm just dyslexic.

This jockeying for position stuff is really bad at Oshawa. I once tried to encourage people to line up single file. I even rented those velvet rope pole things you see a red-carpet galas. No dice.

I call this the cattle syndrome. Ever watched the Farmer's Report on CFTO or CHCH as a kid and how excited the cows would get when they saw the farmer coming to open the gate so they could run to the fields to chow down on some grass? Cows don't line up! Lining up is for sheep and a pig named Babe.

I don't know how many chromosomes separate us from cows but anyone watching this behaviour on a GO train platform would think it was only 1 instead of 39, give or take a few. I can't science. I only know that humans have 46. I learned that from Jeopardy.

To answer your question, I always go with d) myself. If I can manage a boob punch, I'll throw one in for shits and giggles.

Cj

Not sure if there was butt hurt happening here

from: Mandy
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 11:06 AM
subject: Quiet zone

Dear Ms Smith:
I found your website through a Google Search and Twitter. It seems you're an influencer when it comes to matters involving GO Transit.
I welcome your opinion on a situation I faced yesterday on a train that left Union at 4:53 pm heading towards Whitby. Myself and my three children, 10, 8 and 5 were returning home from the CNE. My oldest wanted to sit upstairs as we had come in that way and they can see the scenery better. We went up and sat together. The train wasn't very full at the time when we sat but by the time we left, it was packed.
One lady was upset that I wasn't holding my youngest in my lap. She was speaking to a friend she knew who was seated and I heard her question why all my kids were sitting. I didn't realize there were rules that children had to stand. My kids were excited after a good day at the Ex and my eldest and I were talking about our upcoming cottage plans, when the lady who took offence to my kids sitting while she stood, leaned over and told me, "This is a quiet zone, you should pay attention to the announcements."
Are these people not parents?
Shouldn't GO be relaxing this rule at the height of the Exhibition?
We weren't the only family on board. Where are we to go? We paid. We got there first when seats were available.
Are all of us supposed to stand after 8 hours of walking on the first level to appease people who, for one day out of 300, after working in an office all day, may have to stand and may have to put up with excitable children?
I emailed in a complaint with GO Transit but I am not satisfied. I plan on speaking to the media as well as I feel quiet zones are absurd on commuter trains operating during events and tourist season.
I noticed you've done some coverage on the Quiet Zone project but it's not clear to me if you're for or against this initiative. I await your response.

Mandy P

from: Cj Smith
to:Mandy
date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 5:16 PM
subject: Re: Quiet zone

Hi Mandy!
I'm flattered that you think I influence anything when it comes to matters all GO Transit but the truth is, I don't. Don't be shocked. I really am not that important.

My website is mostly a means for me to highlight nonsense exhibited by fellow commuters and disruptions in service that provide an inconvenience and the lack of communication surrounding these disruptions. It's first world commuting problems all the time!

The Quiet Zone is a pilot project. It is not enforced. It is not policed and it surely is not the law of the land.
If anything, it's a pilot project in common courtesy and one that many commuters have taken to heart, such as the lady who pointed it out to you that you were in a Quiet Zone.

I really wish these same commuters would take a similar assertive stand to reminding people to keep their feet in their shoes, their shoes off the seats, to not smoke on platforms and to keep seats free of belongings so others can sit without asking if they can sit.

It's good you expressed your annoyance to GO Transit. I'm sure you're not the only family feeling like they have to sequester themselves "at the back of the bus" for having small children with them on the train this summer.  I'm sorry the woman made you feel like you were a nuisance.

For what it's worth, since you mentioned why you wanted to sit in the upper level, I do notice that many parents believe their kids want to sit up there and it's the first place they go when they board, but it's been my observation, even with my own daughter, that looking out the window while the train is moving is only exciting for the first two minutes and the rest of the 56-minute long (non-express ride) is spent with me trying to keep her occupied and amused (i.e. Toronto just can't come fast enough).

I have never seen any kid sit in a seat, on their knees and staring out the window for the entire train ride without not once fidgeting, kicking, jumping, yelling, asking for food, complaining about the ride, complaining about the length of the ride, wanting a book, wanting a toy, wanting to watch a DVD (again) and quite simply, just wanting to talk - not once. Not in five years.

To put it in perspective, and I am in no way defending this woman, but to answer your question, yes, a lot of us are parents and for many of us, those two hours we spend on the train five days a week are the only "me time" many of us get, especially the mothers. So many of them want to spend it in peace. They want to snooze, read, browse for shoes without being interrupted, watch a movie without kids yelling in their ear, or just sit and veg and enjoy the peace and quiet because they know once their key is in the door, there won't be much of that for the rest of the night.

So when you trample up the stairs of an express train home from Union Station with all your kids in tow, hyped up from a fantastic day at the Ex, people groan, roll eyes or express annoyance because they feel that their quest for a quiet ride home might not happen.

So it's not you, it's us.

I don't think there's anything GO Transit can do to change or manage passengers' expectations of other passengers, including those using the system as a means to get to an event, concert, convention, day-trip or tourist attraction. We all have to find a way amonst ourselves to get along.

So when this happens again, take the opportunity to tell the woman that you paid your fare, you can sit where you want, you will do your best to keep the kids entertained and they're entitled to sit. If she doesn't like it, she can complain to GO Transit and ask they implement a Kid Zone pilot project and make the first level of all coaches during rush hour the family seating only zone.

Personally I'm tired of this crap. It appears society can no longer govern itself accordingly.

This is the real issue. It's not kids or Quiet Zones or people expecting everyone to be quiet. It's the fact that no one can be accountable for their own actions.

Now knowing what you know, you have some options. You can time your ride home when you go to the Ex again to be on a non-express train, or you avoid the top-level if it is an express train.

In return, maybe you can suggest to GO Transit they remind passengers they will have to be a little more understanding during the summer time when families are on-board for a day trip and be willing to put up with a little inconvenience.

Cj

from: Mandy
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 9:40 PM
subject: Re: Quiet zone

Hi Cj
Thank you for the reply. My kids are actually well behaved. They may not have looked out the window for the entire train ride but they weren't noisy or bothersome. All of them sat in their seats for the entire ride. Not once did I have to tell them to Shh or be quiet so although I get what you're saying, unless parents have holy terrors at home, not everyone should be on full alert for a major meltdown just because a family boards the train. That's a hell of a assumption. How did you come to that? Maybe this woman was just being an elitist cow. I didn't get the impression she was a mother. I got the impression she looked at my kids and felt they should be standing with tape on their mouths. If you were there, you would understand.
From your email it sounds like you don't support Quiet Zones. I don't think anyone should as it doesn't seem like a realistic expectation if GO Transit isn't enforcing or monitoring them. I also went to their website and saw that it's a pilot project so there really is no mandate. People can sit where they want. I read the rules. My kids were following them all.
I'm not about to change when I ride a train to accomodate the working folks, who if it's true, expect quiet because their home lives are a mess. That's just stupid. You're in a public space. It's unreasonable to expect silence.
I also find the trains themselves to be noisy. No one else finds the swaying sounds and track vibrations noisy? Are the trains themselves actually qiuet?
I figure you could be maybe put something on your site telling people who read it not to be so judgemental and also not expect me to hold a five year old on my lap for 45 minutes. If a person wants  to sit, they can get to the train earlier or too bad, so sad! There's no rule on GO Transit's website that says seats are for adult paying passengers only.
Anyway, thanks for your time.

Mandy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Part 2 of a new installment, exclusive to This Crazy Train, "Meet the Deckers"

Editor's note: If you've also been a victim abandoned mid-trip due to a malfunctioning Double Decker, drop me a line cj@thiscrazytrain.com

Read Part 1
Photo from GO Transit's official Facebook page

Special to This Crazy Train

Hello CAA? Can you send a tow-truck please?
by Ali Gator (not his real name)

I continue this series, Meet the Deckers, in which I review the double-decker (DD) buses in GO Transit’s fleet.  In part one, we took our first look at the issues plaguing the shiny new Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL) DDs deployed on Route 12 between Niagara Falls and Burlington station.  To recap, the Minister of Transportation unveiled these green gems with much pomp and circumstance on April 3 of this year.  The media lapped it up and fast-tracked to print everything said by the minister and Metrolinx.  Here’s an example, an article titled, New double decker GO buses 'better value for tax dollars'.

On Thursday (2013/08/15) I was waiting for my St. Catharines Transit bus at Fairview Mall.  The DD from Niagara Falls en route to Burlington arrived.  The driver got out immediately and addressed the passengers who had queued to board; more riders than usual disembarked the bus.  No one boarded the bus, which then drove off.  This sequence of events was not the norm – time to investigate – queue the theme from Dragnet.

I asked a group of passengers, who had waited to board the DD, what was wrong.  They said they weren’t sure, but all riders in St. Catharines would be accommodated on a non-stop bus that was due to arrive shortly. 

I thanked them, and as I turned around, my eyes caught the sun’s rays reflecting off a puddle of pink fluid that hadn’t been there before.  The problem was evident – yet another DD with a coolant leak.  Yes, this type of failure has happened before with these new buses.   

Metrolinx loves to share their QUICKFACTS with us.  In the one titled GO Green Initiatives, we are told that ADL Enviro 500 double-decker buses “have one of the most environmentally-friendly bus engines on the market”.  Really?   How does engine coolant benefit the environmentally-sensitive Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt?  Is it possible to have the Ministry of the Environment follow these buses every kilometer of the way just to mop up the mess?


I subscribe to GO Transit e-mail alerts.  The alerts that follow are but a sampling of the double-decker problems that have caused service interruptions on Route 12.  By the way, there was no e-mail alert for the incident described herein.  Is this just another “coincidence”?  I’m becoming more suspicious.


You may be wondering whether GO Transit’s Service Guarantee applies to these travel interruptions.  Per the policy published here, the answer is NO!  When travelling on the new $800,000+ double-decker buses, you lay down your cash (or tap on), and you roll the dice.

Some of the new DDs fail repeatedly.  The bus in this story is 8121, the very same bus that wreaked havoc on the afternoon of Friday, July 26.  Not only are the manufacturer’s engineering standards and quality assurance procedures suspect, but so are the capabilities of GO Transit’s maintenance crews.  Why are we seeing the same problem recurring in the field?  Did head office not order the correct set of spanners to maintain the buses purchased from a company in Scotland?

The news release from our provincial government titled 25 New Double-Decker GO Buses On The Way stated the following:

“By adding more GO Buses, we are providing commuters with more travel options and making it easier for them to get to work, school or appointments. Our unprecedented public transit investments are making transit a better choice for commuters, reducing congestion on our roads and contributing to a better quality of life for Ontario families.”

Making it easier to get to our destination?  Seriously?  Incidents with the double-decker buses take a toll on passengers and drivers alike.  The stress I saw on the faces of all involved – especially the drivers – was quite evident.  How is that a better quality of life?

Are you still deciding whether GO Transit’s new double-decker buses are better value for your tax dollars?  Stay tuned for more reports on these vehicles.  Of course, the mass media are quite welcome to step up and share their own findings.

Oh, I almost forgot.  You’ll be happy to know the rescue bus (an older model MCI - thank goodness) did arrive in St. Catharines, picked up the waiting passengers, and delivered them to Burlington in time for their train connection.  Three cheers for MCI and the bus driver!

There is so much NO in this picture


Courtesy @CommutersUnited via Twitter

And the artwork is ugly. Even the PBS Painter dude would hurl. The only "happy accident" about that canvas is that it's not hanging in a gallery saving thousands of people wasting any brain power having to look at it. It looks like a forest apocalypse with goldfish swimming in the sky.

Ajax parking garage opens, people still park like douchepicks

On Monday, all Ajax GO Transit customers were treated to free coffee and doughnuts by the folks at Metrolink to celebrate the grand opening of their car hotel, a $54-million, parking garage superstructure spanning six levels and offering 1300 parking spaces.

Yet, there's always one. This guy.


Recently a friend admitted to me that when she used to park at Ajax, she kept a can of silly string in her purse and she would spray the cars of parking donkeys.

It's not a bad idea.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oh how nice, the luggage got a seat...

On an afternoon, rush hour, Toronto-bound LSW, Mr. and Mrs. Samsonite were seated comfortably while other passengers stood. The couple who owned the luggage occupied a quad with their carry-on bags "seated" beside them.  You counted correctly; two people, six seats.

Submitted by P.S.



Gah! 

Someone hand me my blow torch.

Burn! Burn! Burn!


Luggage belongs on the floor!!!

Don't worry, Karma has your back

This Crazy Train reader, A.M., arrived home after work at the Whitby GO Station last Monday (Aug 12) to be greeted with this:

No note. Not even a hastily scrawled message on the back of a paystub from a witness.

If you can't drive out of a parking lot without damaging another car, you shouldn't be driving. And if you hit someone's car, grow a pair and leave a note. At the very least, say you're sorry or something. Try to be decent, okay?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Making bare feet on train seats more interesting

I dislike this view.


I like this one better.


See, I'm not always about chainsaws.

The feels

Last week I was behind this dad and his son while waiting for the GO bus at Oshawa GO Station. I gathered they had returned home early from an afternoon Blue Jays game.

The son has Down's Syndrome. He seemed to be my age - late 30s.

He held onto his dad's hand and told him how happy he was they went to the game. Then he paused for a second and said, rather matter-of-fact, "I liked it better when mom came. Right, Dad? That was fun."

His dad didn't say anything.

On the bus, I sat in the seat behind them, not on purpose, it's just how it worked out.

"Do you think Mom watches the games from Heaven, dad?" His son asked.

He father put his arm around him.

"I miss her too", he said as he patted his son's shoulder.


He repeated the sentence several times. Then both of them fell silent, the father's arm never moving from his son's shoulder.

I was so moved that I took a photo of the reflection so I could share this. This kind of love... protection ... His son was obviously still struggling with the loss.

I admit, I have a soft spot for this kind of stuff.

We get so worked up in life, about silly things. This blog shows how I can let a lot of first-world commuting problems bother me to the point that I joke about chainsaws and blow torches. But then you witness a moment like this and you feel humbled, almost embarrassed.

Anyhow, I'm off to go punch some drywall. I can't handle all these "feels".

Do not stand upside down on the platform


Photo by @inono23 via Instagram

Bus 1. Van 0

Via Instagram

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pun. You has it.

Photo by @mattkdevine via Instagram

Psst, wanna buy an $800,000.00 lawn ornament? Act now! 25 available ...

Editor's note: If you've also been a victim abandoned mid-trip due to a malfunctioning Double Decker, drop me a line cj@thiscrazytrain.com


Photo from GO Transit's official Facebook page

Special to This Crazy Train

Another One Bites the Dust
by Ali Gator (not his real name)

As I walked past a Tim Horton's location outside in St. Catharines, I glanced at the Friday Toronto-bound traffic on the QEW and what to my wandering eyes did appear? But a GO transit Double-Decker (DD) bus with four-way flashers on.  I glanced at my watch and thought that bus should have been through St. Catharines by now – time to investigate.

By the time I arrived at the bus stop, the DD was loading.  For those unfamiliar with the Fairview Mall stop, Friday afternoons are a zoo, because drivers are required to handle many cash sales and luggage.  There was a throng of folks queued to get on the bus. What I found unusual was that there seemed to be significant discussion with the driver and just as many people were exiting the bus as were boarding.  I concluded this bus (8121) had reached the end of the line.

The Friday afternoon express bus (MCI model) from Burlington arrived and disembarked its passengers.  The driver and passengers (their luggage and hockey gear, too) from the disabled DD transferred to the MCI and continued their trip – 40 minutes behind schedule.  The driver of the express bus drove away in the problem DD, presumably back to the garage in Niagara Falls.

Soon thereafter, the all-stops bus from Burlington arrived; it, too, was a MCI model.  Something was seriously amiss here.  When I asked why the bus was not a DD, I was told that it, too, had failed and was replaced by the MCI.  In fact, a total of THREE Double-Decker buses had failed that day – all with passengers on board, and all with serious impacts to scheduled trips.

You’re wondering, what’s the issue?  Equipment fails in the field all the time; those are the hazards of running a transit company. You’d be correct, if that equipment were in service for some time.  All the DDs that failed on Friday (2013/07/26) were the brand spanking new buses from Alexander Dennis Ltd.  You'll recall the hype surrounding them earlier this year.  The mass media went gaga over the Minister’s photo-op and parroted everything that was said about the buses, like the Star article linked in the sentence previous.  I don’t know about other routes, but these new buses are an operational disaster on Route 12.  If these buses were passenger vehicles, I suspect there would be a class action suit against the manufacturer.

I subscribe to GO Transit e-mail alerts for Route 12.  For the three Double-Deckers that failed on Friday, I received absolutely NO e-mail alerts for these incidents.  Was this pure coincidence, or are Metrolinx/GO Transit covering up the failings of these vehicles?  At $800,000+ a bus, they are destined to become a major embarrassment to management and the government – worse than the 12-speed MCIs in the fleet.

Stay tuned for follow-up reports on these vehicles, unless, of course, the mass media want to step up and do it. Otherwise, reports will be found here on ThisCrazyTrain's website.

Driver of bus 8121 prepares to take it out of service. Our tax dollars. Hard at work indeed.
Photo by Ali Gator

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Geeking out over the GO Transit logo


Up until last week, I only ever noticed the stylized G in the GO Transit logo. I never noticed the sideways "T" that makes it way into the O and cuts it in two. It wasn't until I read a status on Twitter from someone who pointed it out that I saw the logogram.

All I ever focused on were the lines that made the G a "G". I never studied the logo at length. You probably never did either and you probably don't care about the logo, but if you do, read on. I'm a graphic designer. I live for this kind of stuff.

An article was found by Twitter user @MonorailDriver written by graphic designer Greg Cunneyworth (GO has nothing on their website about the brand's history) who became enthralled by GO's logogram when on a trip to Toronto. The logo was designed by Frank Fox, who worked out of a Montreal ad agency. Cunneyworth's paper, The design history of the GO Transit logo, is an interesting read.

I think GO Transit's website could benefit from a historical timeline about the brand. The logo's colour, officially known as "GO Green", was picked because it matched Ontario's highway signs. Interesting, right? I think so.

The accessibility coach is identifiable from the air, it's so the aliens know where to land

Photo by bmacdiarmid via Instagram

Click here for the alien reference

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I has a Sheldon Cooper?


This site is read by folks who know me personally but are far away and not on Facebook, so it can be a conduit sometimes to share aspects about my personal life all in one shot.

The diagnosis is in. My daughter, 8, has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now we know why it's all dinosaur all the time! This is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. This doesn't change our family nor will it define who she is, but what this diagnosis does is merely provide answers for all the quirky things she does. Next steps is empowering her to understand her disability and how to live with it, how to advocate for herself and enroll her in programs to help her with these challenges.

My saving grace is I grew up immersed in this world because of my sister who is severely intellectually disabled. This gives me valuable insight. I'm blessed that I have family and lifelong friends who will understand. Although my daughter and sister are very different, the challenges my daughter will face are similar in that she will require patience and guidance in excess of what a non-autistic child demands, especially among her peers and in school.

Although we live in Durham Region, my daughter attends a school in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board where several teachers have taken courses on how to offer front-line autism support to students. Her school also offers resources such as sensory safety rooms and music programs designed to help autistic children. These are all good things, plus there are camps and workshops my husband and I can send her to.

In a nutshell, for those who watch Big Bang Theory: we has a Sheldon. I just need to buy her bus pants.

I am also open to hearing from other parents who are on this same journey. You can email me at my non-crazy train account: csmith8965@rogers.com.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Don't worry, I'm still here (updated)

I won't have time to blog or post your wonderful submissions until the weekend! Maybe sooner.
I have a vacation day tomorrow so we'll see how the morning turns out as the afternoon will be chewed up by an appointment my daughter has.

I know. I know ... for many of my long-time readers, this blog is like coffee. You have to have it at least once a day.

I know this a bummer but I appreciate the loyal following.

And for those who have been following my weight-loss progress, as of today I have lost 55 pounds since August 16, 2011. I figure I'd throw this in here since it's been some time since I gave an update.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hey C.J.! Happy Monday! How was your train ride in?

It was great, thank you, until this happened.


The window sill is not a foot rest for your leg, you donkey!!! Nor do I want to look at the dirt on the soles of your feet!

Gah, who raises these turkeys?

After a ton of dirty looks, this person took a more courteous, seated position.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Because I ride the GO Bus, I'm higher up than cars. I see so many drivers texting and driving. You really need to stop

The worst kind of bus driver harassment: Chatty Cathy(ies)


This woman (code name Chatty Cathy) was taking the GO bus I was on to head into Toronto for some shopping. Then she was planning on visiting her sister in Scarborough and realized she may have to TTC it but someone told her she could use DRT Pulse to travel on Kingston Road and she figured she could transfer in Oshawa and take the other Highway 2 bus. This weekend her sister said she could come to the cottage but it's a little far and the water levels haven't been great so the dock is now a dry dock and there's been problems getting the bass boat into the water. Plus, she hasn't water-ski'd in years so she's not sure she wants to do it because last year she had knee surgery and her doc was saying she shouldn't put a lot of stress on the joints so she's been doing some walking but normally she tries to avoid strain. Sometimes she'll get on the trampoline in the backyard if her nieces and nephews come over but she has to take it easy. Back in the day when she used to come to the Oshawa GO Station to take a train to the city, she would drive from Newcastle but the traffic now is so much worse and it's just better to take the bus. You can let someone else do the driving and you don't have to worry about road rage and bad drivers or accidents ...

LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE GIRLFRIEND!

From the time I boarded the bus to the time we arrived at the Oshawa GO Station, you never shut up. Not once. You talked the driver's ear off for 20 minutes and you must have started talking when you boarded the bus 30 minutes before me.

In fact, I believe if it wasn't for the design of the bus driver's operating space, you'd be sitting in his lap if you could.

Yes, taking the bus does mean someone else does the driving but you're dead wrong about avoiding accidents.

You were the biggest distraction and challenge facing this driver the whole bus ride. He's working! You're not. Your job is to sit there and shut the hell up. It's hard for the driver to focus on all the road rage and bad drivers around him while you're nattering on about your shopping trip, your knee, your trampoline challenges, your sister's lake issues and how to get around Scarborough.

Ridiculous!

The driver didn't tell you to cease and desist because you probably didn't give him a chance. I'm certain that the best part of his day was when you got off his bus!

I don't work for GO Transit. I've got nothing to lose if I piss off another passenger. I told this lady as she walked toward the train once we were dropped off at the station that she can't distract the driver.

Needless to say, she was hurt and she took the opportunity to tell me so when we met up again on the train.

I told her, plain and simply because it's true, if he had crashed because he blew a red or missed that driver attempting a left turn because his brain was trying to process her conversation instead of the bazillion things happening around him, there'd be a lot more things hurt than her feelings.

I generally like all of my GO bus drivers. Seeing the one I normally see in the morning when I am on time makes my whole day because he is my favourite driver, but I am respectful of the fact that he is AT WORK. I keep it to a minimum and if I have something I want to share, I wait until he's stopped at the station. That's when he's got time to listen to me and not worry about someone slamming into the bus because he missed a red light.

If you really need to talk to someone THAT BADLY, phone a friend or make a bus buddy. Problem solved.

Something is missing from this photo


First, let me go get some gas.

(Unscrew cap)

(Fill tank)

(Yank cord)

(Rev)

(Rev)

(Reeeevvvvvvvv)


Yes, I'm going to hell.

... and yes, you're coming with me.

She boarded in Oshawa (7:53 am) and rode all the way to Union nary moving a bag. Nobody asked her to!


Thing is, nobody should have to ask! 

-Submitted

LOL @ "fertility enthusiasts"

from: DM
to: "cj@thiscrazytrain.com"
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 4:20 PM
subject: Bags AND feet! (edited)

Hi CJ,

Big time blog reader, first time submitter.

So I've taken my seat on the northbound Barrie train when what I thought was a field trip of first graders starts making their way into the quiet zone. As this pack continues to board I realize this isn't in fact a day camp, but a family of what appear to be "fertility enthusiasts" - judging by the fact they have six kids all around the age of  seven and an older brother. The nine of them take up three quads with kids, backpacks, luggage, shopping bags and feet. EVERYBODY SAT DOWN AND TOOK OFF ALL THE SHOES!
But, I have to give these beleaguered parents small props for their perpetual "SHHH"ing of their kids (which did keep them at a dull roar).
Too bad they couldn't coax their kids to keep their stank paws in their flip flops .... managed to catch a pic of the older brother. Nice dirty paws he has!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Guess these folks missed all the stickers about where to park the bikes

However, they did manage to cage in the bag rider. But God forbid anyone need to use the aisle!
It's difficult to steal a bike on a train.
One, you'd have to get the doors open. Two, ain't nobody gonna mount the bike and attempt an extreme jump from the doorway to the moving ground below.
Bikes belong where the stickers indicate to store them.
If can't play along, ride your way to Toronto.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For your train ride home (Crank it!)

About that fatality on the Barrie line yesterday...

Wow. This wasn't insensitive... not by a long shot.


It was a woman, not a man, who died at 5:25 pm on August 7 on the tracks just north of York University, according to York Regional Police.

I would like to extend my condolences to her family. 

It made my spine hurt just watching her

Fun while it was lasted: RIP @GOTrainsit 08-05-13 to 08-07-13? (record scratch) ACCOUNT REINSTATED!!!

UPDATE
@GOTrainsit managed to get his Twitter account back!
--------------------------------------------------------
Sometime over the weekend the twitter account @GOTrainsit was created. The person followed me and a few others and posted 1 to 2 tweets. I paid no attention.

Yesterday afternoon the person behind the account tweeted me for help on gathering a following. I offered some advice and the person ran with it. Well, sort of...

I had high hopes for this person who saw an opportunity (targeting people spelling @GOTransit wrong ala  @UnitedAirlanes) and was expecting great things to come.

Unfortunately, I think a couple of tweets went too far and I learned this morning that @GOTrainsit has been suspended. The person who started the account emailed me to tell me this so I asked for screenshots of the tweet(s) that I think did the person in.

This exchange:



Note the use of the word "We".

Then there was this exchange:



The first rule of Twitter?

From https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311-the-twitter-rules
  • Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others.
Now Twitter didn't find @GOTrainsit on its own. Someone complained. Sure, it may not be everyone's idea of comedy but the person had a great idea. It's just the execution that went awry and it can be corrected.

Parody accounts are a hallmark of Twitter! 

I think @GOTrainsit should appeal the suspension. I hope he considers it. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Saw a newly painted GO bus today


Via @chrisjamesdrew on Twitter

Meh, I don't like it.

I would have gone retro. Like this blast from the past:


Photo Copyright All rights reserved by huzman6685

According to wikipedia, the GO green that we all know and love has an interesting factoid:

GO green was the color used for the brand of GO Transit, the regional commuter service in the Greater Toronto Area. Between 1967 and 2013, the brand and color that has adorned each of its train, buses, and other property generally remained unchanged.[63] It also matched the shade of green used on signs for highways in Ontario. In July 2013, GO Transit updated its look to a two-tone colour scheme.[64]

An epic meltdown in 5... 4... 3... 2...

from: Jesse
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 6:54 PM
subject:
Hey.
Seeing as you have nothing better to do than write comments on photos on instagram for people you don't know, I figure I would find the time in my BUSY life to tell you that there were no other people on the train so I wasn't taking a seat from someone and my shoes were on the seat but not on the seat. I did not make the seat dirty and as for hoping I was sitting in dog poop - who the hell do you think you are? What kind of person writes that to a complete stranger?! You need to get your head examined.

from: CJ Smith
to: Jesse
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)

Hi!
Wow, you're awfully defensive. I went back onto Instagram now that I am on a break from my shift at the soup kitchen to re-examine your photo and noticed you deleted it. If you felt you did nothing wrong, why delete it?
Look, maybe you don't know how hashtags (#) work. When you tagged your photo with #gotrain, this means anyone can find it when conducting a search for #gotrain on Instagram. If you didn't want all of the internets to see your photo, including complete strangers, don't tag it.
Feet, empty train or not, belong on the floor.
Thanks

from: Jesse
to: CJ Smith
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 7:35 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)

Hey asswipe
I know how hashtags work. That doesn't mean you had a right to comment. You're a bully. I hope someone punches you in the face. Don't email me again.

from: CJ Smith
to: Jesse
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 7:47 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)
Hi again,
I know you said not to email you but I'm confused. You emailed me. Is that not a written invitation to engage you? Can I ask how old you are?

from: Jesse
to: CJ Smith
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 7:48 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)
STOP EMAILING ME OR I WILL CONTACT THE POLICE.

from: CJ Smith
to: Jesse
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 7:49 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)
Well, that escalated quickly. Can I ask what you would tell the police? Let's say you were filling out the police report right now. In the area where it says "Describe what happened:" What would you write?

from: Jesse
to: CJ Smith
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 7:52 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)
FUCK OFF. I AM CALLING THE COPS RIGHT NOW.

from: CJ Smith
to: Jesse
date: Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)
Have them call me. 905 442 7423 I've cleared my entire evening of petting and cuddling kittens and dogs at the local humane society so I can take the call. Later.

---
My phone never rang.