Monday, March 31, 2014

Bags and the non-existent, non-rush hour Georgetown train

from: C
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 9:22 AM
subject: Two parts

This person complained someone took a photo of her because her bags took up seats, now whenever I bring laundry home to my parents on a rush hour train..I'm usually packing three huge bags with me but I manage to pul them under my seat. One at my feet and one on my idk why this girl is so angry someone took a photo and published her ignorant behavior and try to defend her self while she's in the wrong. Like why does your bag need a seat? It can go on the ground not like the stuff in your bag will get dirty lol.

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: C
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 10:40 AM
subject: Re: Two parts

Let me think about this one. This happened on a non-rush hour train?

from: C
to: Cindy (Cj) Smith 
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM
subject: Re: Two parts

So she says even though she was leaving during rush hour time and Georgetown only has rush hour trains lol.
She's a moron 

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: C
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 11:20 AM
subject: Re: Two parts

So she claims she wasn't on a rush hour train but the only plausible trains she was on was rush hour because Georgetown doesn't run off peak or on weekends.

from: C
to: Cindy (Cj) Smith
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 12:55 PM
subject: Re: Two parts

Exactly, just trying to make look like she did nothing. She must think sole people are stupid. At least the guy who took the photo had the right idea and is in no wrong 

Your Magic impresses no one - not even this lady

from: RK
to: Cindy Smith
date: Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM
subject: Oh, did I accidentally walk into your personal office?

I'm sad that you can't hear the incredibly loud but fascinating conversation about dungeons and dragons vs magic circles.

But if I did, I'd be as unimpressed as this woman.

Park how I want to... right where it says "Don't"

Friday, March 28, 2014

Insert your eye roll here!

As I was walking to work my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number but I answered anyway. It was a woman who identified herself as a lawyer. I waited....
She rushed forward with her conversation, something-something picture, something-something Twitter, something-something Canadian privacy law...

I cut her off.

"What law firm?" I asked her.

"Pardon," she said.

The hell?

"Do you work for a law firm?" I asked.

PAUSE ... and then I heard whispering. WHISPERING!

"I work independently," said the "lawyer".

"Who were you talking with just now?" I asked.

"My client," she said.

Yeah. Your "client". Okay ...

"Tell you what," I told her. "I will give you an email address you can send your complaint to where it will be reviewed by my lawyer who only works two hours a day. Now it's not two consecutive hours but small stretches throughout the day. Keep in mind he has an incredibly short attention span and I'm not exaggerating. One time I was trying to explain title insurance to him and next thing I know he's at the window looking at birds. Sometimes he's more interested in what his testicles are doing than actually paying attention to any matter at hand. So keep it to three words. I know it's challenging but I'm confident you can do it. The email is I have to head to work now so I'll be expecting that email real soon if you can manage."

"Uh... I think you need to do what I asked," said the "lawyer".

"Nope, you do what I ask. Have a great day!" I said and ended the call.

Come on... you donkeys... you can do better.

Oh, and look at that?! 10 am and NO EMAIL.

Oh I'm sorry, didn't realize I was in your livingroom

It really is hard for some to keep their bags to themselves, isn't it? Especially at the start of rush hour...

Look at me! I'm a bicycle!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tasteless attempt at a "funny"

They're so cute when they're sleeping. Too bad no one has a chainsaw to wake them up

You asked. I deliver

Don't worry. I've sent for Dexter to clean up the blood. Amazing what that boy can do.

Oh, and for reference:

Chanisaw Recipe: Two parts stupid to one part dumb. Mix well

from: rebeccah t*bi*s
Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 9:51 PM
subject: chanisaw website

helllo. im writing because i saw ur site thru a link on twitter.
i dont know who u think u are but ur cartoon at the top is offensive and discusting to anyone who is 1)an ampuutee 2)bin injured by a chainsaw accidnt like my dad who lost his leg and is on disability 3)people whove bin murdered.
it's sic. ur sic in the head! dont u think someone can come to ur site and be appawled? what does this make me say of u? there's nothing funy about sawing off someone's leg.
thank u for ur time.

to: rebeccah t*bi*s
Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 10:27 PM
subject: Re: chanisaw website

Dear Rebeccah,
I am sorry to hear what happened to your father.
I would like to point out that my website is not about chanisaw. Is that an ethnic dish? Is it any good?
May I ask how old you are?

from: rebeccah t*bi*s
Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 10:32 PM
subject: Re: chanisaw website

I meant chainsaw. I know its not about chainsaws. Its none of ur business how old I am. u remove the cartoon. TY

to: rebeccah t*bi*s
Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 11:04 PM
subject: Re: the website that is not about chainsaws

Dear Rebeccah,
I regret to inform "u" that I am not removing the cartoon. It is not meant to make fun (or offend) any of the following:

1)an ampuutee
2)(people who have) bin injured by a chainsaw accidnt like my dad who lost his leg and is on disability
3)people whove bin murdered

Let's focus on #3 for a second. How is this even possible?

I'm still waiting on Rebeccah's reply...

Here it is!

Shouldn't these Girl Guides be in school? Or am I just a fuddy duddy?

What's more important? $5 cookies or school?

And here I thought nothing could shock me anymore. Silly me.

Hi CJ,
I'd rather you didn't use my name but here's a picture of the resident foot rider of the Milton line. When the other guy wanted to sit down, mr foot rider told him to go sit somewhere else because he doesn't want anyone next to him. He's on public transit! In rush hour!

Sent from my iPhone

GO rider files human rights complaint after other drivers block disabled parking


A passenger frustrated with fellow commuters using the disabled parking area at King City GO Station as an informal Park and Ride, and with GO'S lack of parking bylaw enforcement, is fighting back - by launching a formal complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and asking for $100,000.00 in compensation.
GO Transit has until April 21 to respond to Sandra Kendall's complaint.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When you gotta eat, you gotta eat

Published on Aug 11, 2013
I think the driver of the local train forgot her lunch, so the driver of our express train stopped and handed it over to her as we passed by.
The people upstairs were concerned they had gotten on a local train, then they were quite amused.
This manoeuvre did not put our train behind schedule.
Aboard a westbound GO Transit Lakeshore Line express train, overtaking a westbound local train at Mimico Station in Toronto.
- reaperexpress

Animated GIF from the security footage of that Chicago escalator crash

AllI can say is thank GOD that escalator prevented this from escalating.
Good guy escalator.

Full video for those who want to root for the old man.

Filed under "You really should buy a lottery ticket when ... "

Relevance: I happen to be fluent

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nine public transit warnings that should exist

Can't internet? Best be learning before you write me with all guns a-blazing

from: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM
subject: (no subject)

My name is Rebecca Melo
Because of you I had to delete my instagram account. I hope you are happy with how you reck lives on the internet. You had no business looking at my pics or writing a comment. You must be a pedophile if you are creeping girls online. GET A LIFE!!!

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM
subject: Re: (no subject)

Hi Rebecca
Why did you deactive your Instagram account?

from: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 4:01 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)


from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM
subject: Re: (no subject)

Actually I don't. I also take offence to you calling me a pedophile. That's a pretty strong and unfounded accusation.
What exactly did I do to cause you such alarm?

from: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 4:04 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)

You wrote about my picture.

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 4:06 PM
subject: Re: (no subject)

I wrote about your picture. Okay ... What was in the picture? Where did I write about your picture? Rebecca, I need you to be very specific here. You have written me assuming I am a pedophile and insinuating I've caused you a grievance so here's the issue, I wrote dozens of comments on Instagram photos and 99% of them are asking people to please keep their dirty shoes and boots off train seats. So I am going to ask you, and I need you to be real honest with me, did I write a comment on a photo of yours asking you to keep your feet off the seats?

from: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 4:07 PM
subject:Re: (no subject)

Yes you did and you had no business creeping my account. You also were rude and embarrassing because you said I was sitting in dog shit.

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: Rebecca Melo
date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 4:16 PM
subject: Re: (no subject)

"Dog shit" are not words I use. I know what I write on photos like yours. I inform people that I hope that the seat they are sitting in has the remnants of a foot rider's shoe's bacteria that could contain dog feces because it aggravates me that people are so ignorant. Do you ever think about what you're leaving behind on a seat when you put your dirty shoes or boots on it? What about the seat you sat in? How would you feel if you learned you sat where someone had their shoes or boots? And there was dog poop left behind? Or urine from a bathroom? Pretty gross, right?
I do not "creep" photos. I browse hashtags. You know #gotrain? It's the only way I would have found your photo. Your age and gender are irrevelant. I don't care if you are a teenager or adult. The courteous way to ride a public train, especially one as expensive at GO Transit, is to sit in a seat with your feet on the floor. I find it ridiculous that my comment asking you to respect other passenger's comfort and cleanliness is the sole reason for you to remove your account from instagram. You must not be used to critiscm or you didn't understand that #gotrain or #gotransit actually serves a purpose and isn't just a cute way of labeling a picture. You owe me an apology for your pedophile comment. That was uncalled for. It's not my fault you don't know how to internet.


And that was the last I heard from Rebecca

That face!

Poor guy, I hope he got it all worked out in the end.

I have no idea how to play the game, let alone understand it but GO Transit's ticket proposal cheered by Toronto FC fans


Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and GO Transit are teaming up to provide a better pre- and post-game experience for soccer fans, who struggle to find parking near BMO Field for Toronto FC games.
Negotiations for a joint ticket deal that would give fans a free or discounted GO ride to games are still in the early stages, MLSE and GO officials said Monday.
MLSE’s vice-president of marketing, Shannon Hosford, described it as a pilot project.
“It’s a good starting point to see how it would work, and if it is such a benefit to our fans, we can examine other opportunities in the future,” she said.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Words of wisdom from a GO bus operator

When strangers perform card tricks for you on the GO Train

Uploaded on Oct 17, 2010
Dude on the GO train was showing me some card tricks, so I asked if I could videotape him. How does he do it?
- Paul Darling

Commuter train derailment in Chicago leaves 32 injured this morning

Absolutely terrifying!

Excerpt from NBC Chicago - CTA spokesman Brian Steele, speaking to reporters at 5 a.m., said it was too early to say what caused the crash but said video footage was being reviewed, personnel were being interviewed and that the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified.

The O'Hare station has three "pockets" for trains, each has a bumping post at the end -- a large piece of metal with a shock absorber mechanism behind it, Steele explained.

"It appears as though the train would have been going faster than a train normally berthing at this station would be," he said. "Normally a train pulls in at just a couple miles and hour and pulls into the station. Obviously this train did not stop so speed could be a factor here."

Of those injured, 12 were listed in fair condition at Resurrection Medical Center. All of the patients were adults and were being treated for bumps and bruises. Another seven people were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital with reported neck and back pain. A supervisor at Swedish Covenant Hospital said the facility received five people from the crash.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Your weekend WHAT?! Singing nun on Italy's The Voice

I was under the impression that if you worked for Metrolinx/GO Transit, your fare was free, so why is Metrolinx CEO McCuaig using PRESTO? TTC?

from: MS
to: CJ Smith
date: Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM
subject: More news from The Star's The Fixer

Hi CJ.

Here's another article I found on the Star website:

It suggests that auto-reloading when your card hits $20 will save on problems. This comes direct from Bruce McCuaig, who claims he has his Presto card set up to auto-reload from his chequing account when the balance hits $20. I bet his account has never been double dipped.

My sister was on auto-reload until her credit card got hit twice and then it took almost three weeks to get it fixed.

And as it's pointed out, regular users of GO have no other option than Presto, unless they want to buy a day ticket every time they ride.

from: CB 
to: ""
date: Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM
subject: The Fixer

This was in today's Toronto Star.  So Bruce McCuaig, CEO of Metrolinx says he puts an automatic reload when his presto card reaches $20. The technology they are using was created 7 years ago explains is his reasoning as to why it takes at least 24 hours for your online load to appear.

What'll happen when they add all TTC stations to be Presto accessible and reloads take a day or more?

Great, were definitely keeping up with the times ;)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Presented without comment

Remember the KW all-day, two-way GO Train service announcement? It's gone off the rails

Published on Mar 19, 2014
MPP Catherine Fife asks the Premier when Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph can truly expect two-way, all-day GO Train service after the Premier's announcement failed to provide timelines for two-way service. 
- Catherine Fife

Who is this CSA? He was amazing at how he handled this situation

Published on Jan 7, 2013
This lady waved over another passenger who was looking for a seat on this busy train. After she sat down, the crazy lady began calling her fat and accusing here of invading her space. Thankfully, the train attendant stepped in to help.
- darrenbrunke1985

Note the part when she says to the CSA, 'Do you see how large she is?"

What's with the obsession with foot rider selfies?

Meh. I'll just stop caring...

This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 28: The Curse of Underpayments, Paper Tickets and Travel Windows

Before you read Chapter 28, you'll have to read Chapter 27 to get a full understanding of this email.

February 28, 2014

Reference No. 301-66143-H4PXXX

Dear Mr. Futor

Thank you again for following up with me. Your patience is appreciated.

You are correct that you can purchase a paper ticket with your PRESTO card. I apologize for my error. I incorrectly assumed that you were using the term “paper ticket” to refer to a receipt for a bus trip taken using a PRESTO card. I did not realize that you were inquiring about a separate, paper ticket paid for with a PRESTO card. I’m very sorry for this assumption, and I should have written that PRESTO customers are unable to obtain a receipt instead of “purchase a paper ticket” to clarify what I meant.

You’re also correct when you say that a local transit driver would not necessarily know what time a customer actually started their trip, since a customer could purchase their ticket at 1:00 pm, start their travel at 4:30 pm, and still be eligible for a co-fare on local transit at 7:15 pm. Passengers travelling with day passes would be eligible for the co-fare at any time of the day.

Unfortunately, I’m not privy to how local transit providers enforce the 3 hour travel window. Since co-fares are only available to paper ticket or day pass users when they are travelling to or from a GO Station, I presume that as long as a customer is boarding or disembarking at a station, the travel window is only lightly enforced, if at all.

I am unable to answer why a driver would say that the PRESTO system will block an e-purse load when there is an open trip. Again, this function does not exist as it was not identified as a requirement when the system was designed. Even if a driver had a newer version of the firmware, the system is still not designed to notify the driver of the open trip, or block the load.

You mention that other drivers have said that the system will allow money to be loaded after tapping on for a trip. That is technically correct. Funds will be loaded on the card. But, as you know, it will cause an underpayment and the intended amount will not be loaded.

We are considering how to best resolve this issue for our customers, but to update the system to allow this function would be costly and take time. In the meantime, we rely on our drivers and station attendants to prevent these types of overcharges from occurring by informing customers of the consequences of loading during an open trip. 

Unfortunately, your comments about the information you’ve received from differing drivers and the incident you’ve relayed with Josephine’s underpayment, indicate that there is some room for improvement in this regard. I have shared your observations with our Bus Operations team so that we can ensure all our drivers are educated about this important issue.

I would still like to send you a coupon to refund your previous overcharge. I will include the amount that you were overcharged on January 31st as well, but again, I need your mailing address to do so. Additionally, I trust that you were kind enough to direct Josephine to contact us so we could refund her overcharge as well.

Thank you for letting me address this matter.


Customer Service Representative

Cc.       Greg Percy, President, GO Transit
            C.J. Smith, This Crazy Train

from: F Futor
to: MH
cc: Greg Percy ,
 "C.J. Smith"
date: Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 9:08 PM
subject: Re: GO Transit, A Division of Metrolinx

Dear Ms. H,

Thank you for your e-mail of February 28.

I chatted with Josephine on the afternoon of March 7.  She informed me she had used the GO Transit contact information I had given her, and she had received a paper voucher refund for the PRESTO overcharges.

Based on the actions of the Durham Region Transit (DRT) employee whose bus I boarded on the afternoon of February 28, you are correct that local transit drivers rarely if ever enforce the Travel Window on paper tickets; he barely glanced at my ticket as I deposited $0.65 into the cash box.

In general, the Travel Window is poorly understood by bus drivers.  I can share with you the following specific observations:
  • The DRT driver had no knowledge of the Travel Window, and he didn’t really care.  In his words, “I log on; I drive my route; I log off.”
  • Not all GO Transit drivers know what the Travel Window is, but those who were not aware of it did ask questions to gain an understanding of the matter.
  • None of the GO Transit drivers from three different garages knew how to extend the Travel Window.  This is very disconcerting, because e-mail alerts advised that GO buses were operating up to 90 minutes behind schedule on March 12 and up to 60 minutes late the following day.
  • Per CSR RA, the ability to extend the Travel Window was included on buses to address service delays to the trip – the “actual extension rests on the discretion of the driver” (Reference # 2012005893).  That assertion presumes drivers are intimately familiar with the method to be applied.
  • Mr. A also wrote “the transfer window can be extended by GO Bus Drivers (only)”.  If the Travel Window starts with a tap on a local transit bus, why can that driver not extend it?  Local transit operators are not immune to delays; here is an extreme example.
  • Drivers commented that PRESTO instructors are not well-versed in how the system works.
  • I am aware of only one individual who seems comfortable extending the Travel Window.  Reference this well-read article and the comment dated December 27, 2013 12:50 AM
The Travel Window is an untenable contrivance.  It serves no one; it is biased and penalizes passengers unjustly.  Anyone travelling out of the eastern Niagara region to the eastern Durham region knows PRESTO will outright deny them the DRT co-fare.  From personal experience, the 15:20 Friday afternoon express bus out of St. Catharines (with train connection at Burlington) will allow me to roll into Pickering just under the wire to qualify for the DRT co-fare, whereas taking the all-stops bus at 15:27 in St. Catharines won’t.  Where’s the consistency?  Is this an equitable solution?  PRESTO pales in comparison to paper tickets, day passes, and the defunct 10/2-ride tickets and monthly passes.

Regarding the matter of loading the ePurse after tapping on, train travellers are not exempt entirely from the problem of overcharging.  With reference to the PRESTO transaction log below, the following tests were executed in the presence of two ticket agents:
  1. Press Override (I have a default trip), tap on, and attempt to load funds to ePurse.  My card was debited with the base fare, $5.20.  When we attempted to load funds, the system reported an Underpayment amount of $2.25 (full fare Pickering to Union less base fare).  As the ticket agents and I discussed, the presence of an Underpayment amount is only an indication that there may be an open trip on the card.  The situation may have been caused by not tapping off on a prior trip.  An astute ticket agent will engage the passenger in a discussion and determine the reason for the Underpayment amount.  The ticket agent and I terminated the ePurse load transaction.
  2. I hit the Correction button and cancelled the trip.
  3. Tap on (default trip); my card was debited $12.56. 
  4. When we attempted to load funds to my ePurse, the system reported no anomalies, i.e. no Underpayment amount.  Consequently, we continued with the transaction and loaded $60.00.  At this point we weren’t sure whether the trip had been closed, so I tapped on again.  The PRESTO machine rejected the transaction by flashing red and displaying an error message telling me I had already tapped on.  I thanked the ticket agents and proceeded to the train platform.
  5. Tap on bus at Burlington; my card was debited the base fare.  The remainder of the transaction log is a bit messy.  I forgot to tap off at St. Catharines.  (Colour me embarrassed.)  I asked the next Burlington bound driver to clear the Underpayment status, but he didn’t know how to.  The subsequent Niagara Falls bound driver executed steps 6 through 8.
  6. Attempt to clear Underpayment status.
  7. Attempt to clear Underpayment status by tapping on.
  8. Attempt to clear Underpayment status by reversing tapping on.
As you know, the transaction log is presented out of sequence, so I’ve indicated the order of events on the left.

I am puzzled by the statement that you “are considering how to best resolve this issue for our customers, but to update the system to allow this function would be costly and take time”.  Are you saying PRESTO was designed, built, and deployed with no means to roll out software corrections expeditiously?  What is the cost of not fixing this defect – another visit from the Auditor General of Ontario?  How expensive is PRESTO’s customer support department that was enlarged to handle the increasing volume of problem calls and complaints?

Thank you, again, for your diligence investigating these PRESTO issues.  I’ll send you my mailing address under separate cover.