Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This guy

Apparently old enough to be my father told a passenger (not me) who asked he take his empty coffee cup and empty DQ container with him to dispose of - once the train emptied - to do it himself.

"You're not the boss of me," he called after the passenger, who also reminded him to keep his feet off the seats next time.

A lot of these donkeys really need to check their privilege.

GoPro footage of train passing over camera causing a stir among rail enthusiasts and rail safety advocates

I will admit it's cool footage but here's what was said:
As a conductor (moderator) of /r/Trains over on Reddit and well-respected train safety advocate in the Southwest, I want you to know that placing any sort of object on/or near live train tracks is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. It sickens me to think you put the lives of the operating staff and any additional passengers at risk for some sophomoric fun and Youtube views. As such I have sent this video to the AZ Department of Transportation to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.
-Eugene Tilsir

Will buses have right of way? Or will it be more of the same?

Union Station office tower development to feature new GO bus terminal

Monday, September 29, 2014

I've never felt a desire to "air" out my feet in public - I don't understand those who do

Ouch! Passenger injured in extraordinary Istanbul subway accident

A passenger was injured by an iron bar thrust into his body on an Istanbul subway train on Sept. 29.

The iron bar broke through the window of the metro carriage and thrust through the hip of the passenger, who was then photographed lying on the ground with the iron bar stuck into him. The photo has been widely shared on social media. 

The accident occurred as the train was proceeding between the Seyrantepe and Sanayi stops.

The injured passenger has been identified as 33-year-old Fatih Çoban. He was rushed into surgery after being taken to the Okmeydanı Research and Training Hospital.


More frequent service for Kitchener passengers?

GO buys Kitchener track west of Georgetown

Meanwhile, at Brampton GO Station

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Don't toss away that broken PRESTO card!

Please submit a photo of your snapped or split card to Please include how long you owned the card and the approximate date it snapped. As an incentive, from all the pictures I receive, I will conduct a random draw from all the entries for a $25 Starbucks gift card or a $25 Keg gift card. 

Please submit your pic by September 30, 2014. The draw will be held October 1, 2014. The winner agrees to meet me in the GO Concourse at Union Station on October 2nd, 2014 at at time to be arranged to collect the gift card and hopefully agree to a photo for the winner's circle.

I can't even...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sorry for no dated Newspaper. Walking through Hudson's Bay Queen Street, when suddenly...

This is perfect for "What does Bill say?"

I've sent this email off to the head of GO Transit Security for a response although I suspect we'll have answers in the comments faster than Bill on his iPhone.

to: ""
date: Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM
subject: Thanks for being so cool + what's a code 23-23 on the GO train?

Hi CJ,

First things first, love the blog/content/twitter account!

I'm a second year university student in the city and my parents live in the boonies (Milton) so I've become fairly accustomed to the GO life, and definitely appreciate it.

Nonetheless, I have noticed that irksome things that come with it - bags on seats, feet on seats, unwillingness to share legroom. You know all this. It's precisely why I think your blog to be so great! It addresses a lot of the less-than-pleasant behaviour we otherwise brush under the rug.

I also appreciate the insider perspective. You demonstrate an initiative and dig deeper when you want to know something. That's admirable, when most people wouldn't even bother.

I had an experience yesterday on the Milton train westbound to the 'burbs where right as the train was slowing down to pull into Lisgar, a chime sounded on the PA followed by an announcement of a "code 23-23 on car" 2326 or something. I looked up to discover that's not the car I was in, but was nonetheless extremely curious.

Do you have any leads as to what a Code 23-23 is?

Again, you're extremely hilarious and the premise of the blog is totally necessary. A service to all of- okay, some of us. :)

Thanks in advance!

Well this is somewhat disturbing

GO Transit in the dark on details of dangerous goods shipments

We were doing great til she whacked her head

Jayde and I are headed into work together and this afternoon we're off to Ripleys Aquarium.

She wanted to sit on the top level of the Double Decker bus and I obliged and the ride went swimmingly until it was time to alight. We were in the suicide seats and as Jayde got up, she whacked her head against the monitor (awesome design placement by the way). It sounded awful and sounded like it hurt.

My kid, for some reason, always puts on a brave face. I don't know if it's part of her autism disorder but she's never been a crier.  But this morning, she couldn't hold it in.

Bus driver D. was very sweet, trying to make her laugh while I coaxed her off the bus. She and I  hugged it out on the platform with more snot and tears. I felt really bad.

Here we are before it all went south.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

PRESTO is happy to take your money and doesn't want to be a money terrorist

Because I really do feel PRESTO enjoys holding my money hostage, I had a chat with someone who knows a lot about PRESTO today.

And if she doesn't know the answer, she's got a special gold phone she uses that connects her to a guilded room in an ivory tower, where she can summon minions to bring her the answers on silver platters; notes written in Old English script on ivory-colored 100 pound paper. Similar to the paper you thought you needed to print your resume on when you were in 10th grade and applying for a part time job at Canadian Tire.

She wanted to clarify a few things I mentioned in this morning's rant.

You *can* use your PRESTO card as an electronic wallet to pay for fares for other people traveling with you. The key is how the transaction takes place. The fare is calculated and the card is then used to debit the fare from the funds in your PRESTO account. You can pay for you, your nana and the nice guy who asked nana for her phone number.  Then you tap your fare last.

Sounds simple enough. Right? I'll be trying this tomorrow night on the way home from Union Station and I'll be traveling with my husband and daughter.

My expectations are pretty high and y'all know what I'm like when I'm crushed.

Google Leporiphobia. I'll wait

On the bus last night. Jamming along to American Kids by my boyfriend (he doesn't know he's my boyfriend) Kenny Chesney when this text came in.

I'm thinking it's related to this photo ... but nope.
But isn't it astounding how these people assume I know what they're talking about?
Like I'm some kind of Instagram Serial Commenter who sits in a dark basement with thousands of Instagram photos pinned to a wall with red pushpins and red yarn connecting them to printouts of comments I've made, and there's a well and a hose, and one of these Instagram people keeps calling me "Mister" while I'm trying to sew a skin suit.
Actually ... I think these people *DO* think I'm like that.

Did she (he) just assume I'm a lawyer? Or a loser? I googled her (his) phone number for a location and came back with Markham hoping she'd (or he) give up more info.

But the bunny thing got me because that was so random yet SO appropriate ... because ...

^ That. That coming from someone who texted me.

I walked all the way home trying to recall what photo she or he was referring to. Because I don't troll Instagram for hours a day, or print out photos, or record my comments (maybe I do need to become an Instagram Serial Commenter) I'm often left scratching my head.

It wasn't until I was on my second glass of gin and lemonade did I recall a photo of two college-age women posing on the tracks at Markham GO Station with a train approaching in the distance behind them. One was flashing the peace sign and I think I wrote, "You girls sure are stupid" or something like that. I know I've accused people of being stupid in a few other photos as well. I'm sure they're planning their text attacks as I type.

So yeah. THAT is what may have caused this very entitled text message -- where the photo was taken down so people could no longer judge a stupid girl -- who is standing on railroad tracks, having her picture taken while a train approaches.

Because that's not stupid at all.

TIL: You can't buy a day pass one day in advance


Here I am hoping to do my part to avoid delays on my bus route by planning my trip a day in advance, where I'm bringing my daughter downtown with me tomorrow, and I'm told I have to pay her fare -- tomorrow.

I'm not getting a PRESTO card for a kid who uses GO Transit once a year. Especially since I can't use the card for adult fare.

By the time I left the ticket counter at Oshawa GO this morning, I was confused and irritated.

I know I can pay for her from my e-purse but in the past when I tried this on THREE separate occasions, each driver had no idea how to do this and in one case, she rode for free because the driver didn't want to deal. On that trip, I made sure my PRESTO card was loaded and figured I was safe carrying no cash. Wrong.

And! I've not seen such a transaction take place yet. I can't recall a single time where two passengers have boarded and the fare was paid using one PRESTO card. Is this even true?

How does this work for the train when it's just you, your husband, a PRESTO machine and no counter sales available? Guess what? It doesn't -- illustration available at this link. Remember when this wasn't a problem? Especially on weekends when passholders could bring a guest for free?

So today, I will have to take the time to withdraw $20, buy a coffee I don't need (but twist my arm) and make sure I have $5.05 on hand for her for tomorrow's trip that starts on a bus.


"Colossal Douchebag" on a 72 Pape TTC bus

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nothing like a nice river boat ride on a GO train

This morning's torrential rain has caused mass chaos on the Lakeshore East line with tracks under water between Rouge Hill and Pickering GO Station.

Ahh ...the memories.

OPP arrest man in Oakville after knife pulled during altercation on a GO Transit bus

Because nothing ends a fight faster than pulling a weapon, right?

Some jerk's family is combing their couches for pennies and dimes to bail out a dude who thought it'd be a good idea to fight with a knife on a GO bus last night.

Dumbest move ever. Police aren't disclosing why the argument escalated so quickly and what the fight was about.

A passenger on board had called 911 just shortly after 9 pm as the bus passed through Burlington, heading towards downtown Toronto. According to the OPP, officers and officers from Halton Police boarded the bus while it was stopped on the QEW near Royal Windsor Drive.

The man was arrested without incident at 9:30 pm.

The unidentified smartest man in the world was charged with assault with a weapon.

Photo: @emma_lp via Instagram

Friday, September 19, 2014

Update on my BFF

Thank you to those who figured out who she is so I can provide the authorities with this information should she cross a more serious line.
But, she's been quiet -- accepted her defeat, perhaps?
As it turns out daddy could very well be a lawyer but he hasn't contacted me.
Something tells me Brit behaves the way she does because she uses her father's profession as a shield.
Anyhow, enough with this girl and her drama.
I must get to more important matters such as answering an email from a woman who is convinced I am the president of GO Transit.

Sympathizing is how we got into this mess

My diehard followers will surely roll their eyes at this post and mutter, "Not this shit again," but unfortunately I have to address it - again.

For those who are new, brought here by a retweet or link or Facebook post, or Google search, please don't write me any more impassioned emails demanding I apologize to my new BFF, Brit.

Do not lump Brit into the horror stories we've learned about in the past few years about children committing suicide due to sexual exploitation on social media by their peers, or being subjected to cyber bullying. Brit is not being bullied here.

I am not exploiting a child. I don't even know how old this person is. But I don't think she is under 18.

I have not revealed any personal information about Brit other than an email address she used that isn't legit. I did not reveal her alleged last name or post a phone number. I can't even point anyone to her photo because I don't know who she is.

Brit won't help me so why should I help her?

For all I know Brit could be fake, a ruse set up by some stranger who simply doesn't like me and wanted to rattle my cage.  Or she could be very real and if she is, then she's learned a tough lesson that you can't bully people into giving you want you want.

Because really, who is the bully here? Not me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ah the illiterate. They're the reason they sleep with two eyes open

So this happened tonight.
If you've been following today's drama, you should be able to figure out who this is.

Don't you just love fan mail?

from: BT
date: Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM
subject: fuck u

to the person who owns the thiscrazytrain.cim. idk u think u are but u have no right to put my picture from my Instagram page on ur site. is a violation of my privacy and my sisters privacy. Go fuck urself. Asshole. I should call the police. I want the phone off ur site by 7pm tonight or it will get ugly.  I promise u that.

I waited nervously for something to get ugly. Knowing that I don't have a "phone" on my site should have calmed my nerves but I still waited with baited breath, sweat trickling down my back while I sat in my living room, and staring at the clock.

I was a wreck. My husband fixed me a drink and wrung his hands in anxiety. We didn't dare speak for we were both too terrified.  The slightest creak of a floor board had us both on edge.

7 pm came and went and my husband got up to open the curtain of the front window.

"Don't," I croaked out in a hoarse whisper.  "Give it more time."

I took my cold, highball of gin and swept it across my brow and cheek. My heart was still racing.

At 7:10 pm, we both worked up the nerve to open the front door. We started to concoct a plan as we moved slowly toward the door, discussing about what to do should we be faced with an angry mob of 20-something college girls wearing t-shirts with "idk" emblazoned across the chest.

Our street was eerily quiet. I braved venturing out onto the porch and turned to look down the street, sweeping my eyes from left to right.

"I think we're okay," I said to my husband and we both went back inside, making sure to secure the door with plywood and screws

Although I was sure the ugly had passed, I still slept with one eye open.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

But first, let me take a selfie ... GO Transit launches bus contest

My bus selfie. I won't enter
because PRESTO hates me.
Spot a bus. 
Snap a picture.
Share it with GO Transit!
Win one of three $50 PRESTO prizes!

GO Transit (as you've heard) now has 500 GO Buses on the road. 

To celebrate this milestone, GO is running a social media contest, from September 17 to 26, 2014. When you spot any of GO's 500 buses, take a picture of it (selfie, interior or exterior shot), and share it with GO Transit via social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and you will be entered to win 1 of 3, $50 PRESTO cards.

Full contest rules available on GO's website.

Not a commuter story but totally blog-worthy

I am most certain this situation has happened to some of  you. In the building I'm in there are floors and floors of people who work for a certain money management fund who feel because they are the largest tenant, they can behave in a certain way. Rarely do any of them ever thank any of us lesser tenants if I, or my colleagues, hold a door open or push a button - so we all stopped bothering. Our office is moving and we can't wait!

And as a sidebar to the story below, this kind of rudeness is not necessarily gender-specific.

from: AVA
to: ""
date: Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM
subject: you'll appreciate this

This morning I got on the elevator in my building, the doors were closing and a woman carrying her purse and one of those wheelie carry-on briefcases was gunning for the door as they were closing.  I held the elevator door for her.  She didn't say thank you because she was on her phone. Instead, as the doors were closing, she turned to me and said "Seven," and went back to her conversation.   In the sense that she was asking or (ordering) me to press the button for the seventh floor for her.

I get off at the third floor, and was stunned and flabbergasted, so of course, I did not press seven, and I sincerely hope the elevator went all the way to the top or back down.

But yo!  What gives?  Is this what men are being reduced to?   How about "Can you please press seven?"

For women that say "chivalry is dead," let me say it's women like Ms.Elevator that kill it.

Anyway, I know all women are not like this.

I was just amazed…truly amazed.

"GO F@#% yourselves!" - Letter to ThisCrazyTrain

from: JK
date: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM
subject: GO Service Guarantee

Well CJ,

In the ever-growing list of reasons for why GO doesn't honour its Uncle Dalton McStupid vote-buying service refund, this is definitely a new one: "No it wasn't!!  That train was right on time!  You're wrong! My records show it wasn't delayed even a minute."  (NOTE: I did paraphrase a bit and had a nasaly, whiny voice in my mind even though Frank at GO was really quite pleasant and had a nice voice.).

LSW Sept 10, 9:07 out of Burlington.  Ran late the entire trip with the CSA constantly coming on and apologizing for the delay.  We pull into Union and the CSA announces that we are 16 minutes late (ha kinda close, I'll probably get denied) and then suggests we check to see if this trip qualifies for the service guarantee.

I submit my claim, and faster than they have ever responded to me ever (less than an hour) I got my response - Denied, needs to be more than 15 minutes late.  I call up my buddy Frank to politely ask WTF? Your guy announced (like most CSAs typically do) we are arriving X minutes late (16 minutes in this case).

Frank advises that his records say the train was right on time and that the CSA shouldn't have said anything about the time of arrival.

OK, so as I now understand it, all they need to do is say we're lying about what GO staff tell us and that we should just go F@#% ourselves (again I stress Frank was really nice and that when I say they, I mean the large nameless, faceless corporate we within which no one takes responsibility, no one seems to care, and definitely no one deals with reality).

New service guarantee - We don't care!  

It's like a tray-ay-ay-ainnnnnnnn on your wedding day ... it's like a ...

It starts off like a dream — a late summer day, a lush backdrop and a picturesque trestle bridge, where a bride and groom are posing for what will surely be memorable wedding photos, surrounded by friends and family. Then, a foreboding sound pierces the idyll — chug-a-chug-a-chug-a — followed by the sobering realization that this…

Reason #912 why we can't have nice things

from: NH
to: "Cindy (Cj) Smith"
date: Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM
subject: What Happened??

This morning I entered my usual shelter where I sit to read my book when the outdoor benches are wet.  This morning, however, it wreaked of a terribly bad smelling perfume... The cheap, expired, old lady kind from Dollarama. I had just missed the train so there was no one there the last 5 minutes so imagine how strong it would be if you're sitting next to her on the train! Why do people where so much perfume???? 

So I moved to the next shelter down.  The pictures speak for themselves.  Why the hell do people think that leaving behind a garbage storm is acceptable???? Like the people who still think they can throw their cigarette butts on the ground, or throw their garbage out their car window.  I always take a look around our Ontario cities and wonder who the pompous idiots are that think it's okay to litter.  

Then I started thinking.  This garbage looks like it's been there all night.  The McDonald's fries for one is not something you can order at at GO Statiom.  So why is this station (Rouge Hill) in such a state?  Two weeks ago I had to use the TTC subway for a few days.  Day one I almost stepped on human feces just laying there on the floor of the train.  I couldn't wait to get back to using GO Transit.  But now this. 

I wish they had better surveillance such as cameras to capture these idiots.  

I think we may expect too much as GO Transit passengers because it seems GO Transit's maintenance crews feel like we do.
I still blame other passengers. Just because there is maintenance doesn't mean you can act like a pig.
Has anyone seen the state of Burlington GO Station? - Cj

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shoutout to the CSAs

It's been brought to my attention that some CSAs on a few of the corridors have been making announcements to passengers asking for consideration about where feet belong.

To those men and woman, I thank you. It's a shame we have to remind people to be courteous but the fact that you are making announcements, especially in wet weather, is appreciated by many of us.

Last night I sat in the wet residue of someone's shoes or boots as I failed to do my regular seat pat-down because I rushed to claim a seat.

There's nothing worse than wet dress pants and the dry cleaning bill to go with it.

This is why I rage.

Who's Not Been Serving Us Lately? Part 7

Previous installments of this Web Series are archived here

By Ali Gator

In this installment of Who’s Not Been Serving Us Lately? I look at last week’s announcement and photo-op by Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, regarding GO Transit deploying its 500th bus.  You recall the hoopla.

How are all those extra buses working out for you on your route?  On mine, Route 12, it’s meh – a hit and miss affair.  Sure, there are extra buses running this board period in an effort to achieve hourly service, but the one trip that is absolutely critical – the 12D Friday afternoon express – has been floundering.  On Sept. 5, it arrived in St. Catharines after the “milk run” that left Burlington station at the same time.

On Sept. 12, the 12D was cancelled altogether.  Consequently, when the all-stops Niagara Falls to Burlington bus – a half-full double-decker – arrived in St. Catharines a little late, there were 40+ passengers waiting on the platform.  The driver contacted her supervisor, and at the same time, asked Grimsby and Stoney Creek passengers to board, since this bus was scheduled to make those stops.  The driver then announced that a MCI model bus would arrive in approximately 10 minutes and operate express to Burlington.  “What to do?” I wondered to myself.

I chose to board this bus guessing that there were no spare personnel or equipment in The Falls that could offer support at this time.  The rescue bus was most likely dispatched from Hamilton, in which case the ETA of 10 minutes was wildly optimistic.  Additionally, most of the passengers on the platform were students without PRESTO cards; ticket sales would increase the time to load that bus.  I tapped on and as I made my way to one of the few empty seats in the lower saloon, I walk by a WMA passenger in the accessibility area.

A few other passengers boarded, too; most of them buying tickets, delaying our departure further.  We were almost set to leave, when the WMA passenger barked at our driver and demanded to be transferred to the express bus, which had not yet arrived.  My spirits deflated.  Would we ever get out of this town?  Our driver tried to reason with the passenger that at this point both buses would probably arrive in Burlington at about the same time.  The passenger would have none of it and insisted on taking the express bus.  The driver complied, and the passenger maneuvered his scooter out of the bus.  As he left, I wondered swhether the wheelchair lift on the MCI bus was in good working order.

We left St. Catharines over twenty minutes behind schedule.  About half way to Grimsby, I saw the rescue bus barreling down the QEW in the opposite direction.

Because of some very nice driving, we arrived at Burlington station four minutes before our connecting train.  I have no idea whether the impromptu rescue bus was successful in its mission.  If any readers were on that bus, please let This Crazy Train know what happened.

What this Friday fiasco illustrates is that it doesn’t matter that GO Transit has 500 buses in its stables.  If the resources aren’t managed properly, passengers are left in a lurch and the joint proclamation by the Minister of Transportation and Mary Proc, VP of Customer Service, amounts to no more than hollow words.

And sadly, during Friday’s misfortunes on Route 12, promise #3 of the GO Transit Passenger Charter – Keeping You in the Know – was violated, yet again!  In spite of a cancelled trip and late service on another, no e-mail alerts were issued.  You call that customer service, Ms. Proc?

It's an honest question

I didn't know I could tap the side of a PRESTO machine

The GO Transit Fall newsletter is out and unlike Spring, the translation service or department employed by Metrolinx (which could be a hamster using Google Translator for all we know) managed to translate Fall correctly -- all five of the GO Transit French-speaking only passengers should raise their Fleur de lis flags and poutine in triumph!

I expressed some criticism on Twitter this morning about some of the content but this photo highlights how Metrolinx's marketing department is lacking an eye for detail.

Come on...

Monday, September 15, 2014

So this happened

On the web page GO created to talk about its growing bus fleet, there's a timeline about the bus service from its inception in 1970.

Check out this photo. Look at the kid.

I bet he's going inside the station to have a sternly worded talk with someone about the lack of air conditioning on the bus.

Today, he'd be going inside the station to have a sternly worded talk with someone about all the jerks who load their Presto cards on the bus making those of us who know how to budget (or plan better) late for our trains.

Not even close

Aldershot GO Station

Five years soon ... time to pack it in?

Sometimes I wonder if this blog has served its purpose. I mean, how many foot riding, bag riding, boozing on the GO, parking nut jobs, self-entitled all your spacers can I profile before it gets, well, boring?

I've been encouraged to take on more of a GO Transit passenger lobbying role, where I sharpen my pitchfork and push Metrolinx for more action on promises made and better passenger etiquette enforcement. But, when you work full time, commute for more than three hours a day, have a family, have an established fitness regime and are a freelance graphic designer/web monkey, when would I find that kind of time? It takes hours to pen a well-thought out letter to submit to the government and who says I speak for everyone who uses GO?

What I would like is more time to be funny. I love digital imaging. I love playing around in Photoshop. I've made so many promises to edit pictures of donkeys showcased here, but I hardly ever follow through because I can't find the time. I've tried bringing a laptop on the train but Photoshop requires using a mouse while you are sitting still - too much rocking for using any of the tools effectively.

As I near the five year mark, I worry this blog has lost its momentum. I don't even know what my audience wants. I got what I wanted, a way to meet my fellow commuters and vent about things we find annoying, but now we're like two bored housewives.

You know what we need? An affair.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Picture me in a rocking chair, old cat on my lap, my hubby by my side...

... And we look at each other and say in our gravelly voices, "Remember that time in '14 when we owned two houses?"

It's over. It's done!

The money came in just before lunch.

I can't believe it. We've been hearing "tomorrow" for five weeks. I feel I should adopt another cat and call it "Tomorrow"-- it's been the word of the year.

The money was a day late. I don't care why. I can tell you it made me real mad and I think it was all this five-week long pent up frustration and anxiety that caused a cheque to drop at my lawyer's door this morning.

Yes, there will be an old cat on my lap one day and his name will be Tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I have a chainsaw (I really do)

This kind of stuff drives me nuts.

One of these days, after I research the amount of bail money I need and how many websites I would need to design to pay for the lawyer, I'm going to have my husband take the chain off the saw and let me borrow it so I can scare the crap out of these donkeys without harming anyone.

Just walk on the train, pull the cord and let it run.

Who wants to film it?

The staircase is not your office

All the pregnant ladies... All the pregnant ladies...

Train pulls into Ajax Station this morning.

People start stomping up the stairs to the Quiet Zone when suddenly... This woman pushes past three people and announces loudly, "I am 8 month pregnant. I better get a seat!"

She spots one and sits down, throws on some headphones and promptly dozes off. Some people are shocked. Others are amused.

Like a boss.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GO Transit launches mobile-friendly version of -- What took so long?! is now mobile-friendly. According to the email GO Transit sent out,  "It is a fast, convenient and easy way to be kept up-to-date. Get real time information and important service update information anytime, anywhere".

Calm down GO, you didn't invent the internet.

The mobile website can be accessed on all smartphones and tablets.

Did the cat come back? How about the next day?

I've just finished reading an email and a text from two different people (I am going to assume the messages are not from the same person) about an incident on the Kitchener line yesterday on the 5:45 pm GO train out of Union.

A woman had brought a cat on board in a carrier and part way through the trip, the cat allegedly ninja'd its way out of the carrier and took off. The cat then ran around the coach evading anyone trying to catch it and terrifying a few people who are scared of cats. One man allegedly kicked the cat (this made my blood boil but I'm reminding myself that there are people who do things out of fear) and one woman was scratched when she thought she had caught the cat.

Of course, NO ONE THOUGHT TO FILM THIS, so I don't know if it's true or not.

At Georgetown, the cat managed to bolt from the train when the doors opened. The woman with the carrier took off after it.

If you were on that train, I'd like to hear from you. I know people bring pets onto the trains, I've seen enough photos on Instagram of bunnies, dogs, ferrets and cats to prove it but my God, if you've got Houdini for a cat, maybe some plastic ties should be used if the cage bolt isn't strong enough.

I hope the woman was able to capture her cat. Poor kitty!

This kid. All the entitlement right here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

GO bus operators suffer from Presto pain too!

Special to

by Luke Warmbath

We’ve read the stories of PRESTO pain – primarily from passengers.  This Crazy Train’s Presto Chronicles stands at an astounding 29 chapters!  GO Transit bus drivers are also users of the technology, and it fails them, too.

I boarded the bus and was about to tap on, when the driver motioned me to wait.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“The GPS satellite link isn’t working.  I have to set our location manually,” responded the driver.

We were able to board after a few deft taps on the user interface.  Unfortunately, this procedure had to be repeated at each stop along the route – wasting precious time.  When we arrived at our destination, a number of passengers had questions about continuing their trip to Union station.  Rather than have them block the exit of the bus talking with the driver, I volunteered to provide assistance outside, since I was heading that way, too.

As I finished with my fellow passengers, I heard our driver inside the bus exclaim, “Nooooooo!”  I poked my head inside the door and I asked what was wrong.  The driver responded that the PRESTO terminal had lost the end of trip report.

This report is critical for drivers; it’s a sales summary report that drivers use to remit their cash to accounting.  Without the report, drivers estimate their ticket sales and PRESTO ePurse loads for their “cash-in”.  If a subsequent audit exposes a variance, the driver must make good on the amount that is due, or is issued a credit for the excess remitted.

If you’re thinking this business process is convoluted, you’re absolutely spot-on.  But remember, this is PRESTO.  The bus POS terminal hasn’t lost the transaction details, because they make their way to our respective transaction logs, and accounting has access to the numbers to perform their audits after the bus terminal synchronizes with the system.  So why can’t drivers print their end of trip reports on demand?  Is this another example of “users unfamiliarity with the features” per Rob Hollis, Executive VP, PRESTO?

C’mon, I’ve been in IT over forty years.  A report is a report!  Why does the bus POS terminal not allow drivers to print a sales summary report when they want to?  Alternatively, why can’t drivers get access to this report via some accounting back office facility?  

Let’s face it, this is another PRESTO bug.

Waterloo Regional Police won't release alleged speed of GO bus driver charged with speeding in Cambridge on Monday

According to Waterloo Regional Police's website, the following report was released:

Incident #: WA14204769
Publish Date: Sep 8, 2014
Incident Date: Sep 8, 2014
At approximately 9:00am on the 8th September 2014 Waterloo Regional Police Traffic officers were conducting speed enforcement on Beaverdale Road near Hunt Club Road in the City of Cambridge. Officers observed a GO Transit double decker bus loaded with passengers travelling westbound on Beaverdale Road which appeared to be driving in excess of the 50km/h limit. Police initiated a traffic stop and charged the driver with speeding. Waterloo Regional Police encourage all drivers to obey the posted speed limit, for their own safety, the safety of their passengers and the safety of other road users.

This incident was reported by several media outlets including the The Record and CTV News. This stretch of road runs 80 km/hr in some parts, according to bus drivers familiar to the route, and then will drop to 50 km/hr in some stretches.

It's unfortunate this may have happened, but why is this news?

The Route 25 bus was operating between Mississauga and Waterloo. It was delayed 15 minutes by police and arrived 10 minutes late at its destination, said Mark Ostler, GO spokesperson in a report to The incident is under investigation, he said.

Meanwhile, at a bus stop in Montreal

The whole bus needed a plug-in

The 90 GO bus was unusually packed last night for those of us who rolled off the 4:53 UNION to OSHAWA train. I no longer sit upstairs of any double decker bus so I stayed seated on the main floor, sandwiched in by a lot of ass and the aroma of dried pee.

It was gag-inducing. The stench would come and go. At one point, I couldn't take it anymore and I stood up and made my way to a pole. The smell was even worse as I moved towards the staircase. Glancing around, I could tell by the expressions of others I wasn't the only one breathing in Eau du Urine. 

Then suddenly, after we passed the city limits of Oshawa, and this guy holding a hockey helmet and hefting a hockey bag exited the bus, the smell gradually dissipated. By the time we reached Courtice, it was long gone. 

Oh man. I have no idea if he could smell his gear but he needs to wash the helmet and burn the hockey bag.

Bus driver saves woman from suicide

Higher learning

It's that time of year again, when students jam the GO train, with shoes promptly placed on the seats. We can't blame them, they have not taken "general respect 101" at school yet.

- Signed: Every person with a full time job on the GO train.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Did you get the memo that we were at the beach? I missed that email from GO Transit

I know way too much about your life

You should realize you`re talking too loud on a GO train when people who sit down next to you, suddenly jump up and leave after 30 seconds while you were in the middle of reading the texts from your husband`s sister to your friend sitting across from you.

You should realize that you are really too loud if someone has to come down from the Quiet Zone and ask you to shut up.

This was this morning. 7:53 out of Oshawa. Second car from behind the locomotive in the bi-level.

This woman was so loud, I had jacked the volume up on my game of Angry Birds and I could still hear her.

But since I was not in the Quiet Zone, I figured it was my fault for not heading up there, but it would have been pointless anyway because I`m sure the CSA could hear her from three coaches away.

She didn`t care. She didn`t care about anyone. She was important and we were all going to hear about how strangers came into her house and looked through all her things and how she felt violated and like how her privacy didn`t matter.

Yep. Privacy. It`s very important to her.

Friday, September 5, 2014

PRESTO goes down more than ... (um... ) the My Rogers app?

The PRESTO website will be unavailable September 13 -14, 2014. Please load your card online by September 10th to ensure you have sufficient funds to travel over this period. For more information, please visit or

Sure - that'll never spill

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Less than a month til the Broke Presto card contest closes!

I haven't counted but it's around 30 entries, excluding what's been tweeted to me.
Either I don't have enough reach (I'm going with that) or people dislike steak or coffee, or I don't have enough minions to promote the contest beyond the GTA (I'm going with that, too) but I had hoped for 100 entries.

Regardless, PRESTO Card and the external relations department at Metrolinx battled myself and my posse over this back during the winter, discrediting our comments on Twitter that broken cards *are* a problem. Even more troubling is we still don't have an answer about what is warrantied. The card is warrantied against defects but no one would tell us what was considered a tangible defect.

I would think a card snapping in two, especially one kept in a card holder or wallet, would qualify for a replacement card at no charge. Out of all the entries I have received, every single one of these customers paid $6 for a new card, almost all had to re-add funds and wait more than two days to access funds tied to the broken card, and many were unable to have their loyalty steps transferred over. I helped a few with how to go about that but it's a painful process for some. I didn't have a problem but I think it's because of this website that it got handled as quickly as it did.

So if you have a broken PRESTO card or you know someone who does, have them enter it into the contest. 

But the bus driver didn't say anything - Another sign self-governance is foreign to some

Rolling on the bus right now, there's a toddler with an iPad and some app that makes way too many annoying sounds for this hour in the morning.

There's nothing cute about it.

I imagine it must be trying as a first world problem to travel with a child on a bus but guess what? Not all of us need to be entertained by Clifford and his desire to win some kind of dog contest as we cruise to the train station.

A woman asked the mother to turn it down because she was trying to concentrate on her book, and suggested it was distracting to the driver.

Instead of apologizing or at least working to reach a happy compromise, the mother told the woman to move and boasted, "The bus driver didn't say anything so she can get off or mind her own business."

Wow. And in front of your own kid, too.

This mother needs to invest in a set of headphones.  And second, the bus driver isn't saying anything because he probably sized this mother up the second she got on and knew she'd be the first to call GO Transit to complain about the bus driver, dare he say something.

I don't understand how or why it got this bad that no one can ask another person to be accommodating to the comfort of others in shared, public space.  We're beating each other up now over reclining on an airplane for chrissakes!

The woman did move and the mother smiled a smile of victory. Yes, mom, you definitely won a prize for entitlement.

It's time - AGAIN - for everyone's favorite game, NAME... THAT... STAIN!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Two strikes. There was no third. It was close. I thought I had to make that call for bail money

I know I haven't been writing much and mostly posting photos, and I know after a while that gets hella boring. I'm sorry.

By the way, the Toronto Star articles I've been posting have ads (as many of you have fearfully pointed out, clenching your sphincters in fear that I've sold out to the man). No one is paying me to advertise. In order to publish these articles of interest, and keep you on my site, I am choosing to republish them with ads so I don't have to pay for licensing.

It had been pretty quiet on the GO fuckery front. There was an incident last week I refrained from writing about because I've gained this small crowd (about five based on the IPs) of knives and pitchfork carrying GO bus operators, who, for some reason, have been led to believe I am anti-bus driver. I have no desire to defend myself because it's not true. 

I fell down the stairs on a GO double-decker bus while the bus was in motion. It has been my experience that most drivers don't allow passengers up top time to get down to the doors when they come to a stop, so you have to be ready to hurl yourself off before you arrive at the stop. This means negotiating the stairs while the bus is in motion, or standing on the main level. If you do stand on the main level, some drivers will bark at you to sit down or go upstairs (true story). This is where my newfound bus driving fans will fight me to the death. Like I'm supposed to be down at the main level well before my stop, and should come down when the bus is stopped at a previous stop (as one driver lectured me to do one night). That's bullshit and you all know it. 

90 is a rural route. The bus can drive for several stops without any need to stop. What needs to happen is some drivers should wait for those of us who were yelled at to sit upstairs to have enough time to negotiate those bloody steps, so we don't have to hurt ourselves when we get off.

I think I scared the shit out of my driver when he realized I had hurt myself. I was in tears. I was limping. I bashed my left knee. It took me some time to climb off the bus. The driver idled for several seconds after asking me if I was okay. I wasn't and I told him so. He seemed torn, but I wasn't prepared to take that bus out of service, so I waved him off. I did notice that for rest of the week, there was no double decker bus at that time, just a regular MCI.

I was sore for four days. I did a number on my knee and it hasn't been the same since. Those double deckers should be driven off a cliff. 

Strike one happened yesterday at Union while the train was boarding. I was in the throng of cattle the LSE crowd considers a line when it was my turn to step onto the train. This woman walking toward me pretended as if she didn't see me and stepped right in front of me and boarded. This caused me to step back in a bizarre two-step kind of dance to prevent myself from falling backward. I boarded and walked over to her and just stared at her. She looked at me and I shook my head at her. Don't act like you didn't know, girl. Please. 

Strike two happened when we arrived at Oshawa. There are signs, huge signs, warning passengers smoking is not allowed on the platform. This woman lights up a cigarette next to me, turns her head and blows smoke RIGHT IN MY FACE as we're walking towards the exit to the parking lot. WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?! I lost it. I made a huge scene. I gestured. I yelled. I totally lost my shit. I don't know who some of you smokers think you are but that's not acceptable. I feel bad for the smokers who do it right - who stand in the parking lot. 

My anger surprises me sometimes, especially when I'm dealing with stress and with STILL two houses in my name, I'm not managing it well. 

When I got on the bus I was practically daring someone to deliver a third strike. I have bail money.

Rob Ford transit plan slips online, features lots of subways

A document that appeared to be Rob Ford’s transit plan was made available on his website late Tuesday night, promoting lots of subways and questionable math. Ford revealed the plan at a news conference this morning. In the eight-page document, Ford says he would build two subway lines that city council rejected during his mayoralty in…

Schoolin' the donkeys