Sunday, December 25, 2016
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas break and Santa is good to you.
What my kid doesn't realize is Santa is real. He lives in the heart of anyone who sees this as a special time year where family is ALWAYS first.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
|to:||"Cindy (Cj) Smith" |
|date:||Sat, Dec 21, 2013 at 9:19 PM|
|subject:||RE: 22:43 Union - 23:41 Oshawa, Friday 20th December|
|:||Important mainly because it was sent directly to you.|
At 3:30am (four hours later!!!!), another train pulls in beside, we transfer over, get taken back to Ajax, and put on a bus to Whitby. From there I cabbed home and ended up in bed at 4:52am, five hours late. Not Good.
So, that train terminates and its train crew go home from Ajax instead of Oshawa. (Instead, the train that picked us up had to come from the yard at Mimico).
To me, this seemed extremely weird - the last westbound train had gone by, and plus you can use the signals to make sure no train comes along when people are crossing.
Late to the ball ... I'd rather come late then not come at all -- Metrolinx launches public education campaign, new logo
Called, "Let's Get Moving", the video spends a lot of time focusing on a transit agency that is the ONLY regional transit agency in the area it services. It continues to boggle my mind why so much marketing money is spent on a rail and bus service that is the only option for customers commuting in from the suburbs. It's like the LCBO. Where the hell else am I going to buy my liquor? My rum, vodka, amaretto, etc...? Anyway, I've lost my trail of thought here. The ad is "a typical day in the life of various Metrolinx services, such as Go Transit and the Union-Pearson Express". Really? I see a few other transit agencies in this video that receive no oversight from Metrolinx, other than they all use a fare card system wholly-owned by Metrolinx. A flawed system that remains nothing to brag about.
The facebook comments show people aren't buying it.
I also noticed that in early December, Metrolinx quietly rebranded itself.
The old styled M in a circle with paths connecting to it is slowly being replaced.
Metrolinx has opted for a white wordmark on a black background. I like it. Not sure what it means but graphically it's clean and neat.
How much did this cost? Nothing. It was done in-house.
No offence to the Toronto Star, but we've taken the situation at Burlington GO station a bit more seriously
This morning, the Toronto Star released its own report. I had forgotten all about Bacon's write-up while still dealing with the fallout of my Mexican vacation (too much food/too much sun/way.too.much.alcohol) and woke up today to a flurry of tweets about the Star article.
I feel bad I let Bacon down.
NO ONE SHOULD EVER LET BACON DOWN.
Regarding the men’s washroom, can Metrolinx tell us why only one inefficient hand dryer was installed? Why couldn’t they spring for a couple of Dyson Airblade™ dryers per washroom? What do we use when that one dryer malfunctions? (And it will.) There is no paper towel dispenser.
As far as the East tunnel is concerned, the blueprints show two sets of descending stairs, but nothing is labelled as a tunnel at the bottom of the stairs. Let’s hope those stairs align with the old East tunnel, which was situated in that vicinity. Whereas shorter walks from the South side may be possible through the East tunnel, I don’t see that option applying to WMA passengers — it never did.
Let’s move on to the next paragraph, which states “The ticket booth is almost ready. We are waiting on glass panels to be manufactured and delivered. Once installed, we can start the IT work required and open the ticket booth in the station building.”
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Suicide by transit is a human tragedy and a pernicious public-health challenge – and Toronto has costly decisions to make about how to prevent it. Oliver Moore takes an in-depth look at the data and what could be done to save lives.
- The agency also relies also on train crews to keep watch and send back warnings about people near the track. In some of these cases, the next train will get a slow order, or may be stopped temporarily. A decision on whether to do that, though, has to be balanced against the need to keep the transit system running.
- Fatalities using GO trains are concentrated on the lines with the heaviest service, in keeping with international research that links frequency of trains with incidence of suicide. The Lakeshore East and West lines alone account for about 60 per cent of the GO-train-related suicides so far this decade.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
So why does it cost so much to ride GO Transit - could it be the fact that the agency gets hosed by CNR?
This is a stunning tale of pillage at Metrolinx. https://t.co/sXYmQJsd3N— David Reevely (@davidreevely) December 12, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Ahhh, winter. It's here. It's early.
I'm used to Sprinter. You know, the mild Decembers we've gotten used to in the GTA.
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ARCTIC CRAP?
I've got boatloads of material to catch you all up on. Tweets (those that follow know/those that don't won't) that contained golden nuggets of info that are blog-worthy. Give me a couple of days to pull it all together.
PS. Tequila and I are not friends.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Friday, December 2, 2016
Yesterday's Anniversary tweet & post about the Burlington GO Station must have rattled some cages. This email went out today to passengers subscribed to Burlington GO Station updates
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "GO Transit" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Dec 2, 2016 12:00 PM
Subject: Burlington GO Station Improvements
Burlington Customers: As work continues at Burlington GO Station, we are committed to providing you with regular updates on the improvements we're making.
Access to west tunnel, west waiting area and washrooms are already open and temporary heating will be installed soon as we continue to finish the in-floor heating system.
Increasing accessibility and providing more ways to get around the station are our priority of improvements to deliver to you. Next you'll have the option of using a new elevator and east tunnel, meaning shorter walks from the south side. The roof work is also progressing well as we add water proofing and insulation.
The ticket booth is almost ready. We are waiting on glass panels to be manufactured and delivered. Once installed, we can start the IT work required and open the ticket booth in the station building.
Thank you for your patience. We know that construction continues to take longer than expected and that it will continue into 2017. We are conducting daily check-ins, progress reports, and regular site-visits to ensure that the contractor is building the station that meets our high standards for customers.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
This is a painting, done in 1969 by Ontario Transport artist, Moma Markovich. Markovich painted many Ontario infrastructure projects. Some of her collection is available on Twitter and the rest can be explored online using the Archives of Ontario digital collection.
HAPPY 4TH ANNIVERSARY BURLINGTON #GOTRAIN STATION! Sorry @Metrolinx didn't get you anything to celebrate this construction delay, but I did! pic.twitter.com/Fu0r3SzLaU— CJ Smith (@ThisCrazyTrain) December 1, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
It is *not* hard to believe. One only need to look at Burlington GO Station to forgo any amazement at this news
Auditor: "Hard to believe, isn't it?" Metrolinx gave more contracts to firm that installed bridge truss upside down https://t.co/1nhZIt0w5T— Mike Crawley (@CBCQueensPark) November 30, 2016
Lots more stuff relating to Metrolinx in the Auditor General's report... the Pickering Bridge section is shown below.
[Quote, bold highlights all mine*]
4.2.2 Metrolinx Awarded a Contractor Phase 2 of Pickering Bridge Project Even Though It Had Performed Extremely Poorly on Phase 1
The contractor for Phase 1 of the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Highway 401 in Pickering performed so poorly that Metrolinx staff had to take over performing many of its duties. Nevertheless, Metrolinx hired the same contractor for Phase 2 of the project because it was the lowest bidder. On Phase 2, the contractor caused significant damage to the bridge. Nevertheless, Metrolinx paid the contractor almost the full $8 million of their contract. We noted that, after performing poorly on both Phase 1 and Phase 2, Metrolinx still awarded this contractor another major project valued at $39 million.
The bridge in question is a landmark structure allowing pedestrians to cross 14 lanes of Highway 401 between the Pickering GO Station and the evolving Pickering City Centre development. Phase 1 of the project involved the construction of the bridge and stairwells; Phase 2 involved the installation of external cladding over the bridge. The bridge was to serve, according to the City of Pickering website, “as an iconic, luminous landmark, signifying where Pickering and Durham Region begin.”
Phase 1: Contractor Demonstrated Complete Lack of Experience in Building Bridges
Although building the bridge structure and stairwells would be fairly straightforward for an experienced contractor, the contractor awarded the job was performing poorly; as a result, Metrolinx staff had to take over and manage many of its responsibilities on this $19-million project. For example, the contractor had no experience in installing the bridge trusses (a bridge truss is the metal skeleton that is the most basic component of the bridge), something that a contractor constructing a bridge would be expected to know how to do. In fact, it installed one truss upside down. Seeing this, Metrolinx project staff stepped in to manage the truss installation even though this was clearly the contractor’s responsibility. They managed the truss supplier and related sub-trades, arranged the delivery of the trusses, shut down Highway 401 during installation, and managed other aspects of traffic flow. Metrolinx staff also went so far as to find a hauling company to move the trusses to the site: work that all should have been managed by the contractor. The contractor was still paid the full $19 million in payments.
Phase 2: Contractor Again Won Contract Despite Poor Performance then Damaged the Bridge
Although Metrolinx was aware of this contractor’s lack of experience, its poor work ethic, and its unwillingness to improve performance, Metrolinx did not restrict it from bidding on Phase 2 of this project. Because this contractor’s bid was the lowest, Metrolinx awarded it the contract for the second phase of work.
The contractor’s performance was again poor—poor enough, in fact, that Metrolinx eventually terminated its contract. But not before the contractor caused significant damage to the bridge. By improperly welding some metal components, workers splattered metal over large areas of glass. A glass expert hired by Metrolinx later identified that 87% of the glass had been damaged, and recommended that it all be replaced. Metrolinx estimates it will cost about $1 million to fix the glass.
Metrolinx also discovered that the contractor built the stairwell incorrectly (in Phase 1). Because the stairwell had been built too wide, the cladding material would break if the contractor attempted to stretch it over the stairwells. The contractor did not fix the stairwell and, at the time of our audit, the problem still had not been solved. Metrolinx was working with an engineering firm to develop a cost-efficient solution to fix the stairwell problem at its own expense. Figure 5 shows the concept of the iconic bridge, and what is in place today because of the contractor’s mistake in constructing the stairwell.
Metrolinx terminated the contract with the contractor, even though the stairwell portion of the job had not been completed. Nevertheless, Metrolinx signed a settlement agreement, and paid the contractor 99% of the contract’s original value of $8 million.
We noted that after the contractor’s poor performance on both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this project, Metrolinx awarded this contractor another project valued at $39 million. After that, Metrolinx chose not to award the contractor work on a few projects (for which the contractor provided the lowest bid) because it was not deemed qualified to perform the work based on past performance with Metrolinx. We discuss our concerns with this in Section 4.2.3 below.
*Mine being a concerned passenger who would like to stay anonymous who painfully read through the report and gave ThisCrazyTrain.com the highlights.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
@shannypants128 your worst nightmare!! LOL 😂 #whatarethose #socksandsandals #fashionnono #onlyintoronto #gotrain #gotransit #toronto #torontolifeA photo posted by Tyson Ruck (@the_next_billie_joe) on
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE YOU SHOULD JUDGE.
A photo posted by Remi_lfcdogguide (@remi_lfcdogguide) on
Monday, November 28, 2016
Just as how you see it.
Window down. All smashed up.
Take note of the second photo (why are there no pylons to warn drivers???)... possible source of damage? Or is this a hit and run, then dump and run?
Anyhoo, the experts are handling it. I'm more concerned about the open hole.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
To quote @madhatressTO "Many millennials don’t even own cars. They’re stuck on substandard transit or riding bikes on congested streets" It's the baby boomers who will start brawlin' over this
Troll bait - this, ladies and gents, is how you troll... I also liked how this person stopped short of implying "honest fare evasion" is a pet peeve of mine. Almost got me there...
I have been reading your comments for a while now, and I must say; you are the definition of arrogance and entitlement. You spew "holier than thou" posts in every direction; sure, these people may not be completely considerate, but the way you berate them for something as small as putting their feet on the seat or simply taking his foot out of a shoe, or even isolated incidents of unintentional or misunderstood fare evasion.
You are worse than these people.
So much worse.
Posted by Anonymous to You. Me. Ride This Crazy Train - Adventures and Observations on The GO at November 24, 2016 at 2:36 AM
I read these comments to my lawyer while he was ensconced in his luxurious sherpa blanket after an exhausting day. His expression says it all.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
2014 GO Fare evasion story on ThisCrazyTrain.comMayor says fare evasion is on the rise, TTC says it's not. Board chair says truth is "probably in between." https://t.co/aYVFYzVcXL— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) November 23, 2016
@gotransitofficial Please make the announcement of keeping feet off the seats again. Nice boots but I'm sure they've (unwittingly) stepped on some pretty unsavoury downtown T.O.-things on the way here #stouffvilletrain #gotransit #ew #whereareyourmanners #courtesy
A photo posted by Jenn P R (@miss_jenn_perez) on
Monday, November 21, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
If I was wearing that parka, I'd be hunched over, too. Hunched over from heat exhaustion ... (spring in November, anyone?)
On October 30, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) released a report about the frequency in which sexual assaults occur on the Toronto transit system. Every three days, passengers file reports about incidents where inappropriate touching or unwanted sexual contact had taken place.
Sexual assaults on public transit are a crime of opportunity for perverts, regardless of gender. Crowded and confined to a bus, subway car or streetcar, assailants press themselves against their victims and grope them. Usually victims of sexual assault don't realize they're being assaulted while traveling on a jam-packed subway car. Objects and body parts being pressed against them seem almost normal considering the crush of bodies jockeying for space. Unfortunately, that's not the truth for what's happening and the problem is worse than TTC officials realized.
The frequency of stops allow these criminals to escape. Many drift through the system undetected and protected by the volume of passenger traffic. They easily take advantage of a system bursting at the seams.
So what's it like on GO Transit?
Although the numbers released to ThisCrazyTrain.com don't reflect incidents reported to police agencies instead of to GO Transit, wrote Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, in an email to this website - the numbers are small for a system that transports 70 million passengers annually:
In 2014, 23 passengers complained of being sexually assaulted while traveling on GO Transit's system. In 2015, 22 passengers filed reports and in 2016, 12 customers have reported being sexually assaulted to date.
But are these numbers realistic?
According to public safety experts, unreported sexual assault on public transit happens because most passengers don't realize an assault has taken place. Overcrowding and the assumption passengers are "accidentally being touched" are many reasons why people don't consider themselves a victim of sexual assault. Or, they fear they won't be taken seriously.
One anonymous female GO train passenger texted ThisCrazyTrain.com describing a recent incident on a busy Lakeshore West train. She alleged a male passenger grinded his pelvis into her back whenever the train swayed side to side. This passenger confronted her assailant and when he denied assaulting her, other passengers came to her defence. This passenger said she didn't report the incident to GO Transit because she believed it was "isolated", and that she had "effectively handled it".
I can back her up with my own story of "handling" unwanted sexual advances when traveling on transit. I was in my early twenties and traveling to Yorkdale subway station one Saturday afternoon. Seated next to me was an older gentlemen who was fondling himself through his pants pocket. He was trying in vain to get me to watch him and I was trying in vain to ignore him. The subway was crowded and I was in a two-seater with him. I was seated in the seat closest to the window. Occasionally, he would press his thigh into mine. I began to plan my escape after we left St. Clair West station. Suddenly, he asked me if I wanted to "touch it". Using all my strength, I lunged at him and managed to knock him off the seat and into the aisle. I don't remember what I said. I just remember feeling humiliated, scared, disgusted and super anxious. I vaulted over him and pushed my way off the train, and managed to escape just as the train doors closed. Standing on the platform at Eglinton West station, I tried to make sense of what had just happened. I didn't report it.
I've never had a situation on GO Transit where I felt sexually violated or touched inappropriately. I find traveling on GO to be quite safe. Unlike subway cars, passengers have the ability to move through the train freely to escape situations we feel might get out of hand. We also have a living and breathing person we can go directly to if we need immediate help, since all GO trains have a customer service ambassador on board.
GO Transit has demonstrated on numerous occasions they take all reports of sexual assault very seriously. Transit safety officers conduct regular patrols of stations and vehicles to deter and prevent criminal behaviour, issuing system-wide and public security bulletins when incidents of sexual assault occur.
A suspect in a recent sexual assault on a GO Transit passenger in York Region was quickly arrested after the decisive and swift actions of GO Transit's Safety division, wrote Aikins.
Aikins also said in her email that GO Transit Safety Officers freely share information with other GTA transit and law enforcement agencies, which is why arrests tend to happen swiftly.
To report an incident of sexual assault on GO Transit directly to GO Transit, contact 1-877-297-0642.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Head up to Quiet Zone.
Arrive at Whitby.
A group of ten 20-somethings board on-route to TO for a conference/meeting/entertainment (not sure).
No idea about Quiet Zone based on their really loud arrival.
CSA makes no further announcement other than the first one made prior to departure at Oshawa.
It gets LOUDER.
I get up and leave.
But this group doesn't realize why I leave.
As I go down the stairs, someone says just loud enough so I can hear it: GUESS YOU DON'T LIKE BLACK PEOPLE.
It took everything in my being not to toss out a really bad word (a phrase starting with an "F" and ending with a "u") and start a brawl.
Because I don't like jail.
AND BECAUSE IF YOU GO LOW, I'LL GO HIGH.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
A photo posted by Mike Apocalypso (@haavoc) on
A photo posted by Ciprian Andre 🚗🇨🇦👻 (@linuxglobal) on
Just another moon shot in your feed. 🌝 - #Vince_in_Canada 🇨🇦 #Vince_in_Ontario #Vince_in_Toronto - Au cas où vous n'auriez pas vu de photos de lune aujourd'hui 😜 ———————————————————— #DiscoverON | @OntarioTravel #ExploreCanada | @ExploreCanada ————————————————————
A photo posted by TRAVEL ❅ WANDER ❅ DISCOVER (@vincentdemers) on