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Friday, January 29, 2016

TTC problems run deeper than chronic underfunding -- Toronto Star

It’s some time between 9 and 9:30 on a weekday morning and a small crowd waits for the streetcar at Broadview and Gerrard. 

After seven minutes or so, the westbound Carlton car (506) finally pulls up. But, no, this one’s short-turning south on Broadview.

Twenty or more people are forced to disembark to join the 15 or so already waiting at the stop. Another seven minutes later, a second streetcar finally appears, jammed to the rafters with snarling passengers reluctant to make room for another load of riders.

They can either fight their way into the streetcar or wait patiently for a third one, which may or may not have room for them.…

Ten year old plan did not initially include electrification and accommodating the trains that support it. New roof at Union Station is too short for the future of rail

Thursday, January 28, 2016

In case you missed it

Meanwhile, in Ottawa

We're seeking public’s assistance in identifying a man who maced another passenger on OC Transpo bus (#96) after a...

Posted by Ottawa Police Service - Service de police d'Ottawa on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Clearly this person doesn't know how to motorcycle at this GO station

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

And just think, come February 1, we'll all pay more for this level of luxury

Yep, that'll do

So this happened

This part is my fav (it isn't really... ):

While searching (one of the men), (police) allegedly found a loaded handgun, a flick knife and bags of marijuana. Police say a search of his suitcase turned up an unloaded rifle, a bulletproof vest, a butterfly knife, a scale and a partially consumed bottle of alcohol.

Are you ready to play everyone's favourite game? NAME THAT STAIN!

Woman assaulted on late night GO train - assailant pulled emergency brake and fled

A suspect is on the loose after a female GO Transit passenger was assaulted when a man attempted to steal her purse on an Toronto-bound GO train as it headed towards Danforth GO station on the system's Lakeshore East corridor.
The victim suffered minor injuries in the incident which occurred on the 9:38 pm train from Oshawa.
The suspect pulled the emergency brake after the incident and managed to exit the train.
He was last seen in the Birchmount Road and Raleigh Avenue area of Scarborough carrying a multicolored gym bag.
No further information about the suspect is available at this time, however, police are asking anyone who may have knowledge of the incident to contact Toronto Police Services at 416-808-2222.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Yay! Yay! It's a train .... ohmigawd... wait... you summabitch

View post on imgur.com

Welp... prepare to be disappointed...

I contacted Miss Manors from yesterday. It didn't pan out.
It also didn't go in the direction I had hoped. He/she wasn't biting.
The text exchange is in two parts. I started with my phone and then switched to the web app I use (Mighty Text for those who are interested) as it's so much more convenient and I can use a computer keyboard.



Monday, January 25, 2016

How ... how fast was the car traveling?

Manors? I think the great depression did away with those. I just own a house.

Did you know there's an electronic fare card called "Beep"?

I love the name.
And I love the website. Beep is from Manila, Phillipines.
The end-user experience for the Presto card website was never built with the end-user in mind.

It's clunky and it's confusing, especially for new users.

This is what I'm hearing from TTC users who don't have the years of experience us GO passengers have with dealing with the shortcomings.

Maybe Metrolinx will set up some focus groups and re-think how PRESTO's website functions.

Ain't that the truth?

Friday, January 22, 2016

What would the Donald Say?

Special to This Crazy Train
By GO Voyageur

I had just settled in for lunch at my desk — nothing special, just a sandwich — and was catching up on TCT articles, when the story, A human tragedy, scrolled into view.  That triggered a bit of a panic attack, because I was supposed to pick up some kielbasa from Costco the prior evening, but I’d forgotten.

I donned my coat, grabbed my keys, and raced out the door to my car.  I anticipated this wouldn’t take long at all, since Costco was only ten minutes away.  As I headed north on Lake St. and approached Dunlop Dr., I saw a GO Transit double decker bus with its hazard flashers on and parked on the ramp for the Niagara Falls bound QEW.

I continued along Lake St., over the QEW, onto YMCA Dr., and into the Costco parking lot from where I could see the ‘decker across the highway.  I wondered what was amiss, but I didn’t have time for that.  My mission was kielbasa, so I raced inside to the grocery section.  I picked up a few choice coils, paid for them, and exited the store.




Mmmmmmmm … coils of kielbasa at Costco

Outside, I gazed across the parking lot and the QEW — the DD was still there.  I pulled out my cell phone and checked my email, but there was no GO Transit alert about a service disruption.  I navigated to gotransit.com, which told me there were no interruptions to bus service.  Well, something was up, so I fire off a tweet to @GOtransit, which went unanswered.

I checked the time and realized the next Burlington bound bus would have just left The Falls.  Surely that driver would provide the answer to why their colleague was stranded on the other side of the highway.  With twenty minutes to kill, I zipped into Walmart for some light bulbs, exercised my scripted lines for declining their credit card again, and popped out to the bus stop with minutes to spare.

I needn’t have rushed.  The bus was a no-show.  With Mickey’s hands approaching one o’clock, I headed back to the office, where I sent another query to @GOtransit.  Readers should note that tweet was answered some 50 minutes later and essentially parroted what I had told them more than 90 minutes before in my first tweet.

Let’s view this from another perspective, namely, the timeline given by the bus schedule.  The ill-fated bus started its trip at 09:34 at the Burlington carpool lot.  It was scheduled to arrive in Niagara Falls at 11:19, have a one hour layover, and then head back to Burlington at 12:22.  The double-decker croaked after dropping off passengers in St. Catharines.  So, by 11:00, Operations and Hamilton supervisors knew there was a problem they had to handle.  Why wasn’t a report driver dispatched from Hamilton to at least switch off buses?  Presumably, the remaining Niagara bound passengers on the dead ‘decker were picked up by the next bus an hour later.  Were these folks compensated for their wasted time and the inconvenience?  How long did the driver have to sit on the side of the QEW waiting to be rescued?




Shortly before 2:00 PM, Operations issued the following email alert:



Also, the Twitter Desk posted the following tweet that @crash8668 latched onto like a Pitbull Terrier:


GO Transit’s precious Passenger Charter promises TO KEEP YOU IN THE KNOW:

“Whether it’s delay alerts, or information to help plan your journey better - keeping you informed is key. Our goal is to keep you updated as soon as possible whether it’s in person or online.”

You can also follow a link to “See how we’re doing”.  Let me tell you how you did — EPIC FAIL.

The time from equipment failure until passengers were informed of a problem was almost three hours!   What were Operations and Twitter Desk staff doing during this time?  Celebrating their salary increases from the 5% fare increase we’re being slapped with?  “Sorry for the late response …”.  What kind of a reply is that?

Who is responsible for these repeated failures on Route 12?  In August 2015, Matt Baynie, VP Operations, committed to improving bus service in Niagara region.  Today’s fiasco is another example of promises made and promises broken.  When will it stop? 

BTW, GO Transit’s real-time bus information service is officially two years behind schedule.

For your commute home

Posted by blogTO on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#4 You called your local bus stop
Posted by blogTO on Friday, January 22, 2016

Purse Digger - Know Your TCT Donkey

I'm a ball of anxiety these days and clearly feeling this way is giving me a more heightened sense of ALL OF THE THINGS IRRITATE THE SHIT OUT OF ME.

Monday offered up a new type of GO train creature that I have dubbed the purse digger. I also encountered one on Wednesday night and again this morning.

The one on Monday I was pretty sure was looking for her bag of cocaine because she dug and dug and dug and dug and dug, pulled out a small square mirror and then dug and dug and dug and dug and took a break, and then dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and then put the mirror away.

Wednesday night's purse digger was like a fucking honey badger digging a grave to bury its recent kill of a hippo. She dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and dug, and took a break to stare out the window, before resuming her excavation. No idea what she needed as she came up empty handed every time.

This morning, this purse digger not only dug her way to Narnia, she also had to spread out her elbows nice and wide in order to gain the leverage she needed for her morning work-out. She dug and dug and dug and dug and pulled out a make up bag, then she dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and pulled out another small bag. Then she dug and dug and dug, all the while gripping the smaller bag between her lips, and she dug and dug and dug and dug and pulled out a small packet of tissues. I was exhausted just from watching her. At one point while digging to bury all this shit back into her bag, she dropped her bag and when she reached down to grab it, so did the person opposite her and they smashed heads.

#pursedigger

Make it known.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I'm sorry... what?

Before GO ordered bi-level cars, they tested someone else's first

About that smoke you saw earlier

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Two dead in California Greyhound bus crash

Just another one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time" thingies down the drain

John Tory is accepting expert advice to scrap part of the SmartTrack plan that helped get him elected mayor of Toronto in 2014.

One of two reports released by Tory on Tuesday rejects SmartTrack’s so-called Western spur — a heavy rail line from Mount Dennis neighbourhood, centred at Eglinton Ave. W. and Jane St., west to…

Hey kids! Try this one at home!

GO pushes Union Station platform safety plan in response to commuter death last Spring

Metrolinx is considering installing platform edge barriers and designated passenger loading zones at Union Station after a GO commuter walking along a narrow section of platform there was killed last spring.

The measures are among 16 safety and crowd-control measures recommended in the Union Station Platform Action Plan, posted on the Metrolinx website Monday.

It was written in response to the death of RBC employee Daniel Panacci, 31, who was dragged beneath a departing rush-hour train near a narrow passage beside an elevator on platform 11 of Canada’s busiest transit hub.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Meanwhile, on a Toronto streetcar

What does it mean??

Toronto police seek assistance identifying man who performed indecent act on GO train



Case #: 2016-0068877

The Toronto Police Service requests assistance identifying a man wanted in an Indecent Act investigation. 

It is reported that: 

- on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at approximately 1 p.m., a 37-year-old woman was riding the 918 Go Train from Aldershot to Union Station 

- an unknown man was seated in the same area 

- he performed an indecent act 

- the woman took a picture of him and he fled at the next stop 

He is described as 40-50, glasses, short brown receding hair, wearing a red winter jacket with grey inner arms and distinctive silver flashes on the shoulders, blue jeans and a blue shirt. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World. 

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android

For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.

When your GO bus driver sets it to "broil"

But it's so pretty! Look at those people, staring in awe

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Meanwhile, in Tokyo


Smokers are put in a pen.

What the Bay concourse currently looks like (updated)



Source

And if you want a throwback, check out this picture from 1980 when there was CARPET.
Thanks to Dan D for the link.

Well done

View post on imgur.com

Let's call the blogger!

Yesterday's post, where I asked people to tell me their meanest transit story, found its way on Reddit.

On there, this comment was written:

[–]local_jackassThe Peanut 0 points  
Her phone number [redacted] is listed clearly as a way to contact her. She also claims to be fluent in squirrel if you communicate in that language. Although, she has also clearly asked people to send her pics & texts. Odd, seeing as it's basically plastered all over her blog as if she's hungry for people to call/text her.
I have a sudden urge to sign her up to every bagel shop's email list in the city. I bet she's the type of self-important bitch that thinks every problem she has is the fault of others and she's being oppressed by every other person that she comes across.
If she's so offended by this person's comment, then maybe it is time that she considers a more healthy lifestyle. Not that it justifies this person's dickish comment, but if she was so proud of herself these things wouldn't prompt her to assault someone with her fucking bagel.
Edit - Go look at her twitter. She's complaining about crumbs on seats like it's ISIS coming to Toronto, takes creeper shots of whomever she feels has oppressed her and then shames them on her blog, and then thinks that people wearing sandals on the train in the summer are horrible because they could possibly spread foot odor.
Holy fuck. I wonder what her Tumblr account is.

Those who were curious decided to phone me. But let me just stop here for a second... "She also claims to be fluent in squirrel if you communicate in that language..." Seriously?

Really? 

I'm legit. You don't need to call me because you can't believe someone would actually put a phone number online.

I missed one call but answered the second one.

Hello?

(click)

So I called D Howard back.

D Howard didn't answer.

Why not, D Howard?

Don't you want to be friends? Share a bagel with me?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What's the meanest, I mean OVER THE LINE thing someone ever said to you on transit?

This morning I had to travel up to Bay and Elm for an appointment which put me on the subway. All was uneventful until I was coming back. I picked up something to eat from Tim Hortons and was holding the bagel in my hand, still wrapped, when I boarded the subway southbound at Dundas.

At Queen, this man got on and sat across from me. He started to stare at me rather intently. He was well dressed. We both exited at Union and as I rode the escalator, he stepped on behind me and poked my shoulder. I turned and he said, "People like you are the reason why healthcare in this country is costing billions of dollars."

"Pardon?" I asked.

He looked at my hand. "Filling up on junk, are we? People like you disgust me. With your TV shows ... 600 pound life, and all this fat acceptance. You're killing yourself. Mark my words."

I looked at my whole grain bagel with peanut butter and on impulse, as he walked in front of me to head towards the doors to the Royal Bank Centre, I whipped my bagel at the back of him and managed to strike him with it. He turned and called out, "That's probably the most exercise you'll get all day. Enjoy your diabetes!"

And then he was gone.

It's time once again for everyone's favourite game -- NAME! THAT! STAIN!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bars around Union Station tonight


This guy is my spirit animal - after some of the emails I've gotten, I ain't got no symphony no more

Welp, this one's going into the calendar


1. Shoes off and feet on the seat 
2. Laptop on the seat across from her 
3. Bag on the seat beside that 
4. Shopping bags on seat to her left (not pictured) 
5. Coat hanging over the seat 
Wow.
- Submitted by text message

Just a note from your faithful mental case, I see that the train is empty but still, not even at 10 pm at night will it ever be your office or your living room. I don't even behave like this in a limo, or a cab. I don't get it.

Sunrises from the Lakeshore East courtesy of @allysm on Twitter


And of course it's a foreigner footriding on a Hong Kong commuter train! He's probably from Keswick

If you know more to the story here, let me know

Monday, January 11, 2016

Inception

View post on imgur.com

So much sass. Sadly, not enough class

Have you seen the LSE vape girl yet?

She's about 21. Blonde hair. Black jacket. Sorel boots.

She boards at Oshawa (7:15/7:28) and scurries her way to the Quiet Zone in the coaches farthest to the west where she lights her e-cigarette and vapes the whole train ride to Union. Big clouds of white smoke that she claims is good for us. Cures cancer, apparently (she sassed this much to me).

She's special. She must be. She's the only one sucking vape. No one else is.

All around her, plumes of white smoke (she says it's not smoke, it's just vapor and it's harmless even though I asked her what chemical was in it to make it white) billow out and curl around other passengers' heads.

I saw her Thursday and Friday. This morning I decided to ask her to stop. She cussed me out. No one backed me up.

Thanks guys. Maybe you feel paying $319 a month (soon to be $334) justifies this kind of uncouth behaviour and you're in no position to say something, but I strongly disagree.

I'm not forking out this money to inhale something where no one can give a definitive answer whether it's harmful or not. I'm not taking any chances. We already expose ourselves to enough toxins.

I don't need one more.

She can suck my fist. How's that?

Cops need help catching this creep

When we're kind to one another ...

About time, a little faith restored in humanity!

Posted by Kraze on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Meanwhile, on Twitter

Friday, January 8, 2016

My life is just a blank space

Actually it's not.

You'll notice I've decided to poll my audience to determine if I'm serving up content in a way that is fair to all.

I've been advised some companies block social media at work and thus, some of you can't see the posts I share directly from Instagram, Twitter, imgur and Facebook.

One of the workarounds is to screenshot them. I used to do that until I got a sternly worded email from Instagram that I am "encouraged" to use the embed feature because if I take a screenshot, I've limited the user from editing their own content as it lives permanently on my blog. But there's so much great content out there that I need to aggregate it here.

I'll see what I can do going forward. In the meantime, yeah, sorry bout the white space.

I'm going to hazard a guess, that judging by the shanty town set up next to the track, last night's fatality was a trespassing incident and not a suicide

Really?! I mean, seriously? Get bent.

Friday flashback. Imma take you back to Sunday mornings in the mid-80s


I mean, what kid didn't want to spend some time at the Circle Square ranch?

I believe two of the ranch kids grew up to be Canadian news anchors.

Ahh, Christian Canadian programming. Gee Davey, what would we have done without it?

Man literally makes an ass of himself on a VIA train

A man believed to be from Barrie was fined Tuesday for mooning passengers on a VIA train  Tuesday afternoon.

Police were called to the station in Brockville after complaints from passengers. The man was arrested for indecent exposure and fined under the Trespass to Property Act (translation: dude didn't have a ticket).

Police told the media he's been arrested before for similar incidents.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pedestrian hit by alleged freight train? VIA train? But not a GO train near Danforth GO

All Stouffville and Lakeshore East trains are cancelled until further notice as of 4:11 pm.

I managed to snag a ride to Ajax. My liver can't handle a night of drink.

These are always a sad situation. Frustrating, too, but sad.

Rage inducing. And the reason why these coaches are a mess

This happened this morning

Oh wow. My bad

I didn't wish you all a Happy New Year (as pointed out in a few unpublished comments).

That was rude of me. I'm sorry.

Old skool cool

This is like, the song of my people

Legit, people. #GOTransit #Toronto #Dont #RightNow #ExcuseMeWhileIVomit

A photo posted by Nat X (@msnatx) on

A nice place to retire

Found This in Florida #gotrain #emd #gotransit

A photo posted by J dasilva (@jay_dasil) on

Clever

Pick a side, @metrolinx! #toronto #6 #6ix #gotransit

A photo posted by Sushil T. (@votesushi) on

A human tragedy

This morning, while exiting the train, and heading down the stairs with the herd, I noticed something on the floor of the bi-level coach, halfway under a seat. I did a double-take.

I was sure it was a half coil of kielbasa. My half-Ukrainian heart broke. It must have rolled out of someone's bag. It just lay there. Forgotten.

Let's take a moment of silence. For the coil. And for the poor commuter whose lunch plan is ruined.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Chatham-Kent man charged for making death threats while on a VIA train in Cobourg

COBOURG -- A westbound VIA train bound for Toronto was evacuated and searched after a man was overheard making threats on his cellphone.  

The train stopped at the Cobourg station on Jan. 5 around 11:50 a.m., said Cobourg Police. VIA rail officials, as well as witnesses aboard the train, told police a man was overheard speaking on his cellphone and threatening to kill people who were not on the train.  

KEEP READING...

I like how my poll for a 2017 calendar calls out the haters

I don't care what you think, really.

It's fucking happening.

2016 is going to be a very big year for Union Station." -- Osmington Inc. CEO Lawrence Zucker

As head of the company selected by the City of Toronto as the head lessee of Union Station's new retail landscape, Zucker guides us through the cultural transformation of the revitalizing station, which—as Canada's premier rail hub—is set to become "more than just a transit point, but a destination in its own right. We want it to become a place that reflects the spirit of Toronto, and a place for Torontonians to be proud of."

KEEP READING...

"One for the pile when you get back" -- photo submission from Captain Bully... THIS NEEDS SO MUCH FIRE!

New York to Toronto Amtrack, December 21st. Gearbox in front of my daughter keeps lurching his seat backwards and spilling her laptop into her lap. His seat partner gets up to grab a coffee and he proceeds to take off his socks and put his feet on her arm rest, and then picks stuff from between his toes...

Some folks should just keep the tracky bottoms on and stick to the basement sofa ;)

Because who wants to download something? I like mobile-enabled websites personally

GO Transit shutting down app, pushes riders to mobile site

GO Transit has retired its mobile app in favour of its mobile website for smartphone users. The app, which was designed in conjunction with Ryerson University, had technical issues that couldn’t be resolved without “significant” work, said Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins. 

There had been discussions of retiring the app earlier but nothing was firm until…

I may be back to the land of the living, but I'm still commuting in the land of the dead

No matter how hard the man across from me tried, he just could not get comfortable on the train this morning.

He slept on his wife. He slept against the window. He slept forward. He changed seats with his wife. He took his coat off. He made a pillow with his scarf. He scrunched down. He sat straight up. He changed seats with his wife - again. He loudly complained about the speed of the train and its poor shocks. He eventually gave up and played with his phone.

I could never live my commuting life with the expectation that I can stay up as late as I want and sleep on the train the next morning. Otherwise, I'd be like this guy - let down and disappointed. People already let me down enough with their overall rudeness (how hard is it to open a door?) that I don't think I could handle much more.

Comatose on a train isn't something I could do. I need to be awake and aware. 

I missed the delays from yesterday (malfunctioning switches - what a surprise!) and the cold. Standing at the bus stop this morning, in -9C weather, was probably more bearable than what it was Monday and Tuesday.

Ahh, winter on the system. Ain't it grand?!

Has the part been manufactured yet?

And to think, we get to pay more for this come February

Monday, January 4, 2016

This dog and pony show will return shortly

I'm sidelined with a fantastic chest cold complimented with sinus congestion. I've been sleeping like crap and working on getting better.
While most of you struggled through the Tundra this morning, I had you in my thoughts as I coughed up a lung under the warmth of my comforter.
So many people were sick before and during the Christmas break, that I mistakenly thought I dodged a bullet.
Yeah no.