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Monday, February 29, 2016

Nope.

Busy Barrie train but this footrider made sure her bag got a seat

When 'all your space' becomes installation art (complete with shag towel)

Transit Usage reports available ahead of March 1 deadline for some Presto card users

And guess what yous guize?!

Seriously... guess.

THERE IS NO NAME ON THE REPORT.

I'm shocked. Clearly, just shocked.

You know what happened on Saturday?

This blog turned SIX years old.

No one remembered. I was hoping that come Sunday night, at least one person would send me an e-card. Maybe a Jib-Jab number.

I didn't even get a balloon. There was no party in the York Concourse. No one at Metrolinx sent me a card. There was no mention of a pony ride on Twitter.

THERE WASN'T A DROP OF ALCOHOL.

(sniff!)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

And the stations are so retro

Happy Birthday Line 2!

Posted by blogTO on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ICYMI: Double Decker GO bus catches fire - blamed on mechanical malfunction

You know what the real malfunction is? Buying these stupid things in the first place.

Whitby train facility on track to be completed on schedule

London passengers' fury as selfish cyclist takes up two seats - and blocks a third



A cyclist caused outrage among his fellow passengers on a busy train - after putting his bicycle across the last two spare seats.

A photograph of the man on a train from London Vauxhall (last) Thursday has been put on Facebook - sparking fury among social media users who are 'appalled' at his behaviour.

Posting the photograph on her Facebook page, Becky Curtin captioned the image 'Don't mind me I'll stand'.

You.. shall... NOT



.. sit here. Like ever.

He's down to get comfy (who cares about dirty floors)

Quote of the day

If the whole experience so far with UPX has taught us anything, it is that Metrolinx, as an agency, doesn’t necessarily have a keen instinct for divining the mind of the common commuter when it comes to matters of the farebox. By lowering the price Tuesday, they showed at least that they learned something, albeit under heavy pressure from their political masters at Queen’s Park. For all of our sake, let’s hope that learning is integrated into how they approach their upcoming projects, all of which are vastly more important than UPX for GTA transportation as a whole.

- Edward Keenan

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

So if they could easily decide to drop fares to $9 with a Presto card literally overnight, you have to wonder why UP Express started so high in the first place?

A new Forum Research poll suggests that the province had little choice but to slash the prices of the Union Pearson Express (UPX) because the airport train has actually lost traction with Toronto residents, who increasingly found it too expensive.

The polling agency released the results of the Monday survey exclusively to the Toronto Star only hours before the province was set to announce Tuesday it was cutting UPX fares by more than 50 per cent.

FULL STORY

Monday, February 22, 2016

I'll update when I feel like myself again

I blame the lady on the train for giving me a virus that caused me to spend five hours in emergency on Friday night in respiratory distress, hooked up on oxygen and then sent home with a rainbow of puffers.

I feel like a bag of dirt. It started Thursday. Only today do I feel somewhat like myself but because of all the steroids, I have no voice. I'm also exhausted.

Thanks for sending me in the stories and updates about the GO bus fiasco and the fact that police locked up an alleged killer with innocent passengers for 30 minutes while the bus driver escaped. It had all the makings of another Greyhound bus beheading. Thankfully, it ended better than that situation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

They start out as lawyers and then this happens

Toni ~ Well this is just cute!

Posted by 953 Fresh Radio on Monday, February 8, 2016

Shhhhhhh! The bank robber needs his rest

The passsword is "free"



This reminds me of 1997 when the Ontario government let everyone drive the 407 Highway toll-free for six months. When it came time to pay, the herd thinned out considerably.

But generally, this is a good strategy. Make it free, some will do it again and others will go back to the 2-hour trip for $3.25 with nary a complaint on the TTC.

Out of 240 people who answered: 55% can see embedded social media content and 44% can't

Kudos to those who helped me determine if content was reaching my audience when locked behind firewalls at work.

I was surprised at the number because I figured Twitter was a useful medium at most workplaces. How wrong I was!

Embedding is what gets me around copyright concerns, so, for those who see blank spaces under a title, you'll have to skip the post and come back to it later, on your phone, or from home.

For images, as long as I credit, I think I can still screenshot and post.

Thanks for your participation!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Did anyone have any thoughts on the Metrolinx board meeting? Who particularly enjoyed the UP Express preamble, "we have an excellent customer satisfaction rate"? (If I was in the meeting I would have said, "That's great. What was his name?")

It’s an exciting and unprecedented time of transit growth for the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, with over $32 billion worth of projects underway in support of Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan. We continue to make progress on projects that will benefit residents over the long term, including the launch of UP Express, the rollout of the PRESTO farecard across the region, the revitalization of Union Station, and the building of the Eglinton Crosstown, in addition to many other local improvements across our network.
As we move forward with these many transportation improvements, we are committed to working with residents as part of an open and transparent process.
And as part of this process, Metrolinx will host a series of open houses twice a year to provide residents with the latest updates on major projects that together will transform transit in the GTHA.

The first round of open houses begins on Tuesday, February 16th - we will be sharing information and seeking feedback from residents on:
Municipal partners will also be present at many of the meetings to share information about local plans and projects and how we are working together to bring more transit opportunities to communities across the region.
You are encouraged to share this information with customers, family, friends, and neighbours – anyone interested in learning more about the work Metrolinx is doing. In addition to the meetings, starting February 16th there will also be an opportunity to participate online.
More information is available on our website.

Meeting dates:
February 16Scarborough
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
959 Midland Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
February 17
Aurora

St. Maximillian Kolbe
Catholic High School
278 Wellington Street East
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
February 22
Unionville

Unionville High School
201 Town Centre Boulevard
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
 February 23
Innisfil

Nantyr Shores Secondary School
1146 Anna Maria Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
February 24
Toronto

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, Room 203
255 Front Street West
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
February 25
Whitby

Abilities Centre
55 Gordon Street
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

I'd like to go to
this one but I'm
unsure I can do it.
February 29
Oakville

Oakville Trafalgar High School
1460 Devon Road
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
March 1
Brampton

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Secondary School
115 Glenvale Boulevard
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 2
Stouffville

Stouffville District Secondary School
801 Hoover Park Drive
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 3
Barrie

Holly Community Centre
171 Mapleton Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 7
Maple

St. Joan of Arc Catholic
High School
1 St. Joan of Arc Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
March 8
Burlington

Robert Bateman High School
5151 New Street
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 9
Etobicoke

Lakeshore Collegiate Institute
350 Kipling Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 10
Pickering

Glengrove Public School
1934 Glengrove Road
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
March 22
Toronto

Nelson Mandela Park Public School
440 Shuter Street
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

CAN SOMEONE ***PLEASE*** GET HIM A BLANKET?! GOD! What's wrong with some people?!


Barrie line. This morning. No update on whether someone helped make him more comfortable such as arranging a suite for him upon his arrival at Union at the Royal York Hotel.

Sleep tight sweet prince.

Driving to the station isn't for me

This week my husband went ice fishing for his winter holiday which left me the car to use (we only own one) so I used it. The drive to the Oshawa station is only 13 minutes from my house in Courtice at 6:45 in the morning.

At Oshawa station there's parking at the far, north end of the lot and access points to the platform have been opened up at the bus loop, so the traverse isn't so bad. It was actually pleasant.

The evenings, however, not so much.

HOLY CHRIST. People are animals. They are maniacs. They will eat your babies (*thanks, BEJ, for this analogy).

I nearly got run over twice while walking to my car. There's this Indy mentality to race through the aisle to beat other drivers lining up to exit. It wasn't like this four years ago, or maybe my memory is bad. But I don't remember having to jump out of the way and dive to the ground like in a Liam Neeson movie just to make it from the platform to my car.

Nobody lets you in, lets you pull out, lets you turn, lets you get around. There's a lot of aggression and very little courtesy. I made the mistake last night of letting three drivers scooch in ahead of me when all of a sudden this man appeared at my diver side door, and slapped my window, and starting telling me to "fuck off" and "that some of us wanted to get home".

I had to quell my inner @HulkGORider to put the car in park and take him on. I ignored him but gave him my best "this white girl can't even with your shit" stare. Of course, he walked back to his car loudly expressing his affection of bitches like me. When he climbed back into his car, he laid on his horn and kept blaring his horn at me until I made it out onto Bloor Street. He tailed me all the way to Stevenson Road and as I made my way onto the eastbound 401, he ensured to show me I was number one, too, as he blew past me.

He really needs a puppy to hug.

No one cares that's why

Needs more banana peel

Yes please! But it won't happen. Commercial rail is a multi-billion dollar industry. Commuter rail loses money, *cough* UP Express *cough*

More time needed spent on fixing signals, less time spent on this foo foo crap

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

So what happened at the Metrolinx board meeting today?! Go make a coffee, grab the cat and stroke the kitty because here it is!

Today, the Metrolinx Board of Directors met to hear a number of reports, including updates on the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) program and quarterly reports for UP Express, GO Transit and PRESTO, including a demo of the new TTC subway station faregates.

Also in attendance at today’s meeting were two special guests, Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, who listened in on the presentation on RER integration with SmartTrack.

Electrification





John Jensen, Chief Capital Officer, and James Purkis, Executive Vice President, Regional Express Rail, presented information regarding grade separation and electrification work required to implement RER. The update spoke to the benefits of electrification and the work underway to efficiently deliver the electrification program.

The full presentation can be viewed here


Integrating RER and SmartTrack



Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer, provided an update on the integration of GO RER and SmartTrack, noting that analysis is proceeding using the Metrolinx business case framework, that a range of integrated options were developed working with the City of Toronto, and discussed next steps, which include understanding the infrastructure requirements, costs, and impacts to communities.

The full presentation can be viewed here

Station Analysis 


Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer, presented an update on the progress of our analysis of potential new stations, which included updates on the engagement and feedback we have completed to date. Leslie noted next steps, which include municipal and public engagement to help further refine the current list.

The full presentation can be viewed here.

Grade Separations


John Jensen, Chief Capital Officer and James Purkis, Executive Vice President, Regional Express Rail, presented on the need for a number of new grade separations across the GO system. Their presentation spoke to the four-stage process Metrolinx is currently undertaking to determine grade separations and outlined the proposed implementation approach for delivering the grade separations.

The full presentation can be viewed here

Fare Integration 

Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer, and Eve Wyatt, Senior Manager, Applied Research & Corporate Monitoring, provided an update on our fare integration work, as we work toward implementing one simple approach to transit fares across the GTHA. They presented three ‘fare structure concepts,’ to the board, for their input.

The full presentation can be viewed here


PRESTO Progress 



Rob Hollis, Executive Vice President, PRESTO, provided the board with an update on PRESTO, including a demonstration of the new TTC subway faregate, which will be begin field trials this quarter. Rob Hollis noted that testing is now underway on TTC buses, and he introduced the PRESTO Customer Charter. Over the coming months, PRESTO will inform and engage current and potential customers about the charter.

The full presentation can be viewed here


Union Pearson Express 




Kathy Haley, President, UP Express, presented her quarterly report. Given the significant interest in UP Express and that the ridership volumes were released as part of the report, Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig also spoke to it during his opening remarks.

The report also noted how eight months after launch, UP Express continues to experience a very high level of customer satisfaction.  People who use UP Express love it, and our task is to think about the service in a broader context and in the longer term. UP is an asset and service that will be operating over decades.

Kathy Haley also discussed how she and the UP team continue to examine a range of potential measures on how to grow ridership, including pricing, and building upon current discounts and promotions, such as BOGO and the upcoming free Family Day weekend promotion. We are looking forward to providing more information on this at a later time.


See the UP Express quarterly report

Toronto mayor John Tory joins Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca at the Metrolinx board meeting today

Mayor and minister offer show of unity on SmartTrack and GO expansion

In a show of goodwill that suggests John Tory's SmartTrack transit plan is on track with the province's GO expansion, the mayor will join Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca at the Metrolinx board on Wednesday.
A report called Integrating GO RER (regional express rail) with SmartTrack is among the agenda items, which also include an update…

Quiet zone rage

Seats are clearly for pussies. She puts her boots on the windowsill

I must verify this is really less than 5 seconds to do. Watching this makes me feel unicorns truly do exist

And it was peeled, too

Scathing

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Torontonians didn't care they could ride the GO train for $60 a month -- they want GO for $3.25. They want UP Express for $3.25 ... Hey, why not just make it all free?

Disappointing GO-TTC co-fare program has lessons for SmartTrack
Price matters.
That's the inescapable conclusion at the end of a year-long test of a combined TTC-GO fare that attracted a disappointing 882 riders, says Councillor Mike Layton.
The fare integration pilot program didn't have the affordability or the flexibility to attract Toronto commuters, said Layton.
It points to the complex problems Metrolinx faces in developing…

The time I used my phone to battle another passenger's phone

Friday night I engaged in a match of dueling banjos with another passenger on my GO bus, but we used our phones instead of banjos.

It all started when a man boarded at the Oshawa Centre and sat behind me. Because he felt it was perfectly acceptable, he began to play some 90s era dancehall reggae at full volume, with no headphones. I grew up with this stuff and there's good dancehall and there's bad dancehall -- he played the bad dancehall. At first it was Supercat, then next up was Ninjaman. After three minutes of listening to this, I yanked out my headphones and turned to glare at this guy. He was oblivious, just staring out the window and pretending like none of this was possibly annoying. So I decided to play my own music, at full volume, and sank down in my seat to agressively "sleep" while Erasure's Love to Hate You blared out of my phone's speakers. When that didn't work, I selected Dj Chris Sheppard's remix of AC/DC's TNT and it effectively drowned out this guy's music. He stood up, and peered over the back of my seat to kiss his teeth at me. He muttered something I couldn't make out.

OH IS THIS BOTHERING YOU?

MY BAD.

It took a few seconds for me to realize he had shut off his music. I shut off my music and turned around. He glanced only briefly my way before returning his gaze to his phone.

DO IT. I DOUBLEDOG DARE YOU.

He didn't.

No one wants to listen to your shitty music and I'm sorry I subjected others to mine but it felt damn good to give someone a taste of his own medicine.

And no, I can't be the better person sometimes. Sorry, not sorry.

ICYMI: Early morning train crash Germany leaves at least nine dead

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wynne wants Metrolinx to look at options following report showing UP Express ridership is lagging

Union Pearson train as a commuter line?

Metrolinx needs to move quickly to get more people riding the Union Pearson Express (UPX), by making the $456 million airport train financially feasible for downtown ‎commuters, says Premier Kathleen Wynne. "It wasn't designed for that but there are two stations, the Dundas West (at Bloor St.) and the Weston stop, and so you know there…

UP Express offering free rides all Family Day Weekend

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:

To help families celebrate, this Family Day weekend, Metrolinx is offering free rides on UP Express, from Saturday, February 13 through Monday, February 15.

UP is opening its doors to give families a chance to spend the weekend exploring everything Toronto has to offer - whether it’s travelling to visit family, taking in a show, shopping, or visiting a great restaurant for Valentine’s Day.

This year, Family Day weekend has several large events bringing people into Toronto, including the NBA All-Star game and the annual Auto Show.



Or... just grab the kids and use it as a free ride to the airport (for those of us who live in the east and north ends of the GTA, and no where near the airport, Weston or Bloor UPX stations, we have to find a way to Union first). Wander around the airport. Buy some overpriced merchandise. Watch some planes take-off and land, and then head back home. Kills about five hours and is cheaper than a day at the Toronto Zoo (depending on where you have to GO train/GO bus from).

Valentine’s Day — I Love to Tap ‘n’ GO (as sung to the tune of "I love Rock N Roll")

Special to This Crazy Train
By Iona Pint├│

Last year, GO Transit ran their “semaine de l'amour” campaign in the run up to Valentine’s Day.  Remember this?  So cute!  I’m not aware of any special observances by GO Transit for February 14 this year, but I thought TCT should do something, so here’s my salute to the gentlemen behind the wheel of the big green limos.

First, let’s dust off that LaserDisc from ’82 and crank up the volume, or stream some video from YouTube, DailyMotion, or just audio from JunoRecords.  All set?  Let’s GO …

I saw him clearing his jammed ticket machine
Selling fares to a couple of sweet sixteens
The queue was really long
And sales were going strong
And I could tell it would be long till he was with me, yeah me
And I could tell it would be long till he was with me, yeah me

Singing, I love to tap and GO
Put another 10 on my ePurse, baby
I love to tap and GO
I wanna sit up front so you can chat with me
Ow!

He smiled when I asked him for his name
He said, “The Passenger Charter calls me Wayne”
He said, “Take a seat that’s near
So our chat is nice ‘n’ clear”
And next we were moving on, he was with me, yeah me
Next we were moving on, he was with me, yeah me

Singing, I love to tap and GO
Put another 10 on my ePurse, baby
I love to tap and GO
I wanna sit up front so you can chat with me
Ow!

He said, “Let’s get you home
You don’t wanna be out there alone”
Next we're moving on, he was with me, yeah me
And we'll be moving on and singing that same old song, yeah with me

Singing, I love to tap and GO
Put another 10 on my ePurse, baby
I love to tap and GO
I wanna sit up front so you can chat with me

I love to tap and GO
Put another 10 on my ePurse, baby
I love to tap and GO

I wanna sit up front so you can chat with me

(Apologies to Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of Arrows, who composed and released I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, gents!  [wink]

Friday, February 5, 2016

GO Transit wants you to stop using the emergency strip because you missed your stop and I want GO Transit to proofread

-------- Original message --------
From: GO Transit <no-reply@gotransit.com>
Date: 2016-02-05 10:21 AM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: The DO’s and DON’TS of using the yellow emergency strip

The yellow emergency strips on our trains are there for your safety. If you need emergency medical attention, the police or fire services; then please "DO" press the strip and someone will be right there to assist you. If you've missed your stop or left something at the station, please "DON'T" press the strip. Instead, "DO" go and see our crew member located in the accessible coach and they'll be happy to help you out. Remember, improper use of the strip could cause an unnecessary delay to your fellow riders and you could also receive fine of up to $1000.

GOD DAMN IT. IT'S "DOs" NOT "DO's". WHO GETS PAID TO WRITE THIS?

FIRE THAT PERSON. HE OR SHE CAN'T GRAMMAR.

Got the last train out of Union before the apocalypse happened

I was on the 4:45 pm LSE which was the new 4:25 pm.

At 5:00 pm, things went downhill really fast at Union when a broken switch at the rail yard held trains hostage and delayed rush hour service for every single rail corridor.
And of course, crowd control and passenger safety quickly went out the window.
And passengers got angry. And hungry.

And the emails just kept on coming.



Your fare increase at work, folks.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

So that's where my Magic Merlin game went!

Really? There is no North American company that can do this? Double-deckers are awful for regional transit (no passenger comfort/safety) and can't support the summer season in Niagara region


  • No luggage bays
  • No washroom
  • No straps to tie down luggage
  • No stroller storage
  • Passengers are chauffeured at highway speed in a "city bus" design where in a rollover, passengers *can* die
  • In a crash, all of the loose luggage become flying projectiles, passengers *will* be seriously injured

*Cough* BS *Cough*

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Looks like GO is still a better love story than transit in this part of China

No seat? No problem!



Photo credit: @webpop via Instagram

Carpooling to the GO Station is the new Tinder

Over to you guys...

He's looking for his Metropass

This happened this morning

Posted by blogTO on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

What, she couldn't move her suitcase into the aisle and use it as her footstool?

All this for $9.65 a trip

I once said when fares hit $20 a day, I'd quit my job. I figured when that happened, I'd be close to 50 anyway, and done my mortgage, so what would it matter?

And here I am, a mere six years later after making such a statement, and I'm paying $19.30/day to get to and from work - I'll be 42 in June. It looks like I'm quitting my job a lot sooner than anticipated.

With gas being cheap, it now costs more to take the train than it does to drive. Parking would be an extra $100 for the month. So, to add it up, $56/week in gas (using my former 2008 Chevy Equinox's fuel economy) works out to $224 plus $100 to park (which is the garage at Yonge and Queens Quay - underneath the condo). Total is $324/month. Presto cost is $344/month.

All we're saving now is time. Of the times I've driven to work in the morning, it's taken, on average, an hour and a half from Courtice, but the train and bus is faster by 10 minutes (go ahead and roll your eyes, but 10 minutes is 10 minutes).

So don't mind me if I'm a bit grumpy and put off by this morning's events.