Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Is Burlington GO Station an indication of what we can expect when construction begins on the GO expansion into Niagara and eastern Durham Region?
I feel like I'm in a parallel universe.
I took the new route this morning - a route that has always been available in Courtice. I left the house at 6:25. I was at the Oshawa GO Station at 6:59 am. First bus 6:30. Second bus 6:46. The ride from the transfer stop was 13 minutes.
Prior to this morning, I spent 45 minutes getting to Oshawa GO.
I was on the 7:03 train this morning. This means I can leave earlier and take the 4:30 express which means I will be home by 6pm instead of 6:30!
I owe all this to a kind person who works for Durham Region Transit who texted me last night. Thank you.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Regarding the matter of removing timetables from bus stops on Route 12 without advance notice from GO Transit, I’m still waiting for @femwriter’s “team” to respond. UPDATE: After much negative feedback from drivers and the survey Tell us how you use GO Transit's schedules! (Let GO Know), timetables were reposted for the spring board period (2016/04/02). However, no one from “the team” ever replied to me.
Matt Baynie, VP of Operations, replaced Paul Finnerty in March 2015, but the INFO-GO Web page wasn’t updated. As of this writing, the Web page still contains stale data. Why? After the shit show of Monday, June 27, I would hazard a guess that a few passengers had a desire to ring some of those telephone numbers.
On Sunday, September 13, the 10:27 bus from Niagara Falls discharged passengers at Burlington GO station’s platform 14. A passenger with a white cane exited the bus and stood there waiting. After the last passenger left the bus, the driver approached the gentleman, took him by the arm, and guided him into the station so he could catch his train. Later, the driver told me the bus previously let passengers off at platform 12, and the gentleman had become accustomed to counting the steps into the station from there. Platform 14 was new territory for him and he required assistance. The driver was happy to oblige. I felt the least I could do was share the experience with @GOtransit.
On Friday, September 25, I was at the St. Catharines bus stop waiting for the Burlington bound bus. The 12:54 bus from Burlington to Niagara Falls arrived and discharged passengers. The driver noted the volume of customers GOing the other way and offered to sell tickets to those people so as to expedite loading of the other bus when it arrived. He didn’t have to do this, but he knew the bus to Burlington was running late. Again, I felt the least I could do was share the experience with @GOtransit.
I get upset when I submit a commendation for frontline staff, it’s acknowledged by customer relations personnel, but it is not acted on by those higher up in the organization. As of this writing, senior management has not communicated my commendations to either driver. Shame!
Monday, June 27, 2016
@JenInRGB @ThisCrazyTrain Thank you for bringing that to our attention, I will notify the team to have the schedule issue fixed. ^IZ— GO Transit (@GOtransit) June 27, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
Let me start by saying funerals make me uncomfortable. I’m never sure whether the words I offer bereaved family members are sufficiently adequate to bring any comfort in the aftermath of a death. Such was the case today, June 23, when I attended services for retired GO Transit driver Garnet "Garney" Thompson.
The visitation and memorial service were lovely. There were memory boards with photographs of Garney and his family through the years, as well as his achievements as a driver with GO Transit. One of the photos — of a much younger Garney — touched me. Why? Because he wore the same facial expression that ended a discussion on my last trip with him.
During that trip last autumn, Garney told me of his desire to retire. He told me he'd been in the saddle long enough — forty-one years total with TTC, Gray Coach, and GO Transit. He related to me not only his first trip with GO Transit, but also the genesis of Bus Ops.
I reciprocated by beginning to share with Garney my first trip with him from Burlington to St. Catharines one sunny afternoon in June 2011, but before I got very far, he cut me off with a terse "I don't work weekends!"
Undaunted, I continued my tale. I related to Garney details of that day — details that only he would know. I finished with, "Are you certain you've never worked on a weekend?"
As we came to a stop at a red traffic light, Garney cocked his head in my direction, and gave a sly smile — the same facial expression he had in the photo positioned in the lower right corner of the first memory board. I winked in return. No more was said on the matter.
My lasting memory of Garney is that he had a kind heart. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to toast him and congratulate him on his retirement.
marks the fifth anniversary of the day I first met Garney. May he rest in peace.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Enter asshole chainsmoker (ACS) in the cut-off jeans. He starts mumbling at first and then gets louder as the women's conversation continues. Eventually he pipes up asking them to "shut up about Jesus and God" and "all the other lies about where people go when they die".
These ladies weren't talking loudly. I could hear them because they were directly behind me. ACS was in a seat directly beside them. One of the women told him to mind his own business and suggested his mother would be ashamed of him if she heard how he talked to a complete stranger. He fires back with "my mom fucking taught me to speak my mind."
The woman would have none of it. She pulls out her phone and asks ACS for his mother's phone number so she can call her herself and discuss the situation. ACS tells her she's crazy. She tells him he needs to "grow a pair and man up to his lies." At the front of the bus, you could see the driver slowly lean over searching for her bag of popcorn.
He mumbles something and tells them he doesn't need to listen to them anymore. Both women suggest he take another bus. He just rolls his eyes and tells them to call Jesus. Weak. He exited the bus before me.
When I got off at my stop I told the women I thought they handled ACS beautifully. They both laughed and one mentioned she's a retired high school teacher - this was nothing, she says.
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Via text message this morning:
Here's one for ya! Last night on the train home from the Jays game, we were unlucky enough to be sitting near a group of 16 year old girls, who were super drunk from the Dixie Chicks concert. One of them tried to run to the bathroom to puke, but it was locked and she threw up all over the stairs and by the doors. Instead of helping her, her friends all took pictures, videos, etc and one of the other passengers on the train called them out on it and there was quite a few verbal slings back & forth all the way to Oshawa.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Metrolinx finds a work around and announces new stations and new train service for a LSE extension to Bowmanville
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016
For the fastest and easiest way to figure out what train you will need to take when June 27th arrives, visit http://www.gotransit.com/timetables/en/schedules/full_schedules.aspx and choose June 27 as the date you are travelling.
For those who leave Union on the LSE, like me, the ride home offers the following options (x denotes an express train to Pickering and all stops afterwards):
440 kind of x (all stops after Eglinton)
The mornings aren't all that different. A few trains roll back and some roll forward. I think it's the mornings that may be challenging for some if they take local buses. In my case, I will no longer be able to take the train I am used to since DRT's schedules change as well and not in my favour.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Integrating GTA transit system fares to make cross-border rides easier and cheaper will take more than saying “Presto”
It happened around 9 a.m. ET on a bus travelling between Derry Road and Brittania Road in Milton, Ont.
The suspect is now in police custody. It's unclear whether he posed a serious threat.
Ed: - This part I find very disturbing (from the Toronto Star): Ontario Provincial Police officers advised the driver to lock the doors of the bus and keep everyone inside until they could arrive.
UPDATE: Hamilton man charged with mischief after making bomb threat on GO bus. No bomb found https://t.co/mjX8kWcmLB pic.twitter.com/pI6WDKhe0y— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) June 12, 2016
Man charged with mischief after Go Transit bus incident. Report of an explosive was unfounded-Media release attached pic.twitter.com/ZCpg1ZZomt— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) June 12, 2016
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Today I learned that if GO Transit cancels a morning train, it takes 3 trains to make up for it - so says anonymous person
The woman was irate about a tweet I posted this morning. I tweeted: "728 from Oshawa also an all stops train. Why are 2 express trains compromised because of 1 train issue?"
This was not a stupid or rude, or an ignorant question, but according to the person on the line, I was stupid to ask it.
Person: One train holds, what? Like, 1200 passengers. If one train has already 600 passengers on it and it's going to be full by Union, how are 1200 passengers to get on it... so it will take three trains to be all ready to pick up all the people who can't take one train. Don't be so ignorant. You present yourself as this expert when you're stupid. Get your facts straight first before you run your mouth spreading false information. *click
Well, let's see random person, if GO would be more transparent about their logistics, none of us would ask any questions. Would we?
Thanks for the phone call. And from a payphone no less...
by Yew Wannanohooiam
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Friday, June 3, 2016
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Last night I asked my seat mates if they minded if I ate some peanuts and this guy chewed me out for asking
As we started to get off the train at Oshawa, this man sidled up to me and told me he would never ask others for "permission to eat food". "This is a free country and if people with nut allergies don't know how to manage in the real world - they should stay home," he said, all smug-like.
I told him it was none of his business why I asked and if I wanted his opinion, I'd give it to him.