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Friday, November 17, 2017

No, no, no and hell no - but don't panic! It's an error on Presto's part. Card cancellations sent in error (who built this piece of crap?)

Hi! How are you?

It's not that there isn't anything to report (other than a HUGE Presto card mess last night that made for an annoying commute this morning for those of us who could not tap last night and then had to line up at stations to have our cards reset this morning) because there is, I've just been a lazy blogger. As I've mentioned before, Twitter now trumps the website and I forget to blog.

But hey, wanna know what I've learned recently? That six years later, now that I'm driving again, people still have no idea how to park properly. I call every parking donkey out for his or her shit if I happen to encounter one. How hard is it to park straight between two lines? In fact, if you were truly skilled, you wouldn't need lines to be able to accurately measure a polite and courteous distance between your car and one next to you. There is so much dumb at the Oshawa GO station lot, I don't know where to start.

So ya, hi, how are ya? Hope you're well. And I miss you, too.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Welp, this is depressing

MEANWHILE... IN COURTICE/BOWMANVILLE...

Friday, October 27, 2017

The stupidity is incredible. The recklessness even more so


From News Talk 1290 CJBK's Facebook page

We had a listener send us in a video from what's happening on the 401 between Cambridge and Woodstock today.
"If anyone plans on heading east there are people driving the wrong way on the highway to avoid traffic between Cambridge and Woodstock! Might want to change plans​
As you can see in the video, it wasn't just people doing u-turns, people were doing 3-point turns on the highway... in front of transport trucks. Then, they had to get off the road somehow, so they went up the on ramps."

Metrolinx inconveniences hundreds of customers for film shoot

Sent by email


Clarkson GO Station Passengers:
On Wednesday, November 1 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., there will be a film crew using the parking garage at your station and the 5th floor and a portion of the 4th floor will be closed. As well, approximately 20 parking spaces outside the parking structure will be used for equipment. Please allow extra time to find parking at your station.

We thank you for your patience.

________________________________________________

Pardon? How about everyone getting on at Clarkson gets a free GO train ride to work that morning?

How much is Metrolinx being paid?

Putting it out there, looking to see what comes back

I grew up with a sister with special needs. My parents treated her very differently than myself and my two other siblings. We were punished. There were always consequences for our actions. However, with my sister, she was never punished and never suffered consequences. Despite the meltdowns, stealing food, lying, hitting, disobeying and not listening, she was still ferried to her numerous social activities, allowed to watch television and leave the house to play in the school yard.

The rest of us were sent to bed without dinner, denied treats, forbidden from playing with friends, going to the park, watching television, had Walkmans taken away, lost the privilege to attend birthday parties and only in extreme cases, were met with a slap on the butt. 

Now I am the parent of an only child with special needs (autism spectrum disorder and anxiety). My daughter is a good kid. She doesn't act out, doesn't scream, or display anger. She doesn't talk back or argue. She does what she's told (or so I thought) but just yesterday, I learned she'd been lying to me, to her father and to her grade 7 teacher about schoolwork. Three assignments had not been turned in, two of them being ones she had told her father and I she had completed and submitted.

After the phone call and subsequent emails back and forth with her teacher, I was furious, but most of all I was really, really, really disappointed.  When I got home, I went up to her room to talk to her. I told her how upset I was that she had lied to me, to her dad and to her teacher. I told her it was unacceptable. Then I told her that she would not be trick or treating on Halloween (this practically broke my heart because my kid LIVES for Halloween). I also said that despite today being a PA Day, the two assignments she lied about completing and handing in were to be done in the next two hours along with an email to her teacher about the status of the third assignment, which is due Monday. Then I left her room to compose myself and hash out my feelings with her dad in the kitchen (who is 100% supportive of the punishment handed out). 

She completed her assignments within an hour and with my help, uploaded them both to her teacher's Google Classroom account and then, my daughter explained to me, while struggling to maintain her composure, why she lied to me. She said she was scared to admit she didn't understand the work and was embarrassed to ask for help. I told her that it was my job as her mother to help her. She knows this?! I couldn't decide if she was bullshitting me or telling me the truth. The kid does struggle with communication. She was probably being sincere, but it still sounded ludicrous.

She did not bring up Halloween but I do know that after I left her room, she bawled her eyes out because I could hear her from downstairs. When her dad went up to eventually talk to her, she was inconsolable. I don't know what he said to her (I didn't want to know) but when he came down, he said he'd never seen her like that.

And so, here it is, today, and I'm no longer mad or angry. Instead, I feel shitty. I also have a much better understanding why my parents were so soft on my sister - they felt sorry for her because she was different and short-changed from doing so many things that myself and my sisters could do that they didn't want to "hurt" her despite bad behaviour. I'm not saying I feel sorry for my kid, but her life won't be like mine and she does have it harder because of her disabilities.

Interested in hearing what some of you think.

Thanks 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

People don't commit suicide by train to purposely mess up your day, nor do they think to contact GO Transit and give a heads-up

On Monday, a young man jumped in front of a GO train on the Barrie line. This resulted in a delay of just under three hours after service was suspended. On Tuesday, there was another fatality on the Lakeshore East line. The delay was just under two hours after service was suspended.

Hundreds of passengers went wild on Twitter, unhappy to try to find alternate ways to work, or having been stranded in parking lots, or, being left to wait on platforms. In regards to the Lakeshore East fatality, I felt GO Transit did a great job keeping me informed. I was getting texts constantly, updated emails and Twitter notifications in real time. I wound up being 10 minutes late for work. One person asked why GO can't plan for suicides better.

I'm not even going to try to explain how mental illness or depression works, but I think it is very obvious that GO will never know when someone is planning to jump in front of a train. Nor is it fair to expect a regional transit agency to have hundreds of buses on stand-by near every single station to immediately be put into service when trains fail to run. Who pays for that? I sure don't want to.

Man, some of y'all get all up and angry in your grams

Friday, October 20, 2017

When you have Metrolinx as a neighbour - you have the neighbour from hell

Submitted by Anonymous
Exclusive to This Crazy Train

Wait, what, the aliens... are... coming?!

I open my eyes to a Close Encounters-esque light show streaming through my bedroom black-out blinds. The beep-beep-beep of a large machine in reverse is pummeling my temples and - what’s this?
My house is shaking.
What the f…?
I roll over to check the time.
It’s 1:00 am.
I squint at my wife – she’s asleep. But…how? Oh yes, she’s drunk.
Lucky you lady.
I get up and push back the curtains. There’s nothing on the street. I live downtown - right downtown. TCT readers travelling along Lakeshore East will know my house because you can look into my back bedroom – every back bedroom on the street in fact - as you roll on by. Maybe you saw me sifting through my laundry at 7am last Monday? A paunchy middle-aged white guy…? Butt naked? Yeah, that was me.
Downtown living can be noisy, but this commotion, at this time of the morning, was something else.
I look out of my front window, up and down the street.

Beep-beep-shake…
Christ, everyone must be awake.
Turns out they were. The guy at number 67 was running around counting his kids and fumbling for the phone. The couple at 45 tried to find their pets who were hissing and cowering under the bed.
All along the street lights flicked on, kids held out their arms for a cuddle, curtains were drawn.
Beep! Rattle..Shake…

Man this is Armageddon…Well there is a madman in the White House…it was just a matter of time.
I stumble out of my room and peer out of the back bedroom window.
Holy Christ….
This is the view that greeted me:

Spielberg’s spaceship is running along the train track, screeching, clanking and beeping.
Yikes this girl has claws! I can see the drill bit fingers grinding into the earth. Everywhere there are - lights. Blinding white tractor beams poking through the branches of the trees and circling the sky.

Help!

There’s a halo of light around the whole machine, it’s like a ghost train.
But - who am I gonna call?

A few weeks ago, after Metrolinx sent us a fancy slide show showing our laneway with the trees cropped down and a shiny new track running 13 feet closer to our homes (RER is coming - hooray!), we were given a single-point of contact. ‘Michael will address all your noise concerns’ they told us. ‘Call him 24/7.’

So I did. But Michael wasn’t available 24/7, just his voice mail was. I left him a message and got a reply - two days later.

The work you noticed…is part of our ongoing project in the corridor to access and investigate underground utilities’ Michael explained, after apologizing for shaking my house, ‘I sent out the attached construction notice for this work on September 20th.

Uh, no you didn’t.

‘I’ve also been working with the project team and members of your surrounding community through the duration of this project to mitigate as much disruption as possible

Um, no you haven’t.

‘This work is now completed and the entire project will be finishing up tonight

Er, no, it won’t.

Two days later the spaceship was back. This time my wife wasn’t drunk. She woke up and got mightily upset.

‘What the f*** is wrong with these people?’ she screamed, smacking me with her pillow, ‘Don’t they know we need to sleep?’

Over the course of 5 days this week I’ve amassed about 20 hours of sleep. That’s not nearly enough. Two nights were particularly bad with only 2-3 hours to be had.

I don’t know about you but I can’t function properly when I’m sleep deprived. I can’t drive, I can’t work, I can’t exercise.  

The track work behind my street has been going on for a week and, we’ve just learned through another update from Michael, that we have another week to go. No notices were e-mailed to my neighbours to tell us that our houses are going to be rattled and our kids traumatized, no mail drop was completed.

And there were no neighbourhood consultations.

Perhaps Michael at Metrolinx was referring to discussions with the Co-op at the bottom of the street. Apparently a week prior to my alien out-of-body experience, these poor saps were turfed out of bed at 10pm to face their very own first contact. Rumour has it that insults were hurled from the laneway, and, at one point, the contractor even stopped to listen, before firing up his engine and resuming his deep earth exploration.

But this doesn’t matter. What matters is that, when you have Metrolinx as a neighbour - you have the neighbour from hell. You have Bo the hippy, whose weed wafts through your vents at all hours of the day. You have Mike the metal head, who thinks ‘loud’ is 11 to the power of 11 and anything less is fine, so what are you complaining about? And you have Tim and Shelley, who didn’t realize that was your tree, oh sorry, but not to worry we’re building a fence anyway, 20 feet high! Do you want to chip in?

I could take up the entire TCT hard drive telling you about my Metrolinx ‘consultations’ (Short version: It works like this: They talk – you listen. You complain – they don’t listen).

Do you ever wonder why, when you roll past the Caroline Coop just west of Parliament, half the embankment is treed and the other half bushes? Well that’s Metrolinx. And do you ever think, as you watch the bent-over white bloke scrabbling around for his undies, what it must be like to live that close to the tracks? Surely they can’t put them any closer? Uh, yeah, they can.

Alas, this story doesn’t even scratch the surface of what my street, and countless other GTA residents who have the pleasure of calling Metrolinx a neighbour, have to deal with on a regular basis (http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-22617.pdf). Look at the LRT complaints along Eglinton (http://toronto.citynews.ca/2017/04/05/metrolinx-contractor-apologizes-for-performing-overnight-eglinton-lrt-work-without-permit/). Look what Weston folks had to deal with during the UP construction (https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/16/metrolinx_construction_leaves_a_bad_taste_in_weston.html) (https://globalnews.ca/news/2001758/residents-frustrated-over-union-pearson-express-construction-noise-damage/). Looking at all these incidents it seems that Metrolinx’ approach to rail operations, maintenance and expansion is: Do it first, apologize later (maybe, if we get caught).

‘Engaging in Community Consultation’ is interpreted as sending out volumous reports (our street has just received a several thousand page RER noise/vibration study dossier, and been given all of 30 days to review it) and coordinating a cacophony of mass confusion (I was actually told I asked the wrong question by one rep when I complained that he’d given me the wrong answer!) until the clock winds down.

Welcome to my backyard TCT. Perhaps, next time you see me scrambling in the laundry, you could give me a friendly wave. God knows I need it.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oshawa's new station opens Monday - and we get landscaping by mid-2018 guys!

By email from GO Transit

Oshawa GO Customers: We have good news to share! Your new station building will be ready for your Monday morning commute, giving you more convenient access to GO and VIA amenities including bigger washrooms and waiting areas. We've also made improvements to the Kiss & Ride and parking lot, so that it's easier for you to get in and out of the station whether you're walking or driving.

By mid-2018 we'll finish demolishing the old station building, adding a canopy connecting the new building with the VIA platforms and the VIA pedestrian bridge, as well as landscaping. 

Let’s talk TCO, broken windows, Pickering, Metrolinx, imported European glass...

Special to This Crazy Train
By GO Voyageur

Back in April, I traversed the Pickering pedestrian bridge from the GO station to the DRT bus stop on the other side.  Along the way, I noticed four shattered panes of glass…



Metrolinx and I exchanged the following tweets:



I forgot about the problem until June, when I had to cross the bridge, again.  Metrolinx and I exchanged the following tweets:


Special order of glass?!  WTH does that mean?  What exactly did the bridge engineers design and Mayor Dave Ryan endorse wholeheartedly?

In August, I strolled across the bridge one more time.  Imagine my surprise when…



“Soon”?!  Is that the same “soon” that made us wait an eternity for real-time bus info?

On Friday, as I waited for my westbound train at Pickering, a site foreman and his team armed with station blueprints, asked me to step aside, because they needed to examine the crack in the pane of glass at the foot of the stairs from the bridge to Platform 1…



I asked him why the panes of glass at Pickering station were so prone to shattering.  I mentioned the defective glass on bridge, and I pointed to the broken pane across the tracks at the foot of the stairs from the bridge to Track 2…



He couldn’t speak to the fragility of the glass, but he did explain why it takes so long to replace the panes.  You see, the sheets of glass originate in Europe and are shipped to Quebec where they are “heat treated” (his words).  Then they are shipped to Pickering for installation.  I wanted to engage him further in this discussion, but my train arrived, and I had to leave.

Well, that explained the “special order of glass”, and why six months after the problem was reported, it was still outstanding.  But so many questions remain unanswered.  Why is the original glass installed on the bridge so fragile?  Is it substandard?  Did the design engineers miscalculate something?  Is vandalism the cause for all this shattered glass?  Why do replacement panes need to be sourced from Europe?  Are there not more economical sources of glass in North America?  What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) of this structure?

Is it time Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, met with Metrolinx’s new President and CEO, Phil Verster, to get acquainted and review some numbers?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Here it is after being "grammatically corrected"

Metrolinx finally releases report on controversial GO stations
The transit agency said it withheld the study for 15 months after the decisive vote in order to correct grammar, factual errors. - Toronto Star

READ REPORT ONLINE

How soon til we see black painted buses and trains?

Friday, September 29, 2017

I don't eat under a blanket

This morning while sauntering my way through the York Concourse I noticed a woman struggling with this huge blanket and an infant. She was trying to cover herself and the struggling baby, and get herself in position to breastfeed. The blanket nor the baby were co-operating. And she looked super frustrated.

I backtracked and went up to her and said, "I don't eat under a blanket and neither should baby. Feed your baby, I'll stay here."

She said she didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I said, baby needs to eat. Feed the baby and I'll keep you company.

As she did this, I made some small talk and told her I was tired of mothers being made to feel what they are doing is unnatural, dirty or sexual. As we were talking, I did notice a dude staring so I stared at him until he looked away. When I caught him staring again, I got up and went over and asked him if he had a problem. He asked why she couldn't just feed the kid in the washroom. I asked him if he ate his lunch at work in the washroom. Then he offered some extremely worldly advice such as the mom should bottle feed. I told him to stop staring or I'd get security. He called after me that it was a free country which resulted in me yelling over my shoulder, WHICH IS WHY MOTHERS CAN BREASTFEED WHEREVER THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE.

As I sat back down next to the mom, she told me she was amazed at my attitude. I told her, look, I've been in your shoes. This is not an easy job. Sure, some people are jerks and even mothers, like my mom, dislike seeing women breastfeed in public. I don't care. Don't look. Move away. Change seats. Baby's gotta eat. I stayed til she was finished feeding and bid her good day. I truly don't have time for this bullshit.

BABY. GOTTA. EAT.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

WE Day - the day with so much nope

The 703 train from Oshawa was packed with teens. I hate WE Day but it's 1 day. We always get through it - you and I, all of us.

What I did find annoying was the behaviour of some of the chaperones and teachers - BAGS ON SEATS, FEET ON SEATS, VOICE VOLUME DIALED UP TO 11. These people were more obnoxious than the kids.

At Union, I was met with a face full of bags after the three teachers sitting in the quad with me all stood up at once, not sure how one gets off a train. Backpack right to the face, which resulted in losing my glasses. Luckily, I'm one of those women graced with an ample chest shelf, as that's where they landed. I grabbed them before they could fall to the floor.

I mumbled, "Ridiculous" under my breath, biting my tongue to say anything more. There were some apologies. I just nodded.

Perhaps GO Transit could just dedicate a train to this crowd... I'm sure others would appreciate the effort.

So true

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sometimes, you just can't win

I've been suffering with osteoarthritis in both knees for just over a year now. I just learned it's now present in my right hip. I went to the doc complaining of pain, thinking it was something muscular, and learned it's moderate but manageable with exercise and strengthening.

This news has bummed me out. I'm super sick and tired of being in constant discomfort or experiencing pain. The only time I feel pain-free is after a bike ride, where for about 20 minutes, I am 25 years old again.

Life just isn't fair, is it?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Signs summer hasn't left the GO train

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ontario Making Commuting Easier for Cyclists in Southern Ontario

Province Building New Secure Bike Storage at GO Stations and Carpool Lots

Burlington, ON
Sep 12, 2017

Ontario is making it easier for cyclists to commute to and from work, school, and appointments with the construction of new, secure bike storage lockers at GO Transit stations and car pool lots across southern Ontario. This investment is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province’s cap on pollution and carbon market.

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon were in Burlington today to launch the new Commuter Bike Parking Program, which will help encourage people to take their bikes as part of their daily commute.

Eight bike lockers will be installed at each of 15 commuter parking lots across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, Niagara, and Simcoe Region for a total of 120 bike lockers. Work will be finished by the end of March 2018. In addition, 28 bike rooms will be installed at 26 GO Transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area over the next four years as part of Ontario’s GO RER program, expanding storage capacity while enhancing security. The first locations, which will be complete by spring 2018, include: Appleby, Markham, Mount Pleasant, Bronte, Unionville, and Stouffville.

Making it safer and easier to cycle in Ontario is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Once I can forgive, but twice, no. The motorcycle spaces are not your reserved VIP spot. Get to the station earlier or park at Whitby, k?

TUESDAY


WEDNESDAY


- Submitted by annoyed multiple Oshawa patrons.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rumblings from the NIMBYS in my Courtice neighbourhood about the GO train expansion. I WILL FIGHT YOU ALL IF YOU SCREW THIS UP.

I belong to a few private Facebook groups for the community I am in, and the communities I am next to. Everybody's bitching about how the Courtice and Bowmanville stations will bring more traffic congestion and noise to the area. And there's been some rumblings about train horns. These people seem to forget that the train tracks were in the area long before there were homes. Don't like it? Please move.

These people are high.

We already have traffic congestion. Public transit infrastructure can actually improve an area as it requires roads to be improved, or re-built. One only needs to look at Milton to see what a GO station can do to a community.

We can't keep driving out of east Durham. We need a GO train. Oshawa is over capacity. I will make it my mission to fight anyone that does anything, protests, or complains in a way that stalls this development. I didn't stay in Durham so I wouldn't get the GO train I was promised 15 years ago. I would have been long gone by now.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Is it time for dancing in the streets?

Special to This Crazy Train
By GO Voyageur

Let’s get some musical accompaniment from Martha & The Vandellas, shall we? Excitement mounted on August 21 when GO Transit announced their Route 12 service changes commencing September 2:   

St. Catharines received some well-deserved improvements in service. I have believed for a long time that city carries Route 12. Thank you GO Transit planners! The editing on the announcement is mine. It appears someone in the Ivory Tower forgot that GO’s directionality of buses on the QEW is relative to Union Station, the centre of Metrolinx’s universe; apparently, official MTO signage is irrelevant.  This oversight can be excused given the excitement surrounding this news.  

In my opinion, the real highlight of the announcement is the last line. It appears to be Metrolinx’s way of saying they’ve made some headway with Burlington GO station. Did they keep their word? Indeed they did; bus 8370 rolled in just before 07:00.

 

I had to contain myself as the tears of joy welled up. However, there was no head office representation — no balloons, no music, no cake, no party hardy PR folk. The only coffee served was the one I brought the driver. We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries; then he was off.

Now, don’t get all excited and start thinking that the construction at Burlington GO is complete, because it’s not. GO Station Ops personnel were still mounting signage on the bus platform as bus 8370 arrived. You now purchase your tickets from agents inside the building, and the east tunnel leading to the track platforms is no longer barricaded. However, there are still construction pylons inside the building, black partitions at the west end, scaffolding in the stairwell to the west tunnel, and there are construction grade doors along the corridor to the east. Here is a walk from east to west through the building…

 

 Is Burlington GO finished? No, but at least it’s usable. No dancing in the streets just yet.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Presented without comment

Wilmot Creek residents (this is a condo community in south Bowmanville) protested outside the Minister of Transportation's office last week (the tracks were there long before the community was built)

Some highlights from this article on Durham Region News (and you would think city councils would STOP issuing builders permits to construct housing near rail lines):

Wilmot Creek residents came to council with a petition with more than 900 signatures, requesting that a safety study be conducted at the two railway crossings at Wilmot Creek. The study will be paid for by the Wilmot Creek Homeowners Association and local developers, at no cost to Clarington.

The residents say other municipalities have banned train whistles and fatalities and serious injuries at rail lines haven’t risen in response. They consider the whistle as noise pollution that is disturbing their sleep and impacting their health. Some residents have health conditions that make uninterrupted sleep essential.

There are three railway lines (CP Belleville, CN Kingston and CP Havelock) that cross through Clarington and more than 20 public crossings. As Clarington grows the number of residents living close to the rail line increases. The risk of an accident rises as more traffic travels roads that cross railways, according to a staff report. At the same time, more residents are inconvenienced by the train whistle and Clarington now receives one request every two years to stop the whistles.

Good on this guy for calling it in

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Transportation engineer responsible for building rail networks in Scotland and England hired as new Metrolinx CEO

The Board of Directors of Metrolinx have appointed experienced rail operator Phil Verster as its new President and CEO.

Over the last 12 years, Mr. Verster has overseen operations and major construction of some of the most complex and customer intensive rail services in England, Scotland and Ireland.  Among his most recent assignments as a Managing Director of Britain’s Network Rail have been running Scotland’s railway operations, the ScotRail Alliance, and initiating work on the East West Railway, a new rail line linking Britain’s high tech corridor between Oxford and Cambridge.

Mr. Verster was selected following an international search on behalf of Metrolinx.  His start date is October 1, 2017.

Rob Prichard, Chairman of the Metrolinx Board, pointed to the unique set of criteria in Metrolinx’s search:

“We’re implementing a $34-billion transit build – the biggest transit investment in Ontario’s history and one of the largest in the world today.  We’re quadrupling the number of weekly GO Train trips - from 1,500 to 6,000.  We’re electrifying key GO rail lines to provide 15-minute express service all day long throughout the region, and we’re building new LRT lines to tie the region together.

“Moreover, as we execute this massive transformation, we need to continue providing the current high level of daily transit service that people throughout the region depend on.  We sought as our next CEO a person with deep domain expertise and substantial executive experience operating and building railways.  There are few people in the transit and rail industry with the know-how, experience and executive skills to drive transformation and maintain service at the same time.  Phil Verster is one of them.

“Mr. Verster has graduate degrees in both engineering and business and a post-graduate diploma in law.  He has operated, built and electrified commuter rail.  He has the expertise and executive experience we need to deliver on our ambitious agenda, leading the 4,000 employees of Metrolinx and working with all of our partners.  We are delighted the Mr. Verster has chosen to join Metrolinx.”

At ScotRail, Mr. Verster oversaw the delivery of $3 billion of new electrification of the Scottish railroad.

Most recently, at the East West Railway, Mr. Verster led successful efforts to re-launch the project through creative partnerships with the municipalities and local leaders it will serve while simultaneously designing and engineering the project in the most cost effective way.
Mr. Verster said: “I am very excited about joining the team of dedicated women and men at Metrolinx, and to be part of one of the most exciting transit transformations taking place anywhere in the world.  I believe Ontario is the place to be.  Not just because of the very large scale of investment being made in transit, but because of the dynamism, optimism and quality of life that has made this region so envied all over the world.

“At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that all the investment, all the construction, all the new trains and services are not an end in themselves.  They’re about improving the experience of passengers, contributing to communities and to the economy.”

TTC CEO Andy Byford welcomed Mr. Verster’s appointment: “I am delighted Phil Verster is coming to Toronto to lead Metrolinx.  We worked together in London just over a decade ago in an executive team that turned around a poorly performing train operating company.  He will be a superb leader for Metrolinx.  He is smart, driven, good at delivery and gets things done. He will deliver both the projects and the change agenda for Metrolinx and GO.  I very much look forward to working with him as our partner at the TTC.“

Sir Peter Hendy, Chair of Network Rail in Britain said: “Phil Verster is a great leader, a loss to the UK rail industry and a gain to the Canadian railroad industry.  He has made a great contribution to ScotRail and to Network Rail as a Managing Director for the last six years.  He has a great customer focus and a strong track record in supporting and developing teams to improve customer service and train service performance.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Heck, thought I posted this... I met my goal to cycle 1000 km before the end of summer (August 9 - more than a month ahead of summer's end)

My husband suggested I try for 1500 km before winter hits. I don't know about that.
I will say this, cycling saved me - physically and mentally.

But ... dogs are already on trains and buses ... there's no enforcement. Just like bikes, feet on the seats, smoking, etc...


Story link here (so controversial and for no reason ... )

I HAS BEEN QUOTETH:
“I don’t think you’re going to get everyone to agree on what is best,” she said. “But as a regular GO commuter, as long as I’m a paying customer and I get to sit before your dog does, we’re good!”

Monday, August 21, 2017

Back from Chicago!


First, let me pay homage to my idol ^^^^ ...

The best thing we did was pick up a Ventra card - an open fare card that is nothing like Presto. My husband and I spent $35 USD and we took trains and buses to:

Lincoln Park
Beverly (Chicago's south side and what was once a predominantly Irish area)
Navy Pier
Wrigley Field (caught the ball game between the Cubs and Blue Jays)

and...

... Firehouse 51 (where Chicago Fire is filmed on location outside of the hall and in the service bay)




This was as close as I was going to get to Taylor Kinney.

And of course, we picked up some Chicago Fire Department swag!


We rode the "L" like champs.


And saw some amazing sites along the way such as the incredible architecture of the city's Chinatown (off in the distance).


We couldn't do everything so it warrants another trip in the Spring. I absolutely loved the city's waterfront.


The bus operators were incredible - friendly, engaging and polite. Locals said it was because we were engaging and polite. Were we supposed to be rude?

People like to be respected and respond in kind. I chatted up every police officer I met and charmed the fire fighters. Public service can be a shitty job and dealing with the public isn't easy, so if I can make someone's day better by asking her about her job or what sport team he roots for, then that's what Imma do.