Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
Celebrating 7 years today! And you know what I got as a gift? My work's content filtering software has blocked this website
I can use the back-end but I can't see the front-end. So I can post content, but I can't see it. Good times!
I don't think it was deliberate. There's been all these attempts to lock everything down, it's shocking we can even check the weather these days.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
- Is it safe to assume Eleanor is making her way from her constituency into Toronto? If so, why is Eleanor heading westbound?
- If Eleanor is in lane two, she better hope there isn’t an eighteen wheeler or other large commercial vehicle to her right, because she won’t see that sign.
- In order to make that GO train in “12 minutes”, does Eleanor believe there is a reserved parking spot for her close to the platform? Has Eleanor paid for a reserved parking spot at a GO station? If she hasn’t, she’ll be hiking in from the “back forty” of the parking lot.
- Does Eleanor think she’ll get a seat on the train? If she does, what if it’s in the Quiet Zone?
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 3:44 PM
Subject: Learnings from a long trip home
Back on Jan. 25th, I was on the Stouffville train departing Union at 16:18...that was involved in the trespasser fatality.I wanted to share a couple of learnings:
I tapped on at Union around 4:15.
When we finally arrived at Unionville, around 7:45, I dutifully tapped off.
The usual fare (with Presto) for these two stations is $7.28.
For my trip home on the 25th, I was charged a total of $25.40:
$5.30 for the tap-on at Union
$11.90 for a missed tap off
$5.30 for a tap-on at Unionville (in reality, this was me tapping-off)
$2.90 for a missed tap off…that was applied a few days later (on my next GO trip using Presto)
After logging-in, the bottom part of the home screen (under the heading “My PRESTO Card Activity”) shows my last 5 transactions.
The pulldown menus default to ALL (for Agency) and February 2017 (for Date).
If I change the Date menu to “All 3 months”, I see 5 transactions from December 2016…and nothing from 2017.
The behaviour is similarly inaccurate if you follow the “Go to Card Activity” link. (I’ll spare you the list of Agency/Date combinations and results.)
Please feel free to share this info with your readership if you deem it worthy.
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 4:35 PM
Subject: Re: Learnings from a long trip home
To: name withheld
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "GO Transit" <email@example.com>
Date: Feb 17, 2017 7:06 PM
Subject: Burlington GO Construction Update
To: name withheld
Burlington GO Station passengers: We want to give you another update on the work happening at your Burlington GO Station: Work is progressing on the exterior of the station building, bus loop and canopy. The building roof is being prepared for the cladding and solar panels. We've posted the latest information here. You can also see the notices found at the station.
We know that construction is taking longer than expected and we will continue working with the contractor to ensure the work is done to our standards. We'll also continue to update you on our progress in future emails and notices posted at the station. Thank you for your continued patience as we work to improve your Burlington GO Station.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
- Signed everyone on the GO Train
Link to story here
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
Always go through the door that is not marked for you never know what is waiting right under your nose. #thebigdig #gotransit #ttc #viarail #unionstation #intermodal #transportationinfrastructure #youdontknowme
A video posted by Getting to know your city. (@vintxgemonster) on
A photo posted by Will Bennett (@williamjohnbennettiii) on
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
It's ok, the smokers will kill us first anyway - GO Transit passengers at risk for exposure to diesel exhaust
Oooh that's a scary headline in this morning's Metro.
Now replace that with GO Transit passengers at risk for exposure to cigarette smoke.
That's a goddamn horror film right there. But it doesn't sell papers I'm afraid.
I'm not downplaying the study or its findings, but at any given GO Station across the GTHA, we are all still subjected to second-hand smoke as we walk past PRESTO machines, wait for buses or walk in and out of a station. At Oshawa, there's even a designated smoking area on the platform, complete with official green signs. Hey, if you can't beat them, might as well make them happy, right?
Pardon me for not running out onto Front Street screaming, BURN IT ALL DOWN! after reading this article since I'm personally fed up with the lack of attention the soot issue on GO Transit Double Decker buses is getting. My man on the street, aka GO Voyageur, has been at this for well over a year trying to get answers from Metrolinx about the mysterious substance that blows through the HVAC systems of these buses and stains the walls and ceiling. Something tells me it's even more sinister than diesel dust. Wait, maybe it is diesel dust!?
But back to this GO train diesel dust issue, it would be interesting to know what the readings would be for the first coach behind the locomotive on a VIA train, which doesn't push?
In response, Metrolinx's COO released the following statement:
Response to Research Findings on Air Quality in Some GO Trains
Monday, February 6, 2017
“Most of the people sitting on the GO train probably don’t have high-level nuclear qualifications or the business qualifications to run a multi-billion-dollar corporation,” she remarked.
Yep. She said that.
The Financial Post has more on this. She apologized but her apology is not accepted. Sandals isn't on Twitter. I was firing with all fingers Friday night. What a stupid thing to say.
We're coming for you, Liz. And it won't be pretty.
Good luck in the next election.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Two women get on. One woman exclaims, "These seats are so dirty!" Both sit down opposite each other. Both proceed to put their boots on the cushions of the seats in front of them. I counted to three, got up, walked over and said, "Now you know why the seats are so dirty."
Are people really this clueless?
We shouldn't have to debate the lack of class displayed by other passengers. We all pay to ride. We all have a right to say something to these asshats.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Be sure to add your input.
Use this direct link if you're having trouble with the embedded picture below.
On-time performance and its financial impact - Go Transit paid out $4 million for delays over three years, writes Toronto Star
That's a lot of money.
And it doesn't even take into account how many people just don't bother filing a service guarantee claim. I forget - a lot. I think I filed three in 2016.
Another thing I'm bad at is calling into Presto when the readers fail on the bus and I can't tap off. I'm charged for the whole bus trip to wherever it terminates. I think I spent close to $60 due to Presto card reader failures in 2016. So maybe, the Presto windfall due to reader failure cancels out the expense of service guarantees! Brilliant!
Anyone else feel that Metrolinx just doesn't have its house in order? It can't just be me.
Presto is a nightmare. Presto sure has its failures ... just yesterday notices finally went up on Facebook and Twitter informing cardholders that the self-load machines are experiencing technical difficulties. And since I have your attention, there's something else I'd like to point out. I get that Presto is frustrating, but those frustrations don't warrant harassment of Metrolinx spokespeople and the social media teams for Presto and Go Transit. You can voice an opinion (all the accounts are monitored and trust me when I say that people that matter do read the tweets and Facebook comments). I voice opinions all the time. What you shouldn't do is attack, berate and insult the people behind these accounts. It's not cool. In fact, when you are deliberately mean, no one will want to listen to you. And I don't care that these people are paid to represent the organization, they are not paid to be told to "eff off and die" and be subjected to verbal abuse.
Now where were we? Oh yeah, the cost of the GO Transit service guarantee. The Toronto Star story has some interesting statistics and the reporter managed to get a tally of the number of train delays from Metrolinx for the past three years:
2014: 3447 delays
2015: 4383 delays
2016: 4066 delays
The article also states: Factors that GO considers outside its control include police investigations, trespassing incidents, pedestrian collisions, and extreme weather.
I was interviewed for the article and I pointed out my on-going concern about a factor that does warrant a refund - engine failure. GO Transit doesn't have a solid plan for what to do when a train breaks down. Check out this story from 2013 and this past September's hostage-taking. History just repeats itself. Not having a plan proves to be very costly since September's breakdown resulted in all of us on the train being reimbursed $100 each.
Hopefully, this tremendous figure of $4 million warrants a solution.