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)


... 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.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A picture tells a thousand words

As a graphic designer and someone who works with photos a lot to help illustrate a story, it is important your stock photo or professional photos don't send the wrong message.

Recently, I've noticed an increase in bikes on board trains at rush hour and have received tweets and texts from other passengers also noticing this. I fully support transportation on two wheels but when space is at a premium during commuter time aka rush hour, bikes need to be tossed off. There is no room. Please don't.

I got an email about GO and the CNE and in that email was this link
When the site pops open, what is the first image you see? This:

So, if I'm a daytripper or even a regular GO commuter, what does this image tell me?


Please, Go Transit friends, can you try a different image here? We're already putting up with a lot on trains with unregulated temperatures, shorter coach lengths, platform congestion at Union, construction woes at stations *cough*, Burlington, *cough* and increased fares come September.

Throw us a bone, k?

Exploring Chicago by transit

Well, that's the plan - my plan. My husband on the other hand, who is apparently too good for public transit, is terribly stressed by this idea. I am NOT taking uber or a cab to Wrigley Field from our downtown hotel to this Blue Jays vs. Chicago Cubs game he talked me into next Friday. We are taking transit.

So, he owes me one.

I picked a hotel that is literally close to everything on foot. I have already mapped out our eating excursions (we arrive next Tuesday and leave Saturday) and one place I need to go, is the fire hall that stands in for Firehouse 51 on the tv show, Chicago Fire. The fire hall is 35 minutes away from our hotel by subway and apparently, we can use a credit card as fare payment. However, I plan on hooking both of us up with day passes which makes my husband shiver in horror. If he had his way, we'd rent a car (no thanks) or take a cab everywhere (apparently we're very rich and I simply choose to ignore just how wealthy we are).

I truly believe the best way to really see a city and feel its vibe is to ride its transit system.

At least I didn't suggest we rent bikes...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

No plans to bring back buses for Markham, Whitchurch-Stouffville GO Train customers, says Metrolinx

The problem for these commuters is with midday and evening service: previously, commuters had the option of taking a single bus direct from Union to all points north of Unionville GO Station.

Now, there's no longer bus service between Union and Unionville at those times.

That forces people travelling to and from stations north of Unionville to take a train and bus combination, which some say some adds up to an hour to their commute.



date:Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:38 PM
subject:LSE 6 PM Express Train

The guy in the plaid shirt sitting with one leg in the aisle brought his bike on the train at rush hour, then muttered under his breath while pointing at the bicycle sign "it says two bike but I guess you guys don't want to share" while he proceeded to prop his bike against the two seats across from us (blocking them in the process as seen in the pic).   I told him that bikes weren't permitted on rush hour trains and he says defensively "oh really?  Thanks for the information but that's the UP Express". So of course I Google it on my phone and proceed to tell him that in fact it does include Go trains.  He starts telling me off and says I need to get a life LOL.  Such entitlement.   Then I just tell him " I'm just letting you know to educate you" to which he replies  "I'm a lawyer,  I don't need education". So ironic.  So much for using his lawyering mind to read the fine print.  

from:Cindy (Cj) Smith
date:Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 7:14 AM
subject:Re: LSE 6 PM Express Train

Bravo to you for speaking up to this self righteous jerk. That takes a lot of courage and despite his grandstanding, I'm sure he thought about it all night. And hopefully, he's more respectful next time.
When people are defensive like that, it's a telling sign they already knew they were breaking a rule. Honest people don't react this way. There's usually a hint of embarrassment followed by apologies. 

Potential disaster avoided on Kitchener line after citizen calls 911 to report a forklift on the tracks

A frantic 911 call to report a forklift on the tracks near Guelph last night helped avoid what could have been a derailment, according to Metrolinx.

A GO train, en route to Kitchener, with about 1800 passengers on board was safely stopped 200 metres away from the forklift which is believed to have rolled onto the tracks from a nearby construction site. There was no one on the forklift at the time and the incident is being investigated.

It took 15 minutes to remove the forklift.

Metrolinx says it takes a GO train up to 1 km of distance to come to a complete stop. The actions of the person who called 911 most likely prevented a derailment.

- With sources from Twitter, Newtalk 1010 and Metrolinx

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When your hate so great it makes you stupid, too

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

And yet another reason why your train may be delayed

First time I've seen someone arrested for fare jumping - more to the story for sure

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.... #toronto #gotransit #nofreerides

A post shared by Patrick (@glaciersofrice) on

Meanwhile, at Oshawa GO

Because sometimes you just gotta take yer trash to the GO parking lot. #stayclassy #stayclassyoshawa #gotrain

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Doesn't beat the time I watched a woman rub lotion on her feet and in between her toes...