Friday, December 17, 2010

41 years!? And he's not crazy?!

Last Ride GO Transit's longest-riding commuter, Virgil Duff, arrives on the platform at the same time every day and sits in the same car.
Gary Yokoyama/The Hamilton Spectator (linked)

BURLINGTON - “Clear the doors, please, clear the doors. Union Station our next station stop. Union Station.”

Most of the 4,700 GO Train commuters who routinely board the green and white trains at the Burlington station can probably recite the public address stop calls in their sleep.

But imagine if you’d heard those same station announcements every Monday to Friday for not just 12 months of commuting — or five years, 10 years or even 20 years. Imagine if climbing aboard for that Toronto-bound, 50.7-kilometre ride was part of your weekday life for 41 years.

Welcome to Virgil Duff’s commute. All 1,002,750 kilometres of it, the equivalent of going around the world 25 times.

But the end of the commuting line is coming Dec. 24. That’s when the Toronto University Press editor will disembark at Union Station, take the subway to his Bloor Street office, officially retire and end his reign as the longest regular GO rider among the 55 million people who use the service annually.



Anonymous said...

41 years of commuting? CJ, you need to interview this trove of stories!

C.J. Smith said...

I've already emailed the reporter at the Spec. I watched the whole video and nearly fell asleep. Jesus Christ, after 41 years, there's dirt there. I know there is. If anyone knows this dude, give him my number.

Anonymous said...

41 years and all he gets is a handshake???? Really GO, that's the best you can do?

C.J. Smith said...

I can't believe no one in customer service thought to put together a bag of swag for this guy. It's the least that could be done.

TomW said...

@Anonymous: He got 41 years of not needing a car! What more should he get?

RonNasty said...

I think it should be 82 years, because he's had to ride the subway to Bloor as well.