Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Us GO people? We're spoiled

I had the unpleasant experience of commuting from Queen and Yonge to Runnymede and Bloor at the height of rush hour (5 - 6 pm) last night on the TTC.

What in holy Hell?

I took the subway north, to Yonge/Bloor station. The train was packed once we hit Dundas and although there was not an ounce of space left on the car I was on, people merely pushed and shoved their way into the train. I had a dirty backpack in my face with the words "Fuck the police" stenciled across the back and staring at me for the rest of the subway ride. Standing next to me, close enough that she could offer me a bite, was this woman eating noodles out of a plastic food container while holding onto nothing.

There was no where to go and no where to turn.

It's been over 18 years since I've taken the TTC subway system during evening rush hour to my parents' west-end home. It's a bloody zoo. The system has been over-powered by demand. Has Rob Ford and his loudmouth brother tried to commute by subway from city hall to their homes in Etobicoke? It's clear downtown Toronto needs another subway line. I don't understand why there's so much focus on areas outside the core. How do these people get home in this mess? That there's no breathing space until they arrive at the Sheppard line? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

It's clear to me why there's a downtown condo boom and why people choose to live near work. Who wants to commute in this chaos?

I practically had a heart attack when I saw the war zone that is Yonge/Bloor. I watched a woman with a stroller practically get eaten alive by the crowd. Have you watched The Walking Dead yet? You now the scenes where the walkers descend upon the living to feed? That's what it looked like.

It took seven trains before I managed to get on one to go westbound to Runnymede. Again, we were all packed in tighter than sardines. It was hot and stuffy. There was nothing first class about this commute. Toronto will never have a first class transit system. What happened?

At Runnymede station, it was apparent this was a station affected by service cuts over the years. I counted over 120 people waiting in line for one bus.

I wound up walking the two kilometres to my parent's house from the station.

As much as we like to bitch about our GO train problems, we're riding first class compared to the TTC.


ExGOnowTTC said...

Welcome to my daily commute. If it's not a zoo, then there are breakdowns, delays and the usual collection of freaks, weirdos and scary people.
Just last night i was with my girlfriend on the way back from Kipling station and there was a homeless drunk guy going through each carriage asking for food in a threatening way. Then we got a bus home which had several drunks talking about how they got Thorzine stuck up their arses at CAMH right before they smashed a bottle on the floor. Oh, and the wannabe rapper loudly talking about how off his tits on drugs he was. Good times.

Squiggles said...

I am eternally grateful that I no longer commute by the TTC. I was part of that mess fro several years.

BUT (!!!) what you also need to realise is that a lot of those downtown people get off the subway at it's extremities. Yes, a downtown relief line would be nice, but if they can't provide a simple extension for people to travel east/west via subway (and not LRT) then there is no way you can do it downtown.

And please don't blame the Ford brothers for the current mess. Especially with David Miller (aka the Blond Haired Bastard) ignored the issue for most of his reign.

lswgirl13 said...

I don't use the TTC much but no question it needs a major overhaul. Take the subway in NYC and you'll see how a well run, efficient service operates. I'm with Squiggles, can't blame the Ford's, problem is with previous administrations especially Miller and now council has to deal with that idiot, Karen Stintz. Get used to it, it's not improving anytime soon.

Dsn-1 said...

Bloor/Yonge is a zoo during rush hours, and the Yonge line is nice if you don't like personal space. And the crazies...

Just a few weeks ago I was on my usual afternoon subway ride and there was this (homeless?) guy with more than a few screws loose mumbling loudly about God giving him strength to not beat someone on the car up. Everyone was paying attention and the door operator was keeping an eye on him.

I decided it was a nice day to change trains.

Anonymous said...

I believe I read somewhere that TTC gets near the least amount of funding from the province/state (in America) compared to other transit systems. More provincial funding would make sense considering TTC also serves a lot of people coming in from surrounding suburbs ...

Anonymous said...

It's called increased provincial taxes, like Quebec, it might language issues but at least the tax dollars go to transit, daycare, lower college and university fees, better maternity / paternity leaves and much more! U get what ya pay for!

AllanVS said...

Le Sigh. Try taking the Steeles East bus ... west between 6am-10am is freakin' stupid! One day I'll never forget... 6 buses go pas me, JAMMED FULL of people, in a 3 minute window. I let them pass, I'm not stupid. 4 minutes later, 4 more come, 1 2 and 3 are jammed again, and 4 is (thankfully!) empty. That's 10 buses in 7 minutes, and all packed over full.
Waiting for a bus on the platforms at Finch during Rush Hour is fun in and of it self ... I often wait 2 or 3 buses, to get a seat.