Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 29: Missed Connections

from: PS
to: Greg Percy
cc: "C.J. Smith"
date: Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM
subject: Can GO Transit + PRESTO Get Any More Bizarre?

Dear Mr. Percy,

  1. My PRESTO card, 312401001641xxxxxx, has a default trip between Pickering and Burlington.
  2. I tapped ON at Pickering station on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:45; my ePurse was debited $12.65
  3. In error, I tapped ON again seven (7) minutes later; my ePurse was debited for another $7.88.  
  4. Realizing my error, I reversed the second tap ON; my ePurse was credited $7.88.
  5. I approached the first available ticket agent and explained what I had done.  The ticket agent called up my transaction history and confirmed the second tap ON had been reversed successfully and that I was good to travel to Burlington.  Before I left, I asked her to snap a photo of her video monitor with my camera.  I thanked the ticket agent and rushed off to the train platform.
  6. The trip went without incident until we were west of Mimico station where a fare inspection took place, and things became even more bizarre.
The Transit Safety Officer (TSO) produced his PRESTO reader, which I tapped, and we heard a failure tone.  The officer asked me where I was travelling, and I responded Pickering to Burlington for which I had a default trip.  He told me his device noted the tap ON for the default trip but that I had reversed that tap.

Inspection showing initial tap ON:
Inspection showing reversal of 2nd tap ON:
I related to the constable what had happened at Pickering station and that the ticket agent had cleared me to travel.  At that point I produced my camera and showed the TSO the photograph of my transaction history.  He was surprised at what he saw:
I asked the constable why his device did not reflect my true transaction history.  He responded that the PRESTO readers used for fare inspections do not show all transactions.

At this point, the officer's partner joined us and asked what the issue was.  I explained the matter to him, and the first TSO substantiated what I said.  The second constable was amazed that my second tap ON was not rejected.  I asked the constables how they could be expected to do their job properly with PRESTO misbehaving as it does and GO Transit management not supplying them with the correct tools.  They agreed it wasn't easy.  We concurred that inspector/passenger confrontations are unpleasant for all parties.  After apprising the officers of PRESTO issues they may encounter on the train in relation to the ePurse load problem on buses, they thanked me and continued their rounds.

My experience is not an isolated incident.  A quick scan of Twitter reveals that PRESTO failed @nitashaangl the same way on the morning of April 22, 2014.  The following snippet of Nitasha's transaction log is out of sequence (a known PRESTO bug).  The proper order of events is debit $7.49, debit $3.19, and credit $3.19.  Why do the inspection events, ordered by timestamp, show an illogical sequence of locations, namely, Guildwood, Eglinton, and then back to Guildwood?

The GO Transit Passenger Charter promises a comfortable experience.  In the context of this debacle, that did not happen.  I'll leave you with the following questions:
  1. What is the reason for PRESTO's seemingly irrational behaviour tapping ON?  Why did the PRESTO machine not produce a failed tap tone, flash red, and display an error message to the effect that I had already tapped ON as was the case on March 16, 2014?  What does the amount of $7.88 represent?
  2. Why can a ticket agent view my transaction history immediately, but I have to wait 24 hours (and sometimes more) before I can do the same?  As of this writing, the inspection event is still not in my transaction log.
  3. Why do the PRESTO readers that fare inspectors carry not report transaction history in proper context?
  4. Why are GO Transit employees not cross trained on how PRESTO transactions in other operating units affect them?
  5. I am weary of this PRESTO boondoggle; it has caused endless grief for passengers and front-line staff alike.  Why is Mr. Robert Hollis, Managing Director and Executive Vice-President, allowed to waltz around the media attributing PRESTO deficiencies to users' "unfamiliarity with the features"?  Clearly, PRESTO is fraught with issues for which his division is responsible.

This email was also forwarded to Robert Hollis at PRESTO

Where's a chainsaw when you need one?

from: CA
date: Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 3:45 PM
subject: Wide open on the 743 express to union


Your site makes my day! I never thought I'd be so angry to send you one of my own photos but here it is. The photo doesn't even do justice. 

My friend and I got on the express to union to find this guy... wide open,  with his bag on the neighbouring seat while he checks his phone.  Not even moving a side to let us through to sit across from him, I nudge him with my lunch bag to move.  

Minding my own business and listening to tunes I see him put away his phone,  slouch further down in his seat to take a nap....To then stretching his damn leg to go between mine and my friends underneath our seats.  At this point I'm envisioning your chainsaw cutting off his leg off.... and in plain disgust I bend over to grab my lunch bag under my seat and I hit his leg and move the eff out of our personal space.  

What the hell is wrong with people and where are their manners!?!! 

Foot rider daily double - perfect for a rainy day

At least Mr. Power Socks took off his shoes, the Beetlejuice kid - he's above such measures.

- Submitted


I was hesitant to post this at first because it's pretty personal but I'm so torn up over it, I have to write it out.

Not only has work been hectic, and my attention really has been elsewhere, but Saturday morning I was awoken by my nighbour, one house over, who was at my door ash-faced and trembling. She had terrible news. My immediate next door neighbour Paul died suddenly Friday night.
My husband was out fishing. My daughter didn't understand. I immediately got dressed and ran over to Paul's house hoping to see his wife, Heidi, who my daughter calls "granny". Hell, I call her nana because she is like a grandmother to me.
She wasn't home (understandably, don't know why I figured she would be) so I left a note in the door. I told my husband when he returned home. We both stood there in our driveway looking at Paul's garage trying to comprehend what we had learned.
I really wanted to see Heidi because, you know, at first you just don't believe it's true. You need validation.
I finally saw her later that afternoon when we decided to go out and do something as a family - rollerskating of all things. I know. Crazy.
I hugged her so hard I thought I would break her. It's hard when everyone feels and looks as broken as your heart feels.
Last night was the visitation. Paul was a very much loved man. Today is the service.
Not having grandparents, I have always had a soft spot for those who treat me like a granddaughter. Paul was no exception.
I will miss him very much. I can't believe he's gone.

Yes... what would happen if we all did it indeed... Hmmm (puff out smoke from pipe)

On non-rush hour trains, I don't really care if you want to cop the seat next to you as your personal trunk. On rush hour trains, your bags belong on your lap.

The worst are the people who throw you some serious shade when you ask to sit, acting like it's a HUGE INCONSIDERATE INCONVENIENCE THAT YOU ACTUALLY NEED A SEAT.

It's not like you paid your fare or anything, right?

Monday, April 28, 2014

How you know you need coffee - at first I thought those were birds, not shoes

- Submitted

That's an interesting looking bike you've got. Is it a Swedish model?

This was snapped on the Richmond Hill train this morning. I know! I'm as shocked as you! This is unusual behaviour for what tends to be a pretty boring corridor. Usually this be Lakeshore business.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Did your PRESTO card snap? Submit a photo of your broken card and be entered to win a $25 Starbucks or Keg gift card

Please submit a photo of your snapped or split card to Please include how long you owned the card and the approximate date it snapped. As an incentive, from all the pictures I receive, I will conduct a random draw from all the entries for a $25 Starbucks gift card or a $25 Keg gift card. 

Please submit your pic by September 30, 2014. The draw will be held October 1, 2014. The winner agrees to meet me in the GO Concourse at Union Station on October 2nd, 2014 at at time to be arranged to collect the gift card and hopefully agree to a photo for the winner's circle.

Good luck!

  1. Presto says only a few calls a month about broken cards out of 1 million cardholders. Can't do story without proof.

    Tweet text
    Image will appear as a link

Out of 1 million PRESTO cards, what's a few snapped cards, right?

According to Metrolinx media relations, PRESTO reports less than 10 card breakages a month. PRESTO did not identify if this figure includes cards where the chip stopped working or if it's card that split in two. In a two-week period, we (we being myself, @GOvoygr and @MichaelSuddard) found seven people on Twitter alone with split or snapped cards. We know there are more. We know it's not less than 10 a month. PRESTO does not warranty the card for this kind of breakage. If your card stops tapping, it will be replaced at no charge. 

PRESTO also won't tell us what they consider normal wear and tear to be. My card split in two after being replaced 10 months earlier. It was always kept in my wallet and only removed for tapping and inspection purposes. I did not use it as an ice scraper or as a personal toothpick. It was a well looked after card.

I have an Air Miles card that is 17 years old, and unlike my PRESTO card, it's a card that has been loose in my purse, thrown into pockets, left in a couch, tossed from one wallet to another and it's still kicking. I think I may have used it as an ice scraper at least once.

Photo taken with tweet for authenticity.

GO Transit, nor does PRESTO, does not ask customers to turn in their broken cards. What does that tell you? 

Second, GO Transit does not replace broken cards. When your card splits in two, you have to fork out $6 for a new one and.... AND ... wait 24 hours for any balance on your old card to transfer to the new card. When your bank card stops working, you aren't expected to wait 24 hours to access your money, are you?

This. This is awesome

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mini Metro

from: AllanVS
to: "C.J. Smith"
date: Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM
subject: Blog for ya

Since I know you're busy, and I found the "Mini Metro" game, I thought I'd help you out and write a brief blog so you can (if you wish) copy/paste this to TCT.
This is "Mini Metro" by Dinosaur Polo Club Games out of New Zealand. They are a team of brothers.
This game is simplistic in nature, but addictive and fun.  You start off with 3 metro stations.  YOUR job, as Commissionaire is to run the best subway system possible! 
Through out the game, you get "upgrades" from 1 extra rail car, to 2 extra tunnels, a Platform Upgrade (each station can hold +3 people), Interchange (larger capacity in one station) or Rail Car Speed boost (each car moves a bit faster.) These are dolled out at "Passenger Milestones".
BUT be careful!  If your stations overcrowd the game ends.  The furthest I was able to get was 1,225 happy passengers.

Game can be found:


Hey Ted, wanna bring in that new monitor you bought to work? BONUS! A Quiet Zone story at the end

A.L. sent this in on Tuesday, writing, "There's also a big carry-on suitcase paired with this in our quad." I asked if it was a rush hour train and indeed it was, originating out of Appleby. When I commented that people are jerks, A.L. pointed out these folks were kind enough to store the carry-on luggage under a seat. A few minutes later, A.L. wrote, "If you want a tad more colour to the story, she almost cracked a guy in the face with the monitor box as he was behind her coming up the stairs. He just smiled."

Me: "And that's when I shoved her down the stairs your honor! Case dismissed."

A.L.: "One day there will be serious violence. About a month ago a guy was riding in the QZ in one of the end quads.. 40-ish dude. A 20-something couple got on and the guy started talking to his girlfriend loudly. The older guy politely pointed out it’s the QZ and they could go downstairs to talk.
The young guy practically yelled at him: SHUT UP. SHUT THE FUCK UP. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? YOU WANT TO TAKE ME ON?
His girlfriend told him to calm down, and they both resumed their conversation. The 40-something guy was understandably cowed. I was two quads away and everyone was looking at the couple. If just one person had stood up to confront, I sensed others would have joined. But nobody wanted to be that person, especially considering who knows what kind of whack-job the guy was.
I probably should have gone to the customer service guy. But apathy. You know.

I got to be *that* person again!

I was in the Quiet Zone on a morning train, towards the end of the coach, one quad away from the stairs. Some dude sitting in the last row, near the window, was conducting a conference call on Speakerphone.

For real.

As we rolled out of Ajax, I observed the reactions from my seat mates and those around me. There were the typical gestures of annoyance: throat clearing, snapping newspapers, exaggerated shifting in seats, Exorcist-style turning of heads, gopher movements of popping up and out of seats with "Who you talkin' to Willis?!" expressions, eye-rolling and sighs.

So I got up, moved into the aisle, leaned over the guy sitting to next to conference-call dude and politely asked if he had headphones as he was interrupting several naps and I could hear him over my episode of The Walking Dead. Blank stare. Then I pointed to the QZ sign right in front of him. He mouths an, "Oh" and gets up to head downstairs. All of sudden it was like opening a cupboard in some ghetto basement apartment and having hundreds of cockroaches come at you at once when folks standing in the bi-level below realized a seat from free. Aggressiveness? You has it.

I sat back down. AND YET AGAIN... no one clapped, no one lifted me onto their shoulders and chanted my name.

You're welcome (I oughta snap a newspaper across some of yo' heads...)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I'm busy but ... boot in the head guy is looking for cash

I have to make time for this email:

from: Bicky
to: CJ Smith
date: Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM
subject: I know you're busy as all get out but...

Remember the guy who got kicked in the head by the train conductor? He's baaaack!

He's Canadian (eesh!) and he's hoping to make a few bucks off the video.

I'm including the link to CTV News Toronto rather than the Star - no one can read their articles if they're over the limit.

I can't even make a few bucks from this blog ... then again, I could but I'm not greedy. Yet.

Hipster GO rider keeps his grime to himself

Feet on the seats is STILL feet on the seats, even when it's your own seat.

A little sunshine for today

Starbucks is giving away free brewed coffee or tea if you come in with your re-uesable cup or mug - today only.
May I recommend their Blonde roast (also called True North)?
It's very good.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My apologies in advance

I'm gonna warn you now, it will be pretty dry 'round these parts over the next two weeks. This time of year is ridiculously busy at work and as much as I try to blog from the train, it's not the same when blogging from a computer. And as much as I tried to gather content this weekend and enter it in, and post-date it, that didn't happen either.

You can roll your eyes. I know! All this stuff I do for FREE! FREE!!! And it's not getting done. How can you count on me? I know. I ask myself this several times a day.

But first (no, not let me take a selfie) there's this news story out of Australia. Let me tell you about Australians, they take rail commuting very seriously and I love them for it: Rude travellers toe the line: 480 people fined for putting their feet on train seats. This would never, ever happen here. No elected official has the balls to put something like this in place. I'm telling you, though, it needs to happen.

I promise you once life loosens its grip. I'll be back to regular scheduled blogging. Please don't stop sending stuff in. I want what you have. Gimme.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

GO Transit messily divorces PRESTO - shuts down on-board PRESTO loads on buses

Beginning June 16, GO Transit bus passengers will no longer be able to load funds onto their PRESTO cards when boarding buses. No explanation was given other than a one-sentence announcement made on GO Transit's Facebook page and on GO Transit's website. The announcement is shown alongside a graphic that reads "Load before you GO".

I was surprised by the announcement, even more surprised by the initiative because if GO Transit thinks loading PRESTO cards is part of the delay when boarding, I can't say I've witnessed it. What I found slows down my CAN WE GET TO THE STATION NOW?! commute is on-board ticket sales. People counting out change. The driver counting out change. Passengers rummaging around for change to help out Nana on her way downtown to the hospital who is short on fare. This is what slows down the commute.

In fact, in the three years I've been bus-riding the green limo, only once did I witness someone load $20 onto a PRESTO card. The driver at first had no idea how to do it because no one had asked him to do it before and he had to call into bus operations for instructions. This was in the Spring of 2012. Sure, that was two years ago but I haven't seen another transaction since. Even myself as a bus passenger have never done it. However, some passengers who have taken advantage of this service have encountered problems.

There was a whole Twitter exchange between myself (@thiscrazytrain), @MichaelSuddard, @GOvoygr, @Prestocard and @ellenroseman (yes, *that* Ellen Roseman) about an incident involving @eliphae who loaded funds on a bus and never saw those funds make their way into her PRESTO e-wallet. It took over three weeks for her situation to be resolved and it was only resolved when Ellen Roseman contacted the Media relations manager with Metrolinx (@femwriter). It was a wild west kind of day that day on Twitter.

Reading through the comments on Facebook, it's an even mix of joy and anger at this news. A lot of anger is stemming from people who commute from rural communities who don't necessarily use GO Stations. They rely on the on-board PRESTO terminal to load funds. A lot of joy is stemming from people who hate any kind of bus-passenger payment transactions. "It's one less thing for drivers to worry about", wrote one person. I guess these people don't have anyone on their routes who pay for single rides, and in quarters.

I guess this is a sign of the times, folks. PRESTO allows for online transactions. Bus passengers will have to watch their balances more closely and load funds before the balance enters into red alert, and well before 24 hours til mayday, allowing time for the load to work its way across the GO system.

Below is the account from @eliphae. Did her situation drive the final nail in the coffin for on-board PRESTO loads?

from: eliphae
date: Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 7:54 PM
subject: Babbling records of a Presto mess

Hello :D~!

I'd like to thank you again for your help in clearing up my recent Presto nightmare~! Looking back from where I am now, now that its all over, I can't imagine how it'd been solved without tackling the incident face on and making the necessary calls to nag at their customer service to get something done. For that, I'd have to thank you and numerous others on Twitter for keeping me grounded and pointed in the right direction!

So now that its over, GO Voyageur kindly poked at me to make a documentation of the entire recent run in with Presto and the particular circumstances that started off this entire month-long epic fail by the transit system. This will probably not be very concise and will definitely run off random tangents, but please bear with me.

I work in Hamilton, and journey there and back to Oakville everyday for the past few years. I usually make my transit by taking the more economical option of carpooling with coworkers, but now and then I found myself having to take the GO Transit instead. Now, one of my coworkers had previous let me in on the ability to load your card while boarding the bus, a feature which I found liberating and very convenient. Up to a few weeks ago, I haven't experienced any problems doing this.

So on Friday 14th of March, I boarded the bus as usual and inquired to load my card with a 20$. The driver complied and I was given my receipt. There was a charge for underpayment, and I worried a bit that I may have forgotten to tap off the day before, and thus made doubly sure to tap off hence after. I came home that day by carpool. Imagine my surprise the following Monday, when I tapped on only to be flashed Non-Sufficient Funds!

My usual trip of Oakville to Hamilton, with a stopover at the Hwy407 Oakville carpool lot, comes to the amount of $6.84. I originally had $5.68 in balance, and upon loading a 20, I was definitely expecting more than one ride before it hit the bottom!

That evening, I logged onto the Presto website to try and check my transition records. Unfortunately, it was my parents' card, which they failed to activate properly within the 30 day limit. Therefore another week was spent on trying to get it activated.

At this time, I raged on Twitter and randomly on the Presto Facebook page, giving a go at the passive aggressive approach. Thankfully, you and GOVoyageur and a few other friendly mates heard my aimless flailing and reached out a hand!!

I phoned in numerous times to Presto, and had various well meaning CSR agents insinuate on why patience is a virtue when using their system, and how one must wait a full 24 (if not more) hours before starting the next stage. I refused to load anymore onto the card for fear of it becoming even more muddled up than it is already, and had to instead run downtown several times to the GO Station to flash the card at the balance checker. Apparently you must wait a full 24 hours (if not more) after the card is initiated for activation, before attempting to activate it. Any tries at flashing the card within this 24 hour waiting time is useless.

Finally, on March 21st, one week later, my card was activated on my Presto account, and I was able to check my transit history. Here I shall link once again to the screencap I posted to Twitter;

Anyone who has accessed their online Presto account has no doubt seen this table. And then possibly spent a good while trying to make heads or tails out of it. The invisible deductions doesn't make it any clearer. But in the end I supposed I made a decent connection of how much funds went or out at each line.

GOVoyageur came to the rescue and made a much in-depth diagnosis of the catpuke chart of doom. I shall attempt to copy and transcript it in its entirety.

8:21 Tap ON. Debit $5.20 base fare. Next, attempt to load $20 to ePurse
8:21 System closes trip. Debit $3.50 Underpayment to York U. Credit ePurse with $16.50.
8:28 Exit bus and tap OFF. System interprets this as tap ON. Debit $5.20 base fare.
8:55 Transfer to Hamilton bound bus and tap ON. This is 2nd Zone 13 entry showing as $0.00 (also a bug)
8:55 System thinks you didn't tap OFF 1st bus, so debit $3.50 Underpayment (reflected in balance)
8:55 At this point you also lost the GO-to-GO transfer credit within 3 hr Travel Window
8:55 (1st Zone 13 entry) Tap ON. Debit base fare of $5.20.
9:38 Exit bus & tap OFF. Debit $1.64 to complete 2nd bus trip to Hamilton.


Apparently the transaction log is read bottom to top, with the newest at the top, except for the Zone 13 entries, which are in reverse order.

From what I gather, the card was tapped on before the driver managed to set the machine on load mode. Then upon the switch, the original trip was cancelled and an underpayment charge was deducted. A new trip wasn't activated until my tap off the bus at the Hwy 407 stop over, which then of course registered as a tap on. I don't really understand the GO-to-GO transfer within the 3 hour travel window, exactly, since it was all within a one hour duration. So the third trip was initiated, somehow...

Anyways, I ended up phoning in to GO Transit, now with some solid evidence of a bugged card system and feeling more credited to ask for a refund. A friendly CSR informed me I would have to wait a week for the inquiry to reach the head of the queue, and that they are apparently very much backlogged.

Over a week later, I was still waiting. And if it were not for the friendly folks on Twitter, I reckon I'd still be waiting. As it were, Michael Suddard managed to direct me to Ellen Roseman, who sent me to Anne Marie Aikins who was able to take up the issue to GO Transit and have it looked at immediately! Cheers for joy!

I was rather hazy and feeling worn out at this point, but was anxious as ever to see it through. Fortunately, a call came the following day at work, from a lady at the GO Transit call center. A credit coupon has been mailed out!! And indeed, I have received it shortly before typing this wall of text.

So the moral of the entire mess? Either load money at a GO Station, or make sure the bus driver know you wish to load, and have it done before any tapping is done! I admit at certain times during the entire mess, I envisioned myself buying paper passes daily instead. No doubt I'd receive the stink-eye from every other passenger for holding up the bus, but at least I'd know where my money is going~!!

So glad it's over.


Rip a cord on a chainsaw. That'll work

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Engineer decides he's not about to let #trainselfie become a "thing"

To quote the star of this video, Jared Michael, "I tried to take a selfie while a train passed a "safe" distance behind. I guess I was still too close and got kicked in the head. I messed up".

If a train engineer can reach out and boot you in the head, you're not a "safe" distance away from any train...

Remember kids:

Thanks to C.S. for the heads-up about this story.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hey, what did a seat cushion ever do to you?

Angry at a signal delay? Why not flip some seat cushions around and leave an angry note?
All the passive-aggressiveness right here, in one picture.

This be Instagram gold! Thanks casomorphine for capturing this for the world!

I feel like I should buy her dinner.

Fun fact. We are having the same weather today that we had on April 16, 2011

I only remember because it was a Saturday and my daughter's 6th birthday. My husband and I made the mistake of inviting all of her class (23 kids) to a bowling party at Liberty Bowl in Bowmanville (RIP by the way - it's been demolished).

What a disaster. One kid broke two fingers and bled all over the alley, the concession stand and the bathroom, and every single parent stuck around hoping we might throw them a slice of pizza. My husband and I vowed - NEVER AGAIN. We don't speak much of that day.

So today's weather is not unusual for April. It's just sucky this year because of the winter that will never end.

And I don't know what I would do without Facebook or Twitter when it comes to weather updates. I'd be a ball of naivety.

Société de transport de Montréal (STM) launches public commuting etiquette campaign - and it's brilliant

Metrolinx could do better with PSA initiatives to highlight all of the crap passengers do that make the GO train unbearable at times. There was the print-based campaign called, "What would happen if we all did it?" that Metrolinx ran in the fall and also on the trains, but it didn't make a dent. I don't even think passengers paid attention to it. We were all happy when we first saw them run and then suddenly, they were gone.

I'll give Metrolinx some applause for The Quiet Zone which is both a success and a failure. It depends on who you ask.

The STM campaign called "Riding together - Make it better!" involves a series of infographic cards highlighting behavior passengers should curb.

As you can probably guess, ^ is my favourite.

You can view all the cards here.

Because it's all about them, and their comfort...

Remember "Dumb Ways to Die"? Well now there's a game and it's addicting

Dumb Ways to Die was a public safety ad created by Metro Trains, a rail service in Melbourne Australia. Although the campaign, released in 2102, hasn't demonstrated to show any impact at preventing rail deaths, the initiative went viral mainly because of this video.

Despite its viral success, the campaign was also criticized on the basis that suicide is one of the most influential causes of rail trauma, and the ad reinforces deadly trains as a possible suicide method. But that didn't stop the folks at Metro and thus, they created a game available for iPhone and Android. You can download it for your phone using the links here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bored on the subway? Break out a game of Twister

No seats available on your morning/evening commute? Try a hammock

Maybe you can help me understand

NDP commits to GO service to Niagara. It's easy to promise, not so easy to deliver

Not only does NDP Leader Andrea Horwath support regular GO commuter rail service in Niagara, it’s a key part of her transit platform.
“Absolutely, unequivocally yes, we support all-day GO service to Niagara,” Horwath said during a visit to Niagara Friday.
“We know how important it is. We have been listening to the municipal leaders across the region talk about this as a big priority. This is absolutely something that we support.”
Horwath would not say how the NDP would pay for the initiative, adding those details would have to wait until the next election campaign.
“We have actually a significant plan when it comes to transit infrastructure investment, not only for the Niagara region, but for other communities as well.
“We will be unveiling the full details of that, including funding, when, and if, we’re into an election campaign.”

Presto - Why U No Math?

I received a lot of feedback since Thursday about my beef with Presto and their 25 cent service charge for underpayments. As a courtesy, Presto allows for you to tap and enter a negative balance if you don't have enough funds in your e-purse for your trip. When you clear the underpayment, you are charged 25 cents for this transaction.

I understand why it's done.

What I don't like is that I also learned that if you go into overdraft because your funds weren't loaded onto your card within the 24-hour window, as has happened for many customers, you still are charged 25 cents.

But it is what it is and I remain a "bitter bitch".

Anyhow, Presto is unable to calculate the balance of my e-purse correctly. It's really hard to have confidence in this system.

Am I still a bitter bitch? Or am I a bitch with a point?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Presto charges for courtesy. I guess I can be okay with that

BACKGROUND: See TIL Presto wants 25 cents to clear your negative balance. I didn't know this was a thing 


"All your space" is getting more aggressive. They're building personal forts now

Are you pregnant? Are you sitting down? You may not like this news

What's that?
You can't sit down?

Right. Because no one will give up a seat.

There are some of us who still do. However, I have erred in the past presuming a woman is pregnant when in fact she just drinks a lot of beer. It shouldn't be offensive if someone thinks you're pregnant when you're not. It can be hurtful if you were never able to have kids but my God, we put too much stock in what is an honest mistake. We've chatted about the "seats for all things pregnant" before and many men weighed in claiming they've been burned in the past assuming a woman is pregnant. One guy was tore a new butthole over it. Mike, that woman was a cow, you have to get past it, dude.

The reality is we now live in a world of uncommon courtesy where if someone holds a door open for us we run to social media to tell the world about it. We write letters to the editor to tell the local readership about the man who helped us in the parking lot of the Whitby Sobey's when our grocery bag broke, and a cucumber was squashed, and it was kindly replaced by the same man who then disappeared in the night -- refusing the 89 cents you tried to give him to pay for the cucumber. We tweet about the lady who turned in the watch lost on a TTC train claiming, "faith in humanity has been restored" and lastly, we write Shout Outs in a commuter rag to thank strangers for the random acts of kindness demonstrated on the GO train.

It's a shame. No, really. It's a damn shame. And this is why, Pregnant Women of the Commute, you need to ask to sit.

I meant to say "standing at this stage" in my email to C.