Friday, February 27, 2015

I feel the love. It's like red wine. Lovely birthday gift for the website from my #1 fanz

Only four months late - GO York Concourse should finally open this April

Metrolinx released its quarterly report for its capital projects today and where they stand.

I don't know how long the York Concourse has been under construction as I don't work near that area or use that area, but it's finally open to the public in April and will have a ticket sales area.

Here's the complete list.

Courtice kids be like...

One of the more well-known GO Train Olympic events: Aisle Hurdles


Do they run that rotating brush through the inside too?

A seat just for you

Extreme manspreading with extra points for backpack on the seat. #gotrain #GoTransit

A photo posted by Tanya Baleta (@tanyabaleta) on

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cattorney George Greyskull demonstrates to his associate, Cattorney Wendel Clarke, how he would have handled this morning's door rage

A photo posted by Cj Smith (@thiscrazytrain) on
Cattorney Wendel Clarke demonstrates how he would have handled it.

By playing dead.

A photo posted by Cj Smith (@thiscrazytrain) on

Lie about me in front of a group of strangers and guarantee I'll verbally slap your hand

I know we've talked about this before:

Two doors and everyone goes through one and no one bothers to open the other door, so we wind up bottlenecked. The worst is when this happens at the bottom of the stairs of Platforms 10-13 leading to the Air Canada Centre walkway.

This happened this morning. Not a single person of the eight people or so crowded at the bottom could be bothered to pull open the door on the right. So I got in front of this woman, pulled the door open and said loudly and on purpose, "There are two doors, you know." As I walked through, she shouted after me, "Yeah okay, but you didn't have to hit me with the door!" 

I. DID. NOT. HIT. HER. WITH. THE. DOOR.  (Insert rage building.)

I was having none of her crap. None. She wanted to dance, I gave her a tango.

I whirled around and told her flat out, "The door did not hit you, you're just upset I called you out for being lazy and inconsiderate." Which is true. Don't tell me it's not true. She stood there and called out butt hurt because she knows she was in the wrong.

I heard some people snicker. Some people turned to witness our exchange. Good. Did she want me to tap her on the shoulder and beg her to open the door? No way. We're adults. Use your manners. 

Since we were walking in the same direction, we fired off a few more barbs at each other and then she flipped me the bird over her head as she pushed her way into the crowd to add distance between us.

Her red coat made her easy to follow. I caught up with her as the crowd moved out of the Royal Bank Plaza.

I told her not once did I swear or show a vulgar gesture. I headed off to where I needed to go. She called out after me to "Get a fucking life". Nice, huh?

When I've pointed out that there's a second door to others in the past, people will open it or mumble an apology. This woman didn't feel she should do anyone a favor, especially me, but don't lie and say I physically did something to you. Not cool. 

I like this guy. Metrolinx should woo him for the next president of GO Transit

I love the fact that the TTCs Andy Byford is a diehard, true commuter and is unafraid of the paying public he represents.

Kind of like how former GO Transit president Gary McNeil was. Mr. McNeil would personally answer emails from me. I have yet to receive a personal email from Greg Percy. I've gotten emails from people who write on his behalf but not one addressed directly from him to me or to any of the people who have written to him and cc'd me.

I know GO Transit has passenger advisory committees made up of passengers selected from the ridership - passengers who applied to be on the committee. I am sure that these fellow riders communicate issues to the people who lead these advisory meetings, but does Mr. Percy himself attend these meetings?

TTC boss Andy Byford gets rough ride from passengers on subway

A woman who recognized him on the subway congratulated Andy Byford on his bravery in riding the TTC to the North York Civic Centre on Tuesday. The transit CEO, who wears his TTC name tag pinned to the outside of his coat whenever he rides the system, has taken a pasting from riders during this most…

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Referring URL to evade go fare
Search Wordshow to evade go fare
Visit Entry Pagehttp://www.thiscrazy...-have-been-busy.html
Visit Exit Pagehttp://www.thiscrazy...3_08_01_archive.html

Durham Regional Police - Female Inappropriately Touched on GO Train - Report

Police are looking to identify a male after a female travelling on a GO Train between Whitby and Ajax was inappropriately touched.

On Wednesday February 18, 2015, at approximately 3:20 p.m., a female on board reports being approached by a male who sat down beside her and asked if he could ask her a question. The female reports the male then touched her inappropriately. She reported the incident to GO Transit officials, who contacted police.

The suspect is described as male, white, possibly of Asian descent, 19 to 22 years old, approximately 5 9 tall with a slender build. He had brown hair and brown eyes and was wearing a black hooded jacket and black pants.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Wilson of the Major Crime Sexual Assault Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5320.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

Book nails it

Because ice. Ice is why you're late.

Put your headphones on before you push play - Chicago commuter train conductors manhandle a disrespectful passenger

"I love it when we facetime on the train # 2."

Source: reddit

This winter has not been kind

A trip down memory lane

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In three hours, you could probably walk there

Yeah, I know it's a few days early ... OMG YOU GUYS! THIS SITE TURNS 5 THIS FRIDAY!!!

Y'all may have noticed I've put up a revised banner at the top of the site. I crudely stuck my angry face on top of a leather-clad body. Hey, I giggled while I did it and I don't care how weird it looks (and also, looks nothing like me) but it's staying. I've changed my mind and have something better I will do in a bit.

For those who are new, I've been riding the train of crazy for five years come this Friday. For those who have been here since the beginning, I thank you for your continued loyalty, comments and support. I don't need to shout you out, you know who you are.  But honestly, I am thrilled people take time out of their day to pay this site a visit.

I have written 3,709 posts and received 22,245 published comments to date. There are too many posts to browse through to pull out all my favourites, but the most memorable so far is K.P. The K.P. drama was the first time I introduced the idea of a lawyer cat and gave me a taste of what it's like to dance with people who feel they've been terribly wronged online. Then there was the girl who lost her iPhone case and thought I could help her find it. Boy was she wrong. Then there was the rocket launcher photoshop story ... I still laugh out loud whenever I look at it.

But the best for me has to be when I first encountered "chanisaw".

If you have a favourite, please share it in the comments.

GO heats up switch maintenance in Toronto's bitter cold

At one time, on bitterly cold days it would have looked like there was a series of bonfires running down the tracks from Union Station. As recently as the 1980s, crews would douse the track switches with kerosene and set them ablaze, heating the metal to prevent the moving parts of the switches from seizing or…

Because Stevie D. needs some heeeeeat

I've been knocked flat on my ass by some kind of Super Cold that is not the flu but leaves you feeling just as exhausted.
It's all in my head and chest, with a raw, sore throat coupled with a dry cough. It sounds like a barking seal when I cough.

Needless to say, the only benefit to "the sick" is I am not out in this weather. I'm also not dealing with what many of you have told me about - cold, heatless trains. That's one consonant less than heartless, which is what I think GO Transit is being when they subject us to such poor service. 

GO makes a promise to us that in exchange for our fare, they will make our ride comfortable. Riding to work and shivering for 50 minutes is not comfortable.  This isn't 1867. You're not in a horse drawn sled. You are entitled to your expectation of heat.

I've advised fellow passengers to call GO Transit. They need to hear from you. I agree it is "pas cool" to have no heat, but there's strength in numbers and GO needs to hear your complaints and first-hand.  When you get your Transit Usage Report next week and you notice the amount of fare you shelled out in 2014, that should motivate you even more to call GO because these cold rides into work don't come cheap. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

All your space, uh?! belong to dis guy, uh?! sur la autobus en Gatineau

Despite its shortcomings, Toronto has one of the best-integrated transit systems in the world

Some highlights from the article:

TTC staff showed (city council) how interconnected Toronto’s commute had become.

For example:
  • More than 10 per cent of TTC riders start their day on a streetcar, before transferring to a bus or subway. And 6 per cent of them use streetcar only.
  • The 504 streetcar carries more passengers than all of Edmonton transit, all GO buses. And, more than the Sheppard subway.
  • More than a third of TTC riders never see the subway, completing their commute on buses or streetcars. That’s 562,000 people a day.
Untangling the realities of the daily commuting slog: James
From the Toronto Star

A recent poll has half of us admitting that we get to work late quite often. The Commute is a convenient scapegoat. The Commute could mean the ride, the journey, the traffic, the highway pileup, the subway delay, the bus wait, the time it takes to get from point A to B, the experience, the cost.…

Not as bad as described

So the actor hops on-board as the doors are closing. He doesn't attempt to hold them or pry them open.
I've never had the doors shut while I'm boarding but I'm certain this happens an awful lot.

Carry on then. Nothing more to see here.

Thanks to anonymous who sent in the link. That's some serious CSI stuff right there.

Visa commercial that shows an actor forcing the doors open on a GO train

Have any of you seen it?

Do any of you know where to find it? I've tried YouTube using the little information I was given ... something something NHL, paywave, etc...

Apparently it aired during last night's Oscars broadcast.

I would like to see it considering it's Metrolinx's brand and also because doesn't GO Transit have this thing against any passenger holding or prying open doors?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Did you feel the earth move?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

That's just an advertisement pretending to be graffiti, right?

Yeah, so, that was fun until someone lost her marbles

Open commenting, with no moderation, was extremely interesting. It was highly entertaining for many and disturbing for others. Thankfully no one threatened to leave and never come back. Your loyalty means a lot to me. I'd die if I lost any "sheep" (to quote my BFF Rachel) because of an impulsive decision to show John a thing or two.

John is very sorry he even suggested I operated on any kind of bias. All is forgiven.

The trolls had a goddamn field day. It was like a feeding frenzy. It was like opening up a can of cat food in a crazy cat lady house. It was like turning the light on in a roach-infested bathroom. It was reedonkeyluss.

And all was fine - I was really holding my own, and my core readers were doing a great job digesting the garbage - until "Elaine" showed up. She was intent on rattling some cages and rattle she did, as well as crossing a line that should have never been crossed. She was wrong about the information but it was totally not cool, and it scared a lot of people quite frankly. I was out having sushi with my daughter when my phone notified me of another new comment. When I first read it, I burst out laughing. It was just so ... bizarre.

It did inspire this t-shirt design. I used a derpy photo of me and borrowed an idea from George.

I have managed to capture Elaine's IP address which shows a server location in Richmond Hill. And because she was stupid enough to vomit up an email address that is legit, and one she specifically created while she was speed dialing crazy (myself and two blog friends tested it), it's enough to have her tracked I'm told.

But friends, I'm not doing this for me. I am doing this for you. I've had some psychos come at me before, but eventually they get over the butt hurt and disappear. A few of you cautioned this one is different and I believe you.

But I had to... HAD TO ... design the t-shirt.

I also want to say that it was pretty amazing how so many people were drawn out of the woodwork because of the trolls. That was stupid awesome.

I'm not sure I'd make umoderated commenting an every Friday thing because it does get stoopid, but I'll try it again. See John? It wasn't all that bad.

I laughed way too hard at this

Friday, February 20, 2015

SOLD OUT!!! Today's soup of the day is Troll Stew (Now extended to the weekend!)

John has left a new comment on your post "Update on the 90A": 

Long time reader/first time caller etc ... 

Okay, I've held my tongue but I have to say. I know comments are moderated but doesn't anyone else feel the perception or tone is skewed because CJ has ultimate say on what gets through her filters?

I know you talk about trolls and hate mail CJ but honestly, no one else has been negative about how you handled this situation. I feel you handled it splendidly and fairly but I really would like to hear the objections. I don't care about the count. Let them through. 

Posted by John to You. Me. Ride This Crazy Train - Adventures and Observations on The GO at February 20, 2015 at 12:26 PM

For today and the rest of the weekend, I've disabled comment moderation so y'all can get a taste of what I deal with and why I moderate comments. I've already let several through on the post mentioned above. And when comment moderation is turned off, CAPTCHA is automatically turned on so you'll have to prove you're a person. I can't help that. Blame Google.

Commenting is now closed on this post.

60 parking spots needed this much fan fare?

You're welcome!

Finally, a picture that doesn't make me want to pull out a chainsaw

Tile art

Happy cat tile at Aldershot Station. #GoTransit

A photo posted by Jessica Rose (@jesrose1) on

Update on the 90A

Since October there had been some serious #gobusprobs on Route 90A. After years of reliable service during the 618 to 713 travel window, buses began to run seven to 15 minutes behind schedule almost every single morning.

In the Fall, this wasn't as irritating as it became once temperatures dropped. When the board switched in January and a new driver arrived, many of us on the bus hoped normal service would resume.


After a dreadful start to February where many of us were left stranded in the cold 12 to 15 minutes past the scheduled arrival time, and missing sometimes two train connections, I quite simply lost my shit.

I went looking for answers and asked my husband to drive me to the station as I could no longer rely on GO Transit's bus service. This meant my husband would be 20 minutes late for work. In Winter this isn't a cause for drama since his work slows down, but come Spring, the option of being driven to the station disappears.

Taking an earlier bus is off the table. I already get up at 5:30. I'm not sacrificing any more sleep. Leaving later is out. I like leaving the office at 4:30 so I can be home by 6:30. I should not have to alter my routine, or, as many people suggested, buy my own car when I live 2 km south of regional bus service. We live where we live because of the bus. We have no desire to take on the expense of a second car just to drive the same route as a bus. That's just stupid. I know there are people in my town who do drive to the station but I don't have the same after work responsibilities they may have.

My husband works in town. He does daycare pick up and makes dinner. I don't need to be somewhere right at 6pm. So bussing works for us.

Anyway, now that I've defended my decision to be a GO bus customer, this morning I arrived at the station as the same time as my GO bus (7:05). I have the car because my husband is away on an ice fishing trip and I'm on day care drop off and pick up duty. But since last Thursday, he's driven me to the station.

I asked my fellow bus mates, as we tapped our Presto cards, if the bus was running on time just today or all week? Turns out it's a new driver and he's been on time at all the scheduled arrival times for each stop every day this week.

I know that many of us feel GO Transit only claims to listen to its customers but I want to believe that their customer and social media representatives really do care, and they do their best to fight the beast that is a provincial transit agency.

I've made sure to thank those who looked into this matter. Those of us who have stood in the cold waiting for a bus know how much we rely on a schedule, especially in these frigid temperatures.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's on.

People are assholes

Because wet, runny, salt stains is just what we need on our clothes when riding to work.

It's a brilliant idea if the train isn't busy! Can I join in?

This woman gets on the 5:53 LSE at Whitby this morning. She takes all of her outer clothing off and places it on the seat beside her. She then pulls out a purple exercise band and proceeds to do exercises until Rouge Hill. At Rouge Hill, she puts the band away and pulls out a sandwich for her post workout nourishment.

- Anonymous

I FREAKIN' LOVE THIS! I'm gonna haul my stationary bike onto the train with me and it's pedal to the metal, baby! Even better, are those treadmills that fold and have wheels. I'll just run that along the platform and set it up in the accessibility coach.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Didn't someone once write in a comment we should all be nice to each other on the train because ...

The Milton corridor can't handle winter

A toothbrush and some baking soda should get that out

It unlocks secrets

So is there a gang of "concerned comuters" we should be worried about? Throw a P in there and we've got a Rise of the Machines problem

to:CJ Smith
date:Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 8:21 AM
subject:Note left on friend's car

Am attaching a picture of a note my friend received on her windshield on Friday. Not sure the reasoning behind it. My friend was properly parked between the lines.

She usually takes the first carpool spot in the row, closest to the building. It's 5:30 in the morning and not a lot of cars jostling for spots. She has the proper carpool permits and doesn't use the space if she didn't carpool that day.

Always the proofreader, the first words out of my mouth after I read it were, "Commuters was spelled wrong."

Friday, February 13, 2015

The saga that is the 90A

You lucky assholes who drive to the station will never know the struggle.

Over the past four years, I've been blessed with some fantastic drivers on the 90A. Unfortunately, most have heard or have been told who I am, either by description or by stop, and have been hesitant to tell me their names. I don't want a name so I can lampoon you online. I want a name so when I run into you at Home Depot I can say, 'Hey, Bill, what's up?!" Seriously. Purely friendly stuff here.

In September, after having the same four drivers rotating on the 90A morning route since forever, a new driver popped up. A rather sour fellow who many of us passengers felt needed a vacation. I tried to like him. I really did. But his customer service skills were terrible and God forbid you boarded with cash fare. He'd bark at customers to get a Presto card. There was an older gentlemen who visited his wife once a week for all of October while she was in the hospital in downtown Toronto, recovering from major bowel surgery. He was too nervous to drive downtown he had told our driver the first time he boarded and paid his fare. The driver didn't even acknowledge him. Hey, I get it that no one wants to be subjected to someone's life story, especially where there's a schedule to keep, but for chrissake, a smile doesn't hurt.

This driver rarely ever arrived at stops at the scheduled time. He ran, on average, eight to 13 minutes behind schedule. Looking at my PRESTO transactions for December, his track record was dismal. In my opinion, "on-time" is within five minutes of a scheduled stop, plus or minus. Unlike trains, buses have a lot of factors that can affect travel, but I'm being fair when I say weather and traffic are not the problem with the 90A.

The bus I take starts its route in Bowmanville, at Waverley Road and Baseline Road, at 6:18 am. It is 8.89 kilometres from its starting point to my bus stop. On average, the December driver would reach my stop seven to eight minutes late every morning. That's okay, right? I get to the bus stop usually eight minutes before the bus arrives just in case it were to run early. This has happened only once that I can recall but it's a fear every single bus passenger has. There's nothing worse when using a regional service or being in a rural area than missing a bus. It's usually an hour until the next one, or anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes if it's rush hour. This meant on average, in the cold, I was waiting 16 minutes for a bus, sometimes up to 25 minutes.

In January, we got a new driver. Many of us practically wept with joy because we all hoped this meant we would return to the level of service was had come to expect.


I am working on a formal letter to GO Transit. These drivers have been questioned by passengers (and me) and the answers have ranged from "as long as I get to the station by 7:13 ... ", "the times are only suggested" and "we're allowed to run a 10 minute window".

I hesitated about putting this online because I'm not out to get anyone into trouble. I just want to know why this particular travel window is a problem. Is it construction? Is it Tim Horton's? (Bowmanville folk will get this one) Is it traffic? Is it the bus? Is it difficult to drive the speed limit? Is it too dark? Is it too early?

If this route has become challenging then the schedule needs to be adjusted. That's all I'm after. It's not fair to any of us who arrive at our stop ON TIME to stand there for 10 to 15 minutes in these ridiculous temperatures for a bus.

Fix the schedules. Fix the route. Re-train the drivers. Let's just get this fixed.

This morning I had my husband drive me to the station because I really wasn't up for a 16+ minute wait. As we drove along the route, I saw fellow passengers waiting and one texted me to tell me the bus arrived at her stop 11 minutes late. Had we drove the entire route, without turning on Park Road in Oshawa, we would have seen my bus companion and picked her up. I really wanted to carpool the others but my husband wasn't up for it. He wasn't even up for driving me because he thought it was ridiculous he even had to, asking, "What the hell are you paying for then?"

Exactly, what am I paying for?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lawyer cat Wendel Clarke, LLC (legally licensed cat) was so distressed by this email, his paralegal had to cuddle him like a baby to calm him down

From:Elaine L
date:Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 6:42 PM
subject:Website reported to go transit and the police and my mp

I came across your website looking for more information about presto cards. I was absolutely disgusted by what I have read and seen. Have you never heard of privacy?! Innocent people have their picture splashed all over the internet with no permission on your website. I mean, how appalling and embarrassing. I also am pretty sure go transit wouldn't appreciate you using their trains and buses so you can make some money. 
I'm not sure who you think you are but you need to be stopped. And also, with all this talk about cyber bullying you're suggesting people have their feet or legs cut off by a chainsaw????? I am pretty sure that's being a threat and I am pretty sure that's all against the law. In fact, I think that you can't just threaten to harm people! 
I have sent your website to all of the region police services, the OPP and I've also let my mp know since go transit is a provincial company. I really hope you get sued. 


Erindale rebuild: a pre-construction conversation, with a photo of the result - lovingly penned by Anonymous

"I say Dave, where will we put the Presto card readers at Erindale? It's a major rebuild, so, can they can go wherever we want?"

"Good question, Bob. One by the main entrance seems sensible - people can then tap as they enter the station."

"Capital idea, Dave! We'll put the ticket machine there too."

"Nice one Bob... but you know what's even better than a Presto card reader? TWO Presto card readers."

"Dave! That's genius! If one breaks, customers will have the other... no missed tap-ons, no lost revenue, no angry confrontations with the fare checking people."

"It's a win-win, Bob."

"Hmm, but where do you think we put the second Presto card reader, Dave?"

"You've asked me this already, Bob... by the main entrance. Same place as the first one."

"Oh and Bob? Remember, every reader must have a sign showing how to use it."


Forgive me if I've ranted about this before

I'm not a window seat person. I like aisle seats. They allow for a quick exit for crop dusting, emergency bathroom runs, hostage situations and "first off the train" sprints.

What I don't like are the people who can't wait for me to get up and give them room so they can sit in an aisle seat. Instead, they climb over you, slamming backpacks or purses into your face in their rush to claim gold.

This morning, in this man's frantic pursuit of a seat while we arrived at Ajax, he practically shoved me back into my seat as I started to get up and his gym bag knocked my glasses off my face and onto the floor. Unfortunately, another person KICKED THEM (not on purpose) and they wound up under another seat.

I retrieved my glasses. I sat back down and the guy across from me asked me if I was all right. My glasses are okay. These things happen but they are preventable. Gym bag guy was oblivious. He got his seat. Point: him.

You know I didn't let him off easy.

I was polite. Truth be told, I had already punched him three times in the head in my mind but I don't like jail, so no fists went flying in reality. I simply told him that I was attempting to get up to give him  room and I even said, "Hold on, give me a minute." I told him he knocked my glasses off my face.

I did get an apology but hopefully he's learned a lesson.

Good news for those along the Stouffville corridor

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


A photo posted by Stephen (@skjohnsonapop) on

Nothing epitomizes Valentine's Day like a hashtag

by Ian Cognito

Is everyone caught up in GO Transit’s week of romance?   Not only is there Love on the GO, but there is special signage on the buses, too.  Has your driver turned down the interior lights to enhance the ambiance?

Now, I’m a little old school when it comes to Valentine’s Day.  (Okay, I’m old.  Period.)  I told the ladies behind the wheel on Route 12 I thought reducing sentiments to a hashtag is just … wrong.  Where’s the effort in that?  One doesn’t need to be completely original, but c’mon.  With some assistance from Google and YouTube, and a few minutes over lunch hour, I tossed together the following offering.

First, queue the music (not too loudly, though).  Okay, all together now …

I got lumps in my throat
When I saw her comin' down the line
I got the wiggles in my knees
When she looked at me and sweetly smiled

There she is again, standin’ over by her green machine
Takin’ a pause, and sippin’ on her Tim’s caffeine
She's lookin’ so glam, like a model in a magazine
Meanwhile, I was thinkin' …

My PRESTO’s good, I better not break it
She’s got her crew, I oughta take it
We’re down 20, but we can make it
C'mon Queenie, let's shake it!

    on the Queen E.

    on the Queen E.

    on the Queen E.

Tell me who's the queen standin' by her green machine
Takin’ a pause, and sippin’ on her Tim’s caffeine
She's lookin’ so glam, like a model in a magazine
Meanwhile, I was still thinkin' …

If it's a 12-speed, we'll skip it
If it's a decker, well, we'll take it
And if it's fast, she'll admit it
C'mon Queenie, let's get with it!

    on the Queen E.

    on the Queen E.

    on the Queen E.

(Apologies to Chuck Berry)

Happy Valentine’s Day ladies!  No hashtag.

As someone who can rage, I am impressed with this level of rage

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'm not opening this up to commenting but I wanted to share it. This mother, infant son and daughter were potentially exposed to the measles virus. Here's what she had to say about it

Tastes like chocolate

Any ride on the New York subway will assault your ears

Monday, February 9, 2015

These kinds of situations require a call to security

Meanwhile, in the Philippines

The gentleman survived this incident.

GO Transit president blames passengers for breaking last Monday

I can tell you that I wasn't on the website at 6am last Monday. I'm pretty sure most of you weren't either.

Percy told the Toronto Star it was an online search function that blew up the website.

Now he tells the Toronto Sun it was due to too much traffic.

Media Relations said it was a problem deep in the backend of the website (the only person who was close to telling the truth).

The Minister of Transportation said increased ridership was to blame (I still can't get over that - isn't this a good thing?).

So what's the story folks?

I'm going with my anonymous source. Bad code delivered by a third party provider killed the website - not us.

My reaction when my train left on time this morning

Friday, February 6, 2015

Male Exposes Himself on GO Train

DURHAM REGIONAL POLICEPolice are looking to identify a male who exposed himself to a female commuter on a GO Train in Ajax.

On Thursday, February 5, 2015, at approximately 2:30 p.m., a female boarded a westbound GO Train at the Whitby station. A male who had earlier opened a door for her followed her onto the train and continued to follow her as she headed for a different car. The suspect sat down in the seat directly behind the victim. 

As the train arrived at the Ajax station, the male stood up in front of the victim and exposed himself. When the victim yelled, he fled the train. 

The suspect is described as male, white, with an olive complexion, possibly of Asian descent, 18 to 22 years old, approximately 56 tall, with short, brown hair and wearing a black or navy jacket and khaki pants. 

An image of the male is attached or can be viewed at under Newsroom.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact D/Cst. Firth of the Major Crime Sexual Assault Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5316. 

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

And I chopped them off

Wasn't the York Street Concourse suppose to open In January?

My "GO Transit can't do winter" meme - now appearing on Instagram

A photo posted by Jules (@jules0444) on

Tastes like chocolate

Even the Transportation Minister of Ontario got it wrong when it came to Monday's disaster

This week's nightmarish commute on the LSE where all of us have been late for work four days out of five can't be attributed to increased ridership, or the fact that the service update online feed blew up on Monday. Monday's nonsense had nothing to do with increased ridership. Who advises the minister? A hamster? ... Oh ... wait....

There are no more people on the LSE this week than there were last week.

Service updates don't break switches.

Please take our fare increases and buy new switches.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

When introducing new technology breaks stuff - it's not necessarily a bad thing

We all know that GO Transit has been working diligently to bring real time service updates to its website and applications. Bus passengers were supposed to get a bus tracking application back in January 2014, similar to the application that allows us to track trains, but it has yet to see the light of day.

Remember how I've joked about the hamster being dead when applications (like the fare calculator) found on the GO Transit website misbehaved or malfunctioned? Turns out I may have not been that far off. I've always suspected that service updates and the accompanying emails and text alerts were entered manually, and not tied to any kind of database. I still believe this is a manual process - someone actually physically enters the train and bus status into some kind of web-enabled backend.

Over the weekend, GO Transit went ahead and upgraded their website where the service updates would be distributed by a new, automated app, where updates would be delivered through a feed coming from a third party source. I received an anonymous email where the person wanted to explain what happened because they were frustrated with how the situation was explained in the media.

Because of the weather conditions, the third party source vomited out feed after feed of service disruptions at a pace that the new app built into the website couldn't handle. In an article with the Toronto Star, GO Transit President Greg Percy blamed the website failure on a search function that couldn't handle the demand. He also admitted to updates being done manually. I read that paragraph over and over while trying to tie it in to what he discusses in the next paragraph, that GO is prototyping new technology.

End users don't search for service updates. That's not how it works. Metrolinx PR spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said on Twitter that the site was brought down by a problem "deep in the backend". Nothing made sense. No wonder my anonymous friend was frustrated.

So, to explain it like we're all five:

GO Transit upgraded their website to include a new application (let's call it "new code") to display service updates in real time using information pulled in from an outside source, rather than someone keying in the information manually. The outside source overwhelmed the "new code" and the "new code" caused the entire website to crash.

How hard is it to just say, "We thought this upgrade would work and we're sorry it didn't. It is important to us that we try to introduce new technology that will help our customers plan their commute better. We want customers to be informed about service disruptions when they happen, as opposed to receiving information hours later. Unfortunately, the upgrade failed due to circumstances we didn't anticipate. We plan on fixing the problem and taking measures to prevent this from happening again".

I could get into the whole, "Well you should have tested it first" lecture, but I won't. I spent eight years in IT. You can debut all kinds of "new code" with the best intentions. You can test, and test, and test, and still, something can go wrong. You can run into a situation you never thought about - it doesn't make it right, but it happens.

Personally, I don't care that GO Transit ran into a problem while trying to deliver new technology. The fact they are trying is all I care about. Hopefully they learned some lessons from this exercise, and when they finally roll out that bus tracking app, it works like a charm.