Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rage at the 90A

Being at the mercy of a bus schedule that is unreliable in the morning is starting to take its toll on me.

Receiving an email from GO Transit advising me to essentially get up at 4:45 am and make my way to a 6:10 am bus to solve the problem just pushed me right over the edge.

I'm restraining myself from telling people where to go and how to get there.

Honestly, tears are stinging my eyes because the frustration has boiled over to a point where for some reason, I've made myself feel I'm the sole person responsible for getting this shit with the 90A bus fixed.

It's not so much as needing to connect to the train and relying on the two minutes we get when the bus actually arrives at its scheduled time of 7:13 at Oshawa GO to catch the 7:15 train, but witnessing what this bullshit is doing to the passengers I ride with.

One has left and returned to her car so she can get to Ajax to work on time because the 6:18 to 7:13 90A route constantly misses the connecting GO bus that travels past Stevenson (I think she said Route 96). Another lady is taking a taxi three days a week to Laval Drive and Stevenson Road so she can catch a connecting bus.



Yesterday, my driver was nine minutes late. We arrived at the station at 7:17. GO shrugged a big "who the fuck cares" because this route is designed to catch the 7:28, so GOLD STARS! Right? The driver has been late to my stop every day this week!

But for the previous two weeks she was ON TIME. AT EACH STOP. EVERY DAY!


This bus has a paddle. I don't know what the hell a paddle was but in discussions with another driver, it's code for scheduled arrival times at stops. This driver swore to me the paddle is gospel. Local bus connections and GO bus connections are structured around this paddle. If a driver can't keep a paddle, it screws up the route. People miss connecting buses or people are left standing in the cold for eight to 10 minutes longer than necessary.

Maybe it's the stress at work. Maybe it's the fact that this has upset my routine. Maybe it's the fact that I care too much, but I don't understand why this bothers me so much. Maybe it's because I expect the service to work.

So, three questions still remain:
  1. Why can't the driver stay on time?  (Already asked)
  2. Why can't Metrolinx provide heated bus shelters?
  3. Why aren't Greg Percy et al out there with me gaining "valuable insights into the GO customer experience".


Anonymous said...

Can your husband not drive you to the station? Or can you carpool with someone?

C.J. Smith said...

Unfortunately, no and no.

I am considering buying a car.

Bicky said...

That sucks. Don't feel bad, though. It's not on you to get GO GOing on time.

Nora1968 said...

In no way meaning to belittle the frustration you're having to deal with here, CJ, I must tell you that I howled with laughter at #3...;-)

Tal Hartsfeld said...

The thing one has to remember about those-in-charge: It's their job to "make others 'responsible-for-everything'" while just sitting back and controlling things.
Never mind that whoever's "in charge" (or the organizations they're affiliated with) are the ones with all the money and resources, accountability is always put on those with the lowest status who are least apt to have any means of taking care of things.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Tal

My strategy in having dealt with this situation and continuing to deal with this situation was/is to prevent this from being a minion's problem. I am leveling all my rage at a level way higher than a minion.

This has been escalated to a point where you'd need a tightrope to navigate it.

The GO guys said...

Your bus friends need to get in on this fight. It can't just be you and it's not fair it's you.
Yes, drivers must keep to a schedule. It can't just be a get in the bus at 6:18 and drive to the station with no in between goals, with the only focus being the end result of arriving within 4 minutes of the scheduled time" kind of situation.

I have sent you a personal email. Let me know if I can be of some kind of assistance.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to start asking around to see if this is a widespread problem (facebook, this site etc). Let's be real here, it's mostly lower income folks who take the bus (nobody would take it by choice right?). I suspect your issue is widespread. If you can find like-minded people you may be able to use strength in numbers to get results.

Good luck!

C.J. Smith said...

I've asked the passengers on the bus. I don't have the mental bandwidth to take on other routes.

Also, the GO bus is not local transit. It's regional and typically ferries people from region to region or from a region to a train and vice versa.

Courtice/Bowmanville/Newcastle is not a low income community. This is an incorrect observation and the overall demographic of GO Transit's passengers are NOT low income. Thanks.

C.J. Smith said...

And yes, I take it by choice. I chose not to own a car simply to drive it and park it at the station.

Anonymous said...

If the drivers are late on a route fairly often, and it isn't just one driver that is late consistently, then there is a problem with scheduling. The solution to it usually is to add more time to the route, i.e. the scheduled arrival time at the station will be later.

There is no excuse for being early, but there is every excuse in the world for being late. Transit agencies can't tell a driver to drive faster. They can't expect a driver to violate the hta to keep time, which in many cases drivers do to keep existing schedules.

I hate to say it, but you can't expect to consistently cut it so close even on ideal days. Run from the 7:13 bus to catch the 7:15 train? I know you don't have more options wrt that bus, but GO is correct saying it is designed to connect to the 7:28 train.

Just because it's possible to do it, doesn't mean you should rely on it.

C.J. Smith said...

I want to rely on the paddle whereas the bus runs within 3 minutes of a posted stop time in IDEAL conditions.

Where the hell did I ask for drivers to break the law? WHERE?


Today, a very similar day to yesterday, we had our regular Friday driver and guess what? He was at my stop ON TIME. He hit every other stop ON TIME.

We got to the station at 7:07 and all of us made the 7:15. WHY? Because we could!

Do we expect this? NOPE. Do we stand around and wait for the 7:28? Why? Would you?

Again, I don't give a shit about what time the bus comes to the station as long as it's for 7:13 or pretty close to it in IDEAL conditions.

What I am pissed off about is people who rely on the paddle to catch connecting buses. If you don't see this as a issue than why the fuck have a bus schedule? Why have any kind of logistic plan?

How about we just wander to the bus stop at any given time and expect nothing, only that eventually a bus will come.

Yeah, that's exactly how a bus system should work.

Capital idea, mate!!!

C.J. Smith said...


I'm sorry to sound so harsh. It's easy for anyone not affected by this to be very lackadaisical about it.