Friday, April 17, 2015

And cannnnnnnnn youuuuuuuu fe-eeeeeel the luh-uvvvvvvve tonight?

date:Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 2:25 PM
subject:No longer a fan, sorry

I am really dissapointed in you that you decided that you are above those of us who are generally upset and concerned about the dangers of moving those of us who ride the Lakeshore East to platforms 24 to 27 and cramming us in with the Stouffville people. This many people on one platform is incredibly dangerous and last night people were standing on the tracks. Someone will get killed. Mark my words!!! And that's not funny. 

I was shocked when you actually found that laughable on your site. This is a legitimate concern of mine and several others. I know I am not alone in my thinking because I follow you on Twitter and you're comments about hugging it out were cruel, mean and demeaning. You weren't helping anyone. You were simply empowering Go Transit and enabling them to believe they know what's best when clearly, they don't know anything. Standing in the stairwell for 18 minutes waiting to board the 5:20 pm train was ridiculous. 

No one at GO Transit will tell us why it was necessary to move us all around. None of it makes sense as none of the platforms are closed. But they took the largest group of passengers and put us on the most narrowest platform. What is the logic for this? And didn't anyone at least count how many people board a train? 

I feel very let down by you. I feel you need to ridicule those of us because our concerns don't align with yours.


from:Cindy (Cj) Smith
date:Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 7:25 AM
subject:Re: No longer a fan, sorry


Thank you for reaching out to me. I'm not going to comment on your concerns because I think it's too early to pull out the Consumer Distributing catalogue just yet on this. It's only been two days and at the time of your email - one day. 

Last night, a police investigation resulted in mass hysteria and train delays of up to 20 minutes on the LSW and LSE, and I truly was "hugging it out" with other passengers whose nights were made stressful because of the late trains and missed commitments -- these are situations I can relate to. What I can't relate to are people who don't get it together, don't plan, aren't organized, are self-entitled and quite simply, act like spoiled adults.

Before 25, 25, 26 and 27 were designated to the LSE, this was the Milton platform. Thousands of people commute to and from Milton. These same passengers also only have nine "peak service" trains available to them. The LSE has 13. As an LSE passenger, I am mindful that other commuters aren't so lucky. Furthermore, these Milton passengers somehow managed to make those platforms work. However, you will be happy to know that I've been in touch with Metrolinx and GO Transit staff and the LSE platform will be monitored to validate the concerns being expressed. I just want to point out that no one who was on the Milton line when it departed from those platforms was ever killed at track level.

I still feel that part of the rage is due to the fact that people find comfort in familiarity and change is hard, especially for those who "auto-pilot" it to the station. People were offended by this analogy. But, it's my opinion, so I'm sticking with it. I had no trouble Wednesday night getting to the 4:53 or on the 4:53. That's all I experienced.

You said you waited 18 minutes to board the 5:20 train. The 5:20 leaves from 25 and 26. The 5:10 train leaves from 24 and so does the 4:53. I have no idea why you would have been bottle-necked for the 5:20 which leaves from two platforms. Why didn't you take the 5:10? You showed up at 4:58?



Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bicky said...

People need to spread out along the platform, and not cram from the one stairwell. Based on the map I have, there are about 5 stairwells and an elevator to get to Platform 24. Just watch for that dividing wall of glass on 24/25. Last night, for me, went much smoother to actually getting on the platform. I found my "sweet spot" to stand so I line up with the coach I want to sit in.

The lateness was a bummer but sh!t happens and we move on.

And yes, Milton folks put up with a lot (ie. fewer rush hour trains, more delays, and until Wednesday, a longer hike to the platforms) but they seem to survive.

Anonymous said...

I understand this may have worked for Milton passenegers but did it really? Did you interview all these Milton people? Those of us who ride at the front of the train traveling towards Oshawa have to stand in an uncovered area. Who thought that up?! When will that be fixed? We pay a lot of money and we shouldn't have to worry about being poured on in torrential rain.

Squiggles said...

Wow Karen. That is a whole lot of negativity from a very confusing email. You really haven't given much thought to a Greater Scheme, or even to those other than yourself.

I am also wondering about your timing. I took the 5:20 last night and, yes there were a lot of people, but the platforms were free enough - on both sides - to move to where you wanted.

No one will be killed. Have you EVER been on 12/13 when trains are screwed up and people are WALKING along the tracks because of the people standing on the platforms, in stairwells, etc.? No one died then, why should they do it now?

In reality, I think it has more to do with closing down the other platforms as of XX-time to make the repairs/upgrades. There have been signs shutting down Platforms 12/13 after 8pm & weekends. Maybe they decided to actually get work done, they need to shut them down earlier? And to do that, you cannot have an LSE train leave from that platform at 7:48 if work is starting at 7pm.

C.J. Smith said...

As a bus passenger, I can't... I really can't feel sorry for you.

I pay just as much money as you and I get snowed on, rained on, wait in cold conditions, deal with hurricane like winds and if the bus is late or disappears, the wait is double. Where's my shelter area?

Squiggles said...

Use an umberella. Or a hood. Or maybe wait a little longer in the concourse area.

Really, it is no different than the current "roof" on 12/13, which doesn't stop any of the elements from falling on us, along with a healthy helping of roof goo.

ted said...

Karen wrote, "You were simply empowering Go Transit and enabling them to believe they know what's best"

Karen, can you please regal us all with your background in transportation planning and logistics and what makes you an expert in this field?

Al said...

Karen, If you were stuck in a stairwell for 20 minutes that because you simply chose the wrong stariwell. I was held up for the 5:10 on wednesday, but that was because I took the bay st entrance closest to the ACC, but so did thousands of other people. I should have chosen another stairwell, as I found out thursday there are others that werent as packed as the bay one I chose on wednesday. as for getting killed, if your concerned, stay away from the edge of the platform. I thankfully prefer to stand on the train so unless your concerend about a seat then there should be no problem, if you are cencerned about a seat then your just going to have to deal. Im more pissed about the width of some of the stairwells, whoever decided that they should not be able to accomadate two bodies side by side was an idiot. a few of them are basically single file, especially when some numpty is wearing his backpack and is oblivious to someone who would like to get past them.

Anonymous said...

GO Transit treats its bus passengers as third class citizens. Where's our HEATED shelters and for some, where are the shelters?

ted said...

I'm a Milton passenger. I should have mentioned that. No one needs to interview me, Karen just needs to chill the fuck out. Is she anonymous? The one crying about needing to be at the front of the train and expecting not to get rained on? You ever heard of an umbrella?

Do you park in fire routes to run into the Sobey's? Good christ.

George said...

Again, first world problems.

GO has to close platforms to get things done. These very same people would be complaining about shoddy stations and platforms if the work weren't done, and then turn around and complain how inconvenienced they are when the work is being done.

Cry babies. Look at the big picture and stop the hyperbole Karen. I for one won't be marking any of your words.

FRED said...

You were a fan of the site right up until something was posted that you disagreed with, so you just jump ship? How many jobs have you had because you can't handle a difference in opinion?

Why don't you do what you obviously do best, pick up your ball and go home.

Sorry you couldn't be number one?

And, not to show bias, I am unhappy about being moved to platform 4 as I liked to be able to sneak through the VIA concourse but I love the fact I can access it from Yonge by walking across the bus terminal to the bridge entrances and from inside Union. It's about time!

Anonymous said...

Some folks' bruised sense of entitlement astounds me. For many years, I and untold thousands of my fellow Milton passengers shared Platform 26-27 with "the Stouffville people". We never got to spread ourselves across 24-25-26-27. And Milton is the second most travelled line, behind LSW but ahead of LSE, yet we're crammed into 2/3 of the trains assigned to LSE. Tell me agaim what your problem is, but this time drop the passive-aggressive attitude if you want me to really care.

Ron said...

I have to agree with Karen.
We weren't told there were other stairwells Wed. night. I just walked my regular route and followed the signs. It would have been helpful if GO had identified all the access points beforehand or had people holding arrows.

C.J. Smith said...

^ Jesus Christ. How do some of you manage to get through life? Never mind get to a train?

Do you even internet?

ted said...

Is this the part where Karen gets her Facebook friends to come and defend her?

outburst said...

Union is a mess, especially if you don't know where you're going. I only use the station a few times a month and the last time I just followed the crowds through deep cavernous twisting tunnels that I had never seen before.
Since it was a big change, did GO have staff on hand to direct people?
In one sense, I can understand her frustration because this is a place people come to for GO criticism. We like to think that you're fighting the big corporation for all of us when something goes wrong. But you're also picking your battles. We get multiple updates on your own battles with your own bus route meeting its paddle as an exmaple (I'm still not even sure what that is), and of course it has to be personal because it's your opinions and your experiences but you've become the GO Transit user's champion over the years, like it or not.
So when you go soft with The People's Elbow on something that stung them, I'm not entirely surprised that some feel let down.

C.J. Smith said...

^ I really do see this side of the story.

I don't get the sense Karen is unfamiliar with Union or the GO Concourse. I've had battles with her before on topics I've covered on this site. Her last email to me was just more than I could take.

I have been VERY SYMPATHETIC to those who are not familiar with Union/GO Concourse and have been down on the ground helping.

The entitled people, who refused to listen to the alerts, who refused to read the warnings, or take a pamphlet because they just figured they'd figure it out the day of - I have no patience for.

But those who did try and still got swallowed up? Those are the ones who got over it once they were on the train. They said their piece and are done.

It's the ones who are still ranting and raging I'm really done with.

Ron said...

I do not know Karen.
Please get yourself (you too C.J. Smith).
I only know 12/13. I never learned the other stairwells. I didn't feel I needed to learn them. Thanks.

C.J. Smith said...


How did you miss all the transit officers and 30 GO CSRs that were on hand to help? If I had known, I would have carried you on my arms and cradled you. Like a firefighter.

I really hope that after a week, you guys can really get this together.

As of right now, I just can't. I can't even.

If I lose fans because of this, then it happens.

I can only work to fix what I feel has an influence, common courtesy.

I am not an engineer. I can't build new platforms. And as much as people think I'm an advocate, I really don't think Metrolinx or GO Transit executives really give two shits what I think. I think they just see me as someone who helps provide free demographics to them about the psyche of ridership and nothing more.

But I appreciate that people feel I can bat for them. I try where I can. I have no problem admitting this is an area where I fail. I can't make the platform change unhappen.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how everyone is freaking out about platforms 26/27 now. LSW riders among others have been dealing with their craptastic-ness for years. Yep, they suck. Narrow platform, narrow doors, two trains unloading at the same time. Go doesn't care...or there's nothing they can do, been there done that unfortunately.

Karen said...

Last night was a prime example of why moving the LSE to Platforms 24-27 will NOT work. I think I proved my point.

I'm glad GO is looking at this. It was the wrong move.

Unless the actually closed down switches and trains themselves needed to move, there is no reason why we can't be on 11/12 and Barrie go over to 24-27. Or better, just leave it the way it was!!!

It doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

So Karen, you think its okay for Barrie to be there but not the LSE?

Wow...entitled much? FYI, Barrie and Milton had to suffer through it for almost 2 friggen years. Somebody else's turn.

I agree the platform design is absolutely atrocious and hopefully those platforms will be used as overflow once the renovations are complete.

Squiggles said...


Tell me exactly how last night was an example of the platforms not working?

Because from what I could tell A) the situation was no different than a similar gong show on 12/13 and B) you chose to not look for a different stair well.

Seriously? You need to get over yourself. GO doesn't need to justify themselves and their decisions to you. They are still providing the service you are paying for, you just have to get out of your rut and deal with it.

How did you manage getting through Post-Secondary when they switched rooms? That happened often. And people dealt.

Maybe people should have done some research/scouting and figured out different stairwells or routes to and from their new platforms. Take 1 train earlier or 1 later or even use your lunch and walk around. Personally, I knew how to get to 24-27 because on the weekends the LSE & LSW uses those platforms.

outburst said...

Maybe people should just relax and drink more on the GO.
There you go CJ, a nice segue to your next post causing heated arguments. ;)

C.J. Smith said...

Oh the whole fining people before Monday's Blue Jays game?

It's about time.

C.J. Smith said...

I am on the 453 right now. It took me 4 minutes from rbc plaza. Please do not write any more bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Ok seriously people? I have been on maternity leave since the platform switch was announced amd i still knew it was happening. I havent been on a go trian or downtown since it was announced but *I* knew about it. How the hell do people not know? Also do people really think there is only one staircase to those platforms? Do they think there is only one to 12/13 too? I mean seriously....even if you can only find one the first go around just look in one direction or the other once you get on the platform and boom more staircases. And really getting on any LSE rush hour train on ANY platform is a gong show. Things change, get used to it! You can piss and moan about it all you want, GO has a reason for doing it and they do not have to justify it. There is construction. There has been for quite some time. I was waiting for a platform switch since the beginning of construction.

Anonymous said...

My regular train is the 4:52 LSE to Oshawa...I am not thrilled about getting moved to platform 24 either, but I took a map, studied the best way to get through Union to get on the train, and found my way just fine. I was only 2 minutes later than normal. So it sucks to be farther away from the subway, but it's not like I am going to all of a sudden start driving downtown, so I will just suck it up and figure out how to make it work. And not leave work late and hope the subway isn't delayed, or I will be on a later train.

Jules said...

The reason the LSE was moved from the 12/13 platform was because Barrie has less trips, they have more time to work on the improvements for these tracks. It is a pain in the ass and I hate it but it is necessary. I think people have every right to vent if it's reasonable, but in the end you really need to give it a chance. I was prepared, I wasn't on autopilot and I survived it but I let off some steam about it and got over it. What irks me is that for such a large city we are so behind with transit and infrastructure.

C.J. Smith said...

^ Which is the REAL issue here. Not track switching.

Valentino Assenza said...

Um...I'm late to the party on this, but thought I would chime in.

People sincerely need to chill.

For at least two weeks before the track changes, when I was going through Union station there were several representatives from GO and Metrolinx handing out pamphlets, loudly exclaiming there were track changes coming. On the schedule boards there were tickers saying that there were track changes coming. When you called GO TRANSIT there was a disclaimer before all of the options telling you there were track changes coming. CSR'S often times would announce repeatedly there were track changes coming. So the track changes happen, and now it's mass hysteria? Are you people serious? Are you the same people that were shocked when the Titanic sank at the end of the movie?

Now of course, people most of the time are so wrapped up in themselves, that they bypassed those workers handing out the pamphlets, or didn't bother to seek out the requisite information as it needed little to no effort to do so.

So as I am an LSW commuter, they changed my track from 9/10 to 7/8. What did I do? i could have cried bloody murder. I could have gone into a rage. I could have rolled around in the floor crying until someone put a pacifier in my mouth. Instead, weirdly enough, I went to platforms 7/8 and waited for my train, it came, I got on board, pulled out my book and started reading.... and goes on.

You're commuting into the downtown core of Toronto. It's densley populated, and it's own transit system has not evolved. It's rush hour, expect that it's going to be crowded, expect that it won't be all sunshine and roses. Suck it up, and stop whining.

C.J. Smith said...

^ Clapping. REALLY LOUDLY.