Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pas cool GO Transit

I took the 510 LSE from Union last night and arrived at Oshawa GO to a torrential rain storm and no bus.

Metrolinx removed two large bus shelters from the bus loop to make room for a walkway and the new station being built. Those of us who board the 90, 88, 96 and 91 buses are left exposed to the elements. There is only one reasonably-sized bus shelter left and it's unheated and holds at most, 40 people.

We can't wait in the station because we can't see the bus loop. Oshawa is also a tiny station. If you try to stand in the vestibule, this pisses off other passengers coming in to buy tickets and you'll get hollered at by the attendants to come into the station.

I realize now I should check and see if there is CCTV for passengers in the station for the bus loop, and if any of the cameras are aimed at where these buses arrive.

It took 27 minutes for a bus to arrive. I was soaked. Soaked to my underwear. I have a rain jacket that is water-resistant, but not water-proof. It took another four to five minutes for the driver to set up the bus (sign, Presto, seat, switches, whatever else is done)

Not a single text alert or email was sent out by GO Transit to tell any of us where our bus was.

The driver told us he had been "put into service" and we found out that our bus had been held up at Yonge and Finch in north Toronto, because of a broken water main, and was somewhere on the 401.

After about 10 minutes of not moving, a passenger asked when we could expect to leave. The driver told us since he's a "train meet service" we would have to wait for the 520 train to roll in and he casually remarked, "It should have been here by now .. " Several people piped up to tell him it was delayed by 15 minutes due to a signal problem. WE ALL GOT THAT ALERT!

All of us on the bus had now been at the station for 45 minutes since exiting the train, and counting.

Like everyone else, I just wanted to get home. I asked the driver to find out when the bus that was supposed to be at the station was expected to arrive, because that bus could meet the train passengers. We then learned that the bus that services the 553 train was actually "holding" at Finch.

Other passengers were not impressed. The driver looked at us, all wet, soppy and shivering, and told communications he wasn't waiting. After confirming another relief bus was available, he drove away.

When it comes to being a bus passenger on GO Transit, it often feels we get the short end of the stick. It doesn't matter what route you are on. We are exempted from the service guarantee and often, the Passenger Charter doesn't meet our expectations, save for the fact that when service is running how it should, it's a comfortable ride.

We understand a broken water main is not something GO Transit can control. What GO Transit can control is communication, and we don't get enough of it.



Unknown said...

I found the alerts to be really odd yesterday. I was on the 4.25 and we crawled along the tracks from about Scarborough past Rouge Hill. No alerts but I do know we were late getting in. Not too late, but late.

They only started sending out alerts for the 5.10. Why? The issue has been going on for a while before that!

But I agree, the bus people are poorly served and it needs to be looked at. I do understand that with traffic patterns and such, it would be too difficult to have them qualify under the Charter, but there could be more done to assist the bus people.

Outburst said...

I agree completely. My bus starts at York Mills and travels north to the 407. My bus was 40 minutes late yesterday, because of the same Yonge Street problems. Sadly I've come to expect delays at this time of the year, especially if there's rain or snow but what irks me is I've signed up for email alerts and I got nothing about route delays until I had made it home, some 2 hours later.
I think most passengers are fairly understanding. We know that when the weather changes some people continue to drive like idiots or they overcompensate and go way too slow. Traffic isn't a GO problem, and neither is construction.
But you're right, the one thing that burns people up is not having timely information. I stood there in the rain watching dozens of Out-of-Service buses go by while mine was 40 minutes late. One simple timely email would have been the difference between an inconvenienced passenger and a dissatisfied passenger.

C.J. Smith said...

You actually got an alert?
We got nothing.

Unknown said...

this doesnt make any sense i mean if you are waiting for a go bus you shold know what time they arrive i take the train out there everyday and i know that my go bus comes at 11 and 41 after the hour so i souldnt be standing outside waiting for the damn thing in the rain i would just use my head nad go waitinside until about five minutes before it is supposed to arrive not a half an hour thats just plain stupid and not only that but the station is improving who complains about that there are plenty of bus shelters along the fence line there for the city busses they go all the way to the end of the bus platform your arguement just makes you sound very unintelligent prehaps you should stop and think before you stand in the rain for a half an hour next time

Unknown said...

"...your arguement just makes you sound very unintelligent prehaps you should stop and think..."

...says the person with the 154 word run-on sentence, totally devoid of punctuation and laced with typos.


Unknown said...

wow sorry but i dont believe this is a speling contest nor is it a punctuation show so shut the fuck up bro!

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Damien
The bus is always there when the train lets out.
If it's not, it's late. Bus shelter #1 was packed. The smaller shelters you mentioned? Also packed.

Standing in the station doesn't allow anyone to see the bus loop.

About 390 people were impacted in the span of 30 minutes.

I disagree with you. No one was being stupid. Including me. The bus didn't show up.


C.J. Smith said...

Oh, and please watch how you speak to my audience. This isn't your personal soap box.

Unknown said...

yo lady i will say what i please this is the internet and this is public media i am allowed to coment whatever i want. and yes you where being dumb the bus is not always right there when you get off the train and you know that little booth inside the station that sells tickets? well they can tell you when the delayed busses will be arriving and again you dont need to see the bus loop when you are informed on what time the damn thing will be there. use your brain next time perhaps you wont get soaked!

p.s the blonde streak is very suiting lol

C.J. Smith said...

Wrong, Damien. You're not. You're not allowed to do what you want.

Thanks for your input. You seemed to have missed the whole point of the post. I'm sorry you didn't understand. Happy commuting!

Yolanda B Cool said...

I wonder what Damien does when his GO bus is cancelled.

And I wonder what Damien does when the station attendants have no idea where a bus is because, hey buddy, guess what WE DON'T. Not all the time. Sometimes we're trying to find out as much as information as drivers.

So thanks for the credit there, but unfortunately, the world isn't as perfect as you make it out to be.

C.J. Smith said...

Don't know. Don't care. Let's just hope the unicorn isn't double parked somewhere.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Just think how many "Damiens" there are out there, running around in the world.