Tuesday, November 1, 2016


In what felt like it was going to be a repeat of September 27th, our train crawled through Toronto's east end while our CSA told us a signal issue was the problem. Minutes later, we were told our train was experiencing an equipment problem which meant we had to stop for a safety inspection. This was a rinse and repeat of the last incident which involved the same pattern of misleading information.

I was on the train with 90% of the people who were on the same train that broke down in September and left us stranded for 3.5 hours mere metres east of the Ajax GO Station platform.

Last night, after the conflicting information was announced, audible groans broke out in my coach as passengers looked at each other in disbelief. Those of us with kids at home waiting for us moms and dads to arrive to help prepare for Halloween night began pulling out cellphones and making alternate arrangements. 

Do you blame them?

Prior to September, I would have been rolling my eyes at people panicking prematurely like that. Yet, there I was, talking to my husband and giving him instructions on how to paint my daughter's eyes with makeup to look like a wolf. Needless to say, he didn't want to attempt it and my daughter went out trick or treating with no face paint and tears of disappointment. When I met up with her after she and my husband had already left to go trick or treating with her friends -- after I frantically changed, wolfed down a sandwich, and threw out a bowl of candy onto our porch for kids to take while we were out -- she was visibly upset at being the only one in her "pack" without face paint. I gave her a hug and told her that life is what it is and some things can't be helped.

Our train arrived 15 minutes late, but I take the GO bus home from the station which was holding for another train coming in behind mine and was impacted by transfers along the route (transfers that don't usually happen when everything runs on time). I was 39 minutes late arriving home last night. 

Our CSA stressed the entire delay was due to ensuring we arrived home safely for Halloween.

I'm just putting this out there ... are trains not thoroughly inspected before they are put into service? Passengers are losing confidence in the reliability of the service. You just have to read Twitter to realize I'm not exaggerating. 

Fare increases are historically introduced at the December board meeting for Metrolinx. I invite you to submit a deputation in advance of the December 8th board meeting. Comments must be submitted two days before the meeting to be considered. I don't know if a fare increase is being proposed but we can't be subjected to a 2017 fare increase. Metrolinx has had a disastrous 2016 and we shouldn't be punished financially for it.


Anonymous said...

The fare is going up regardless of new uniforms or not. When gas prices increased, they bumped fares as a result. When gas prices decreased... they still bumped up fares. They'll always find a reason to need more money. The problem is that the rate of increase is much higher than the rate of increase in everyone's pay (and the rate of increase of driving), so at some point it just becomes unjustifiable. At the current fares, it costs the same for me to drive and park downtown as it does to take the train. If it increases much more it'll be hard to make an economic case for the train, even taking the tax break into account.

G said...

Hey, at least we get our $1.30 back through the service guarantee. Woo hoo!

I love the Service Guarantee, but it definitely has its problems and it sets up a bad economic incentive: (1) Since refunds at the end of the month are very low (or zero), GO can "safely" send out iffy equipment towards the end of the month without fear of incurring any major expenses if things blow up; and (2) if one train is already delayed more than 15 minutes, they're better of just letting that one train sit for two hours (since the cost to them is no different) and let all the other trains whiz by on time than to take an action that would delay all the trains.

I'd love to get some stats on delays to see if they actually occur more frequently at the end of the month than at the beginning...

Anonymous said...

G I was the one who did a copy pasta on your comment because it was how I felt. I also think this website provides all the statistics to support your theory.

Tal Hartsfeld said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tal Hartsfeld said...

Those in charge are always so notorious for being clandestine while still expecting full honesty and disclosure from the rest of us.

OakvilletoToronto said...

Personally, this makes me question a lot of the decisions that GO is making. Investing $ in special technology that have facial recognition to catch graffiti guys? Meanwhile their trains are dirty inside, seem to have mechanical issues, and the signal system seems totally.. well F'ed. Who cares about a little graffiti on the outside of the train if you cant even run trains on time!

C.J. Smith said...

Investing $ in special technology that have facial recognition to catch graffiti guys?

Wait. What?!

B said...

I have collected data on my trains for the previous 6 years. It clearly shows Metrolinx posts false data on their website which by the way hasn't been updated since May. I have asked for their data and was denied. It does show that Monday's are statistically worse than any other day. Inept and non transparent. What else would you expect.