Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Great. Maybe with that $8.5M the fare increase generates, GO Transit can afford a proofreader ... and maybe a better bulk emailer, seeing as I got this email twice

So many Passenger Charter violations!

Hi CJ, 
I just returned from vacation to find this response in my inbox from GO about the Stouffville line changes.  The original email to GO is at the bottom of the email.  Not only did it take 9 business days to reply (I sent in my comments on June 9th), but it doesn't address a thing.  Immediately below, I've also attached some additional correspondence from Facebook.  Feel free to use anything you want to get the word out.  
GO Transit: Facebook

Go Transit really needs to acknowledge to its Stouffville line passengers that the changes to its schedule are not to their benefit. The change will result in a significantly longer commute time, plus added hassle of transferring at Unionville Stations for those commuting further north. For example, the 11:20am-12:05pm bus from MtJoy to Union station will now become 11:08am-11:31am bus from MtJoy to Unionville Station, 11:46 train from Unionville to Union station arriving at 12:27pm. 45 minutes total time now compared to 1h19m starting next week. This is just one of the many changes as well as the evening commute at 8pm8:30pm 9:40pm are increasing by 30 minutes in duration. Please explain yourself GO.


GO Transit Hi Paul, thank you for your feedback. We'll forward your concern to our team for advisement. This new changing coming to Stouffville line next week is part of the Reginal Express Rail way project. The ultimate goal is to have all-day, two-way train on Stouffville line. You can find more information here: ^CW

will be added to GO Transit’s Stouffville line from…
Paul Gill When the ultimate goal is to have all-day, two-way service at the expense of efficiency then I think you missed linking a key priority that is crucial to your customers. If you provided service every 20 minutes, but if it takes 50% longer, are you truly offering a better service? No, you are only providing more frequent service. Fast, frequent, economical, convenient and reliable service is exactly what you customers expect. Your revised scheduling taking effect June 26th does not check the box of all of the aforementioned priorities Just so you know, my commute time is currently is 20% longer than when I first started taking GO in 2006 from the exact same station.

From: GO Transit Customer Relations <>
Sent: June 21, 2017 1:39 PM
To: Paul Gill
Subject: We've Received Your Comments EM0016007382

Dear Mr. Gill,
Thank you for your recent email regarding the recent addition of midday and evening trains to the Stouffville line.
We always look for opportunities to tailor our service to meet the needs of our customers.  Although, there are no additional changes that will be made to the board change that takes effect on June 26th customer feedback on how we can improve service is very important to us.  Your suggestion has documented for review and consideration
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.
Customer Service Representative, Customer Relations, Customer Care 

From: Cindy (Cj) Smith <>Sent: June 12, 2017 1:58 PM
To: Paul Gill
Subject: Re: Stouffville Line Changes.

That's ridiculous. Please forward me the reply. I will publish your email (anonymously) and the reply.

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:15 AM, Paul Gill wrote:

FYI - It seems as if GoTransit is touting their new train service to Stouffville, but neglect to share the whole story with its passengers.  Below is an email I sent to customer service.  Just thought I would share since I believe this is incompetent planning at its best.

As a Stouffville line commuter, I "just read the service change update that is posted here:
MORE TRAIN TRIPS. MORE REASONS TO GO. As of June 26th, we’re bringing you a lot

more service on our Stouffville Line, so you and your neighbours can get to Toronto ...

Dear Go Transit,

Following my review of the schedule, I'm shocked if GoTransit actually views this change as a benefit to all its Stouffville commuters.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but my reading of the schedule now suggests that my commute time to Mount Joy station will increase from 37 minutes currently to 1 hour 7 minutes as of June 26th from 8pm onward (with exception of 10:30pm which is 53 minutes).  In addition, underpinning this is the fact that all customers will now be expected to disembark at Unionville station to transition to a bus to proceed northward.  How can you justify that this is a progressive change that is good for your customers if the results are 30 added minutes and an inconvenient transfer on top of this?   You have a lot of explaining to do to your Markham/Stouffville customer base."



Sure his name was "Simon Smith"...

New subsidy much lower than UPX's first year in operation, transportation minister calls it ‘great news.’

The province is subsidizing rides on the Union Pearson Express (UPX) at much lower levels than it did last year, but it still costs the public about $11 every time a passenger boards the controversial air-rail link.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Oh, look! Some kind of confirmation that I'll be riding a train out from Courtice in 2025

That will put me only 14 years away from retirement and 25 years from when we were first promised a GO train in Clarington. But hey, at least the folks in Kirby will get their train long before we do.

You ready to pay an extra 56 cents to ride the LSE? Board votes on 3% fare hike this Wednesday

Because *whah* fares didn't go up in February.
And you know why, because I would have torn Union Station down to the ground, thus, saving millions of dollars having Carillion do it.

But alas, it was short lived.

For me, as someone who travels Union to Oshawa and back, it's an extra 56 cents a day. This means I'm going to be chopping legs off at the knees. You know why.


Read the Board agenda

You can already buy coffee at Oshawa GO and I like the coffee at Oshawa GO ... because southern butter pecan!

date:Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 3:05 PM
subject:Tim's and GO

From GO's quarterly report to the Metrolinx board 
"This spring, we announced a pilot project to bring  Tim Hortons to a select number of GO stations. The new partnership between The Kilmer Group and Metrolinx will provide GO Transit customers with quick, convenient food and drink options from Tim Hortons at four GO stations: Oakville, Clarkson, Ajax and Oshawa"

Last time I checked, both Ajax and Oshawa already had places where you could buy coffee... 

Pungent indeed

It may be nothing more than a case of bad optics. But even the whiff of possible political interference in Metrolinx’s decision to approve the construction of two new GO stations — despite a study strongly advising against them — is just too pungent to ignore.

Is that an ashtray built into the end of the armrest?



Photo courtesy of Metrolinx

Rolling into the work week before a long weekend like ...

Friday, June 23, 2017

When the daytrippers come on board, all kinds of stupid shit comes with them

Does this make me an elitist commuter?


And I don't care what the occasional GO train customers think of me (or the rest of us who commute for work). I really don't. The amount of email I get from people who find this site when looking up schedules or how to scam Presto, who read the posts without realizing their shit is the shit we put up with during rush hours throughout the year, and bombard me with their righteous indignation over how they feel about my opinions about foot riders, suitcase straddlers, vapists, drunks, Blue Jays fans, you name it, gets immediately marked as spam.

I. Don't. Care.

Your annual $100 to $300 Go train fare to daytrip to concerts or a party, pales in comparison to what us "elitists" pay, so we are more than entitled to ask for - and demand - better service; courtesy and a comfortable ride.

If we ask you to be quiet in the quiet zone, then you be quiet in the quiet zone.

And now that we can't even claim a tax rebate for the money we shell out, well, now we're getting even more aggressive about calling you out for your shit.

A busted or jammed door means a thousand of us are now delayed. We don't care where you need to be. We just want to get home and at a time that allows us to enjoy our families, or our garden/patio, or get to an appointment on time.

Don't be a douche. The rules are no bikes during rush hour. I don't bring mine so you can't bring yours. The end.


You can view the rest of the pictures from yesterday's initiative on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bowmanville students celebrating #CommuteWithKindness day in honour of GO Transit’s 50th Anniversary

TORONTO: June 20, 2017 – A good start to the morning can make a world of difference in anyone’s day. Students at Bowmanville High School are hoping to provide a moment of happiness and get commuters started on a cheerful note during their morning journey to downtown Toronto with their self-titled “Commute With Kindness” Day (social media hashtag: #CommuteWithKindness).

Metrolinx is pleased to support the Bowmanville High School’s 2017 graduating Students On The Leading Edge [SOLE]  Leadership class to spread cheer and pay forward community goodwill. On Thursday, June 22, 2017, students will board Union Station-bound Lakeshore East GO train or GO bus in the morning to perform random acts of kindness for customers.

The students will celebrate their second annual Random Acts of Kindness event while honouring GO Transit’s 50th Anniversary. Commuters can expect to be challenged by trivia acknowledging both GO Transit and Canada’s 150th Birthday!

Members of the media are invited to document the Thursday morning journey by joining students as they travel to Union Station. GO Transit and Transit Safety staff will be on hand to ensure the trip is a safe and memorable one for all involved.

DATE: Thursday, June 22, 2017
TIME: Oshawa to Union train – Group #1 departing Oshawa GO at 0938hrs.
STARTING POINT: Oshawa GO Station – 915 Bloor Street West, Oshawa (Bloor Street & Thornton Road).
DESTINATION: Union Station (65 Front Street West, Toronto).

Monday, June 19, 2017

Good luck getting past Drive Clean

So, how's the cycling going ...?


Despite the ridiculous weather pattern swings... I managed to get into a routine (cycling posts are still public on Facebook for those cheering me on). Friday night, I had a personal best of 30 km in under 2 hours. And as you can see from the scale picture above, I'm down 20 pounds from my highest weight this year.

I have gained back most of my mobility. There is now renewed strength in my quads. I can sort of stand up and pedal but it's wonky - the balance isn't there yet.

My new bike outperforms my old bike in ways I have come to appreciate, especially when climbing hills. It's lighter and easier to manipulate.

But the best part of this weight loss is the clothes. I can fit into almost everything in my closet but at least, I can wear all my spring and summer pieces. I am continuing to listen to my body. I take breaks. I switch up my routes. I rest. But some rides, I do push myself only to see if I can do it and when I do it, I break into tears every single time.

The police called us to tell us they have a possible ID on one of the kids who stole Veronica, but there's been no further development.

I really doubt I'll ever see that bike again.

Wendel Clark, LLC (Licensed Lawyer Cat) left the family on Saturday, June 17 after a lengthy illness ... my daughter painted this tribute

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Life Lessons (go get your Mr. Rogers' cardigan and sneakers, because you'll need them)

Submitted to
By Anonymous

The following story has 2 morals, both of which will be told first:

1) Do not run to your car.  Nothing is worth those few extra seconds and minutes
2) Do not trust GO Transit to assist in a timely manner in an emergency.

The story:
Caught the 4:30 LSE train and disembarked at Ajax.  Took the elevator to the tunnel as the knee isn't working because of the heat and humidity (had I took the stairs, would not have seen this).

A woman was rushing and either tripped over her feet or someone cut her off and tripped her.  She did a complete faceplant.  Was knocked unconscious and started bleeding profusely from a head wound.

Another woman who was closer to the scene managed to get to the injured woman, keep her immobile (when she came to there was confusion and she fought the hands holding her still) and with scavenged kleenex and napkins made a compress for the head wound.  Two other women called 911, someone called GO Transit from the emergency button and at least one man alerted the station attendants.  

I gave an update to one of the women who got through to 911, and then let the group know the ambulance is coming.  As I was walking as fast as I could to see if the ambulance arrived one station attendant finally arrived.  Taking her sweet ass time to get to the injured woman.  To make matters worse as we made eye contact, the attendant smirked.  There was no hurry to the scene of an emergency.  This was completely unacceptable.

Once the EMTs arrived, I did leave the scene and I called GO Transit once home to mention the completely unacceptable behaviour of the attendant.  Suggesting that if they do not have first aid training, then they need to complete courses, as unconsciousness and blood indicate an emergency.  Heck they are the two things that will get you bumped to the top of the list in the ER. 

In the end, I really hope the injured woman is ok and back on her feet soon.  

But I really hope to never need assistance if everyone reacts the way the station attendant acted.

And please people: rushing to your cars/buses/rides is not worth it.  Especially if it could land you in the hospital.


GO Transit has officially launched an investigation into this incident. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

WIFI coming to GO trains?! It's looking like a possibility (especially for y'all too cheap to buy data - just sayin' ... )

Through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process, Metrolinx endeavors to identify a partner (includes consortiums acting as one group) to provide a fully managed turnkey Customer Wireless Internet Service (which could include partner provided content/infotainment), to all GO Transit passengers throughout their journey to enhance the customer experience.

Metrolinx is also looking for a solution that is cost neutral through a revenue generation model and supports the ability to collect data for the analytical purpose of tracking customer flow and frequency.

Source Document 

I'm being quite serious... TONIGHT IN COURTICE, HAVE YOUR SAY - Holy Trinity High School: 6:30-8:30 pm

To whom it may concern,

As an active role you play in the Clarington community or in transportation, I am inviting you to participate in the upcoming workshops on the development of Clarington’s Transportation Hubs. Please also feel free to forward this notice to other members in your social circles that may be interested in attending. We would like to spread the word about the upcoming community visioning workshops.

This is a special project to develop a high level vision for the two transportation hubs around the future Courtice and Bowmanville GO stations. The intent is to ensure that the development around the stations are appropriately planned. The final vision and concept plan developed through this project will be used to inform a number of Metrolinx studies, as well as the Secondary Plans for each respective area.

Any assistance in getting the word out to as many people as possible would be much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Planning Services Department    
Municipality of Clarington                                                                         
40 Temperance Street, Bowmanville ON L1C 3A6
905-623-3379 ext. 2422 | 1-800-563-1195

Monday, June 5, 2017

There are workers on-site at Burlington today! For how long, no one knows... probably working hard on getting the water fountain up and running now that two elevators are finished

Chaos! Chaos everywhere!

New platform line up for Lakeshore West and Milton GO trains.

Starts June 7. 

Win $50 on a Presto card in this GO Transit contest by sharing your GO Story (no doubt I'm disqualified right out of the gate here)

Bought a Betty

I've resigned myself to the fact that Veronica is gone and forked out for a new bike (and all new lights, accessories, reflective tape, etc...). I went back to Impala Bicycles in Whitby since they were great to me the first time, even though they no longer sell Giant bikes. I settled on a Specialized Crossroads S/T.

Betty, as I've named her, is 12 pounds lighter than my previous girl (I miss you, Veronica! *sob*). I will admit this weight difference has made a big difference in my rides. Hills are easier and I get better speed. I rode to Hampton from Courtice twice this weekend since the ride was so comfortable. Her tires are wider which makes for a better grip when I drift onto soft shoulders. I'm happy with her.

I also want to thank everyone who shared my search to reclaim Veronica. I deeply appreciate these efforts. I also want to publicly thank a lovely woman who reached out to me to offer me a used bike. I took her up on this offer as I had promised my daughter a bike this year. That meant a lot to me. Thank you.

Your body when your stop's coming up and your boot is ready to push the button

The discarded food container is also a nice touch.
There's so much class being displayed here my nana would be so proud.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Had the most amazing train ride home last night...

It started with garlic and ended with the Walking Dead.

I was late for the train and wound up wedging myself in a quad with three other people intent on carrying their life's possessions to and from work. Bags! Bags everywhere! The woman across from me had a bag for her lunch, a bag for her shoes, a bag for her wallet, a bag for her keys, a bag for her make-up - Jesus, buy a suitcase and be done with it. She made a big production of moving all these bags for me to have a place to put my feet. Lots of sighing. Really? I pay my fare. You're the inconvenience, girly, not I.

Once I was settled in, my nostrils began burning. The woman beside me had obviously been to a garlic festival. It was bad. Really bad. She yawned. Three times. My esophagus closed up. I couldn't breathe through my nose or my mouth. I shrunk down and yanked up my shirt up like a mask.

She and bag lady left the train at Pickering.

This left just two of us in the quad. I was wearing earbuds and the lady I was with, was not. Two other women in a quad across from me were gesturing and pointing at me. I saw this out of the corner of my eye and when I looked up, they both quickly glanced away. I didn't have any music playing at the time because my playlist had stopped, and I could hear music playing from behind me. I pulled my earbuds out, and pulled the earbuds out of the phone and tossed them onto the seat next to me. I began handling my phone in a way to demonstrate I was not listening to anything. Music was still going... and I could tell by their body language they were embarrassed they had fingered the wrong person.

At Ajax, the person seated behind me playing music loudly exited the train.

This guy comes upstairs. He sits in the quad in front of me and begins to watch an episode of the Walking Dead with no headphones and at a volume not acceptable for the Quiet Zone. All we could hear was the growling of zombies, gunshots and tires squealing. No one dared to ask him to turn it off. Instead, there was lot of exchanges of WTF? faces, eye rolling and huffing and puffing. Some guy decided to make a phone call telling whoever was on the other end how annoying the train ride is. It was hysterical. He was loud enough for everyone to hear, on purpose.

At Oshawa, as we were all exiting, some guy who was in the bathroom didn't lock the door and everyone lined up to file out were treated to a view of him fully engaged on the toilet. The woman who rolled open the door turned a deep red and jumped off the train.

It's been a long time since I've rode this crazy train.