Archive for the ‘Bus’ Category

Strange Marketing Angle

2009 June 5

As seen yesterday, just south of the Eaton Centre:

I’m not sure if this is better than the ‘Bad’ bus, or worse . . .

Quote of the Day!

2008 November 29

“In this weather, all I can think of is Maaaaui.”

– the extemely “friendly” crazy lady next to me on the Lawrence Avenue East bus yesterday, on my venture to Scarborough.  You can always count on a crazy or two to colour up your day around the GTA.


2008 April 26

Let the chaos ensue.

Maybe this will lead to some increased attention to bicycle safety and awareness in the city.

“It’s not fair!”

2008 April 17

Starting Monday morning at 4am, Toronto may be faced with a transit strike.  As somebody who has taken the worst transit system in the world TTC a lot over the course of the last 6 months, this is something of a conundrum of principles in my mind. 


On one hand, I think the Toronto Transit Commission really needs a freshening up.  I’ve heard that the system receives less than 1/3 the amount of money per capita than do other major cities that have excellent-functioning transportation operations, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.  I believe that given that about one sixth of Canada’s entire population lives in the GTA and probably closer to 1/3 comes to the city on a regular basis, all levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal) should pony-up some more cash and give this city a world-class transit system.  However, I’ve also heard somewhere that something like 25% of the City of Toronto’s budget goes towards the TTC.  How is this possible given that the service is so crappy, yet the fare is still so expensive?

On the other hand, after watching the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113‘s press conference this morning on CityTV, I can’t help but NOT feel sympathetic towards the workers.  It appeared that Bob Kinnear, the union’s President and spokesperson, used the phrase “not fair” about 10 000 times.  “We want to give him [Mayor David Miller] some time to step into this situation and do what is fair,” said Kinnear in his press appeal.

NEWSFLASH: life’s not fair.

Mr. Kinnear repeatedly compared TTC workers with both other city workers and transit workers in other areas of the Greater Toronto Area.  “Driving a street car on Queen Street in Toronto takes a lot more skill than driving a bus on Queen Street in Brampton.”  Ummm, I’m not sure if I agree with this or even understand what he means.  No offense to the streetcar drivers, but they don’t even have to steer.  The vehicles are on tracks; all they have to do other than hit the gas and the brake is open the doors and push the button so that the automated voice says “please move back.”  Forgetting about comparisons, and just thinking about this situation from a general perspective, what it comes down to is that, while this is an important service for the city, these jobs involve little skill and no education.  Is it fair for me to ask why these workers feel they deserve even greater benefits than they’re already getting – so much so that they are willing to derail (pardon the pun) an entire city, for who knows how long?

If you know me, or even if you’ve just read any of my blog posts here on TZero, you know that I am a huge proponent of public transportation.  However, I also complain a lot about the TTC because, for lack of a better term, it sucks.  The service is infrequent and sporatic, many of the drivers are unenthusiastic if not unfriendly, and a city with Toronto’s stature should have a sophisticated metro system, not these crappy streetcars.

To quote Bob Kinnear, I say “it’s not fair” that we’re stuck with the TTC.

I’ll Believe It When I See It

2008 February 15

So today it was announced that the TTC is going to be investing $21 million dollars to improve service on many of its lines, starting this Sunday.  This comes after significantly raising fares in November.  You can find the lines that are getting improved (and the supposed change in service) on the TTC website.

(photo courtesy of accordion guy)

What I find hilarious is that they think adding an extra bus or streetcar to a line will make a significant difference.   According to the Toronto Transit Commission, the College/Carleton streetcar now comes once every 5 minutes and 30 seconds, and will be improved to every 5 minutes.  This is kind of misleading, as surely these are averages.  The real problem is not the lack of enough vehicles, it’s dispatch problems and congestion.  The other day I waited for the streetcar for more than 25 minutes in the morning rush hour, only to see 14 streetcars – FOURTEEN – lined up back to back to back, coming in the other direction.

Instead of adding random buses and streetcars here and there, the TTC should invest in GPS for each of their vehicles, and a hefty improvement to dispatch training.  That way the buses and steetcars could be (and stay) properly spaced out, and therefore offer regular and timely service.

If you’re interested in further information, here’s CTV’s coverage of the story . . .