Archive for the ‘Subway’ Category

Goodbye L.C. Hello Photoshop?

2009 March 3

Any of you who have taken a ride on the TTC in the last few months have obviously seen this advertisement plastered all over the subway cars:

Is it just me or does this chick have a wonky-eye? 

I imagine she doesn’t really, considering she’s the star of an MTV spinoff reality show (okay, that might not be that great.)  But don’t you think the marketers could have chosen a better pic of Whitney Port, or at least put it through the retoucher machine?

TV Worth Watching

2009 February 2

I saw this poster in the subway car today, and I learned something new!  It’s actually advertisement for the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, at the University of Toronto.

Guns Suck

2009 January 22

I was riding my bike around downtown this morning and noticed a helicopter hovering above the city centre.  Later, when I got home and was browsing the internet to see what might have happened, I discovered that there had been a shooting, around quarter to eleven, on the Osgoode station subway platform!  A 19-year-old guy was shot in the leg and abdomen (the wounds are not life-threatening) after an apparent altercation with another young man.  The suspect is described as a black man with light complextion, wearing a black parka with fur trim and a Blue Jays baseball cap.  If you have any information about this incident, call 911.

VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER TO ONE’S PROBLEMS.

To Boldly Ring, Where No Cellie Has Rung Before

2008 December 5

Guess what?  Soon you’ll be able to talk on your cell phone, continuously, nearly everywhere you go!  CityNews reports on the TTC’s confirmation that it is working on a plan to bring cell phone service to the subway.

Kind of funny, considering that this service is already commonplace in major centres around the world, including Montreal and Boston.  Service in Toronto is proposed to begin sometime in 2010.

S.T.R.I.K.E.

2008 April 26

Yesss.
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. 

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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.

Tennis in a Land Far, Far Away

2007 August 18

Yesterday my roommate and I ventured up to York University to attend the Rogers Cup WTA tennis tournament. The tennis was amazing, but we couldn’t help but question not only why York University is home to this tournament (being so far away from downtown), but also why York is where it is at all. It took us over an hour to get there via public transportation including 3 transfers and a long walk. We watched the quarter final matches and the Rexall Centre was largely empty – surely more people would attend if it was more accessible. Why didn’t they build the National Tennis Centre somewhere that’s at least on the subway line?

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Here’s an article from Sports Venue Technology (a website devoted to the sports venue industry) that discusses the inception of the Rexall Centre and Canada’s National Tennis Centre.

Suburbian Invasion (aka Taste of the Danforth)

2007 August 11

Today one of my roommates and I decided to trek over to Greektown to check out Toronto’s largest street festival: Taste of the Danforth.  First of all, we took the subway because parking would probably be hell my roommate doesn’t remember how to ride a bike.  I haven’t been on the subway in a long time, and it was kind of funny because subways – like grocery stores – are the great equalizer.  You really see everybody on the subway, from businesspeople to crazies screaming throughout the whole car that they haven’t eaten anything in 4 days.

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Anyway, by the time we get there I’m really hungry.  It was a good thing, because this festival is all about food.  And there were literally about a million people there, all interested in stuffing themselves tasting the delicacies of Greece.  I found it ironic, though, that much of the food was not Greek.  I mean, sure, the majority was food from Greek restaurants, but I thought this was supposed to be a Greek festival!  Why were there booths selling paella and corn on the cob?  But that’s really neither here nor there.  What’s important is that I got my fill of both delicious food as well as crazy Torontonians.  I ate all the most likely candidates: souvlaki, baklava, and spanakopita.  I also had some fresh fruit and a coke.  Mmmm.

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Top row: us eating
Middle row: close-ups of food, including the biggest spit of meat I’ve ever seen
Bottom row: crazies (somebody actually shaving at the Gillet Fusion booth, and a woman from some activist group claiming that 9/11 was “an inside job,” whatever that means.  Why the hell is she holding an earth painted on a lampshade?)