Author Topic: Transit Rage  (Read 32663 times)

Herr Magoo

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Transit Rage
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2007, 10:37:54 AM »
I waited in -20 weather for over 40 minutes for a streetcar today.  About 5 of them went by, in total.  One stopped and let some people on, but there simply wasn't room for everyone.  The rest just chugged right by.  

I got to work with numb toes, 30 minutes late, and I paid for the privelege.  Thanks, "Better" Way!  

I've made it my mission to convince the naive and idealistic to buy a car.  There's nothing "Better" about being late.  There's nothing "Better" about paying to ride a streetcar that won't even stop to say "sorry, we don't know how to run more cars".  There's nothing "Better" about standing with a stranger's armpit in your face.  There's nothing "Better" about paying good money for a transit ride home, only to get a half a ride home because it's just super important that the vehicle you're on "short turns" for someone else's convenience.  No problem, folks... just go back out in the cold.  Another one will be along in 40 minutes!

Sure, it's "better" than walking, but only by a little, and some days not at all.  When the TTC chooses to, y'know, actually improve service to coincide with their yearly fare hike, or when they start treating riders like customers, or if it even seems to me at some point that they give anything even slightly resembling a flying fuck, maybe I'll recant.  But for now, buy a car.  A nice, warm, not-gonna-make-you-30-minutes-late car.  A nice car with seats for everyone.  Fuck Al Gore.  I didn't see HIM waiting for the streetcar this morning.
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Boom Boom

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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2007, 10:45:25 AM »
Quote from: Herr Magoo
I waited in -20 weather for over 40 minutes for a streetcar today.  About 5 of them went by, in total.  One stopped and let some people on, but there simply wasn't room for everyone.  The rest just chugged right by.  


That's bad. I can see that kind of experience would lead to using a car, instead. I'd prefer to see the transit service greatly improved, because more cars would lead to more gridlock, wouldn't it?

lagatta

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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2007, 10:51:49 AM »
That's for sure, but it is absurd to actually have FEWER streetcars running.

I always used to love Toronto streetcars, but what a pity the service has degenerated in that way.

In Amsterdam, which is much smaller than Toronto, they arrive constantly - and are never as crowded as Magoo describes.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
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Herr Magoo

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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2007, 11:28:34 AM »
Honestly, that really does puzzle me.  If I tried to fit 5 people in the backseat of a car, and got pulled over, I'd be looking at a ticket, for sure.  If nobody was wearing a seatbelt, even more tickets all 'round.  And if one or two passengers were standing while I drove?  Forget about it.

But on the TTC, it's apparently not at all unsafe to have people standing up, crammed into a moving vehicle.  Nothing to hold on to?  Well, you can always just hold onto your jewels and pray that the driver doesn't slam on the brakes, or you're going to get some free dental work from the back of someone's head.

Why do bars and restaurants have occupancy limits, in the interest of safety, but a TTC streetcar is practically a contest to see how many riders (and fares!) the TTC can cram in before they actually have to run another streetcar?  Yesterday I didn't want to be late, so I rode most of the way on the bottom step of the streetcar, with my backpack pressed against the doors.  Someone tell me that's safe.  I'll concede that I'm also responsible for my own safety, and could/should wait for a less crowded streetcar, but as noted above, that didn't work out that well for me today either.  I can choose between an unsafe ride, waiting 40 minutes for a safer ride, or I can save my pennies and buy a smogmobile.  Again, thank you for making the choice easy, TTC.  

I'm in favour of public transit, if public transit can be made to work reasonably.  Clearly, obviously, at nearly $3 per ride, if you're lucky enough to have a streetcar stop for you (or take you all the way) it cannot be done.  Let's just cut our losses and get some cars.  Seriously.  Put whatever public funding the TTC gets into wider streets and gas tax subsidies if they can't do better than this.

Ed'd to add: or here's another idea:  privatize it.  Get companies fighting for my business.  Get some fare sales for a change, rather than the annual "we so poor" fare hike.  Get a bit of customer service.  Get the TTC a little more hungry and a little less complacent, and let them earn their money.  Somewhere out there exists a company that would love to take over transit in Toronto, and I'm betting they'd do what it takes to attract and keep riders, starting with treating their business like a business, and their customers as customers.

I really, honestly, don't think the TTC cares about riders, and it shows.  I'm pretty confident that the other commuters waiting at my stop are also thinking about cars right now.
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Boom Boom

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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2007, 11:34:25 AM »
Magoo, you should be sending these posts to the TTC, Mayor Miller, and the newspapers,  just to see what reaction you get. I predict a wave of sympathy.

Zastrozzi

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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2007, 05:43:24 PM »
Well, there is a bit of good news today -- Stephen Harper has officially discovered Toronto, and is putting $962 million into Toronto transit and highways. Although whether it's being directed to the areas of greatest need is another question.
Quote
The transit funding includes money for:

- An expansion of Toronto's University-Spadina subway line from the Downsview stop to York University and into York Region.
- Bus rapid transit, or dedicated bus lanes, in surrounding regions.
- Extending the 407 Express Toll Route east.
- Extending Highway 404 north almost to the shores of Lake Simcoe.
There's a Globe article about this as well:
Quote
The federal government is expected to announce today $1-billion in transit funding for the Greater Toronto Area, a day after the Federation of Canadian Municipalities called for twice that amount annually. ...

"This is great news but ultimately we require a sustained funding program . . . it really represents only an increment of what we ultimately need," said Robert MacIsaac, chair of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, which manages regional transit and transportation planning. ...

"We have to make up for the chronic underfunding that we've seen for literally decades and we need to expand to meet growing need."

His argument echoed the federation's call yesterday for a national transit strategy. ...

Today's new funding from Ottawa will match provincial money set aside last year but which has been held in trust awaiting a federal contribution.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2007, 08:16:20 PM »
Any federal monies for rapid transit for the city of Ottawa in today's announcement?

Mandos

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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2007, 08:23:18 PM »
Unlikely, there are too many people in Ottawa who clearly don't want it.   :roll:

Boom Boom

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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2007, 08:28:49 PM »
:(

Croghan27

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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2007, 08:57:55 PM »
Quote
Unlikely, there are too many people in Ottawa who clearly don't want it.


The irksome part is that downtown there are more than enough people that want it .... it is the 'burbs' that deep sixed it.  :x

I do not think they realize development that comes with mass transit - when they were doing the subway construction for the North York --> east new subway line, the underground construction was matched by the large buildings going up.
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lagatta

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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2007, 09:16:08 PM »
Isn't Ottawa bigger now than Tranna was when the subway was built? Seems so to me.

I'm sure an accomodation across the Ottawa river could be reached. Hell, there are transport systems between France and Belgium, and even between former enemies France and Germany...
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Mandos

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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2007, 09:21:00 PM »
Oh, I'm sure that Ottawa is bigger now. Everyone in Ottawa pays lip service to it, and some people are on crack.

arborman

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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2007, 01:06:03 AM »
Quote from: Croghan27
The irksome part is that downtown there are more than enough people that want it .... it is the 'burbs' that deep sixed it.  


One of the hazards of amalgamation that was identified by Jane Jacobs was that the burbs would outvote the core, and thus force big idiotic highways everywhere to 'shorten' their commute.  To the detriment of us all.
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Mandos

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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2007, 01:32:12 AM »
Oh, it's not really the burbs in Ottawa, as I understand it, it's the weird non-city parts that got amalgamated.  Different suburbs had different ideas about who should get the O-train, and the North-South (ie, feasible) line was deep-sixed in favour of a pie in the sky promise to renegotiate that line for an east-west line.

Croghan27

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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2007, 01:36:43 AM »
Quote from: arborman
Quote from: Croghan27
The irksome part is that downtown there are more than enough people that want it .... it is the 'burbs' that deep sixed it.  

One of the hazards of amalgamation that was identified by Jane Jacobs was that the burbs would outvote the core, and thus force big idiotic highways everywhere to 'shorten' their commute.  To the detriment of us all.


arborman, that is exactly what happened. The downtown core voted 3-1 for candidates that supported the transit system, the 'burbs' 3-1 the other way and we are stuck with this 'businessman' Larry O'Brian who prompty so changed the proposal the feds withdrew their 200 million until they could see what was happening and the province did the same.

The city is now being sued for several hundred million by Siemons for breach of contract. They probably will not get it but they will get a large hunk for money they already spent on egineering work.

Larry, of course, promised a 'no tax increase' budget ("watch my lips?") - and any shortfall is being made up with delights like transit fare increases.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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