Friday, December 14, 2007

400 Millions and It will take 2 years to figure out what to do with it

This is very interesting. Communters have been complaining for years to Go Transit and the TTC and suggesting small things they could do now to improve things. The excuse was we don't have to money to do it.

Ironically, now they have the money and it will take them two years to figure out what to do with it. Well commuters can tell them a lot and the auditor did too. We need the switches replaced that are always breaking. For example the one leaving union on track 3. Its always frozen or broken or someone needs to jackhammer it. I am sure out of $400 million you could afford to do that.

For TTC, how about spending money on repairing some of the platforms. There are tiles that look like they are going to fall off above us at some stations. How about re-opening the order for the buses you were going to use to expand the fleet. Are you telling me it takes 2 years to make a new bus? If so, no wonder there are so many cars out there. They can mass produce millions at the blink of an eye.

If the problem is that you are not getting the money for 2 years from the government that is another story. The government has no problem taking our tax money every year but when it sponsors programs they always defer it. They get the popularity now but the next guy in office flips the bill. If it happens to be themselves then they reiterate how they are keeping their promise now after 2 years and here is the money.

The solution here is for more of us to be vocal to Metrolinx and Go Transit as well as to the Ministry of Transport. I know people from Go Transit and the Ministry of Transport read my blog so its a perfect place to post comments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

McCarter's Auditors Report says Poor Service. Will Go Transit Respond?

Its interesting because last night I was on the 8:43pm train out of Union and we sat on the train until after 9:00pm while all the crew at Union worked on getting the switch fixed. Its funny in a way because the conductor joked about the dispatch finally waking up and maybe they would let us back up and go through another track when we finally moved forward. What if at 8:43 when the switch was determined to be broken they had backed us up and put us on our way. We could have got out of Union almost on time.

This morning on the 6:55am train arriving at Burlington, the entire train had no head and minimal lighting. Since this is a common occurance in winter, I have a good cost cutting measure for Go Transit. I came up with it as I wore my NorthFace Coat and Merrel Shoes. Why doesn't Go Transit run their engines all the time with minimal heat and provide all Monthy pass holders with a new NorthFace jacket. It would be a lot cheaper than fixing all the trains. The customers would be very happy getting their coats and would be warm, not noticing the missing heat. How about it Go Transit? You could take the added savings and use it to fix the switches.

I found it interesting how the Auditor himself got stuck at Clarkson waiting for 40 minutes due to mechanical conditions. The thing I found interesting was the 89.5% on time, I guess that is the official numbers, so since I have been on late trains that the customer service at go says never occured I wonder where the real number lies. I am thinking a lot lower.

Riders on the rapidly growing commuter-rail service endured more than 160 train
cancellations and 3,400 delays between October, 2006, and February, 2007, the
report says. Over all, only 85 per cent of trains ran on time, nearly 10 per
cent off GO's performance in past years.

Here is an idea, how about a rider suggestion box on your website one you actually look at to find ways of optimizing rail traffic. We ride it every day so we know first hand where, when and why the trains are getting delayed. Sometimes its just a matter of the train changing track unnecessarily.

The other comment the Auditor made was about fare collection and 40% of the time them not getting a ticket but a warning. One of the problems with the system is that a lot of the ticket stampers simply don't work. The other day I spent 3 minutes trying to get the ticket stamped and ended up missing my train because it arrived and left early. Most months I buy my monthly pass but in december since most of us have christmas break off its not economical to do so but I notice a lot of people use the ten rides year round and I see a lot of them complaining.

Now that the Auditor is complaining and not just all the Go passengers, it will be interesting if Go Transit responds. I know they read my blog so posting comments here would be one way to show you are listening. Another would be to issue a press release with what you plan on doing over the next couple months to help.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Metrolinx NOT Metrolynx or Metrolinks

It seems when it comes to the TTC they always do everything confusing and backwards so why
should their new name be any different.

Metrolinks would be obvious as a link of the metro transit systems. MetroLynx would be a cat
that runs really fast but maybe they decided not to because of all the transit delays. I guess they opted for a name that says we are metro and we will try and appear to be faster but not really.

Here is the real link to their site. Check it out and hopefully they will put up some area where we can voice our concerns to help improve transit.

Since I could not find the comment area on their site here is my first comment for them:

At the beginning of the month when people are wanting to buy their transit passes at Union Station. Instead of filling the metropass machines after the morning rush, how about doing it before so all those people in line for passes at the booths could use the machine. This would allow people buying tokens to get through faster and the same for those purchasing passes. It took me over an hour to buy my pass at union station because your guys filling the machines didn't arrive until close to 9:00. This is not just this month. Over the past 4 months it has happened each month.

Hope some of the MetroLinx people will eye my comments and take action. Once your commenting section is available I would appreciate if you would place a comment here with the link. It would help those reading my blog to take advantage of it.