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.

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