Monday, December 22, 2008

When does 1/2 hour = 1 hours? Under new Go Transit Math

Go Transit Math can be interesting. I left work at 2:30 pm. Missed the 2:43 train even though it was delayed to 2:47pm. The next train was supposed to be 3:43 pm but was cancelled and a new train began at 4:10pm making all stops. Now this all stop train reached long branch and the doors would not close so they got maintenance staff to try and close them. Port Credit, Clarkson gave us the same problems. We rolled into Burlington station at 6:30pm so 4:10 to 6:30 = roughly 2 hours. The train usually takes 1 hour in good weather so that would be a 1 hour delay but according to Go Transit reps on the news trains were only delayed by 1/2 hour. I did notice that while we were stuck a few trains passed us. I am wondering if the train that passed us arrived at Burlington and was flagged in the logs as our train giving it the 1/2 hour delay. Then when ours arrived it became their train giving it a half hour delay or did they simply average the two.

Guessing they averaged the two, a 10 minute delay could then mean that three trains were on time and one was 1/2 hour late. It is my opinion that current metrics for go transit performance is not working.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Good Job TTC. Keep it up. Paramedics in the train

This move is one of the rare good moves the TTC has made lately and I would like
to congratulate them and tell them to keep it up. This is a great way to help save lives
and reduce train delays all in one sweep. You can read the article here.

Actually there are two good moves they are doing. The second is finally putting up those
protective screens for drivers. Police officers have had them for decades, Cabs have had them for quite a while now too. Its about time buses did the same especially with the 2 am routes through some rough areas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Service over safety: TTC employees

I challenge anyone who takes the TTC to read this article. I know we all complain about
late trains and buses. We cry for express buses and all but this is not the way to fix the problem.
I for one would rather know I am riding on a safe bus than get there 1/2 hour earlier.

The problem here is that public outcry has not led to efficiency in the areas it should.
There are things you can do for us that do not cost more money or put us in danger.

1) Make buying transit passes easier. That means filling the transit pass machines before and during the commute not at 9:00 am at the busiest hub (Union Station)

2) I know some commuters are going to laugh at this but when a train is late Go will appologize on behalf of Go Transit for the delay and make you aware why. When the doors are closing on a train you do not hear Go Transit yelling and screaming about the doors they simply say stand clear and give people a chance to get in. If someone does run the doors the Go Embassador says, "For your safety and the safety of others please stand clear of the doors" Its polite and friendly.

3) Maybe sweep out the stations once in a while. You will save in escalator repairs and maintance and people will start respecting their stations too.

Yes buses are over crowded and we need more so why not order more. It makes you wonder where all the TTC budget goes. I challenge any MP to look into the TTC budget and do an audit and if the books are clean give them more money but I am guessing there are a lot of black holes our money is falling in.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Go Transit Delays and cancellations not being sent out on go alerts

This morning on the Lakeshore Line in burlington the train that normally arrives at 7:15 was 17 minutes late. The 7:25 arrived on time but they decided it would bypass some stops so when the 7:15 train arrived the station worker announced that the 7:43 train was behind us. Our conductor had to correct her so people were not left stranded.

When I got to work I noticed none of these were mentioned in Go Transit Alerts is it possible that they are not being logged in the 90% on time stats either? I remember arriving late on a train and complaining at customer service where they claimed my train was not late when on the board it showed yellow for the next train east since ours was late arriving.

I would love to hear answers on this from someone from Go Transit reading this. Please comment and I will approve them. I think other riders would love to hear what Go Transit has to say.

Friday, November 07, 2008

90 on time rate and winter is coming. Let's See

I know you are all going to bring up the flaw in their 90% rating in that
they average it so when the 5:19 train leaves that minute early its factored in but come on.
They have been using the same flawed method for years and its only this year they got their
fudged number so high.

But alas winter approaches and this will be the tell tale sign of the new system. The new trains
are awesome but this will be their first real winter experience. I am crossing my fingers that
it all works. I have to admit over all Go Transit has been getting better. In some ways I think it
has some to do with the work Ed Drass and I along with all of you, giving Customer Service a good kick in the pants.

I know for a fact that Go Transit reads this blog and I hope those working there share it with their conductors and customer service embassadors as they are doing an amazing job. I want to point out one in particular. The blonde haired female embassador on the 5:34 train leaving Union. I saw how polite, helpful and friendly she is to everyone on the train. During the construction, she makes sure everyone knows about the cars not opening at some stations in a polite and friendly manner.

One more note: Do cancellations count in the on-time calculation. My go alerts today showed 2 train cancellations and a train modification. If they don't then in theory Go Transit could fudge the numbers by simply cancelling a train if its not in a busy time period instead of taking the late penalty. If someone from Go Transit is reading this I would like to hear a comment on whether this is a correct assumption. Also what are the stats on cancelations?

Its been a long trek but it is making a difference so keep sending me your stories and comments at

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Customer Appreciation Day

Thanks to Go Transit for the muffins, bags and gum this morning. It is good to see Go Transit showing appreciation for its riders. I am wondering when the TTC will be doing the same.

I have been writing this blog for over a year now and I have seen vast improvement in Go Transit Customer Service. Case in point, the sign change at Union a year ago we probably would not have seen all the newpaper ads, handounts, announcements on the trains they probably would have just done it. But now they communicate.

TTC needs to take a look at how Go Transit is doing things and make the change. When the trains stopped at Yonge and Bloor for the power line falling on the tracks, there was no communication just chaos. I was there and saw everyone still trying to get on the train. There were limited announcements, police were down there trying to get people up but the website still said business as usual.

If you have any comments on this post or any post please post the comments on the blogpost or email Susan Fischer at

Friday, September 19, 2008

Express Trains To Stop At Exhibition, I wish

I found it funny seeing one of the election candidates standing at Exhibition station but ignoring one of the Lakeshore Line communters major beefs. People getting off at Exhibition pay the same fare price as those at Union but they don't get the advantage of express trains. Out of fairness, all express trains should stop at both stops in the same zone. It is not going to cost them any more money.

For those taking express trains we know that they usually end up slowing down there anyway waiting for signals so why not just stop and be done with it.

Hopefully being an election year and the focus being on transit one of the candidates will read this and do something about it.

If you have any comments or suggestions for articles please email me at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Year Of Two Fare Hikes

I find it interesting how the transit systems have found a way to give communters two fare hikes in one year. What would happen if most employees asked for two raises a year? Oh gas is costing more so we have to raise the fare. Okay, transit is costing me more, I am going to have to raise my salary.

It doesn't work that way. There are a lot of people who are starting to take transit because fuel costs have gone up. Now with a surcharge it will cost them the same for a longer commute so back to driving. Then the government wonders why we are not meeting our green quota.

I can' t wait to hear a response from the government and transit systems. I am guessing they will ignore it and hope the issue goes away.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Asked for Reciepts again by revenue canada for the tax credit

Again I have been asked by revenue canada to send in all my reciepts for transit. This is two years in a row and the program has only been active two years. I am interested in how many are in the same boat or if they are simply picking on me. It seems that Mike Wallace is teaming up with them on this and is not going to help me. They say simply to mail them off my damn self. Rather than working on fixing the system, they are more interested in passing the buck back to us as its too time consuming. I guess its too time consuming to vote for them next election. I challenge all others who are having this issue to contact their MP and if they get the same response boot them out of office.

If I don't hear anything I will assume they are picking on me because I am writing this blog. If you are in the same boat and are facing the task of faxing in every receipt then please email me at as well email Mike Wallace at so he will have ammunition for this issue.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Finally a smart move by TTC and the Union. No Strike Monday

As is expected by anything that bears the ttc name the 4:00 dealine came and passed with no
word on strike or not. It was not until almost 6:00 that they finally told us that they reached a tentative deal.

So I guess we can take the train on Monday if we want. I still say we should boycott them in May and through the summer by walking that extra 1/2 hour or so instead of paying ttc the extra $100

Friday, April 18, 2008

Let's Show TTC how little we need them!!!

If we do get the strike on Monday then I for one will not be buying my May MetroPass and simply start walking from Union Station to Bloor. It will save me $100 a month and I will get the exercise. I highly recommend that the rest of us do the same. When they see the ridership fall then they will do something.

Its interesting hearing some of the comments like in 24 hours newspaper this morning.

"Our subway operators obviously have to be highly skilled to perform their jobs and they're always at risk of trauma from the tragedy of suicide.. but the TTC subway operator now makes less than a Mississauga bus operator."

I thought this was interesting because the focus here is on the more money the operator should get because of the trauma. But wait, what about more money to make the tracks safer. France has the enclosed platforms where the doors open when the train doors do.

The other thing is there is no reference here to Go Transit. Why are people not jumping in front of Go Trains? I guess the TTC makes it too easy for them. Instead of spending millions on cameras, why not spend it on making the stations safer for everyone.

The recent article I saw from Ed Drass was interesting too. He focused on the cleanliness of the ttc interesting how they do a major or minor clean once every 21 days. Imagine if you cleaned your house once every 21 days.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Brad Ross Strike

If the TTC goes on strike and we get service disruptions we can call the Rosses.
For example, we are currently experiencing a Ross in service please be patient.

Ross is promising that there would not be an issue with service for the customers so if we experience them, we can blame him. He is the one negotiating with the Union so not only
can he be held accountable for his negotiations but his comments on our not being delayed.

If the strike does happen and we do get delays I will be using this new nomenclature on my blog
when referring to TTC delays or service outages.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Go Transit Will Become Slow Transit From April 10 through 24

It seems that we are going to be experiencing delays between 5 to 10 minutes. I am guessing
that is on top of the usual under 10 minute delays.

So I guess with this blanket statement possibly any delay under 20 minutes during this period will not be listed on the go transit delay page.

LAKESHORE WEST: Due to CN track work from April 10 through 24 between Port
Credit and Oakville, trains will slow down through the work areas,
may result in delays of five to 10 minutes. We apologize for the

So maybe now I will actually catch the 5:19 train at Union as it will be late and arrive in burlington possibly its express status will get me home by 6:20, when my usual 5:34 train from Union would normally reach there.

Monday, March 24, 2008

TTC Survey - If you haven't filled it in you must. Let them know where they suck so they can improve things. LOL

I went to the TTC Suvey at and it was only about the
marketing board at the station and what ads you saw. Funny that the ad revenue
stream is more important than customer service.

I hear a lot of people complain about the TTC and that there is nowhere to complain.
Well here is the ttc survey. This is your chance to let the TTC know what you think.

I went to a free survey place and created a survey that asks real questions. Please go here
and fill it out. I will be posting the results here and sending a link to the ttc and metrolinx so
they can see what customers really think.

Click here to take our Online Survey

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Give your opinions to Metrolinx

I found this in an awkward way but here is the place you register to send comments to metrolinx about the GTTA and TTC:

You know I registered and voiced my concern for more buses, more reliable buses and possibly
a mopped floor once in a while in finch station. I think most commuters would agreee these are bigger concerns than showers at the stations and millions of dollars on cameras.

Wellesly is not well today, neither is the whole Yonge Bloor line from Union to Bloor

When arriving at Union on the 6:34am train and getting to track level with no announcement just a train running backwards out of the station I got concerned. I went back upstairs to see utter chaos. Purple jackets were handing out emergency shuttle vouchers and told people to take the Yonge Bloor bus. As more people pour in on the other trains people are told the stations are closed from Union to bloor.

Once I reached the shuttle bus two blocks away from Union Station and got on I found out that it was due to a fire at the Wellesly station. In this situation they lost a couple station on a busy line but and they had issues dealing with it. It does make you wonder what if the fire had happened at Yonge and Bloor or god forbid when they break foundation on that new condo, they penetrate the tunnel and stop trains in all 4 directions. That would mean 4 shuttle buses in opposite directions. Imagine the chaos. I wonder if that scenario plays out in their plans to make customers safer.

Originally this blog was to address Go Transit Safety issues but is seems Go Transit is starting to do a better job at that. Now let's hope the TTC can do the same. As far as safety goes, I think instead of those new safety cameras costing millions they should start now to find ways to inform passengers of what is going on and where they should go to get on with their commute. In future it would be great if the shuttle bus was right outside the station instead of two blocks away at Union. Plus with the number of communters coming in at this time there should be a team of buses there not just one special bus.

Interestingly enough I ran into a City Tv reporter out the front of Union and told him about the story of the line closed and he was more interested in doing a but about being someone neighbor.
I got my free box of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal from the Post guy. He was being more helpful than the TTC was, giving me and others directions to Yonge for the bus.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Make Love, Not War

After looking at the latest from Go Transit on the petition. I am not very impressed. Again they
are not fully listening. Let's form a committee to deal with this. Sounds like a good idea to add penalties for their suppliers if they don't measure up. All talk but no promises. The only promise we do have is that we are getting an increase in our monthly pass.

But alas, didn't Lennon say "make love not war?" Interestingly enough while the war brews with Go Transit and its riders take a break and check out How To Make Love To My Wife that launched yesterday as well on Maybe it could be a learning video for Go Transit to satisfy their customers. Check it out at:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Go Transit Petition For Fare Rebates

Susan Fisher pointed this out to me as she read it in the 24 newspaper and heard it on 680 news.
Finally someone has stepped up and said how we all feel.How many other businesses do you know allow their customers to be late with producton a regular basis or worse cancel deliveries.
I challenge anyone wo takes Go Transit or any transit on a regular basis to sign this petition.Let's show Go Transit how we feel.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Go Transit Says "Family Day Like A Saturday"

If you are unlucky enough to not get family day as a holiday, case in point unioned employees, you will not only fail to get the day off but your commute will be greater as all the express trains will not run. You will get Go Trains every hour.

Thanks Go Transit for the foresight in scheduling.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fare Hike and Tracking train delays

First of all, we are seeing another fare hike but not an improvement in service. The switches are still freezing and they have been given money to fix them.

Secondly is a bigger issue, Go Transit is more interested it appears in the number of delayed trains rather than customer service. At Burlington yesterday they had no idea when the next train was coming and when it did arrive they forced it through express so the express to pickering train was not delayed. The issue is that at Oakville they notified passengers that it would stop and as the passengers loaded up on the cold platform for the train it rushed by and then the announcement came on saying he is not stopping wait for the next one. I understand that the stats are important and in a way you were caring about the Pickering passengers but come on. You have a pa system. You knew when the train left burlington that it was not stopping at Oakville. Why not make the announcement at Oakville to say that so they can wait in the warm station instead of the cold platform.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Derailment - February 4, 2008

I read Ed's article in the Metro this morning on the derailment and how TTC reacted to it. I think however Ed is missing the real issue.

  1. A part fell off the bottom of the train dragging on the track. Is this due to failed maintenace? What if the train had derailed with people on it. Are there not checks done before each run to ensure the trains are in safe working order or at least at the start of shifts. Possibly trains should be taken off service throughout the day to check for damage. These trains make hundreds of trips a day.
  2. How about a spare track? I always found it odd that the ttc only has one track each direction. This causes a lot of problems as one delay in the system sends it all to a halt. Having the extra track would allow trains to be removed from the line to make room and allow trains to bypass stations with problems. So there is a customer issue or a train malfunction. Why can't the train simply bypass that station and everything move as usual. Once things are running again open that station. On the Yonge line the stations are not that far apart. If you really needed that station you could get off the next stop and catch the next one back. Trains run every two minutes. Its not like missing one on go.

I hope Ed and more importantly MetroLynks and TTC will read this. The extra track is money better spent than trying to get people to ride their bike to the station by providing showers.

I look forward to hearing comments on this.

Also, check out Ed Drass facebook group and join it to show TTC that we are coping with their incompetance :

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Newer Trains Introduction Delayed...By a few minutes

Its funny. I was reading the Metro the other day and saw Dalton McGinty and the new Go Trains. Funny that the article said the new trains were supposed to make service run more on time. The intro featuring the new trains was delayed.

The metro this morning mentioned another few things that are interesting. The government is saying that the tax credit is not working to promote new ridership. Well duh, any commuter could have told you that. The trains are so packed in the mornings that there is not a lot of room for people from their cars to ride the train. The plague of delays does not help either.

How about punishing people who claim the tax credit? Does that help? Well they are doing it to me. I put a legitimate deduction but they insisted I go to the ttc and get official reciepts because they didn't print prices etc on the cards. Also, as noted in the Metro this morning, transit ad campaigns are promising 15.5 percent back for the credit but now it will only be 15. That is false advertisement. Is the goverment going after them for that? No because they are not going to see any money from it, but if they bug us enough we will not claim it because its a hassle.

The funny thing is they are now looking at a carbon tax to promote ridership. Funny how the government sees credits or taxes as the solution. How about making the commute faster or more comfortable. I posted info about the Carbon tax asking where it was going but still have not heard any answer. I and I think a lot of commuters are thinking the money should go to transit funding and that should be audited. if money from the tax is going elsewhere the auditor should sound the alarm and the money should be siphened back from the department that stole it.

I look forward to hearing an answer.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No Lights in Burlington Go North Parking Lot

Although its tempting to complain about the engine failure this morning on the Lakeshore West line. The bigger issue and a safety one is that last night the lights in the Burlington Go North Parking Lot were off.

This poses a potential danger for women walking from the train to their cars. Go and TTC keep going on about passenger safety and that they will drop you off at a lit area between stops for safety. But if they take the go and get off and have to walk through darkness to their cars in the Burlington North Lot then they are at risk of being attacked and not knowing at all what the attacker looks like. This was not just an oh the lights burnt out. There are 4 bulbs per light post and many light fixtures in the lot. The only ones running were the distant ones so we all had to walk through the construction scaffold path with minimal light. This morning the light fixture in the construction area was on so either they fixed the broken bulbs on that one or someone noticed the error and turned that one back on. However the other ones in the parking lot were still off. Only the two far ones were on much like the evening. I will keep an eye out tonight to see if they are still off. I know Go Transit reads my blog so I am hoping for an answer to be posted or an eta on when they will be turned back on. If you don't see a posting here assume they are still broken. I will be sending an email off to Go Transit as well mentioning the blog post.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Carbon Tax and Service Improvements

I glimpsed a headline today about a Carbon Tax in the wings the help curb emissions. Much like
the cigarette tax curbed smoking. Let's hope the government uses the money from the proposed tax wisely and improves service for public transit. The way to get people riding the buses and trains is to improve service. The strange thing is that transit does not know what do do with the money. Here are a few tips:

1) Make TTC and Go Transit stations wheelchair accessible. I still find it ironic that Appleby Station, a relatively new station does not have elevators. I also find it hard to believe that the Yonge and Bloor subway station which is a link between the two subway lines has no elevator for the bloor line access and only one elevator to get to street level. Someone with a stroller or a wheelchair have no way to the surface if the one elevator is broken like it was today.

2) New switches. It is also odd that the main reason for Go Transit delays is switch problems yet when money comes in to help transit, the first thought isn't let's repair them. Its let's see how we can use it to open more lines and make money that way. If switches worked more regularly you would get less delays and more of us would take the existing trains.

A funny thing happened the other day that shows how much they are listening. I was at union for the first working day of the month. One of the TTC managers was looking at the line and trying to figure out why there were some many people in line and nobody using the machines. I proceeded to tell him that the MetroPass machines do not get filled until 9:00am after the morning rush. Also two of the token machines were broken. He was shocked and said we should do something about that. Its funny because for the past 6 months I have been sending in feedback to ttc. I sent on something to Metrolynk and even posted it here on my blog that I know is read by TTC and Go Transit staff as they have commented on it.

I look forward to seeing if this new Carbon Tax will be use properly or if its just another way for the government to get money and look like they are doing things for the environment.