tales to crummy - must be the TTC

Toronto, 2014.01.25

I took Ken to a birthday party for a boy who's a day younger than he, today. I dropped him off in a not-too-distant corner of Scarborough, and went to study for my dissertation for an hour or so. I'd timed my return to the party site so that I'd arrive 5-10 minutes before pick-up time. Not a problem at all, given that I was in a library across the street from a subway station only three stops along from the Warden station where the party was.

Or so I thought. Instead, the TTC threw everyone (all 350 of us, by my estimate) off the train at Victoria Park and let use wait the seven minutes until the next train. They effectively doubled my transit trip time with that stunt!

When I spoke with the mother of the birthday boy, she said that as a daily rider she understood completely. She had recently seen the case where the driver of a crowded street car regretfully told his riders that he'd have to short turn. But then he added that at the next stop he'd run up to the driver of the car ahead of him and ask the fellow to wait for the dozens of riders. And that's what he did, and the other driver agreed.

But as the first passengers arrived, that driver closed the doors and took off, leaving the first driver and his passengers to stand there in the cold, snowy evening, amazed.

That's what passes for customer service in a city completely dependent on its transit.

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reader comments

I have seen drivers here do the opposite. They phone each other asking for the other driver to hold at a stop for a transferring passenger. Of course, our buses come only every half hour. At best (every hour eves and Sundays). And in Nanaimo they did that, too.


See? Like normal citizens of a city that's not broken.


rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be crazier than I've been on this trip. I know very few things I'd take seriously any more. I'd certainly be less hygenic... I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would scale more mountains, I would swim more rivers, and I would watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it all over again, I'd have many more of them, in fact I'd try not to have anything else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of my day. If I had it to do all over again, I'd travel lighter, much lighter than I have. I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and I'd stay that way later in the fall. And I would ride more merry-go-rounds, and catch more gold rings, and greet more people and pick more flowers and dance more often. If I had it to do all over again - but you see, I don't.

-Jorge Luis Borges