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Everything posted by FutureHeartsJunkie

  1. I've been using the OnDemand Service that DRT had offered for a while now and each trip I took - was a DRT-Branded Promaster vehicle. Is it uncommon to see a "contracted taxi" appear on the DRT On-Demand app as one of the vehicles requested for the service? During my observations down at the Ajax GO, I often see "Circle Taxi"-branded vehicles acting as a"guise" for the DRT On-Demand Service.
  2. I really wished that CIII-DT (a TV station in Toronto that is part of the Global Television Network) should provide a separate newcast - serving Ottawa. For years, many viewers in Ottawa can receive Global Television over the air (aside from being available on cable/satellite/IPTV) - but sadly, they lack a newscast for Ottawa (covering news stories in that city). When I was in Ottawa recently, I saw some news topics covering Toronto (as it had during the TV station's existence).
  3. Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the introduction of the Ontario Photo Card - an alternative form of ID for people who can't drive or other things relating to that. I was not the only person who had lobbied for this to come true! There's one time I had created a Facebook group dedicating to the discussion about this document (alongside with a petition organized by a former MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament of Ontario) Bob Delaney. While there hadn't been a "connection" between my now-closed Facebook group and that petition, it appeared that the Ontario government finally listened). As I had stated in my last few posts, getting to know what the Ontario Photo Card is like along with the familiarity of it still continues (even after being introduced). Aside from that, I also heard that there's a new statutory holiday in Canada that takes place on September 30th (and will be introduced this year): "Truth and Reconciliation Day". It would have been nice if that holidays was officially recognized everywhere in Canada regardless of sector. Speaking of statutory holidays, Ontario is the only province so far that Remembrance Day isn't recognized as a Statutory Holiday (other than federally or provincially-regulated sectors). I would really wish that Ontario should remove some provisions that will allow provincially-regulated sectors (i.e. Drivetest, ServiceOntario, etc.) to open on that holiday (for today's society) or even remove provisions that certain holidays won't be observed if a holiday falls on a weekend (but that will upset many people).
  4. Before the Ontario Photo Card was introduced, I have to carry my student transcript (dated June 2008) from my college that has my address along with my passport. With the Ontario Photo Card however, that instance was eliminated - to some extent. While many places now recognize the Ontario Photo Card (the majority of which contributed the revamp of the liquor laws of Ontario back in 2011), many places (to this day) still don't accept the ID (some are living - like the Ontario Photo Card doesn't exist)! What's more, you can't hold an Ontario Photo Card and a driver's license at the same time (even if you have a different legal last name)!
  5. It's been nearly a decade since the province of Ontario - had finally managed to address a problem with regards to people who cannot drive but need to have a form of ID to use (without the need to get a driver's license). That non drivers ID card is the Ontario Photo Card (it's the purple photo ID card - to distinguish between the green photo health card and the common blue/white driver's license ID that you Ontarians are familiar with). The cost on getting that purple card: $35CDN. Compared with a driver's license, it's four times that price (what's more you have to write the test every 5 years to get the driver's license - even if you don't like driving)! I once used to create a video blog about the Ontario Photo Card back in 2011 and since that video blog had been created, other videos suddenly pop up since then describing the same issue. Since the Ontario Photo Card was introduced a decade ago, many of the designs had changed (with minor differences). Sadly enough (without detection), many black market fake ID places are trying to offer a replica of the Ontario Photo Card (the official one has a cut-off corner at the top right, while the fake one is the same size as a standard Ontario Driver's License) - at half the price of the official Ontario Photo Card. Another issue (that haunts me to this day) is that not many places don't recognize the Ontario Photo Card (even though it is officially legal ID). Think about this as a "language barrier" (with a twist) I used to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper about the Ontario Photo Card - but that was back in 2012.
  6. 1) Not sure if Durham Region Transit buses would be able to cruise along the 401 at highway speeds owning to the number of passengers on board. 2) Unclear if that will ever happen. 3) Currently, DRT Pulse route 900 has been using the Centennial Circle loop (from my own experience when taking that route a while back in February 2020). There was a time in which DRT Pulse 900 terminates directly at the UTSC (University of Toronto (at) Scarborough Campus) when the bus route was launched back in late June-2013. However it's final terminating point nowadays is Centennial Circle (since January 2019). If one of my colleagues could correct my statements, that'll be ultra helpful.
  7. Paul Soles, known for his work such as the voice actor of "Spider-Man" (the original series from the 1960s) had passed away at the age of 90. https://www.thewrap.com/paul-soles-animated-spider-man-voice-1960s-dies-90/
  8. In other related news, The Durham Region Transit Customer Service Centre (CSC) located at the Ajax GO station - now offers customers to tap using their debit card, credit card or mobile wallet/device (linked via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay) when buying a PRESTO Card and loading funds/transit passes on PRESTO. I've recently discovered that a few weeks ago when I loaded my DRT pass on PRESTO. Until recently, you have to insert your credit/debit card on the PIN Pad and enter your PIN number (on the old POS (point of sale) device). They recently upgraded to a newer model that runs on a mobile (cellular) phone connection. While it's unclear when DRT will offer contactless payments by credit/debit cards onboard their buses, it's a giant step forward.
  9. Here's one recent TV commercial that I just discovered now (FYI Transit-fanners: extra XP points to know which bus was used in the commercial and the location in which where it was filmed!):
  10. I was anticipating that the On-demand will be expanded in some form (especially those neighbourhoods that once had a bus route but not anymore - the 225 for example), but we'll see on what beyond the five year plan will be. As for the 101, the biggest clientele who uses that route are the employees at OPG and HO (OPG = Ontario Power Generation, HO = Hydro One) among other businesses within the southern part of the Industrial Area in Pickering. For the Oshawa routes you had mentioned, I'm not sure how will that play a role for students attending Durham College (both the Whitby and Oshawa campuses) , OTU (Ontario Tech University) and TUO (Trent University Oshawa)?
  11. Remember my thought on my wish that "Hockey Night in Canada" should be broadcasted in Cantonese and Mandarin? That thought has finally coming true: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/hockey-night-in-canada-to-be-streamed-in-multiple-languages-in-push-for-diversity-1.5372745?cid=sm%3Atrueanthem%3Actvnews%3Apost&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A New Content (Feed)&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR1PO9hulv0C9RUakHKoI6DBfLn9xIWwS1OwWvu9kolVpvvD9dRvBMOm9t8 Now all we need is having the Toronto Santa Claus Parade - to be broadcasted in Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin! I would imagine if the hosts could broadcast in those languages! Reminds me when Global TV (in Canada) used to air the coverage alongside with counterparts in French and Russian back in the early 1990s (scroll to 0:58 and you'll get the idea):
  12. I still use fax machines (not to receive, but to send low-volume matters). I have an Epson Workforce 520 multifunction devices that allows me to scan, print, copy and fax. That device lasted me over 10 years (and it's still working)! While I don't have a separate fax line in my house (other than my Magic Jack which I use as a secondary (overflow) phone line), my primary phone line (that has my phone number dated from my childhood days when it was a 416 area code in Ajax until 905 was introduced in the early to mid-1990s) is with a provider called "freephoneline". Although it requires a few technical matters (i.e. Getting a separate device called a VoIP ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) and a special file called a "VOIP unlock key" - in which you both have to pay for only one time), I was able to take advantage on managing my phone line (and filtering out unwanted spam calls - my particular ATA has a feature that allows me to block certain phone numbers from reaching my line). I know that having two or three home phone lines may be silly, but I wanted to manage one phone line for everyday use and another for other related matters.
  13. A "private shuttle" could fill the void between Trent University's Oshawa Campus and the Durham College Oshawa campus to the north and the Oshawa Centre to the south, but it'll be a matter of time until a complaint has been filed by DRT to the OHTB (Ontario Highway Tribunal Board)! Have to totally agree with you. It would definitely help support the people who live within the vicnity of the 915 and 916 bus routes, but so far it's unlikely. Last week, I've did a second run of the On-Demand service (but there was a flaw - not the vehicle that I requested but it has to do when I tried to validate my PRESTO Card on the reader (IIRC, it was a smartphone-like device that acts as a reader and that reader was located in the driver area wrapped under a curtain-like clear plastic screen - to protect the driver). The bus driver told me that I have to hold the card on the reader for at least 10 to 15 seconds, until he gave me a visual confirmation that my tap was successful. It would have been nice if I the validation/confirmation tone was a bit louder but a non-verbal confirmation from the driver suffices. It's a bit of a minor inconvenience but the overall, the OnDemand service has been good. FYI, IIRC = If I remembered correctly
  14. Thanks for your meaningful and articulate response. I will do a "practise run" at some point within the future - within Ajax to see if it's well advertised. It may be also be useful in the future when I want to go on a day trip (when the weather is nice) from Bowmanville (connecting from the 902 Pulse) to Newcastle (and visa versa)! The similar case is true from Oshawa to a place in Courtice called "Food Truck Alley" (this place was mentioned in a Facebook group called "Durham Region Eats" - ironically, the area where Food Truck Alley is located is covered in the Rural On-demand zone).
  15. I have yet to try out the new OnDemand service myself but I wanted to know how intuitve the OnDemand service is like (i.e. first hand experiences) I really don't want my first OnDemand ride - to be the last in terms of the functionality. I'm not sure if you could book an OnDemand ride - either 24 or even 48 hours in advance? Also, the OnDemand zones can be confusing to me (i.e. if I live in one of the OnDemand areas and wanted to go to the Ajax GO station, then it would have resulted me in this: pickup from an area within the OnDemand zone -> drop-off at the connecting bus route -> get off from the connecting bus route at the Ajax GO. Sorry if I put this out of context but in simple terms, would it be possible to catch an OnDemand ride from one OnDemand zone to a connecting stop/GO train station within the same (or in proximity of a) OnDemand zone?). Can you at least provide some insight in this? I don't want to be charged an extra fare not covered in the DRT OnDemand contract that third party taxi providers must follow (DRT-operated vehicles are fine but third party taxis - that's just one question that needs to be answered).
  16. Nearly 24 hours later, Sobeys (one of the leading grocery chains in Canada) is planning to acquire Ontario-based Longo's. Reminds me when Sobeys acquired Farm Boy back in the fall of 2018. I don't recall the last time I shopped inside a Longo's grocery store other than using their Grocery Gateway service a couple months back. FACT: there was time that Grocery Gateway was owned by Sobeys (if my memory served me right) until it was sold to Longo's back in 2004. Still with groceries, I've been using the VoilĂ  grocery delivery service that Sobeys owns (so far, I have good success!). Further reading: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/sobeys-stake-longos-1.5951288 https://strategyonline.ca/2021/03/16/empire-grows-its-ecomm-business-with-longos-purchase/
  17. ICAMI (In Case Anyone Missed IT), Durham Region Transit will be organizing some "virtual" Public Information Sessions in the coming weeks - in which DRT riders can give feedback about the issues facing the current transit system right now (especially during the pandemic). Further information can be founded here: https://yourvoice.durham.ca/durham-region-transit-pics
  18. ICAMI (In Case Anyone Missed It), PRESTO is piloting credit card payments on the UP Express (I posted the nearly same topic on the UP Express thread earlier): https://blog.metrolinx.com/2021/03/11/presto-contactless-payment-pilot-launches-on-up-express-allowing-customers-to-tap-on-with-credit-cards-and-mobile-wallets/ In addition, the UP Express will be the first to offer Interac Debit on the system. What remains to be seen is - how foreign-registered (and issued) credit cards (and mobile wallets) will play out on this new system.... (this reply was posted from my Galaxy S20 smartphone)
  19. Since this thread hasn't gained any traction for a while, word that UP Express is piloting credit card payments: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/03/10/metrolinx-to-start-testing-credit-card-tap-on-up-express-presto-readers-this-week.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  20. Never seen a vid like that before. Reminds me of one video when a bendy bus was in a tunnel in Russia trying to regain control while on an icy surface.
  21. A thought that I had just thinked about just now - remember my thought (a while back) on how a black customer (named Lisa Calderon) got racially profiled at an Old Navy many years ago and the store accused that person of stealing (but in reality she didn't)? Another instance happened - but this time at a Wal-Mart in Canada. To make matters worse - it was a family involving her daughter (who was young). One of the store employees accused the family's daughter of stealing but the mother told them that she didn't steal anything. Suddenly there was a verbal fight between the store and the family and it was a traumatizing event. Now, the family is demanding an apology from the store and its call to retrain their employees on stopping racism as a whole (religious or not). I remember the time that I was accused of stealing at a music store (back in my teenager days around 2000) but in reality I didn't. At that time, I didn't have any means of complaining against a business or even where to submit such a complaint (that's before social media). I even threatened to boycott against the store (sadly back then, I didn't have any means on where to complain to as I was about 13 years old at the time). Judging on how these events (along with the protests in the past involving discrimination) influence, would it would be nice if all staff (teachers, employees, employers, etc.) be offered training (and re-training) on how to handle these instances and how to de-escalate the situation in safe way? Further reading: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-woman-walmart-employees-racially-profiled-family-daughter-stealing-1.5938533
  22. This month is Fraud Prevention Month. There are a lot of endless scams going on out there - from phishing e-mails, smishing texts or even those calls claiming that "there is an arrest warrant against you, this list goes on and on. The hardest hit are seniors along with those with disabilities (seniors or not). My mom and dad got these types of nuisances all the time. As for my dad, he has a Google Pixel 3a smartphone and it is equipped with a feature that automatically screens calls - with the help of the Google assistant! It's like having your own secretary (but in a virtual form!). What's more, it even records a transcript of that call. It's not just limited to the Pixel 3a - almost all Pixel phones in the line have this feature as "standard feature". I even heard that there's a way to adjust the number of rings - but on your landline phone. Typically, your home phone rings on average about 4 to 6 times. Some even extend to ring up to 15 times! While that wouldn't necessarily "slow the scammer down", it would (unfortunately) hamper those to someone you trust (I.e. Your parents, your doctors, even the hospital or your social worker). Putting the number of rings on your phone to ring for an extended long period of time - is like putting "speed bumps".
  23. Asking for a friend: a friend of mine wants to ask how they can obtain what's called a "High School Transcript"? She's planning to do some online courses in the future and one post-secondary institution (couldn't remember the name) requires a high school transcript (or in the case of the Canadian Province of Ontario, an OSSD Transcript). She once contacted ServiceOntario (a government agency that offers services for drivers licenses, health cards, etc.) to see if they offered it but they replied to her that "they're not in that area of expertise" and advised have to contact their high school for other alternate options. She then contacted her high school and the school told her, "that's life." I had a though that her high school don't usually keep records of high school student transcripts. If she couldn't obtain that transcript, where she should go to?
  24. Coupled with the new Ontario Line Metro Line (I use the terms "subway" and "metro" interchangeably - the acronym MRT counts, too), both of which will not only create jobs but other tourism opportunities too. Currently, the Exhibition Place Grounds are served by the Lakeshore West GO Train line along with the TTC buses and streetcar routes. With the new Ontario Line being proposed (at the time of writing), it would make commuting to/from the CNE grounds much easier. Speaking of the CNE, I heard that the event is planned to be back this summer. Only thing that is concerning right now is - how will the new restrictions play out. I bought a special box called the "CNE in a box" that features a few novelty items (if I remembered correctly) : a peeler, a bag of candy popcorn, a gummy shish-kebab and an atlas/road guide of all of the places across Central Ontario. What's more, that box features two (or even four) CNE Admissions Passes for the 2021 edition of the fair. Those passes are stored (printed) in my filing cabinet at home along with my e-mail mailbox. If the CNE does get cancelled again - time to kiss those passes goodbye. Changing gears, I wonder how this lady managed to win $500,000CDN:
  25. I was hoping that RideCo would be among those who wanted to get into the DRT OnDemand service. The similar case is true for some of the multi-billion ridesharing giants like Uber and Lyft. I have yet to try out the DRT OnDemand myself regrettably. Remember my thought about the DRT OnDemand service and the service to the ski resorts (i.e. Dagmar, Lakeridge - and another resort called Brimacombe) a while back? I actually inquired to one of the ski resorts about their say about DRT's OnDemand service - sadly, they turned a "blind eye" to my request (that turned into a sarcastic answer) stating that "DRT does not serve the resorts, but Uber/Lyft is your option". I then contacted DRT directly about the OnDemand service and this time I got a better answer (but stating that I wanted to go from one OnDemand zone to another, Urban to Rural or vice-versa - in my example, I would like to request a ride from the Pickering Parkway Terminal to the Dagmar or Lakeridge Ski resorts). While I was pleased with DRT's response, they advised me that "due to the size of On Demand vehicles, passengers would not be able to carry ski / snowboard on an On Demand vehicle." That makes sense due to the limitations of the DRT OnDemand service right now. Fortunately (with the new contract), that limitation would eventually be resolved or worked around to some extent. As for my bucket list to check out the Lakeridge or Dagmar resorts - that matter has since been dashed due to the pandemic.
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