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Ed Drass

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Everything posted by Ed Drass

  1. Can anyone locate a recent pledge from TTC to install the screens on subway platforms in all but a few stations? I wanted to post it for the record but my searches have not delivered...
  2. Does anyone know if the new set-up now prompts you to press OK after the PIN? They kinda forgot that one previously.
  3. For some clarification, I got this from a reliable source: << There are essentially three criteria whereby an employee becomes a station collector: 1) Someone bids out. An employee may request a transfer from their current position to one as a station collector. All such requests are solely based on seniority. The department that plans manpower distribution then decides if the collector's division requires a addition to the complement and advises the division superintendent at which point all successful transfers are advised of their training start date. 2) Some employees are transferred for disciplinary reasons. For example a subway operator who has tripped over the maximum allowable number of red lights will be temporarily transferred to the collector's division. Any driver who loses their driving privileges (for whatever reason) will also be transferred to the collector's division. Lastly, "problem children" may be transferred to the collector's division. 3) Employees are also transferred to the collector's division for health reasons. These are many and varied, but the rule of thumb is the health issues prevent them from doing their regular duties, at which point they are transferred literally for the good of their health. All transferees must pass the training. If not, they are placed in limbo within the collector's division, doing crash-gate duties, until they pass the training. I don't know how many chances anyone gets. Within the uniformed employees group, the collector's division is looked upon as the "last resort" for those who fall in categories 2 & 3. Sure it's tedious, sometimes boring, solitary yada, yada, yada, but it pays the bills and it's not the most physically or intellectually taxing job in the world. >>
  4. This is a welcome change, and curious ... considering I formally sent TTC a list of other corrections needed for online schedules. In the 501 example, this weekend's diversion is important information and the orange marker is good. And yet the Dufferin 29 is also detoured for the same reason and there is nothing: http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/29/Northbound.jsp In fact we are told "There are no major disruptions at this time." Also, the 29 is an example of a problem that is being documented in a thread on another forum, namely that there are too many unexplained branches on many routes. How will the trip planner deal with these myriad branches in a way that does not confuse riders? Here's the forum thread, which tries to formalize a process where the transit community can offer updates to various transit media, instead of the catch-as-catch-can method we have now -- you'll note TTC has not even acknowledged receipt of my formal submission. http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?1034...29&p=364416 -Ed
  5. This week's In Transit article: When vehicles become too hot or too cold: http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/comment/ar...t-on-passengers And related blog post with reader comments: http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/blog/post/425383
  6. Anyone noticed an unusual number of collisions along the new York Busway?
  7. It's not exhaustive but I've been compiling a list of gifts with a transit theme as well as practical items of use to riders in their daily commutes. I'd appreciate learning of other merchandise or art that is available -- particularly any leads on finding TTC model streetcars -- whether for scale railroads or kids' toys. http://eddrass.com/trinkets.htm As mentioned in another thread, some of Ted Wickson's postcards of classic TTC vehicles are now on sale at the Transit Stuff store in Union subway station. If the select cards sell well enough, I expect more of his extensive collection to be offered. The "General Store" in the VIA departures level has additional Wickson cards (rail themed), plus the official selection of VIA merch. It would be cool if they stocked ONR items... Here's another source of streetcar art I found: http://normanstiff.com/streetcars.html Some of the images are tailored to a wider audience; aficionados will notice a few cases of artistic licence. Thanks in advance for any tips. -Ed
  8. Some of Ted Wickson's postcards of classic TTC vehicles are now on sale at the Transit Stuff store in Union subway station. Only one bus shot, however. I suspect if the select cards sell well enough, more of his extensive collection will be offered.
  9. Was already planning to write about coping with token shortage for Monday's column. This was just released: -- -- News Release November 22, 2009 TTC introduces temporary adult ticket Token sales halted until new year The Toronto Transit Commission is introducing a temporary adult ticket starting tomorrow, November 23, and suspending all token sales until Jan. 3, 2010. The measure is designed to ensure the TTC has sufficient tokens to meet normal demand in January after the recently approved fare increase comes into effect. The TTC also has a financial responsibility to ensure revenue losses are stemmed whenever possible. Without taking these steps today, the TTC could lose more than $5 million in 2010 revenues due to token hoarding. “TTC riders have been understandably frustrated by the current token restriction. By issuing temporary tickets, the TTC has found a way to allow customers to buy bulk fares in the short term,” said TTC Chair Adam Giambrone. “This announcement today alleviates customer frustrations, and also allows the TTC to ensure it doesn’t lose, potentially, millions of dollars in much-needed revenue.” While the TTC will not limit the number of temporary tickets people can purchase at one time, this temporary adult ticket will not be sold after Jan. 2, 2010. Customers with temporary adult tickets after that date will be required to add 25 cents to the farebox with their temporary ticket to match the new 2010 adult fare of $2.50. After Jan. 31, 2010 the temporary adult ticket will not be accepted as fare. The TTC will neither refund nor exchange temporary adult tickets. Temporary adult tickets will cost the same as the current token price of 5 for $11.25 or 10 for $22.50. Tokens will continue to be accepted as fare, and single tokens can still be purchased at token vending machines throughout the subway system. The TTC will also supply authorized ticket agents and institutions that purchase large quantities of tokens with temporary adult tickets until Jan. 2, 2010.
  10. Just updating the URL for TTC token holders. The last post has an old link. http://eddrass.com/trinkets.htm NB: I have located a UK-made disk-shaped holder for TTC tokens and hope to make them available in Toronto, for a long as tokens last...
  11. Expect another TTC fare increase in New Year METRO TORONTO November 02, 2009 5:05 a.m. http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/comment/ar...ase-in-new-year
  12. Now I'm starting to get a better picture of some of the complaints unionized staff have regarding special constables. But again -- expecting the TSC service to disappear is simply unrealistic. Who here expects that Toronto police will enforce TTC by-laws? I do not see that ever happening, so there will still be a demand for a TTC-controlled force.
  13. Dug up my last queries sent to MTO in July 2009. (My questions are bold, MTO response follows each.) E1.- What are Presto rollout dates/Timelines? See below for a snip from the Presto site about timelines. I notice the fall 2009 date is for "field trials". We are launching the PRESTO card in late Fall 2009 that will include GO Transit's Oakville and Bronte and Union rail stations, 10 Oakville buses as well as TTC Union Station. The full roll out will begin Spring 2010 and continue until Winter 2011, covering the rest of the GTA and Hamilton. We will continue to fine tune our plan and schedule as we move forward. snip 3.- According to this piece, http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_12260.aspx <http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_12260.aspx> "...the opposition reminds voters the Grits promised the system would be ready in 18 months back in 2003." What are the nature of delays to the rollout? The current PRESTO System was defined in 2004/2005 and the contract was signed in late 2006. We are on schedule, moving forward with development and are in keeping with comparable modern transit solutions in other world class cities. 4.- Has the contractor delivered a system like this before? Yes, the contractors have delivered other similar systems.
  14. Only 500 commuters? "Field trials", the Presto site says currently. I'm planning to ask MTO for an update -- if I can find a spokesperson... -ed ----- http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/local/arti...e-soon-at-union Presto fare card to go live soon at Union TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE October 22, 2009 5:41 a.m. It will be Nov. 30 before the hoods come off the new Presto card readers that recently appeared at Union Station. That’s when the next phase of the new regional fare-card system will launch for about 500 commuters who board GO Transit at Oakville and Bronte. The reloadable Presto smart-card, which will eventually allow riders to use a single fare card across nine GTA transit systems, was tested in Mississauga more than a year ago. The expanded program gives riders the ability to reload the card online, by phone or in person. Twenty-seven card readers will operate at Oak­ville, Bronte and Union stations. Readers will also be added to 10 Oakville buses and at two TTC turnstiles at Union. Commuters who want to participate will be able to apply in coming weeks, when Presto representatives will be on GO platforms providing information.
  15. I just saw the new safety and security posters too -- they are milder than the US ones... 'IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING'. TTC had previously declined to involve riders in surveillance, and GO's approach has been relatively low-key too. As for the Special Constables, I don't see them disappearing despite the new TPS Transit Patrol Unit. Toronto police officers are just not likely to enforce TTC fares, or other TTC By-law infractions. Nor will TPS detectives spend as much time on counterfeit fares issues as TTC would wish -- big organizations always have their own security and fraud personnel. I have not had an explanation of official ATU disagreement with the Special Constables, except for claims of enforcing smoking rules with regard to operators. I regularly hear from riders who complain of smoking on TTC property by riders and staff alike. The new fine is something like $195+35. -ed
  16. Making decisions on the ground is one thing -- but apparently not coordinating a change like this with other departments, including marketing? Customers deserve to know when the Airport Rocket, as it is branded, starts to travel local streets instead of the fastest route possible. Here's James Bow's take: http://tr.im/Bdzx I would add that it is possible some commissioners do not work well with staff, perhaps preferring to dictate than coordinate -- which can screw up decision-making processes in all directions. This may be nothing new at public agencies, but does indicate something in need of serious attention. -ed Added: This from another thread: "The Temporary change was due to construction on the 427." This does not jive with the CBC story, so we shall await clarification. I asked Brad Ross, via a Twitter post, to describe the change to 192.
  17. This routing does not seem to act as competition to the private coach operators...
  18. TTC airport bus change doubles ride time TTC airport shuttle buses are now taking a modified route that riders say adds about 15 minutes to their trip, a change that senior officials neither knew of nor approved. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/200...-change642.html
  19. More like random blocks of colour moving around the screen, IIRC.
  20. From Sept. 24 TTC meeting: 2010-2014 Capital Program and 10-Year Forecast, page 12 "5. GTA Farecard – funding in the amount of $140 million has been identified under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, however, it is currently estimated that this project will cost in the order of $417 million to implement for the existing transit system and vehicles." Seems high -- perhaps it includes Spadina extension...?
  21. Saw the "screen refresh" last night -- was not sure if it was art... BD was averaging 14 min headway last night, according to a supervisor and a guard said Yonge was every 8. Some monitors were roughly correct and some showed 31 minutes along BD. The record was 41 minutes at Bloor southbound.
  22. So, is the portion of St. Clair through the underpass between Ol' Weston and Keele definitely going to have ROW? If so, TTC buses (Keele 41) would have to be able to use it.
  23. I remember Rick Ducharme connecting the two tunes once, but also vaguely recall being told some time later that the similarity was coincidental. There's also a story for the Montréal metro: http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=7487 Where did I read transit fans going over this topic before? ed
  24. $50 million for new people-mover system http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/In...da-1051143.html http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDi....aspx?e=1772489 any link to the map behind Smitherman?
  25. I can't think of other methods either -- but would fare enforcement be the best use of an (armed) TPS officer's time? As for cameras, I understand TTC insists most cameras are never viewed live -- only reviewed for investigative purposes. Obviously collector booth cctv screens are different.
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