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RideTheRocket

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  1. I saw the NovaBus on Wednesday driving northbound on Bathurst St. between St. Clair and Eglinton. Wasn't able to take a picture though.
  2. Had a chat with Jim Teeple - Deputy Chief Operating Office today during the Meet-the-Manager event at Spadina station today. He confirmed with me that even though buses/streetcars are crushloaded, they are now required to make all stops and inform customers waiting at the stop that the vehicle is full (even if no one needed to get off). This is all part of TTC's increased emphasis on customer service. I didn't want to rant out at him that this only results in further wait times along the line, additional short-turns, and frustration of customers on board the bus - since its probably those stranded at stops complaining the loudest. I could only hope people realize the core function of TTC (and what customers like us pay for) is to transport passengers from point A to point B as efficiently and safely as possible. Back to the Meet-the-Manager event, there was about 5 managers there, and only one to two passengers talking with them while I was there. I also asked Jim about long headways eastbound around Bathurst station between 8:15am-8:50am I've been experiencing over the past two years (experiencing trains coming every 3'-4'30" vs. 2'21" per the Service Summary). He took down my email and said he'd get back to me on that one, so we'll see. Not a huge deal as its probably just my bad luck and the signals itself are performing properly,
  3. No service between Bloor and Osgoode stations due to flooding at Union station. My question is why are they not putting the cross-over track at College station (installed Jan 2011) to use?
  4. Yeah I noticed that too when I was on the 543x trainset during afternoon rush. The ride itself was very quiet, and the only noise were the handlebars, which I see can get as annoying as the T1 braking if enough people are constantly moving the handlebars throughout the trip.
  5. I don't find anything offensive about his post. He was referring to the TTC as an organization, not the TTC workers. The construction north of Eglinton was supposed to have finished last year if I remember correctly, now it won't be done until late 2012. Maybe the TTC should hire more workers to reduce the time it takes to complete the project.
  6. And since the public likes to capture videos of everything that the driver does wrong and send it to the media, I can understand why TTC drivers feel the pressure to enforce the white line rule more. Now the public will just have to get used to not being allowed on a crush-loaded bus and slower service for the sake of following the safety laws.
  7. I was on a 210xx (can't remember number, think it was 21006) bus on Friday and all six stops (I was on) someone tried to exit the rear door, it would take them seven to ten "waves" before getting the door opened. The sensors definitely appear weaker than the other Nova buses.
  8. As a proctor, I don't encounter any faded WatCards (those who are double-degree with Laurier) when I inspect them. However, there are a lot of faded Laurier OneCards. I don't know if it has anything to do with a different printing technology for the cards. As of now, GRT has yet to return my OneCard back to the Student Office. The GRT supervisor made a trip Monday morning to drop off a batch of cards, but mine was not in there. So I can't book a room in the library, I can't swipe into computer labs, I can't get into the school bars, I can't go to the gym, and I still can't take the bus that I paid for in my tuition. If I lost my card, that is my responsibility. At least it may have dropped on the ground or on campus or maybe even a different city. The likelihood of a good samaritan picking it up or anybody that isn't an identity thief is extremely high. Having a person that wants your card and takes it away from you without authorization, on the other hand, gives me much more worry about what they are doing with it (especially since its now been 104 hours and counting). As for saying its not GRT's problem and the university should deal with it - well GRT claims to have problems with invalid University cards, so why don't they do something about it like put a swipe system in place or issue out a separate bus pass? Students, especially those who don't use the bus often, never knew fare fraud with student cards were that big of a problem, and shouldn't be the ones to be penalized by GRT. GRT should be preventing the problem if its that much of a concern to them without punishing honest riders. Why blame everything on the student or the university? I have no idea why an argument of "student's can't figure out how to open the rear doors" is even brought up. There can be just as many non-students who don't know how to open the doors. Unless you have solid facts that students are more likely to not know how to open the rear doors than non-students (assuming they take the bus the same amount of times), this argument should not be discussed further. As smably said, the real problem is that for some reason the University has gave in to GRT's demand to confiscate the cards that are used for many other things and there is no communication to students of this situation on GRT buses advertisement boards, GRT website, nor the University website for students to be aware of. Keep in mind that OneCard/WatCard policies in regards to confiscation of cards is directed towards University faculty or staff. No where does it mention an external third party can confiscate cards. Heck if a GRT driver is allowed to do it, what prevents a cashier at Zellers from doing it as well (when student wants a discount with SPC card)? How would I know they, as external parties, have authorization from the University to confiscate cards if neither party makes this information publicly available? Also, it is much harder to trace down a person outside of the University who confiscated it then that of someone that works in it.
  9. A bus driver driving 2701 on the 9 Lakeshore heading north to Conestoga Mall from Waterloo University at 6:45pm today seized the student ID cards of two students including my own for what he claims to be a "faded picture" on the ID. A girl was crying over the fact her boyfriend got his ID confiscated and the driver simply walked away from his bus to go to the washroom leaving her crying. This is a really sad image being portrayed by GRT personnel. In my opinion, this is a clear breach of privacy as well as security given that funds inside the cards as well as library access are still active. No where is there any mention of a University policy nor GRT policy that student cards will be confiscated on the basis of faded pictures, only expired IDs can be confiscated per the GRT website. A faded picture ID can be deemed an invalid fare and thus subjected to a payment of a full fare, but no way should drivers be able to collect personal identification of students. So watch out if you are using your student ID on the GRT, especially on a Friday night because you won't be able to get a new one until Monday morning at the earliest if GRT confiscates it (and you may have to pay the replacement fee). I am going to make a formal complaint in regards to the breach of confidential information (and privacy act) and if there is not a satisfactory result, this will be brought to the attention of the media. This is an unacceptable practice by GRT when student IDs are relied upon for meal purchases, identification, library access, and admission into exams.
  10. Where do you see the cut of one daily round trip Toronto to KW? As far as I see, it is only the Kitchener-London route being cut from 2 trips daily to 1 trip daily. The Toronto-KW route is a profitable one. The entry of Go Transit has caused Greyhound to cut ticket prices to retain passengers on that route. Greyhound has over 20 scheduled trips daily each way and some of the scheduled trips (typically Friday and weekends) are doubled/tripled up to meet the demand.
  11. As a frequent Greyhound rider on the Toronto-Kitchener corridor for the past 3 years, I have noticed some of the cost-cutting moves that they have made over the years that indicates how deep in the hole Greyhound is. In 2006 prior to FirstGroup acquiring Laidlaw, service was very good in terms of on-time performance, new buses, and non-stop express from Charles Terminal to Union Station/Bay Street terminal. In 2007, Greyhound experienced a driver shortage for approximately six to eight months. On the Toronto-Kitchener route, which tends to overflow on scheduled runs, there were no longer drivers on spareboard to pick up the overflow. This meant passengers were often stranded and had to wait for the next bus. In 2008, Greyhound moved their ticket facility out of the Charles Street terminal apparently because they weren't willing to pay the rent that the GRT wanted. Now they have one to two ticket sellers standing on the platform to sell tickets. They added a new Kitchener Sportsworld stop using an inflatable bus station to better service the minority car users and for riders who only have cash to get off at the stop and buy the ticket there. I believe it was also in 2008 when Greyhound moved their Cambridge stop because the existing ticket-selling facility was shutting down. This has added an extra 5+ minutes to the route. Further in 2008, after addressing the labour shortage, they had about 6 months of equipment shortage in Ontario. This again meant there weren't enough buses to meet demand and left passengers stranded again. The equipment shortage was slowly resolved as they bought buses (primarily old buses with manual transmissions I might add) from Greyhound USA, cut unprofitable routes, and restored old buses back to service. Now in 2009, they've closed down their customer service facility in the Toronto Bus Terminal and instead, have two greyhound customer service personnel standing in the terminal near the door to the buses (that is just sad for their busiest terminal). I guess that is why the Toronto Bus Terminal now has to tack on a $1 ticket surcharge to offset the rental income they lost from Greyhound. So over the 3 years, Greyhound has gone from a direct service requiring an average of 1hr 30 minute commute time each way to an average of 1hr 50 minutes to make an extra stop to pickup 0-5 riders(and wait for customers who only had cash to get off the bus and buy a ticket), go through more traffic lights, and extra time to reach the new cambridge terminal. This additional time required really adds up when you frequently use the service. Based on my experiences above, I strongly believe Greyhound should either be allowed to cut the unprofitable routes or have the federal government subsidize those routes. It has gotten to the point where the unprofitable routes are crippling Greyhound's ability to effectively serve their profitable routes. It just increases customer dissatisfaction on the profitable routes and further accelerates Greyhound's losses.
  12. 5118-5119 is still on the Y-U-S line. I saw it as the middle pair during the morning rush today.
  13. Train set 5018-19, 5118-19, 5240-41 was on the YUS line during morning rush today. I saw it in service southbound at York Mills station at 8:30am.
  14. The subway was closed down north of York Mills on Sundays for the construction IIRC.
  15. There is one driver on the 7 route where both times I was on his bus he missed a stop. First time he didn't stop despite a stop request. Second time he didn't stop the bus at a bus stop despite me ringing the bell for it and a passenger waiting at that stop. He bypassed one more stop before passengers on the bus decided to yell at him to let us off.
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