Friday, November 9, 2007

TTC Rant

I put together a fairly vitriolic, but I think fairly concise rant that I sent to the TTC this morning after a stupid and unnecessary delay yesterday. I thought I'd post it here as I think it sums up a lot of people's feelings:

As I became tired and frustrated of trying to fight my way past the hordes of people waiting on a narrow sidewalk at Dufferin Station for the Northbound bus, I decided I'd try the Ossington North, to Oakwood and Vaughn, instead.

The bus that I got on yesterday was a "63A" meaning that it short-turned at St. Clair. Fine. I realize that some buses short-turning during rush hour is a necessity, so that buses don't get stuck at Eglinton, and a stream of buses can still pour down to to service the busy Ossington southbound route. Totally understood.

But the scheduled bus times for St. Clair and Oakwood for the 63 during the time I was waiting indicated that one would come every 11 minutes. I (as well as an increasing horde of very angry passengers) ended up waiting about half an hour. During this time, 4 63A buses ended up passing us. One 63 bus eventually came, but it was jam-packed and no one could fit on. I finally ended up walking home to Oakwood and Vaughan - in the rain. And I still beat the bus.

Why were there so many 63A buses that passed by? The point of the short-turns is to service the most people. But, seeing that there were so many people waiting at St. Clair, couldn't one of the buses changed to a 63 to take all of these people further north? Even just one of them. The last 63A driver had the nerve to change their route sign to 'chartered' before it passed us by. Right.

It's the little things like this, little good idea route changes, that cost no money, that would help to make the TTC a better system.

While I'm at it - one more rant about the Dufferin bus.

As I mentioned, there is a horde of people fighting to get on the bus at Dufferin Station on the east side. Why can't the bus driver let people on both doors to speed things up? Why not make it a POP system like on Queen East? Are you really going to lose that many fairs? I can guarantee you that 95% of the people boarding that bus are transferring from the subway. But no, there's a chance people might not pay. But you know what? Take the damn chance to increase service for those who do pay. Stop thinking about the small loss of fares in the short-term, and think about the increased loyalty of riders that you'll receive from riders in the long-term by not inconveniencing them by assuming that they're trying to steal.

I know this is a long rant, but please take the time to consider my suggestions (and to respond.) This is from someone who really loves public transport - and a second-generation TTC rider who was taught that public transport is a good thing and the TTC is (or used to be) one of the city's great institutions.

thanks,
tom Robertson

1 comment:

Jim said...

Your letter to TTC is marvelous, Tom. I totally agree with you as fellow TTC rider (and as an concerned Toronto citizen).

I especially agree with your point that TTC needs to "Stop thinking about the small loss of fares in the short-term, and think about the increased loyalty of riders that you'll receive from riders in the long-term by not inconveniencing them by assuming that they're trying to steal."

I paid the full fare when I got on the Eglniton East #34. I was using an bus transfer from Egliton East to the Kipling South #44 on the south side stop, and the bus driver refused to accept it saying the only valid stop to use it is on the north-side. I walked southwards instead of going north across the intersection because usually the bus drivers refuse to wait for people who wants to transfer from across the street.

But why does direction matter if both stops are adjacent and very close by to the Eglinton street? Does TTC employees enjoy heckling paid customers just to get an extra fare? Why are you assuming I am trying to steal an fare when I waited there for a full 10 minute?

I just hope TTC management will take our complaints seriously and make public transportation in Toronto better. Otherwise it is going to go down in the drain.