Posts from the ‘TTC’ Category

what’s pissing you off in Toronto, what makes you agree in a big city, what’s unfair, TTC, Government, food price scams, plenty to pick from, including International crisis’

Toronto, Canada – A recent major beef on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the slow entries into the front doors of the streetcars downtown. Everyone is in an unresolved efficient loading of the streetcars in the downtown core.

ttc81714Another important issue on subways are the people who constantly block the doors that passengers are trying to get in/off the train.

For an efficient system to work, riders must be asked to use the rear entrance when deboarding, which allows paying customers to load the streetcar with new ones. And once on the Red Rocket attempt to move to the rear of the car so others can get on easily in the front.

In late August the branch new sleek, twice as long streetcars will be introduced only to the spadina line from some unknown reason, yet they will be offering onboard entrance at any four doors with valid metropasses or transfers.

Any one paying cash or ticket will continue to be required to enter through the front door and try to get past the people trying to get off.

“Please stand clear of the doors” broadcast on all subways at every stop is clearly ignored, and when someone is trying to get on/off at any stop is clearly delayed from doing so. Politely asking people to CLEAR the doors there met with, displeasure, and arrogance after a sports team event at either ACC or Skydome/Rogers Centre.

TTC rain (2)Have you entered the College/Dundas/Queen/KING station there are two sides to the booth for operators, and yet the majority of the time there are long lines since there is only one both in service?

Because of the new “boarding streetcar plans just announced, as an “Honor System” and passengers will be allowed to enter any door if they have Metropass or transfers, this will fail heavily. I’ve yet to see ANY payment fees checked on any streetcar line except Queen. And the honor checks rarely get on those lines. Where I do see the frequenting and just hanging out, are the Yonge/Bloor terminus and the UNION Station which seems to have too many checkers.


StreetcarAug7200982014Our purpose it to let you tell us what you really think about this new Honor System proposed in the near future, but is just really one big joke. The need to hire at lease an extra hundred people to do this ticket validating.


TTC subway closed – Way too many buses replacing subway, wasting our money

TTC University subway line was closed Sunday for upgrades, buses replaced subway, but was it over staffed when TTC say they have no money?

The closure of the University line was widely announced through the media for weeks but the management at TTC felt it was necessary to have way too many buses and staff to handle the few passengers on the route. Several of the drivers and staff associated with the closure were on overtime, and there were many workers all along the shuttle bus line, directing the few passengers.

At a time when the TTC maintain they are constantly needing money to run the system.

Are they managing the system correctly and efficiently, and using our money the right way? I don’t think so. From what I saw Sunday, there were an awful lot of empty buses running up/down University Avenue and they had paid duty cops along the route, giving buses the right of way, which is an additional cost to the TTC.

It was announced by the TTC they are upgrading the signals along the University line since the signalling system is over 50 years old. They say the upgrade will allow trains to run closer together and thus improve service.

To get a look at the TTC track cleaning train, check it out HERE.

The TTC is an efficient service and one we can be proud of, but when they mismanage the system as they have done on the University line shuttle buses is that making it efficient and worthy?

Food fight on New York City Subway, should we be allowed to eat on subways?

New York City, NY Someone is eating spaghetti on the subway, and someone comments “Animal” and the food fight begins. But what is the protocol, or proper etiquette for eating in the subways, transit system? NYC has already removed garbage cans from some platforms, in a project to discourage people from bringing too much garbage, that hasn’t worked, they leave it behind.

We’ve all been on the transit system when someone is eating a bag of chips, a chocolate bar, but a whole meal in a large take out container, is that going over the line. And then what happens to the leftovers, are they left behind in the transit vehicle?

We all have an opinion on this, and it just annoys everyone, especially with some of the smells of McDonalds and tuna salad sandwiches. It also helps feed the rodents that travel the system, and sometimes even come into the cars, and throwing the trash, can start fires on the tracks. Some people toss the leftover ‘dinner’ onto the train tracks, and feeds our friends.

It’s already against the rules in NYC subways to drink coffee, and now they are considering a ban on food, with a fine of $250 for eating in the train or on the platform. Is this something that could be coming to the TTC in Toronto? We may not have as many rats in our transit system, but we sure have mice, and they love to eat too.

It’s already getting unbearable with people and their huge backpacks, as they try to maneuver around the subway cars, and now with so many people using their iPads and book readers, it’s difficult moving around without bumping someone.

Do we need a food fight on our subway before eating full course meals is banned? I always thought most people would use good discretion on the transit system, and the odd bag of chips or chocolate bar would be okay, but give me a break, a full course meal in a large takeout container, no thanks.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything

PRESTO has some problems, but they have updated their website about activation on TTC.

UPDATE: December 21-2011 – It seems Presto is still having problems, if you sign up for automatic deductions from your bank account or credit card to top up, as reported in The Star today. Click HERE to read about the unwanted deductions from a clients card.

All photos are © COPYRIGHT – All rights reserved – with “DMB” Watermark.

UPDATE – September 14/2010 I must admit I am very impressed by PRESTO, now. They have updated their WEBSITE and included information on how to activate your PRESTO card. Well done.
This is from their website….

“Activating your PRESTO card

You only need to activate your PRESTO card if you have ordered a registered card from the PRESTO website. If you ordered an anonymous card from the website, or purchased your card in person, you do not have to activate your card. It is already activated.

To activate your PRESTO card, click on the “Activate my PRESTO card” link at the top of this page and fill in your card number and pre-set PIN number.

Your card will not be activated immediately. You must tap your card on to a device to process the activation. Please note: TTC devices are not equipped to process card activation. It is recommended that you tap on to a balance checker to process your Auto load contract, to avoid inadvertent fare deduction. There is at least one balance checker located at every PRESTO-activated GO Station, as well as three in GO Union Station. For images and descriptions of the balance checker and other PRESTO devices, scroll to the bottom of this page.”

UPDATE – September 10/2010 Thunderbolt, it has been revealed in this Toronto Star article that Accenture, the company that won the $250 million contract to design the province’s rival transit fare card, is involved in PRESTO.
But if nothing is being hidden, why is this information about activation, not posted on their website?
UPDATE – September 10/2010 Thunderbolt, it has been revealed in this Toronto Star article that Accenture, the company that won the $250 million contract to design the province’s rival transit fare card, is involved in PRESTO.

UPDATE – September 9/2010 PRESTO card discussed in THIS Toronto Star article today. It’s amazing no-one asked about the problems “activating” the card. It appears the Government of Ontario want the PRESTO card used. WHY? Someone please tell me.

UPDATE – September 5/2010
Toronto – I spoke last month about the activation procedure for the PRESTO card in Toronto but it doesn’t appear much has changed. From what I could see, there is still no explanation on their website (Presto card) how to activate the card.

Manger David Smith at PRESTO , gave me some answers. The first question I asked was about how to activate the card after I had registered, and right away he told me it must be done at “a non-TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) tap machine.” He went onto say, “We’re set-up for activation at Union Station only and the TTC has requested that the machines in the TTC not activate cards,” and yet you can use a PRESTO card on the TTC if you have already activated it.

I asked him why it is not on the website about the activation process. Smith said, “I would have to go and check, because I don’t have that information in front of me,” and concluded “We are not trying to withhold any information from the public.”I originally wanted to use the card on the TTC and was unable to activate it, and they have since sent me a credit, but it has deducted $4.20 for original activation at Union Station in Toronto, and then when I credited the voucher at Union on the weekend it deducted another $6.75. The reason I was told, is the system thinks I tried to use the GO train (which I did not) so I have been charged $10.95 so far for doing nothing but trying to activate the card.

If the public is to try this, I suspect it is important that this information be clear and be posted on their website and was told by two employees to go to Union Station to activate the card, which I did. I was never told “which tap machine” to use.

They (Presto customer service) say in an unsigned letter “from the PRESTO TEAM” received September 1/2010, “As PRESTO begins it’s public roll out, (since May 2010) there is a learning curve for both staff and customers that is to be expected. Your feedback on your experience with PRESTO has greatly assisted our efforts to identify areas, where there is a greater need for education, both for customers and front line staff. We continually work to provide our customers with the information assistance that they require to use PRESTO.”

So let’s review the procedures.

– Go to the PRESTO website and purchase a card for $6.50 which will be mailed to you, and you must load a minimum of $10.00.
– Go back to the PRESTO website and register your card once you receive it.
– Go to Union Station in Toronto or any GO station which is PRESTO active and activate your card. (but you would not know this if you read their website.)
– Another important “TIP” make sure you “tap it” at a special machine that only gives you the “balance” and NOT the regular machine or you will be on the merry-go-round that I encountered.

All photos are © COPYRIGHT – All rights reserved – with “DMB” Watermark.

A reader of the original story indicated, but not confirmed from Presto, that once you have the card and want to add funds you can do it on their website, but must go to a GO train activation “tap machine” within seven days and add the funds to your card. There is another way around this, you register for “e-wallet” where you register your credit card and it takes and adds money to the card as it is depleted.

And don’t forget, they get use of “OUR” funds until they are depleted/used. Maximum you can load onto your card is $320.00, minimum $10.00.

Sounds like a good idea, but they have many problems to correct and where did my $10.95 go?

Why do they not tell us all the information on their website?

And what about the “tap on, tap off” instructions on their website, does that apply for people using the TTC? It’s very unclear. If you were to “tap off” when you exit the TTC, I think you would be charged another fare.

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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

Are we all whiners in Toronto or just a few?

Toronto, Canada – The City of  Toronto has finally said they will shut down services, raise taxes, and reduce bus routes. Why are so many people whining about the cuts, what’s the alternative? What’s the big deal?I’m no flag waiver for Mayor Rob Ford but he came into office saying he would cut the gravy train, and that’s what he’s doing. Do we like it, no, not all of us, if it involves things we make use of in the city. But having three streetcars or buses going by empty, and bumper to bumper, it doesn’t make sense, even to me.

I heard the other day the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) was reducing service on some routes to delay buses by one to two minutes and people are screaming. I don’t think if you are taking TTC, one to two minutes is such a big deal, but maybe I’m in the minority. I have been using TTC for many years, and have always found it to be very efficient, and reasonably priced. They raise the loaf of bread by 30 cents and we hear nothing from the public.

Closing libraries, I disagree with, and closing some wading pools, but if no-one is using the pools in the summer and they have stats to prove that, what’s the big deal?
This city is broke, and unless somebody does something we will go bankrupt, is that the alternative? We cannot continue to pay our taxes towards services that are not being used.

Sure people are upset now, but if you stand back and be reasonable, isn’t this why we elected Ford in the first place, to do what so many others have not done in the past. If spending is not cut and we increase spending, that means the deficit will grow and grow. We do not need to be like the many cities in the USA who are going under because of spending without very little oversight. He’s doing exactly what no one else wants to do, and because of that he is the bad guy.

How about some credit where credit is due, he ended the Occupy Toronto movement at St. James Park and he didn’t garner any following for that, but it needed to be done.

These seem like very reasonable cuts to me, but only time will tell. I still don’t think we should ever compromise the police, fire or any emergency services. But I’m sure we can survive with a bus every few minutes.

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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

New Toronto Rocket subway launches today with lots of fanfare

Toronto, Canada – The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) launched it’s new subway train today, The Rocket, and will only run on the University/Yonge line with just the one train until next month.

Another train will be added in August to the system and then every two weeks more trains will be added. It’s a very sleek and modern train, with many new security features   and you can walk the full length of the train without any doors. The walkway through each car is similar to those on the articulated streetcars which are in service on many busy routes within Toronto.

The cars are air conditioned and with the walkway through each connecting car the capacity is increased by 10%. There did seem to be a delay in the doors opening when the trains arrived at each station today. There is special seating for handicapped, or elderly passengers and special security cameras and an emergency intercom system throughout the new cars. The special seating area can also accommodate strollers and bikes as the seats are always in an upright position unless needed. The route map above the doors is still there, but it has an added feature that indicates where the train is on the route, by a green or red light. When the TTC first launched the subway from Union Station to Bloor Street back in 1954 (video above) the train was called the Red Rocket, but today it is still called Rocket, but it is no longer red. There are still station announcements, so you know when to get off the train, and you can actually understand what they are saying.

It was overheard by one of the Inspectors on the train today, “It seems to be running slower than the other trains,” and this may because, they are just driving slower in the initial release. One way of catching the New Rocket, if you have the time, is wait at a station where the passenger area is between the tracks, like Union Station, Yorkdale, York Mills and many others, that way you can catch either train, without running up/down the stairs.

Representatives from all levels of government (Federal, Provincial and Mayor Rob Ford) were on hand to cut the ribbon this morning at Downsview Station when the train made it’s first public run from there to Finch Station.

A little TTC trivia:  When the Yonge subway was built in the early 1950’s the engineers felt that another subway line may be built in the future, so they actually built a dummy station under the Queen Street station near the Eaton Centre. You can’t see it, but it can be accessed by TTC employees where you walk under the tracks to go between north or southbound trains. At the Bloor/Bay Street station there is a fully functional train station underneath the Bay Station, which is used mostly for commercials and films, but was also built to accommodate future expansions, which never happened.

In June 2011 the city announced the start of a tunnel expansion to York University and further to Vaughan, and the boring machine is currently underway working it’s way northwest. In 1913 Edmund W. Burke   the architect who designed and built the arch bridge, Prince Edward Viaduct,   envisioned that in the future there may be a train that would travel across, so he built the structure with the anticipation that a train would travel from the west of the Don Valley to the Danforth, at Broadview and of course we know that as the Bloor subway which was build in 1966. The 1951 vintage refurbished streetcar is still in service and is available for private rental, but it still runs along Queens Quay from Union Station every Sunday during the summer months, a great outing for the whole family.
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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

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Do Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) drivers ring their GONG, BELL too often, is anyone listening any more? I don’t think so

Toronto, Canada –Are Toronto people getting to the point where they just ignore the GONG or the HORN from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) streetcar drivers, because in the last five years they just seem to ding them over and over for no reason whatsoever.

UPDATE – July 20/2011 – The NEW subway cars finally start running on the University/Yonge line starting tomorrow at 10AM at Downsview station, where you can walk the whole length of the train. Can’t wait. Do they have a GONG?
How does it go, calling wolf  too many times, and then people just ignore you when it’s important? Just within the last few years, the TTC added a horn to the streetcars because people were ignoring the GONG and now they ring the horn too much too. Another passing streetcar, they ring the gong, a passing friend, they ring the gong, just driving down the street, they ring the gong, give me a break.
When I see a streetcar that says, TRAINING VEHICLE on the front, I always shout out, “teach him how to ring the BELL,” and then of course they ring the bell, for no reason. It’s out of control, it’s like a “TOY” for the drivers, instead of using it for an emergency purpose.

Near our home along College, they turn south and around the whole corner, they just keep ringing the bell, over and over, instead of just watching and looking.
The TTC has been under fire for the last few years and yet I believe it is a great service, and the vast majority of drivers are very professional, but in the case of the streetcars ringing the bell, that does not RING true. I would say nearly every one of them rings the bell too often.

And while I’m at it, why is it the security force on the TTC are not fully appointed police officers with guns, and although they are not, they still have red lights  on their security cars?  Does that mean if they are driving down the street with their red lights flashing, I must pull over? I always thought in Ontario, I only need to pull over for emergency vehicles, police, fire and ambulance?
To see more pictures of the NEW TTC subway cars .. CLICK HERE
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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

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New TTC subway train ‘will not work on curves in tunnels’ has been delayed.

March 18/2011 – TORONTO – It has been rumored (by an anonymous) Toronto Transit Commission (TTC Inspector) that the new sleek TTC subway cars will not “work on the curves in the tunnels” and there will be a further delay in them coming into service. The turn at Union Station is one of the tightest turns in the whole system and that is where they would start and end, in the beginning.

UPDATE – July 20/2011 – The NEW subway cars finally start running on the University/Yonge line starting tomorrow at 10AM at Downsview station, where you can walk the whole length of the train. Can’t wait. Do they have a GONG?

A source at the TTC Media Relations said “The rumor is not true, the trains are fine, they fit, but of course we test them, until the day we put them into service and beyond, which I believe is going to be this June.”

The new trains were to come into service in late 2010 but have been delayed and now they will be in service in June.

They are very cool, as you can walk the full length of the train without opening any doors.

When they eventually come into service (in late June) they will only be available on the Yonge Street line but will be expanded system wide, after further testing.

To read more about the TTC click HERE        ….  Photo courtesy of  The Toronto Star

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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

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