TTC ~ Toronto Transit Commission
As you've likely heard by now, they've implemented the King Street Transit Pilot between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street. Rules are in place to prioritize streetcar traffic and to prevent private vehicles from driving through this stretch of King.
I don't currently drive on King Street, nor do I take the streetcar there, but this is what I know. King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the city, moving more than 65,000 riders on an average weekday. The tweets I've seen from some of these 65,000 riders has been overwhelmingly positive. Commute times have been dramatically reduced and streetcars are just cruising.
The 20,000 vehicles who use King Street each day have and will find alternate routes. Perhaps some of these drivers will leave the car at home and take the streetcar now that it's faster, less crowded and better spaced. Common sense suggests it's far easier to move the 20,000 vehicles than the 65,000 people on streetcars.
If you used to drive KIng Street along this stretch, I'd love to hear from you in the comments. And if you're one of the 65,000 who ride a King streetcar, please let me know how things have improved.
From where I sit, this looks like it will be a tremendous success.
With the day off, we drove to Milton to visit the Halton County Radial Railway. It was like discovering a time machine.
Having just seen the Spoons this weekend, I was playing their video for Romantic Traffic and telling the kids about the old red subways. Little did I know I'd be inside one mere days later.
Here are some pics of the subways and streetcars on display.
Here are some old ads that were still on display in the old subway cars and streetcars. These really took me back.
I went through an old bin of stuff I've saved for decades, throwing some stuff out and keeping a few priceless gems.
In this bin of memories I found a couple of guides I received 25 years ago. One is entitled "Cycling Skills" and taught me the rules of the road as a young cyclist in this city. I found this little booklet invaluable as a teen navigating the downtown core at all hours of the night.
The other was the 1990 TTC Ride Guide. If I wasn't biking, I was jumping on the subway. I loved the subway and mapped my routes with this handy guide.
Sadly, the TTC Ride Guide isn't much different today as it was in 1990.
I took my oldest son to the Blue Jays game today, and we rode the subway to Union Station. On the Yonge–University line, both ways, we enjoyed the new Bombardier subway trains, and that got me thinking... This next generation of subway riders will never require the Red Rocket hacks we all knew and loved.
Anyone who has a regular subway route knows exactly where on the platform to board so when you reach your destination the doors open right across from the exit. This was always part of the game. It's a hack we all knew.
But the new subway trains allow you to walk between the cars while inside, so you can enter anywhere and simply walk to where the exit will be. It no longer matters where you board, as you'll see from this pic I snapped earlier today.
And any TTC subway veteran knows which side the doors will open on before you get to the station. All the guesswork has been taken out of the equation as the new subway trains give you the answer. My son will never know that feeling of getting ready to exit only to realize the doors are opening on the opposite side.
The game, by the way, was awesome. Stroman was brilliant and the Jays won. James is happy.
When I was a kid, the frustration when riding the subway was that I couldn't get the radio on my Sony Walkman. There was no signal.
Today that frustration has morphed into the sad fact we can't get a cell signal on the subway in Toronto. Most of my life has been spent on the Bloor line which, as you'll see in the handy TTC cell service map below, has very few mobile-friendly pockets.
Kurtis Scott is a Toronto animator who posts funny videos he calls Kurtoons on his blog. My personal favourites are his Subway Thoughts because they're so damn true.
Here are a few of Kurtis Scott's Subway Thoughts.
Boz & Coco
Crazy Eye Contact
The Old Man
That Guy From That Party
Laurence Lui just tweeted an ad seen on the TTC. It seems to be for some bible studies service and it's an answer to a very serious question from a kid. "My mom and dad do drugs at home and it scares me. Will you help them stop?"
The ad answers that question by telling the kid not to worry but to just pray.
If a kid happens to land on this page after Googling "My mom and dad do drugs at home and it scares me. Will you help them stop?", I'd ask that they please call 1-800-668-6868 now. That's the Kids Help Phone folks and they do good work.
The TTC should be ashamed for accepting this bible study ad. It might be the worst possible advice, a kin to telling the kid to STFU and deal with it. I hope it gets pulled before someone actually follows the awful advice.
It's all about subways. Just ask our mayor Rob Ford.
From the National Post:
The power struggle over what transit to build in Toronto continues at City Hall, with Mayor Rob Ford telling reporters, at his weekly weigh-in: “It’s all about subways.” An excerpt of the scrum follows.
Reporter: Mr. Mayor, some people at 11 o’clock are discussing the legal standard of scrapping Transit City and they are saying you may have overstepped your boundaries. What do you say?
Mayor: I didn’t overstep my boundaries, I did what the taxpayers want. They want subways, that’s it. They don’t want streetcars. I was out in Scarborough over the weekend, people came up to me and said, they want subways. That’s it.
Reporter: Is there any wiggle room for you on this issue?
Mayor: It’s the taxpayers. The taxpayers want…I was elected on subways, they want subways, I was out on Saturday, people want subways. That’s it.
Reporter: Do you think you’ll win this vote? It doesn’t seem like you have the votes.
Mayor: It’s all subways. It’s all about subways.
Reporter: What are you going to do though if council votes against that?
Mayor: All about subways. So, it’s the taxpayers that elected me to get the subways in and that’s what we’re going to do.
Reporter: So, you think that gives you authority to, if council votes against that.
Mayor: It’s like winning an election. So if they voted me in, that means [stutters a bit] I don’t win an election? It doesn’t make sense.
That makes sense. I'm so proud of our mayor when he argues so eloquently. Really, you can't argue with his logic, which clearly proves he had the authority to cancel Transit City.
By the way, on Rob Ford's first day in office, I wrote that he did not have the authority to cancel Transit City. He's one vote out of 45. That's it.
But you can't deny his love of subways. Rob Ford loves subways.
All About Subways (Don't Make Sense) rap remix!
Here's a little clip of TTC Commissioner Maria Augimeri riding the Finch bus. It's important public servants eat their own dog food to understand what regular folks have to put up with every day.
I'd like to see Rob Ford get himself from Etobicoke to City Hall via the TTC. From where he lives it's just a little walk, a bus to the Bloor subway line and then a transfer to the University subway line. I dare Rob Ford to try it once.
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail (note, it's not just the Star) is reporting that Rob Ford's plan to cancel Transit City will cost us at least $65-million, and counting.
And I seem to recall his "guarantee" that there would be no service cuts with him as mayor, but the TTC is planning to reduce service on 62 surface routes. That certainly sounds like a cut to me. And of course fares are going up again, and that hike has nothing to do with the $65-million cost of killing Transit City.
One day, I hope to post an entry about Rob Ford riding the bus. As if.
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