TTC ~ Toronto Transit Commission

TTC Tickets Are Dying

TTCI once wrote that 'tickets or tokens' is the Toronto equivalent of the 'boxers or briefs' question. Outside of the Metropass crowd there are two types of TTC riders: those who buy paper tickets and those who buy tokens.

I still prefer tickets to tokens. I can put paper tickets in my wallet - I slip them in front of my credit card. I never lose tickets. Tokens, on the other hand, get mixed with my loose change. I don't use any entrances unattended by a TTC operator, so I've been happily buying tickets for as long as I can remember.

That's all coming to an end this summer. TTC tickets are dying. After September 28, they'll no longer be accepted. The paper ticket is dead, murdered by counterfeiters.

I hate tokens.


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Beta Testing the New

ttcHas it really been two years since I complained on this site about how totally crappy the official TTC website was? Here's what I wrote that fine May 2006 morning.

Finally, if you want to see how out of touch TTC marketing is in this new age of viral communique, one needs to look no further than their official web site. It's one of the worst commercial sites I've ever come across and a complete embarrassment. If you're interested in a challenge, try and learn from what a single adult fare would cost you today. Good luck! The official TTC site looks especially horrible when compared to Transit Toronto, a fan site that's vastly superior to the TTC sanctioned site.

Today I give you the beta version of the new I remember being completely baffled by the old site just trying to figure out how much damn tickets cost and here's that information clearly listed on the home page. Wow.

And wait... is that what I think it is? It can't be... but it is! An RSS feed for service alerts... I think I'm going to cry.

TTC, welcome to 2000s.

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Surprise! 48 Hours Notice My Butt

ttcWhen my mom told me at about 10am this morning that the TTC was on strike, I didn't believe her. Firstly, it seemed like a pretty good deal, so why would the union reject the offer on the table? Secondly, the TTC union promised 48 hours notice before striking, and when I turned of the laptop last night, there was nothing about a strike on the wire.

There's something rotten in the state of Denmark. How many Friday night clubbers and bar hoppers staggered onto the streets after midnight only to discover the TTC was closed for buisiness? As I type, there's a sold-out crowd at the ACC for the Raptors game and at BMO Field for Toronto FC. The Better Way wasn't an option, which meant more cars clogging the streets. Thousands of Torontonians are actively working on contingency plans, figuring out how they're getting to work Monday morning. It just doesn't seem right, does it?

The Ontario legislature will meet tomorrow to debate legislation to force 9,000 striking Toronto transit workers back on the job as soon as possible. To his credit, John Tory has said the Progressive Conservatives will back the Liberal bill, but Howard Hampton isn't tipping his hand. Without NDP support, the bill could be delayed up to five days. Oh joy.

I've got a complaint, so I'm going to use this handy TTC complaint form. You should do the same. Let 'em have it, Toronto.


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Kill Me Now

ttcThe TTC has agreed to study the feasibility of selling corporate naming rights to subway stations as a way to raise money.

The controversial request for a study of practices in other cities came from commissioner Peter Milczyn, who cited an ad from the Middle East city of Dubai inviting corporations to "Turn your brand into a destination" by buying rights to two new transit lines and 23 stations being built there.

"If one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world is looking at doing this, we should at least look at it," he said.

Saying "beggers can't be choosers," Milczyn noted the TTC is embarking on an ambitious expansion while struggling to raise operating funds.

Boy, do I hate this idea. Does absolutely everything have to be corporatized? I don't want to take the subway to Home Depot station or McDonald's station.

Here's hoping this idea dies a quick death. Better it than me.

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Toronto's First Subway in 1954

ttcThis 1954 footage from the CBC is making the rounds. If you know the TTC subway system, you'll get a kick out of this.

Toronto's got itself a subway!

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Free TTC Tonight

ttcDon't forget Torontonians, the TTC is completely free tonight from midnight to 4 am. Go ahead, get drunk and stupid as you ring in the new year, then leave your car and TTC it home.

The free ride tonight is thanks to Capital One. That's the second time this year a credit card company has stepped up for this city. MasterCard coughed up $160,000 to make sure city ice rinks open in December.

By the way, it's not just the TTC that's free tonight. Transit systems in Mississauga and York Region are also offering free rides starting at 7 pm and running until the systems close in the wee hours of the morning. GO Transit will also be offering free rides starting 7 pm New Year's Eve until service ends.

Have fun tonight, kids. Daddy's staying home and watching more "Arrested Development".

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The TTC Student Card Caper

ttcIf you grew up in Toronto, you remember the TTC Student Cards. You had to show this card when you paid student fare to ride the TTC. Every fall the TTC would come to our school and take our picture. That's where the trouble began.

In typical dumb ass teenage fashion, I couldn't just sign my card "Mike Boon". I had to be some sort of misfit rebel and use a fake name. Did I write in Mike Tyson or Michael Jordon or I.P. Frehley? No, I went ahead and used the name of our Minister of Finance, Michael Wilson. That's right, I used the name of a Brian Mulroney appointed Federal minister.

The most pathetic part of this story is the fact I got busted and had to go to Sherbourne station to get a new card. As pathetic as this all sounds, there is a good moral for you kids at home. If you're going to use a fake name, don't geek out and go political. Stick to the staples and make the risk worthwhile. That's one to grow on.

Old Student Cards for TTC

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A 60 to 80 Kilometre Web of Light Rail

ttcThe TTC is unveiling an ambitious blueprint for a light rail system that would crisscross the city far beyond existing and planned subway lines. Here's a map of the network of new routes, which include:

  • Don Mills – Steeles Avenue to Bloor-Danforth Subway
  • Eglinton Crosstown – Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport
  • Etobicoke-Finch West – Yonge Street to Highway 27
  • Jane – Jane Station to Steeles West Station
  • Scarborough Malvern – Kennedy Station to Malvern/Morningside
  • Sheppard East – Don Mills Station to Morningside Avenue
  • Waterfront West – Union Station/Exhibition to Long Branch

I'm a pretty big fan of the Toronto Transit Commission and a very regular user of buses and the subway. I rarely start up the car anymore, far preferring to TTC it if I can't walk it. Blanketing the 416 with such a system is an exceptional idea and a key step toward Toronto becoming a true green, clean, and liveable city.

Now we just need the money...

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Lower Bay TTC Station

ttcIn order to work on the tunnel roof between St. George and Bay stations, the TTC is rerouting westbound trains through the Lower Bay subway station. The Lower Bay station is an abandoned platform that was only used for six months in 1966. They now use it to train new drivers and for movie shoots. Here you can see it dressed up as a New York subway station for Don't Say A Word.

This diversion is temporary, so we can only experience the wonders of Lower Bay during Saturdays and Sundays from February 24 to March 31, 2007. There's already some sweet video of Lower Bay on YouTube, but the clip below makes you feel like you were there.

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Three Months To Turn Her On

ttcShe's workin'! Way back on October 11 I wrote about the new infotainment screens that were installed at Jane Station. They were there, but they weren't operational until today.

That only took a little over three months. Jane's turned on and rarin' to go and I couldn't be happier.

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