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October 2008
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Improve Our Transit

Transit City. Metrolinx. Promised money from Government. All of this is supposed to help the ailing TTC system. But aren’t there a few things we can do in the short-term that are inexpensive and would improve the system.

Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Paying with Plastic: We live in a plastic society. Rarely do I carry any cash on me. Like so many others I rely on my debit and credit cards. I find it increasingly annoying that I cannot buy tokens from the machines with a card.
  2. By-Pass lines: Have you ever taken the bus or streetcar to a subway stop and been stuck in line while people are purchasing tickets, tokens, passes, etc? I find it very inefficient and extremely annoying that I have to stand in line once again. Aren’t those token machines there for a reason? And can’t I walk around the individual counting change and just show my transfer? (I’ll try it in the coming weeks and let you know my experience)
  3. Stop-off Passes: The rules with your TTC fare – one ride, no stopping. Unless you have a metro-pass (which I do not) you cannot stop to grab a coffee, a bite to eat, your dry cleaning, etc. What about paying an extra $0.50 to have the right to make multiple trips within a certain time frame?
  4. Student Pass: Ryerson, U of T, and York could all do with cheaper passes. Want to get students out of their cars and on to transit than make the metro pass really inexpensive for them (somewhere in the range of $25 to $50). When I was at Western we received Bus Passes when we picked up our registration packages. If you returned your bus pass for credit you only got $100 back, meaning the school gets bus passes really cheap.

As my frustration grows with the TTC my car becomes more and more attractive. I am trying to minimize my carbon footprint but my sanity is quite important to me to :)

Comments

Comment from david
Time October 31, 2008 at 12:43 pm

You hit the nail on the head there. Now imagine if you weren’t a yuppie, with all the fun stuff that that means, but instead a single mum, with 3 kids, that lives in Oakville and works down town. (ie. one assumes additional stress , and no free time). Your car is your friend! Alone time in your car is (for some people) your only “me time’. Really hard to fight against that. Especially when out municipalities make it so hard to enjoy the bus.

Comment from Sasha
Time November 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm

And I guess I agree that you hit the nail on the head too. Our culture is a car culture, we rely on it for everything.
If we can covert that culture to a transit culture than that woman living in the suburbs could drive to the train station, plug into her iPod and get some alone time on the train.
It is a matter of changing our how our current society operates. But until then, yes I agree that woman probably does need her alone time in the car!

Comment from Adron
Time November 16, 2008 at 8:43 am

It Portland we get a ticket that is good for X hours. Usually 2 hours, longer on Sunday or Holidays since there is less service. During that two hours you can get on and off the bus, change routes, get a coffee, buy cloths, sing in the rain (which is very likely in Portland), watch a street performer, hit up the street fair, check out the fresh produce market on the park blocks, or jump on the streetcar for a loop up to Trendy Third for some shopping.

All with a single ticket. :) The transit agencies in other places should take notice and follow suit. It really is nice to have that freedom. Of course I just end up with a monthly pass, since I’m a yuppie too by “technical definition”. Strange yuppie I am on buses with Iron Maiden shirts and a latop laid out surfing away half the time. :)