A couple of days ago I was riding the TTC one more time. I was heading north from St. Clair Station heading to Sheppard. The train was moving along at a relatively rapid clip, for the TTC.
We arrived at York Mills station and there was an announcement that the train would be delayed for a change in crews. I don’t know about you, but it’s not a Boeing 777. I’m not sure why a crew change was required. But there we were waiting for the train to leave.
I saw a man walking toward me. He was either drunk, stoned or had other issues. He was walking towards me on the train. As he got closer there were women sitting with an empty seat beside them. He sat in the empty seat next to two women, talking to them with his face directly in their face. It was frightening. The two women were far more calm then I would have been. It was shocking. I was frightened for them not knowing what this fellow might do.
He left the train when it was still sitting at York Mills station. I guess that he ran out of patience for the train sitting around. He was either singing of screaming while he was standing on the platform.
I often see the TTC so called special constables at stations. Walking around, chatting, having a pretty good time. I have yet to see them deal with these individuals who are harassing passengers and scaring people riding the trains. If they are not on the trains what are they doing? It’s a great job. Walk around, check things out and apparently not do much else that I can see.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, there is no help on the trains if you get into a problem. There are no cameras and no one at the platforms. You are completely on your own. It’s truly frightening.
Not one seems to car. The riders don’t care. The media seemly doesn’t care. And certainly the TTC doesn’t care. But you should care. Someday, something will happens. Someone will have a life changing experience. And given the local media, we’ll probably never here about it.
One of the favorite things to talk about in Toronto other than the weather is the Toronto Transit Commission (“TTC”). A lot of us make jokes about it, complain about it and curse it. And correctly so. The TTC, in my opinion, is a disaster compared to other public transit systems.
Getting From A to B
Getting around on the TTC is no small feat. It’s difficult. Last Friday I was going from Spadina and St. Clair Avenue West to Seneca College. The college is located at Don Mills Road and Finch more or less. It should take around 50 minutes normally. It took me one hour and 40 minutes. The reason, signal problems.
Now those of you that live in Toronto know that signal problems on the TTC are a regular event. They never seem to be able to get it right. Even the newer sections of the system suffer from signal problems. It’s a daily event. And there seems to be no cure to it. Toronto is a pretty big city. And it always claims to be “world class”. Whatever that means. But things like the TTC just don’t work.
One definition of a world-class city is “A major international destination. Most often it’s a major international political, cultural or commercial center. Includes cities of all sizes and not just the world’s largest. “
If transportation was on the list, Toronto would fail miserably. The subway is old and dirty. The new subway trains that were ordered from Bombardier are already showing signs of wear and tear even though they are only four or five years old. They creak, they sway and they make noises like twenty-year-old subway cars. The cars are dirty inside and seemingly never cleaned. You have aggressive panhandlers on the trains begging for money. You see people eating and throwing their garbage on the floor. It’s awful.
You see musicians on the trains asking for money. You see people with “issues” behaving badly. And what you won’t see is those so-called special constables that are supposed to be policing the trains. In two years I have never seen anyone that looks like a police officer on the subway.
If you ever got into a personal problem on the subway, there would be no one there to help you. There is no visible security on the subway or the buses. Not even a random show of force.
So if you come to Toronto, don’t expect much and you won’t be disappointed. If you read that the Transit system is great, be suspicious. I don’t know where those positive comments come from. Someone suggested that the acronym TTC means “Take The Car”. It seems to be more truth than a joke.