Gas Shortages and the TTC

I received the following comment from Karem Allen who runs the transit_nightmares page on Durham Transit at:

http://www.durhamregion.typepad.com/transit_nightmares

Here is something that never can be studied and is never accounted for:

GAS extreme situations.

My friend and fellow coalition member just called me with the following story.

  • More people were on the GO train then normal- line ups to buy tickets were long as these were brand new riders with no passes or long term tickets. They chose to use transit because perhaps they had not gas or wanted to conserve it. 
  • Upon arrival at Union station they were greeted with broken TTC token machines and out of service lights.

Question– were they down on purpose to force them to pay the cash fare?

Neither systems seem to be prepared to greet the number of people that actually are getting out of the cars.

We will be bringing this incident at the transit forum tonight. People were really mad that they could not buy tokens once they arrived at Union Station.

This is the time to woo the discretionary transit user not drive them away with broken stuff.

Solution could be – more ticket people on hand to cover the increased customer load at both GO and TTC.

Steve:  One thing I have learned in years of looking at large organizations like the TTC is that you should never look for a conspiracy when indifference, bad planning or bad luck can explain a problem.  The real question here is how long the token machines have been down and why.  Can any regular user of Union Station let us know?

I agree that GO and the TTC really need to make an extra effort at times like this, but both organizations have a mindset that they have no spare staff or budget to do anything.  This is dangerous because it can become a strongly entrenched excuse for never even trying.  If the TTC ever reached a point where it had enough funding, enough operators, enough vehicles and no traffic congestion, I am sure they would invent some new reason to explain why the service on Queen Street was still so undependable.