The Star reports today that the GO Transit Board rejected a call for fare rebates in compensation for poor service. This is no surprise, but that’s not my topic.
What fascinated me in the article was this:
[Pat] Eales was initially given five minutes to make her case to the board but GO Transit chairman Peter Smith said he would allow her to talk as long as she wanted.
Her presentation, along with questions and answers, went on for more than half an hour.
Meanwhile, over at the TTC, deputations have taken on a surreal air thanks to the Draconian new rules of procedure. We get five minutes, as always, but questions are rare and motions to extend speaking time are non-existent. I was used to being cut off back in the Lastman era, but Admiral Adam runs a tight ship and I’d better finish my speech in 5 minutes.
This reached an absurb height at the last meeting when John Cartwright of the Labour Council wanted to present information about shortcomings in the Buy Canadian study done for the current streetcar tender. Because the request to speak came in late, Chair Giambrone had to ask for the Commission’s indulgence just to get Cartwright on the agenda.
When the time to hear the material came up, they got five minutes. Full stop.
Meanwhile, TTC management gets to drone on at excruciating length about whatever project they have dropped onto the agenda often with little advance notice to those who might want to comment on it.
I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Metrolinx has yet to discover deputations and favours instead a complex process of public feedback through their website. No opportunity for irate members of the public to call politicians or management to task for their incompetence. Just remember this as and when they take over GO or even the TTC.
You won’t be able to complain about the Queen car because nobody will want to hear you.
Somehow the golden age of transit is looking a lot like the bad old days when pensioners got cigars, the Commissioners drank from bone china cups, and the public knew their place.