Saturday, March 08, 2008

What An Annoying Evening

I was going to title this post, Fark You TTC, but then decided against it, as I'm somewhat more calm this morning after the debacle that was my trip home last night. I left work at around 5:30, stopped in at Shopper's for some TV watching treats, and then deposited my token and waited for the Bloor/Danforth train to take me westbound. Only it didn't. There was yet another emergency at Christie station, the second one that week, and not only were emergency crews dispatched but the ENTIRE LINE was shut down from St. George to Keele.

Fabulous.

So I truck up to the southbound Yonge/University line and take the train down to College hoping that, despite the weather, the streetcars will still be running. I wait. A half-hour elapses. No streetcars going westbound. Hundreds of streetcars going eastbound. Hundreds of people going west. Completely empty but for one or two people in the eastbound cars. No transit to take any of us westbounders home.

So I decide to start walking. I hate standing around. I always feel that at least I'm going somewhere if I'm walking instead of just waiting for who knows how long for the magical streetcar to arrive. The sun goes down entirely. This means the sidewalks, wet with melting snow from earlier in the week, have turned into ice slicks. This is not good for people with TRHs.

But I walk anyway. It's slippery but I'm managing.

I pass University, St. George, Spadina and make it as far as Bathurst where I almost fell after slipping into an intersection. Now I decide I've had enough and hail a cab. Only none are going westbound. They're all going eastbound. It seems the entire universe is refusing to go in the direction of my house. After trying to flag two cabs to see if they'll turn around, finally someone does, and even though it costs me $15.00, I get home at 7:10, a full hundred minutes after leaving work. Almost three times longer than normal.

Tell me, if it's their ONLY job, to get people home, why is it that not a single person living in the west end, who takes either the College route or goes along Bloor, could get home? I know the weather sucks, but it's CANADA, and haven't they figured out any contingency plans yet? There's barely a day that goes by that there's not some sort of delay on the Bloor/Danforth line, but what's the alternative? Oh wait, there IS no alternative. If you want to take the transit, you're stuck with the TTC. If you want to be environmentally responsible, you're stuck never getting places on time, never depending on the service to actually be there, and in one of the worst days of the winter, forced to walk on icy sidewalks because in AN HOUR OF WAITING not a single streetcar passes.

And how about refunding the $15.00 that I really didn't want to spend on a taxi or even the fare that I wasted because the better way ended up being completely useless.

How much longer until I can ride my bike?

*Edited to add: And it's not just me who's frustrated. And good to know that the station I need to go to on a daily basis is known as a crime hot spot.

7 comments:

metro mama said...

It's pathetic, isn't it! As you know, where my new job is located is a two-hour TTC ride. Being forced to drive, I feel guilty about how much I'm enjoying using my car instead of transit. The other day I had a conference downtown. It took me more time to get home on transit, from Yonge and Queen to Leslieville, than my long drive to work. WTF?

Kate S. said...

I had a similar experience on Thursday night. The Yonge-University line shut down between Lawrence West and St. George leaving me stranded at Eglinton West for ages. There were shuttle buses, but I had a feeling that a bus from Eglinton to St. George in the middle of rush hour would take longer than waiting for the subway to start running again. It was probably the right call, but in the end it took me a full two and a half hours to get home from work that night. Happily I had a riveting audiobook loaded on my iPod (Henning Mankell's "Faceless Killers" - my latest foray into European crime fiction) to take the edge off the wait.

b*babbler said...

Yup. We've realized Mr Babbler will make it home in less time to our new house in Markham than it currently takes him to get to the just-barely west end of the city.

Melanie said...

I was just thinking about maybe moving back to the city...maybe I'll rethink that! It takes me 10 minutes to walk to work now.

bstewart23 said...

Dude, DUDE, I'm dyin' to ride my bike, too, but this snow will prevent that from occurring for the next month, at least. TTC hates us.

Henna said...

Ugh I feel your pain! That happened to me once where I had to go somewhere and the TTC was inexplicably delayed. And I say inexplicably because I can never understand what the heck they're saying over the P.A.

Anyway, I just turned around, went back home, and canceled my plans, and I was lucky that I could do that, but I wasn't happy about it.

Yup, this is Toronto.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a contrarian and I sure have had my share of horrible waits, most of them involving the Queen streetcar. But here's a recent news release from the TTC that I think is very relevant. Sent out on Monday, it notes that recently cars have been parking beside huge snowbanks and blocking streetcar tracks. That is probably what happened on College on Friday. If cars were banned from the downtown core (good idea, right?) this would never happen except for emergency vehicles.