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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #641
Electrify
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordMandeep View Post
However there is a problem of laziness.

I was waiting for a bus at a a subway stop and a full grown man,took 15 mins (taking breaks and such) to pick up 3 garbage bags and to put new ones...

Clearly the problem is that they are not doing the work and prehaps scarring some of them with outsourcing could work.
Nah, they'll just pull another illegal strike and shut down the system for a day again. Until the TTC decides to stand up to this kind of incompetence and sends these people their walking papers, little is going to change.
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:21 AM   #642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
Reposting the numbers is useless since I posted those very recently, but still proves my point, but you are oh-so-conveniently leaving out 2002 when the was a net change of -12, this is done on purpose to try to prop your argument up. The point is that in 2002 and 2005, the swap was virtually 1:1, just like we told you but you are refusing to accept this clear and obvious fact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTC 2002 Annual Report
In 2001, the Commission entered into an agreement to purchase 220 low-floor Orion diesel buses ... at December 31, 2002, 1 vehicle has been received.
2002 saw very negligible deliveries. Factoring the 2002 deliveries will not change the fact that the bulk of the deliveries from 2003-6 was not 1:1, unless you tell me 1 delivery does make a difference. In fact, every year we see significant difference from deliveries to fleet growth. Looking at the fleet growth figures, to make your argument the swap was virtually 1:1 would mean the growth would be close to 0 every year. That is clearly not the case.

In fact, the fleet decreased from 2001 to 2002 (1480 to 1468), meaning the new deliveries were outpaced by replacements, further supporting my argument that it is not 1:1.

Looking at the 2005-2006 net change, the most recent statistics available, I find it hard to believe anyone is trying to argue that 230 buses were delivered means we replaced 230 old buses even though the fleet grew by 52. The math doesn't add up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
Sure, by 2006 over 1000 of the buses in the fleet are relatively new, so the oldest clonkers have already been disposed of, that's why they could afford to keep some of the buses and actually increase the fleet size and service levels, since those buses are not on their dying breath. However, 197 buses were still used for a 1:1 swap, and that is about 4:5s of the order used for 1:1. Thus, for an average, there is nothing incompetenet, reckless, or wrong in the average calculation through doing a 1:1, because the overwhelming majority does indeed have that happening, meaning the numbers would be within an acceptable margin of error if one does it that way. Your adding the vehicle years consequetively in the previous post is what is reckless and wrong and incompetent because that takes the existing old clonkers that have in fact been retired and keeps them in the average, giving you a figure that is way outside any acceptable margin of error, but you fail to recognize this obvious flaw in your calculations and logic, but that's because you know nothing about this subject.
Without knowing what is the average of the buses being taken out of service, it is impossible to calculate an accurate new average age. Simple mathematics can determine how many buses were removed from service, but the question is how many vehicle years do you remove from the total for the retired buses? As that question cannot be answered, the prudent thing is to be conservative, as we know not all deliveries were matched with removals. Unless you have a reasonable estimate of the average age of the vehicles removed, there is nothing wrong with calculating an upper bound.

Without any reliable statistics on what was taken out, I find it wreckless to just randomly remove them. Now that makes the new average outside any acceptable margin of error. That is clearly a major logical error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
Over 1000 of the buses have already been replaced by this point, this means that the old buses, actually are not that old, and may also be rebuilds. The overwhelming majority of the 1000 new arrivals over the last few years have gone towards a 1:1 swap, this is very obvious from the math and in all practical contexts/perspectives and applications, that is exactly what is happening, the order coming in 2008 is further proof.
A rebuild does not reset the age. A 20-year-old bus that has been overhauled is still 20 years old. Would a 60-year-old who had a few organ transplants and a new hip all of a sudden be reset to 35 years old?

I don't understand why you're trying to disprove my 2006-end figure with 2007 and 2008 deliveries. Obviously the 2006-end figure does not include 2007 and 2008. You'll have to wait and see what the actual results for 2007 and 2008 are like when they get published to see what the 2007 and 2008 year-end figures should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
OK, you're so smart, why would the TTC retire anything other than the oldest in the fleet, as you are clearly implying that the TTC is retiring newer buses instead of old ones?
You are hopeless.

Again, why would anything but the oldest buses be retired? You are clearly insane to be posing this question. We know which buses were retired, the oldest ones were retired because some at the time were past their lifespan! The point is that you keeping the old buses in your calculation is a blatantly flawed process and completely inaccurate. It is not only valid, it is OBVIOUS that the oldest buses get retired as the new ones arrive to replace them, that's just simple common sense and not an assumption. I agree that the number isn't necessarily 5, my number posted has consistently been 13 worst case, likely less, depends how old the remaining 500 are (13 years assumed 25-30 years old, those have likely been long since retired), something closer to 10 is more realistic, your figure of over 15 is absurd in the reality of the new deliveries in recent years.
If you took a look at my sensitivity analysis, you will see that the average age of the remaining fleet moves significantly even if a moderate change in assumptions of the average age of what is taken out.

In fact, there have been incidents where new buses came up short of expectations. In 1995, David Gunn reported that the bendable buses, 7 years old then, were so poorly made they would be sent to the junkyard 11 years ahead of schedule. In 1997, the Orion V compressed natural gas bus fleet, 6 years old at the time, were grounded due to major structural failures resulting in a complete rebuild.

Hence, it is not at all surprising given the TTC's past misfortunes that there is chance that relatively new buses are being taken out because of defects. Thus, applying a blanket old average age across the board may not be such a sound approach. But then, the question, again, is what is an appropriate old average age?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
The major error is your statement of over 15 years old. That isn't rocket science either when 2/3rds of the fleet is about 5 years old or less. You are out to lunch, your calculations don't have any realistic context, you're trying to achieve bullshit, and waste everyone's time with your overblown ego.
Not at the end of 2006 when I ran the numbers. As at end of 2006, only roughly half the fleet has been replaced. I can't forsee how the average age can drop so drastically to 5 as KGB first noted. But then, the deliveries from past years age as well so I don't forsee the actual number to be anywhere near 5 any time soon.

By the way, 7 is 40% bigger than 5. Not exactly very close at all when it's 40% off. That's my best case scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
The TTC had some REALLY old buses throughout their fleet before the vehicle replacement program kicked in. The TTC has been putting this off for 10-15 years or so, at which point many buses were already well over 10 years old, but being screwed by the conservatives and the recession before then, they had to stretch the life of the fleet, meaning many MANY 25-30 year old buses in the fleet at the end of the 90s.
This I buy since not so many years ago they were publishing average bus age as being 18 years. The fishbowls were still around well past Y2K and those vehicles must've been rebuilt many times over to still run on the streets. However, to apply an average age of 30 across all the hundreds of fleet removals seems a bit far-stretched. We know the TTC did have a lot of very old buses, but that many?

Again, this goes back to the question of what is the average age of the removals we should be subtracting from the total. It's clear to both you and I that a subtraction has to be made, but how much is the big question mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
You don't know how to trace the differences, that much is obvious. You don't understand cause and effect either, because if you take that into consideration, you really become the laughing stock. The purpose of the program is a 1:1 swap, service expansion if possible, but primarily a 1:1 swap first and foremost, and the overwhelming majority prior to 2006, during which service expansion actually started to kick in, the replacments were indeed going 1:1, only 23 out of several hundred were not in a 1:1 swap between 2001 and 2005, which means to argue otherwise is pointless and absurd. 23 is a negligible remainder given the volume, it's like not even 5% of the orders that came in over the 5-year time period in question. Give up, you're toast. What a crock.
Although the intention of the program is fleet renewal, the reality is a 1:1 swap is highly unlikely for practical reasons. Fleet renewal isn't the same as 1 bus in, 1 bus out. Given all the political bickering the TTC had to go through over the years and even today, getting a few orders in and having the cash to pay for it is enough of a challenge, and I doubt the funding is enough for them to sustain and grow service to demand. Hence, I doubt their planners are stupid enough to budget so tightly since the next order might disappear with a change in government or a change in government policy. Under these uncertain circumstances, I find it hard to believe they'll stick religiously to a 1:1 swap, and from the fleet movements year-over-year, it's quite evident the practical reality has overruled idealism.

By the way, you also need to consider that while a new bus is out on the street, the old bus may be sitting in the garage for back-up purposes rather than sold off / scrapped. After all, Toronto is growing, yet the bus fleet only had a net change of +75 buses from 97-06. So that makes a 1:1 swap even less feasible.

You have some new buses running. But I doubt they're that much roomier to fit today's crowds in.
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Last edited by hkskyline; March 11th, 2008 at 10:27 AM.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #643
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Slow federal funding stalls York subway plan
Spadina project won't be ready till 2015, TTC says

1 March 2008
The Toronto Star

A lack of federal funding has already delayed completion of the Spadina subway extension to York University by a year, says TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

The joint federal-provincial-municipal project, announced amid much fanfare one year ago by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Dalton McGuinty, was supposed to be finished by 2014.

"It is now in the 2015 window," Giambrone said yesterday.

Some sewer relocation and design work has been done but, under the joint trust agreement, he said, no shovels can go in the ground until the federal funds begin to flow.

"You can't build a subway on announcements," said Giambrone.

"I'm sure (the money) will arrive at some point," he said, but typically, "it takes an unacceptably long time."

But Maryse Durette, a spokesperson for Transport Canada, said Ottawa's share of the Spadina subway funding, about $697 million, "is reimbursement based." She said "federal funding will flow once the project is underway, construction begins and costs incurred."

Queen's Park, Toronto and York Region are expected to pick up the rest of the $2 billion price tag.

The province says it has already put up its share of the money.

"We put our funds in up front. There's no reason the federal government couldn't have done the same," said Amy Tang, spokesperson for Ontario Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan.

The delay makes the Spadina project one of two subway extensions slated for completion in 2015. The Yonge line is expected to be built into York Region by 2015 or 2016, said John Howe, an executive with Metrolinx, the provincial agency that is allocating the $11.5 billion in provincial funding pledged for Toronto-area transit by 2020. It has asked Ottawa to chip in $6 billion for the 52 projects in the plan, the federal government has yet to make a commitment, said Howe.

Part of that money would help build the TTC's $6 billion Transit City plan to expand streetcar service. But two-thirds of the Transit City funding has already been pledged by the province, so presumably it could continue to steam ahead next year, said Giambrone.

All that's needed is Metrolinx's approval, which must come by year's end. "We will not be able to issue contracts without it," he said.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #644
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THE FIXER: THE BROKEN WAY
TheStar.com | Fixer |

A pigeon's paradise at subway station


A pigeon's paradise at subway station
JACK LAKEY/TORONTO STAR


A lot of subway stations could stand a good scrubbing, but at least the scavenger birds are doing their part to keep Islington clean.

Two-thirds of the emails and calls we got for our week of stories about TTC stations were about dirt and garbage. The cleanliness of stations is obviously a top priority for riders.

Yesterday, we visited Islington and Kipling, two stations on the far west of the Bloor line that were readers rated among the grubbiest of the 69 subway stops. They did not overstate the case.

Kipling was described in one email as a "war zone" and it lived up to that billing. The washrooms could be smelled 20 metres away. A half-dozen buckets were scattered at the concourse level to catch water leaking from the roof, with at least as many puddles forming in other places. To deal with the water leaking above a staircase, a large sign was placed in a janitor's garbage cart and ingeniously angled to funnel the water into the cart.

Dozens of starlings have infested Kipling, roosting in an area above the door to the women's washroom where they dump on people passing below. When hungry, they swoop down on bins at the concourse level and forage for food.

To be fair to the cleaning staff, the platforms at both stations were mostly free of litter, which can pile up rapidly due to the absence of receptacles there. They were removed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks lest they get used to conceal bombs, but the litter problem on platforms and the subway tracks has the TTC rethinking that policy.

A transit employee told us several small fires are ignited each week when trash comes into contact with the electrified third rail. More on that this Saturday.

The TTC's janitorial staff is stretched thin, according to several emails we received from cleaning staff. Two of them mentioned a culture of apathy and indifference in their ranks, and another thought this column picks on them.

On average, 38 janitors work the day shift on a weekday, cleaning the 69 stations, and 22 on weekends – picking up after 1.5 million riders. When it comes to the morsels of food hitting the floor at Islington station, the cleaning corps is outhustled and outnumbered by pigeons out for a free meal.

A server in the bakery said the pigeons are a permanent presence there because people feed them.

source: http://www.thestar.com/GTA/Fixer/article/339548

---------------------------------------------------------
EDITORIAL
Not the better way


Mar 11, 2008 04:30 AM

They should re-name it: The Shabbier Way.

Readers are inundating the Star with calls and emails highlighting the sorry state of facilities run by the once-vaunted Toronto Transit Commission. Complaints include grime-covered walls, foul washrooms, station ceilings dripping water, widespread litter, broken escalators, and vomit left uncleaned for days.

It adds up to a pervasive sense of decline in Canada's largest commuter system. But the response from TTC chair Adam Giambrone has been oddly upbeat . The station deterioration described by riders – many of whom use the system every working day – is actually a misconception (WTF?), he told the Star's Jack Lakey. Citing system audits, Giambrone insisted that facilities are now cleaner than in the past, but people are somehow failing to "register" the improvement.

Really? It is hard to mistake clean for filthy, a moving escalator for one that's stalled, or a broken toilet for one that flushes.

If TTC riders have failed to "register" improvements, it is likely these upgrades were too minor to notice or were simply lost in a welter of other things gone wrong.

One obvious step to make things better would be to hire more janitors. With fewer than 250 cleaners, covering almost 70 TTC stations, the system's janitorial crews are stretched thin, a problem compounded by a reported absentee rate of 12 per cent.

We acknowledge that the TTC is trying to do better. Old plumbing fixtures are being replaced in the system's public washrooms and other enhancements are in the works. But these improvements may need speeding up so that they reach a critical mass that actually gets noticed by the TTC's much-put-upon riders.
---------------------------------------------------------

In related news, these same TTC employees are demanding further pay raises and benefits:

TTC workers begin voting on offer

Mar 12, 2008 11:38 AM
John Goddard
Staff Reporter


Toronto Transit Commission workers began voting this morning on whether to accept or reject a contract offer.

The union would be in a strike position April 1, with negotiations expected to continue at least until then, both sides have said.

Voting began at 4 a.m. and finishes at 7 p.m. at 20 TTC shops and depots around the city, a union spokesperson said today. Results are not expected before 10 p.m.

“We don’t want a strike,” Bob Kinnear, president of the 8,000-member Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 said this week.

But the union leadership is recommending that workers reject the company offer. It proposes a 2 per cent pay increase in each year of a four-year agreement and demands concessions on benefits.

Such concessions have become a sticking point, Kinnear said, especially with the union pushing to secure better protection and compensation for drivers vulnerable to assault by passengers.

The last Toronto transit shutdown came on May 29, 2006. Workers walked off the job abruptly and illegally for the day in a disagreement with management on issues including health premiums and driver security.

source: http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/342480
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Old March 14th, 2008, 03:05 AM   #645
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TTC workers vote 99.2% to reject offer


Transit union chief had urged members to reject company's bid for concessions on benefits
Mar 13, 2008 04:30 AM
John Goddard
Brett Popplewell




AARON HARRIS/TORONTO STAR
Subway driver Shahnawaz Rasul casts his vote at the Wilson TTC complex in Toronto on March 12, 2008. The TTC's offer was overwhelmingly rejected.



Toronto Transit Commission workers voted overwhelmingly yesterday to reject a contract offer, less than three weeks before reaching a legal strike position.

Votes cast were 99.2 per cent against the offer with just over 6,000 of its 8,000 members voting, union officials said.

Bob Kinnear, president of the TTC workers' union, and other union leaders had recommended that workers reject the offer due to concessions on benefits.

"It was a deliberately inferior offer and deserved to be rejected," Kinnear said yesterday after the votes had been tallied.

Drivers, maintenance workers and ticket collectors voted between 4a.m. and 7p.m. at 20 TTC shops and depots around the city, said a spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113.

The current contract expires at the end of the month.

"It's still really early," TTC chair Adam Giambrone said yesterday afternoon as workers were casting their strike votes.

"We're working well to resolve the issues. But there are a lot of different things to be discussed," he said.

Giambrone anticipated union members would vote to strike, but would not comment on whether the offer made deserved to be rejected.

"We bargain at the table," he said upon hearing the results. "We don't bargain through the media.

"There's no need for riders to take any action or to be concerned. To be quite frank this has no indication that there's going to be a strike. This is what has happened for the last 40 years. This is what collective bargaining is about," he said, adding that contract negotiations have traditionally been settled without rider disruption.

The union is trying to secure better compensation for sickness and injuries, and safety provisions.

According to Kinnear, the union was offered a two per cent pay increase in each year of a four-year agreement and significant concessions on some benefits by the TTC bargaining team last Wednesday.

Such concessions have become contentious, especially with union representatives pushing to secure better protection and compensation for drivers vulnerable to assault by passengers.

At present, TTC employees lose wages if they need to take time off after an assault or accident.

That's significant because transit workers in Toronto suffer higher rates of post-traumatic stress than police officers.

"We have transit operators who are beaten, punched, spat upon – sometimes injured so they cannot continue to work and perform their duties – and they're penalized financially and that is completely unacceptable," Kinnear said.

The last Toronto transit shutdown came May 29, 2006. Workers walked off the job abruptly and illegally for the day over health premiums and driver security.

Giambrone said that while the walkout caught him off guard, he doesn't expect similar action this time around.

Negotiations have been underway for the past three weeks. Both sides have until April 1 – the strike deadline – to come to an agreement.

- With files from Tess Kalinowski

-------------------------------------

The reason why stations are so dirty is there is a lack of cleaning staff and a 12% absentee rate. A low number of cleaning staff are hired because they have terrific salary and benefits which are paid by the TTC (and ultimately tax payers and transit users).

The TTC commits 80% of its operating budget on staff salaries and benefits -- this would never be sustainable in a private corporation.

TTC token/cash collector (with 12 months experience or more) - $26.58/hour
Source: Current collective agreement: Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113

Honestly, does anyone other than transit workers themselves think that token collectors deserve this type of pay? What makes this job more difficult than working at a fast food joint where the pay is a third of that amount?

Every couple of years the transit union rejects the city's contract, threatens to strike and ultimately the city agrees to the demands (and then some...). These costs are then transferred directly to tax payers and transit riders through increased fares and property taxes. As a result, public transit becomes more expensive, service doesn't improve and transit workers sense of entitlement and complacency increase. In any private corporation a raise is given if there is an improvement in workplace performance and service, not so with the TTC. Every time there is a contract negotiation, salary and benefits MUST go up. I think that the nearly broke city has given workers an excellent deal but of course the greedy union wants more, more, more.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #646
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Stations to receive artful make-overs
Some purists want TTC to preserve subway's heritage

8 March 2008
National Post

The TTC is introducing art into its subway stations as part of an underground make-over that has public-art advocates cheering, even as preservationists fear the system's visual identity is being lost.

"I think this is the best thing, this integration of art into the subway stops," said Colette Laliberte, a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). "Reinventing the subway line and incorporating art there, it's like walking through a gallery on your way to work, it's fantastic."

This week, the TTC held an open house on its plans for the Pape station, the first station that will be revamped under the TTC's $275-million station modernization program. It was launched last summer on the Bloor-Danforth line, and includes $25-million for "aesthetic changes" in the stations.

The $20.8-million Pape station revamp is anticipated to begin this fall, to be followed by the Dufferin station and then the Bloor-Yonge station, said Dave Grigg, project manager for the program.

"The intent is that basically the whole appearance needs to change," Mr. Grigg said.

The program aims to improve finishings on the walls, floors and ceilings inside the subway stops, along with better lighting. On the outside, the focus will be on creating new station appearances and landscaping.

However, for Ms. Laliberte -- who teaches a course on art in the public realm -- more art on the subway line is most important. "When you think of the number of people who take the subway every day, some people are in there for hours going from Kipling to the other side of the city. So seeing the variety [of art] from one station to another is a moment of enrichment in your day to day life," Ms. Laliberte said.

"We don't have enough art in our life and this is bringing it to us in the subway," she said. "It's refreshing."

After its renovation -- set to be completed in 2010 -- the Pape station will display approximately 80 digital photographs of the station by Kitchener artist Allan Harding MacKay.

Mr. MacKay said the $85,000 artwork will be displayed in a series of two-by four-foot photos, with the actual photo set alongside abstract versions.

"The images are first literal and then get made into a series where they get transformed, abstracted, swirled or highly textured. In other words, they move from being very recognizable images to more of an abstraction," said Mr. MacKay, who also created the Veterans' Memorial Wall at Queen's Park.

Mr. MacKay said the works took six months to complete, and although the TTC commissioned the project, the idea behind the art was his own.

"I wanted to do something with the environment that stimulates the imagination of people, to let their own subjectivity develop meaning for them," he said, adding he wanted passengers to view the Pape station and its surroundings through their own eyes.

The modernization program has raised some controversy with purists upset the subway line's iconic visual identity -- the system even has its own typeface -- is being tampered with.

"There are a few stations that are in their original form and to renovate that you obviously lose some of that. The question is, is it significant or of value? Is that loss something that's irreparable?" said Andrew Pruss, an architect with ERA Architects Inc.

City councillor Adam Vaughan, who is on the Toronto Preservation Board, said the TTC should take into consideration the historical value of the subway line before it tears it apart.

"The Bloor-Danforth line is a rhythm of colours that has a set pattern and it's designed as a piece and it speaks to an era gone by," Mr. Vaughan said.

"Before we start tampering with this and breaking it up, there's some history there, and I think there needs to be a discussion held on how to preserve it and recognize it as heritage," Mr. Vaughan added.

Mr. Grigg said heritage considerations ''are being reviewed,'' and the TTC hopes it can renovate the stations without offending the preservationists. ''We plan to bring something on board," he said.

Other stops to be renovated on the Bloor-Danforth line, which opened in 1966, include the Islington station, at a cost of $19.6-million, Kipling for $35.5-million and Victoria Park for $46.4-million. Construction is set to complete by 2010 and renovations on these stations will focus on restructuring, along with having easy accessibility.

Similar reconstructions along the University line, which opened in 1963, are a joint initiative between the TTC and Toronto Community Foundation.

In that initiative, St. Patrick and Osgoode stations will be renovated, each at a cost of $5-million. A date hasn't been set as to when the construction will start.

An ongoing $5-million facelift for the Museum station will be completed on April 8.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #647
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Quote:
"The Bloor-Danforth line is a rhythm of colours...
The only the B-D line is a "rhythm of colours" is if you are high on acid.

Quote:
...that has a set pattern and it's designed as a piece and it speaks to an era gone by," Mr. Vaughan said.
It speaks to an era when public transit's future goal was to be a service for the very poor, and anyone slightly over the poverty line would own two cars.
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:32 AM   #648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
The only the B-D line is a "rhythm of colours" is if you are high on acid.



If you took the Yonge line today between Davisville and Eglinton, you would have seen a snowman beside one of the tracks... complete with TTC operator gloves on two sticks (for hands), which was obviously erected by TTC employees while on the job.
---------------------------------------
Stalled repairs exasperate TTC riders
Mar 13, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter


There's always repair work going on at TTC stations, but many jobs seem to take forever to finish and appear abandoned.

A lot of TTC stations are upwards of 50 years old, which is among the reasons why they're fraying around the edges. To keep up, TTC workers are constantly removing wall tiles, tearing apart escalators, opening up ceilings and fiddling with wiring.

In many cases, the work comes to a halt long before it is finished. A barrier is erected or yellow caution tape is strung up around the project, then nothing happens for months – or even years – at a time.

About 18 months ago, we wrote about a problem at Dupont station that required scaffolding near the collector's booth. Recently, we spotted the scaffolding in the same place, which readers also reported.

We've received many complaints about stalled repairs at TTC stations. Just yesterday, a reader emailed about exposed support beams in two spots on the platform level at King station he says have been that way "for years." We found a wide area of exposed structural steel, some of which is so badly eaten by rust that it looks dangerous.

Another common complaint involves ceiling slats that are removed to get at an electrical fixture or a water leak, but are not replaced.

Worse, the TTC often fails to post a sign that explains the delay and when the job will be done. In some cases, such as an escalator that's being rebuilt at Eglinton station, a sign explains details of the work, but the completion date keeps changing, which frustrates riders.

Many are also annoyed by crude signage, noting a hand-lettered sign on a piece of cardboard telling riders to "use other door" is not good enough for a major transit system.

A recent email from Antoine Belaieff, complaining about the closure of the northeast entrance to College station, "with no notice or explanation," aptly captures the problem. "A few days ago, tiles started coming off (the stairs), causing a tripping hazard, so the entrance was closed. The tiles were fixed and the entrance reopened. Now the entrance is closed again.

"Can't the TTC post notices like every other major transit system with an explanation and the name and contact information of a manager in charge of solving the problem?"

It's an excellent question.

source: http://www.thestar.com/GTA/Fixer/article/345313
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:41 AM   #649
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I am surprised to see that the Toronto subway is as badly maintained as the New York subway.

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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #650
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people blam decreased federal funding, which a primary cause.

It is also imo caused by a dysfunctional organization that has labour policies you would see in Cuba...
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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #651
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double post...
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Old March 15th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #652
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I am reading this book now: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Society-.../dp/080188246X and in the book they write how when D.C. was planning for building their subway, they were looking at the then brand new Toronto subway as an inspiration and were amazed at the cleaniless and utilitarian efficiency of the then new system vs. the people's perception of a subway as dirty/crime ridden from what they had seen in New York.

It looks like the Toronto subway has now degenerated into what New York subway is....I guess thats what comes with New York-sized ambitions...
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Old March 15th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #653
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Quote:
I am surprised to see that the Toronto subway is as badly maintained as the New York subway.
Naw...all bitch'n aside, there's no way the TTC's state-of-good-repair would be allowed to even approach being that bad. That's even after considering that the City of new York is not even responsible for funding its subway...it's run by a state "authority".




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Old March 15th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
It speaks to an era when public transit's future goal was to be a service for the very poor, and anyone slightly over the poverty line would own two cars.
This isn't the suburbs, genius, Toronto has been a transit-oriented city for over a century - streetcar service is almost 150 years old (2011 marks the anniversary).

The subway was built in an era that had less-developed design standards than we do today, and less sophisticated building systems, nevermind technological advances since, but the subway was a great piece of work in the minimalist world it was built in then. I don't like it, I think it's crap architecturally, but I grew up in a world with better developed design standards. It was good in its day. You have to recognize the differences between times, which your comment shows a gaping ignorance in.

You also show gaping ignorance in thinking that people between Keele and Woodbine south of but including Bloor-Danforth owned two cars - that was not only a day that had wives stay at home, but it was also before the Gardiner among other highways. The automobile's rise was still in progress in that era.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #655
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ View Post
This isn't the suburbs, genius, Toronto has been a transit-oriented city for over a century - streetcar service is almost 150 years old (2011 marks the anniversary).

The subway was built in an era that had less-developed design standards than we do today, and less sophisticated building systems, nevermind technological advances since, but the subway was a great piece of work in the minimalist world it was built in then. I don't like it, I think it's crap architecturally, but I grew up in a world with better developed design standards. It was good in its day. You have to recognize the differences between times, which your comment shows a gaping ignorance in.

You also show gaping ignorance in thinking that people between Keele and Woodbine south of but including Bloor-Danforth owned two cars - that was not only a day that had wives stay at home, but it was also before the Gardiner among other highways. The automobile's rise was still in progress in that era.
It was done in an era when the Spadina Expressway, Crosstown Expressway, Christie Expressway, Scarborough Expressway, etc. were planning to be built. It was also planned that most everyone would be moving out to the suburbs and only the people who couldn't afford to would be staying in the city.
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #656
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most subways were built during the time where highways were being built across the area.

Transit usage rose to record levels even still to the late 80's and then collapsed after a recession hit.

Only now has ridership gone back to those record levels.


About NY, were not even close to going that road, yikes...
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Old March 15th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #657
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It was done in an era when the Spadina Expressway, Crosstown Expressway, Christie Expressway, Scarborough Expressway, etc. were planning to be built. It was also planned that most everyone would be moving out to the suburbs and only the people who couldn't afford to would be staying in the city.
B-D subway has about 10 years seniority over those highways.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #658
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Sprucing up 69 TTC stations
TTC says it has money at last for Mr. Clean rescue of dirty, dreary stops on subway map
Mar 15, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter


TORY ZIMMERMAN/TORONTO STAR
Downsview station.


It's been a dark and dirty ride, but the Toronto Transit Commission says there's light – in the form of tidier and better-looking stations – at the end of the subway tunnel.

For the past week, we've focused exclusively on problems with cleanliness, maintenance and upkeep at the TTC's 69 stations, based on more than 200 emails and calls from readers fed up with grime, garbage, abandoned repairs and an air of indifference and decay at many stations.

Transit managers admit appearance issues were neglected from the early 1990s on, because scarce resources were directed to maintaining route service and keeping aging equipment rolling.

But with new subways, trains, buses and streetcars on the way, and service improvements such as the buses recently added to the Dufferin route, more dollars are becoming available again for upkeep of stations. A substantial plan to make things better has been mapped out over the past 18 months or so.

Some initiatives are big, like the complete rebuilds of the Victoria Park and Pape stations that will begin soon, along with major refurbishing at Kipling and Islington.

There's also money in the 2008 budget to hire an extra 13 station janitors and a second crew of painters, which means stations will be painted far more often.

Other budget outlays are small but flexible, like the $500,000 earmarked annually for cosmetic repairs such as stains on terrazzo floors, or grouting station walls with a dark material that doesn't show dirt.

And city councillors who sit on the transit commission have pledged to push for the resources needed to keep stations clean.

"Fewer studies, more hands-on work," summed up Councillor Anthony Perruzza, one of the nine commissioners.

"There is a plan, and exciting things are happening," said Gary Webster, the TTC's chief general manager.

One glaring problem in recent years – the sight of trash piling up on subway platforms – stems from a post-9/11 decision to remove garbage bins for fear they could be used to hide bombs.

The TTC had hoped riders would carry their discards up to bins at the mezzanine level, but it hasn't worked, said Webster, who added the removal of platform bins is now under review.

Councillor Adam Giambrone, who chairs the TTC, is ebullient about the coming improvements, though he insists stations are cleaner and better-kept than most riders realize.

"I'm concerned most about the service," said Giambrone (Ward 18, Davenport). "We still set standards internationally. (Really....really... what standards? Surely no standards for cleanliness. Me thinks he is lying out of his rear. Giambrone should look at systems outside N.A.). There have been comments made in international transit circles that Toronto is back.

"We have this great video of the president of the American Public Transit Association from about five years ago saying, `What happened, Toronto? You've fallen down.'"

When things improve after a prolonged decline, "It takes three times as much work to turn someone's opinion once they've said, `Look, the system is dirty, I'm sick and tired of this,'" as to shift the attitude the other way, he said.

One problem of perception is that Toronto stations were so well-kept for so long that it set an impossibly high standard when the system began to age and money for upkeep dwindled, Webster said.

"If you go back to the '80s, when the system was 20 years newer, we had many less appearance problems," he explained. "The system was in what I would call a state of good repair ... and we were able to maintain it at a level of good appearance and cleanliness."

In the early to mid-1990s, the general economy faltered, jobs were lost and TTC ridership plummeted, which tightened the money available for station upkeep. Relatively new buses were falling apart, other equipment was wearing out and fare-box revenue was down.

"We had very little capital and operating money, and the system was really in trouble in terms of basic, fundamental things – so the majority of our efforts were focused on state of good (equipment) repair," said Webster. "Appearance issues were starting to catch up with us."

When the Progressive Conservatives were elected to Queen's Park in 1995, they slashed TTC operating subsidies, which further squeezed its ability to maintain the appearance of stations built back in the 1950s and early 1960s, he said.

Thanks to the more recent infusion of capital to pay for new rolling stock, however, the TTC can finally start to focus on station cleanliness.

Gary Shortt, the TTC's superintendent of physical plant, says cleaning the dark soot that coats many station surfaces is harder than it would seem. It's caused by the fine dust that comes off the brakes of trains as they pull in.

When aluminum ceiling slats are removed to make repairs or renovations above them, the black soot can't be scrubbed off with water and is still there when they go back up. The soot on the top side of the slats is so thick that it oozes back down over the face of the slats for days after it becomes wet, which only makes the problem worse.

A company that uses a special wax material has been hired to clean the slats. Shortt said the wax is not only a cleaning agent, it applies a coating that inhibits buildup of brake dust.

Hiring more painters will also improve station appearances, said Shortt, noting "It's amazing what a paint job will do."

Previously, a paint crew was on the job from April to June and from September through November, and needed seven years to cover all 69 stations, he said. Now, two crews will work from April through November, and each station should get a new coat every three years.

"It's not capital-intensive work, it's labour. And it costs money to do it, but you get a good bang for your buck," Webster said.

Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul's), TTC vice-chair

Wants: More cleaning staff hired, and better deployment of them; a public education campaign; trash bins back on subway platforms.

"When people are farting around and wrecking things, it's just not acceptable any more. That's a big PR campaign I think we need to engage in. It's a mammoth undertaking to keep all the stations clean.

"(We need to) hold management's feet to the fire through quarterly reports."

Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre)


Wants: cleaning staff who are proactive and more flexible to go where they're needed; p.a. announcements to get co-operation from riders.

"There's too much paper and debris on tracks. Who cares about the (management) plan? Let's just clean the bloody thing up. We have a system that's not kept up to an appropriate standard. If people see an environment that's clean, they are more apt to use the bin."

Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West)

Wants: Cleaners targeted to grotty, high-traffic stations and a public education program.

"I told (TTC managers) that if the stations are dirty, we need to put more resources into them, hire a few more janitors. We need to better educate our users, because it's really their system. I would prefer to put money into a public education campaign than an audit. I can read (The Fixer) and get the same thing for free."

Glenn DeBaeremaker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre)

Wants: He's willing to fight "like a Tasmanian devil" for more funds to rebuild stations and hire janitors.

For 10 years "the TTC was so starved of money and focused on safety that customer service and cleanliness were way down on the priority list ... we were in crisis mode for a lot of that time."

He says, "People need to be more courteous, stop leaving newspapers or a half-eaten box of KFC on a bench."

Peter Milczyn (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore)


Wants: More money spent on stations, possibly even by easing off on service improvements.

He says riders must be made more aware of their own role. "Garbage doesn't fall from the sky. We could use public education and a cleanup campaign.

"Maybe we should have signs with a red circle with a pig in it and a red diagonal line across it that says, `We're not Hogtown any more.'"

Suzan Hall (Ward 1, Etobicoke North)

Wants: More cleaners and public education. Would add to the $500,000 annual fund for small repairs.

"In this snowy weather the floors are a mess and can't be mopped up as readily as you might like.

"I think there's a need to spend more money on the small repairs that really affect the way things look, and I think it's important to educate people that this is their system."

Sandra Bussin (Ward 32, Beaches-East York)


Wants: She said she has an office policy to forward every suggestion received from the public for the TTC's attention.

"I find the TTC to be very responsive to rider input, and response time is based on the degree of work required. Only in very recent years has the TTC received federal and/or provincial funding, which provides relief to the city."

source: http://www.thestar.com/GTA/Fixer/article/346444
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:01 AM   #659
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Well... it was bound to be posted. I think it's outrageous that the union is walking away from negotiations. They are holding the city ransom. This new deal that they propose (100% pay for injuries and sickness) will INCREASE the level of complacency and laziness that already exists with many TTC workers. They are already very very handsomely paid as it is. Instead of coming to work on the odd day, they may decide to call in sick / injured everyday and enjoy FULL benefits while TTC passengers suffer even more. That 12% absentee rate for cleaners is going increase much much more.

Their greed has no end in sight. Not even negotiating now. There will be a transit strike next week.


Toronto Transit union says safety first, or no contract

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | 1:12 PM ET
CBC News



Operator safety is the issue that has driven a wedge between the Toronto Transit Commission and its union — and threatens to bring Canada's largest city to a halt next week.

"We have called off negotiations until the TTC can address this fundamental issue," said union president Bob Kinnear.

Right now, drivers, operators and maintenance staff suffer a reduction in pay if they are off work because of injuries on the job. The union says that must change and has drawn a line in the sand.

"It is very unlikely that there will be an offer that will be accepted by our negotiating committee that does not address this issue," said Kinnear.

Speaking at a morning news conference, the Local 113 president said the union has "called off" negotiations on a new contract, describing talks to date as "unproductive."

Kinnear said that the union's negotiating committee is adamant that it will get an agreement on unreduced pay for injured TTC employees, or there will not be a deal.

"To be quite honest, there are a number of issues on the table that [have] had very little discussion. You know our negotiating committee took the position last week, because the negotiations have been so unproductive to this point, we took a position that we needed this issue addressed and we wanted the TTC to seriously begin discussions on this issue."

Kinnear said the issue of driver safety is "fundamental" to the union's bottom line.
Sometimes 2 or 3 assaults a day

"I can tell you that each and every day of the year we see at least one assault. Sometimes there are two or three. So there are literally hundreds of injuries through assaults, as well as a number of incidents that have been widely reported through the media of our maintenance workers working in increasingly difficult conditions and increasingly unsafe conditions."

He added: "We believe that this is a moral issue.

"This is a major deal breaker. If [TTC general manager] Gary Webster can make arguments as to why the front-line employees … should have their pay reduced because they're attacked, if he can give us a reasonable answer as to why they should incur that penalty and he does not, then we'll take a look at it."

Toronto's transit system could come to a halt as early as next week if the two sides in the contract negotiations fail to reach an agreement.

Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union represents more than 9,000 TTC workers.

The TTC carries more than 1.5 million passengers every weekday.

TTC chair Adam Giambrone said Tuesday morning he remains hopeful the two sides can work out a deal without disrupting transit service.
First offer unanimously rejected

"We don't have any information as to whether or not negotiations will continue. We're still hoping for a negotiated settlement, and we're working very hard to achieve it," said Giambrone.

The workers strongly — almost unanimously — rejected the TTC's first offer two weeks ago, saying that it didn't adequately address the safety issue, as well as other monetary concerns.

Kinnear says the union doesn't want a strike, but insists the union must get back some of the concessions it has given up over the years. "We continue to endure," he said, making reference to contracts from more than a decade ago. "We've done our part."

The unionized workers are in a legal strike position as of midnight next Monday. So they could walk off the job anytime after that.

The last time the TTC was affected by a work stoppage was in May 2006. The one-day illegal walkout caused chaos in the city. The commission said the shutdown cost the TTC about $3 million in lost revenue.

In a news release issued while Kinnear was speaking to reporters, the TTC said it "values its employees and has made workplace safety its top priority."

source: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/sto...otiations.html
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:12 AM   #660
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Greedy, unhelpful, rude, and generally of the opinion that they are doing you a favour just being there. That's how I describe my current feelings towards TTC staff... not 100% of them but very close.

I think there's a systemic acceptance of mediocrity due to a misconception that what they are delivering is "worth a million", yea, maybe a million Lira!
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