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Old April 22nd, 2010, 02:39 AM   #981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ni3lS View Post
Wow.. Staff problems?
300 complaints? On a system that carries millions a day. So it's one or two bad eggs causing the problem. Sure it's a problem but I doubt it reflects on all TTC employees.

When I've visited Toronto, I've found the TTC employees very friendly and helpful.

We've have our share of bad drivers in Vancouver too and I've had issues with one or two drivers - but it's only a few.

The problem is that nothing seems to happen if you complain so these idiots get away with it. That's what has to change. Better feedback and repsonse to these incidents.

BTW - in Metro Vancouver buses are now Fare Paid Zone - bus drivers do not enforce the fares. If somebody refuses to pay, the driver doesn't argue, but calls the Transit Police and continues on his route. It saves a lot of arguments and is safer for the drivers.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 02:43 AM   #982
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Well, you only need a few of those to ruin it for the whole staff crew. They should definitely fire people like that, no doubt.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 11:39 AM   #983
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The news isnt all bad - but overall

The news isnt all bad - but overall

Quote:
Amid controversy, TTC compliments are up (Toronto Star)

April 21, 2010

Robyn Doolittle


Franca Salerno speaks about her experience with the TTC during the first of three transit town halls organized by the TTC union to discuss customer issues. TTC Chair Adam Giambrone, there as an observer, is in the foreground, left.

VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR

Blonde dragons, sleeping collectors and angry town halls aside, it seems 2010 isn’t going to be all bad for the TTC.

Compared with last year, the number of compliments received by the customer service department is on track to double.

Since January, the TTC has had 1,063 calls, letters, or Tweets offering kudos from riders. In all of 2009, the service received 2,088. At this rate, the troubled transit system will receive well over 4,000 by year’s end.

A sample of those compliments released to the Star showcases the caring, even quirky, side of many frontline TTC workers.

“The driver came over the speaker and announced that we were arriving at Kennedy, what the temperature outside was, thanked us for taking the TTC and also, jokingly, informed us that breakfast would be served in 15 minutes . . . This driver, having such a positive attitude, made everyone on the bus laugh and it made my morning,” wrote one individual.

On Monday, the TTC released hundreds of complaint letters to the Star through a freedom of information request. About 30,000 are received every year, including phone calls. Among the grievances, riders complained about a driver who wouldn’t move because a baby was crying on board, collectors berating customers, and one nasty streetcar driver that a rider nicknamed the Blonde Dragon.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said that, by and large, those complaints represent a few bad apples.

“We know that the vast majority of our employees are courteous, dedicated and conscientious. The recent increase in commendations from customers that we’ve seen simply affirms this,” he said.

As for why compliments are up, Ross has a theory.

“I think people read and hear media reports that have been very critical of the TTC and its employees. We hear, routinely, that those stories aren’t completely reflective of the TTC they know,” he said. “And I suppose, riders want to let us know that we are still one of the best transit systems in the world and have their support.”

Ross says he often receives accolades via his Twitter account. On Tuesday night, a rider tweeted that the person's dad got lost in Scarborough after getting off a stop early.

“A bus driver was kind enough to . . . make sure he got to McC” (McCowan), the individual wrote to Ross.

On May 2, Ryerson University will host the final of three scheduled town hall meetings, which were organized by the transit union.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 03:55 PM   #984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ni3lS View Post
Well, you only need a few of those to ruin it for the whole staff crew. They should definitely fire people like that, no doubt.
The union is in the way, giving all sorts of excuses to justify the behaviour.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 08:20 PM   #985
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The union gives excuses and the TTC tolerates/doesn't care.
That said, it is like anything you get the good and the bad and you always remember the bad. I have made complaints about a Translink employee before and I got very fair and truly concerned complaints dept. The bus driver pulled out and made me fall. I didn't really hurt myself but that wasn't the point. The complaints person appologised and asked me for my address and immediatly sent me out a free bus pass for the next month. I once stated I was concerned as the new South Surrey park and ride didn't have a pay phone for public use or an emergency/security. She thanked me for the input and within one week they put up a new pay phone.
You always get bad apples but I find the over whelming majority of Translink employess helpful and friendly.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #986
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TTC union leader charged with theft
The head of the electrical workers’ union was arrested following the theft of copper wire
Published On Thu Jun 10 2010

Tess Kalinowski Transportation Reporter


The TTC is reviewing its inventory procedures following the arrest of an employee in connection with the theft of copper wire.

Mike Santos, president of CUPE Local 2, which represents about 500 TTC electrical workers, has been charged with theft over $5,000 and the possession of stolen property.

He was arrested Wednesday at his Vaughan residence following the execution of a search warrant by York Region Police, working with TTC special constables.

The TTC would not say whether Santos, a full-time employee, remains on the job.

Although the TTC has inventory controls and security around some work materials, those procedures are being reviewed, said transit spokesperson Brad Ross.

“The place that it is stored, the employees that need access,… sign out the material and then we go back and check inventory,” he said. “We’re looking at our procedures right now around these kinds of products.”

There is a market for copper wire, said Ross.

Santos is scheduled to appear in Newmarket court on July 14.

A person answering the phone at the union office Thursday said no one would comment.

CUPE Local 2 is one of three unions at the TTC. The largest is the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113. with about 9,000 members, including drivers and maintenance workers, and Lodge 235 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has about 50 members.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/arti...ith-theft?bn=1
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Old July 26th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #987
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Subway screeching? Blame the heat
It's not just your imagination, squeals are rising thanks to humidity that makes equipment 'sweat'
21 July 2010
The Toronto Star

Complaints have increased on TTC trains as well as in the blogosphere that the screeching in subway tunnels has gotten worse lately.

It turns out that the heat is, once again, the culprit.

"This happens because of friction with the rails and the wheels and brakes as (the trains) make their turn," said TTC spokeswoman Jessica Martin.

Squeals are most common around King and St. Andrew stations, where the trains make "that big turn into Union station." Automatic lubricators are installed at specific spots to reduce friction by squirting a lubricating substance at those angles.

"Now, with the recent humidity and the hot weather we've been having, it can cause the equipment to sweat, and that will compromise both the lubricant and the traction," Martin said.

At other sections of the TTC tracks, walking inspections - which involve manually applying lubricants to the rails - are conducted overnight if operators or commuters file complaints about screeching during the day.

Some riders have noted the trains in the Montreal subway system have rubber wheels, reducing the screeching to a minimum. Martin said the TTC did not have that technology when it opened in 1954.

"It'll be way too expensive to change everything to accommodate what Montreal has," she added.

For its part, GO Transit warned during the recent heat wave that trains could be forced to slow because the heat was causing rails to expand.

Even with lubricants at work, the squeaking of wheels and brakes has gotten worse along sections of TTC track this summer as the temperature rose. Go Transit has warned of delays as rails expanded.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 07:56 PM   #988
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We all want the same subway seat
30 October 2010
National Post

It's been a long day and your legs are in dire need of downtime. As you slip between the doors of the TTC train, you observe that most of the seats are taken. Your options: a seat between a young woman and a large man with a thick coat, an aisle seat next to a man with a child on his lap, or a seat beside a woman reading a book. You're going to sit beside the woman who's reading, aren't you? So would most commuters.

"I notice that I and others do move in a common pattern, often to areas with the most space available," says Ed Drass, weekly transit columnist for commuter paper Metro.

I recently organized an online survey of TTC riders, 100 people between the ages of 17 to 70, 34 of whom were women, to assess what makes a preferred choice when looking for a seat. We'd all love to sit alone -- with a seat for our bag, too --but that happens, um, never. (Though, with the arrival of new subway cars, we may have a few extra inches of elbow room.)

The quest for a seat begins the moment riders board a TTC vehicle: 42% of subway riders and 34% of bus and streetcar commuters select a seat close to an exit.

"People will sit near the door if they can," says Steve Munro, transit advocate and blogger.

The back or the front of the bus makes a difference as well; 8%of subway riders and 22% of bus and streetcar riders avoid sitting in areas reserved for the elderly to avoid giving up their seats. The idea is that once you've got a seat, you'll only get up at your stop.

Once it has been established that there are several empty seats, the next decision becomes that of whom to sit next to. Only 1% of subway commuters and 2% of bus and streetcar riders prefer sitting near men. Of subway passengers, 11% prefer sitting near women, and 8% of bus and streetcar riders agree; one female rider said she feels women are safer travelling companions at night.

Five men stated they prefer sitting near attractive women; one commuter even predicted male riders would provide such an answer. But both Drass and Munro admit they'll avoid sitting beside a woman to prevent causing her concern she's been singled out. "If I sit there anyway, I may turn to the aisle," Drass says. He offers another reason for the preference: "Men have broader shoulders and can be tough to sit next to."

Which brings us to space, the No. 1 consideration for riders. People will go out of their way to avoid other riders with large or numerous bags and personal belongings, and 14%of respondents admit they avoid sitting near large people, though more than half indicated they do not wish to discriminate but simply find the seating awkward.

"I don't like to edge anyone who is taking up part of a seat I want, but I will," Drass adds.

Other factors that affect seating choice are loud groups of people and loud music. Munro agrees: "Music that doesn't use earphones is truly obnoxious."

Like most commuters, you've chosen to sit beside a woman, and you're comfortable -- until a fast-paced song attacks your ears. You quickly realize the unwelcome noise comes from the rider behind you. You turn to the woman reading beside you, hoping for a look of shared sympathy but find her absorbed in her book. You notice a woman has squeezed into the seat between the woman and the man with the thick coat. You're grateful, at least, not to be her.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #989
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I saw the new TTC trains parked at the Davisville station yard this morning. It looks clean - smooth body without texture and the front looks aerodynamic too. Much better than what we have. BTW, another delay on TTC this morning, power was down for 20 minutes.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #990
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Builders riding Ford on passes
2009 bylaw says condo purchasers must get free Metropasses for a year
Developers say it's a flop

24 January 2011
The Toronto Star

A controversial policy that requires builders to purchase a year's worth of Metropasses for new condo buyers may be the next "tax" nixed under the Ford administration.

Fed up with what they say is an unfair cash grab created to subsidize the TTC, developers say they will press Mayor Rob Ford to repeal it.

Since 2009, the TTC has collected $1,080,694 from builders in Metropass fees. And as the economy rebounds, the policy - which only applies to new buildings - is expected the generate even more funds for Toronto's cash-strapped transit system.

The industry will find support from TTC chair Karen Stintz, who says she didn't support the policy when it passed by council two years ago and she still doesn't.

Industry spokesman Stephen Dupuis said builders are spending a fortune on the passes even though condo buyers aren't using them.

To justify the $111 spent on a pass - which comes to the builders at a slightly discounted rate - a person would need to use the TTC 44 times a month to break even.

"We find the majority of condo owners also own cars and are content driving. Not all the time, but they don't make enough use of a Metropass," said Dupuis, the president of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

That's the case at Tridel's Grand Triomphe 2 project in North York, said Stephen Upton, vice-president of development with Tridel.

"Right now, the mayor is busy with the budget. Once we get past that and he can get into the day-to-day stuff, we'll be pushing to get rid of this policy. I'm hoping it's by spring," Upton said.

And while politicians may try to tout the "free" pass as a perk for new owners, the buyers will inevitably be on the hook for the additional cost, said Brian Johnston, president of Monarch's Canadian home-building division.

"It really isn't free," he said. "Any cost gets passed on to buyers. Politicians love to convince themselves it doesn't, but it does.

"Developers are trying to make a return on their investment."

Monarch isn't even promoting the Metropass deal in its marketing for its latest project, Encore, at the Scarborough Town Centre.

"That's not why people are buying highrise condominiums," Johnston said.

"It's an awkward way to try to finance the TTC, in my view."

City council approved the policy, which applies to all new buildings with 20 or more units along transit priority areas, in December 2009.

It officially came into effect last April, but developers facing pressure from councillors and bureaucrats began voluntarily purchasing them a year earlier.

At the time it went through council, transit-friendly councillors such as Howard Moscoe, who has since retired, predicted it would "cause people on transit lines to abandon their cars."

Right-wingers, including then-councillor Ford, did not support the initiative.

During last year's election campaign, Ford met with the BILD board twice. He seemed open to doing away with the policy, said Upton, who is also the board's vice-chair.

Toronto's new TTC chair was also opposed to the plan back in 2009.

"I didn't think it was appropriate for the city ... to ask a condo company to buy Metropasses," Stintz said on Friday, adding that she is definitely interested in reopening the issue.

"That being said, we need to figure out ways that we can mutually benefit from the increased value and development opportunities when building on a subway line."
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Old January 29th, 2011, 02:40 AM   #991
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Quote:
TTC to passengers: Don’t snap texting drivers
Published 1 hour ago


Alexia Schell of Scarborough took a this picture of a TTC driver apparently texting while driving the 54 Lawrence bus this week.
ALEXIA SCHELL PHOTO
Amy Dempsey and Curtis Rush Staff Reporters


The Toronto Transit Commission wants you to quit playing paparazzi with its employees.

The please-don’t-play-gotcha request comes after at least three TTC drivers were caught on camera this week by shocked passengers who observed them texting or chatting on cellphones while operating buses.

“We ask that people not do that,” TTC spokesman Brad Ross said Friday. “We don’t require photographic evidence to discipline drivers. Cameras in the face of operators can escalate a situation that doesn’t need to be escalated.”

Instead of snapping photos, “we ask that they call us, report the bus and route number and date and time of the occurrence,” Ross said.

The TTC has disciplined employees for texting while driving before without pictures. Cellphone records, for example, can be used in internal investigations.

York University student Robert Sauer, who took video of a bus driver apparently chatting on his cellphone while driving earlier this week, worries that without it there wouldn’t be enough to go on to punish drivers responsible for “endangering the safety of the public.”

“Then it really just seems like it’s our word against their word,” said Sauer, who used his iPhone as he rode on the 196 University Rocket from York to Downsview station. “Obviously if there’s an issue with so many people taking videos and pictures of their drivers texting, there’s a huge problem.”

Union president Bob Kinnear said TTC drivers are “frustrated by the ‘gotcha’” practices of riders because it creates a wrong impression that most drivers are irresponsible. “These are isolated cases,” Kinnear pointed out.

However, the union leader said it’s “completely justifiable” for patrons to snap pictures of drivers who are texting, as long as they don’t cross the line and try to film drivers hoping to catch them in the act.

Instead of trying to capture a “gotcha” moment, Kinnear advises passengers to talk to the driver, asking him or her to stop texting while driving.

“I’d say, ‘Do you mind not texting while you’re driving from point A to point B?”

Mike Schmitz said he was too stunned to confront the driver he caught texting on the 165 Weston Rd. North bus on Wednesday.

“I was just kind of shocked. I had no idea what to say,” Schmitz said. “After I got off the bus I had a thousand clever things to say. But at the time I didn’t.”

Schmitz said driver was going about 50 km/h with his attention divided between the road and his phone.

“I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’ He didn’t even notice when I took the photo.”

Alexia Schell of Scarborough used her iPhone to snap a photo of a bus driver texting in the Lawrence Ave. and Kennedy Rd. area at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Schell was with her 1-year-old son and standing at the front of the moving bus at the time.

“I think he was on a BlackBerry,” she said. “He heard me take the picture, but by the time he turned around the phone was back in my purse. He was full texting, looking up and down. I was so upset but I didn’t want to say anything because I had my son with me.”

Schell said she was “very concerned because if the driver had to make a knee-jerk stop, the passengers would have been falling all over and I had a stroller with me.”

Texting on a cellphone or handheld device while driving has been banned in Ontario since October 2009. Drivers who do it can face fines up to $500.

The photos have surfaced at a time when the TTC remains under fire on customer service. Criticism of the “essential service” has been high ever since a commuter photographed a TTC fare collector sleeping on the job last January, and later, when a passenger took video of a driver’s prolonged late-night coffee break in a doughnut shop, while his bus sat idling.

Buses have closed-circuit television cameras, but Ross said they cannot be used for disciplinary reasons.

“We have an agreement with the union that they will be used only for police investigations.”
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/...exting-drivers
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Old March 5th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #992
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i jst saw ttc new train in davisville station. any news on it?
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Old March 5th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #993
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TTC blames improper installation for electrical incident, one dog dead
Shauna Hunt & 680News staff Mar 05, 2011 08:10:55 AM

TORONTO
- The Toronto Transit Commission is investigating an incident that has left one dog dead, another being treated by a vet, and sent a police officer and dog owners to hospital.

Police believe the electrical current came from a metal plate, situated beside a hydro pole, when the dogs walked over it just after 4 p.m. The wire was brushing the pole and it became electrified. The dogs just so happened to brush up against the pole.

The owner of the golden retriever was bitten on her hand when her dog was electrocuted. A commuter who was stepping off a streetcar at the time said it was a devastating scene.

"The woman there was asking for help, and her dog was seizing up, foaming at the mouth,"
she told CityNews. "Just anybody trying to go near it, it was biting at them, because it couldn't control it, and biting at its chain."

The woman is being treated in hospital. Her husband has already contacted a lawyer and told CityNews he plans to sue Toronto Hydro.

Aubrey was in the area at the time, and told 680News the owner of the chocolate lab was frantic, while no one could figure out what happened until smoke started to rise from a metal plate below.

"They were waiting for the light (when) the dog kind of hit the ground and started yelping," he said. "It was really disturbing to hear. It sounded like it was in a severe amount of pain."

A female officer was also injured as she tried to intervene. She received a shock when she touched the metal collar that one of the dogs was wearing.

"We also have a police officer that has been taken to hospital," Constable Wendy Drummond told 680News. "She got on scene there to tend to the animals. One of the animals had a metal collar on, and she was electrocuted as well."

Her injuries are said to be minor.

Friday evening, Toronto Hydro issued a statement saying that their equipment was not involved in the incident, but instead, the incident was the result of a problem with overhead wires belonging to the TTC.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross told 680News what he believed happened. "The power wires that give power to our street cars are held up by stand wires. Between the power wires and the stand wires is installation. There is points of installation around the stand-wires and one of those installers failed."

Investigation continues around in area.
http://www.680news.com/news/local/ar...t-one-dog-dead
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Old March 15th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #994
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Subway closings this weekend
Toronto Star
March 11, 2011

Torontonians who use the subway’s Spadina line should plan ahead to avoid two weekend closures.

Track maintenance will close the subway between Downsview and Wilson stations all of Saturday and Sunday. Spadina trains will turn back and head south once they reach Wilson Station. Instead, bus service will be provided between the stations.

Also on Sunday, the Spadina subway won’t open until 2 p.m. between St. Clair West and St. George stations. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. there will be service between Wilson and St. Clair West stations. Buses will be provided between Eglinton West and St. George stations.

The late Sunday start will also be in place next weekend. The subway will be closed again between Downsview and Wilson stations on the weekend of April 2.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:21 AM   #995
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footiran View Post
i jst saw ttc new train in davisville station. any news on it?
The TTC plans to get them in service for June. There are around three sets delivered. A set has started testing on the Yonge Line:

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Toronto Rocket

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Toronto Transit Commission 5396
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #996
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TTC ready to roll out info kiosks
Station ambassadors will help guide riders

11 May 2011
The Toronto Star

The first of seven new information kiosks will open Wednesday in TTC stations at the south end of the Yonge-University subway line.

The transit system's customer service initiative coincides with tourist season. The staffed kiosks will provide maps and directions, way-finding for nearby attractions such as museums and shopping, and assistance with bus and streetcar routes if the subway is out of service.

"It really goes a long way to providing a fresh face for the TTC," said commission chair Karen Stintz.

Eighteen summer students, who would have otherwise been assigned clerical work, are being deployed as "station ambassadors" at the portable kiosks so there's virtually no cost to the program, she said.

It will have the added benefit of reaching out to younger riders who "may or may not feel well represented at the TTC," said Stintz.

The ambassadors will be available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily at St. George, Queen's Park, St. Patrick, Union, Queen, Dundas and Bloor-Yonge stations. They will also travel to summer festivals such as Taste of the Danforth.

Stintz expects the program will be evaluated in the fall to see if it's worth continuing and possibly expanding.

The information kiosks were among 72 recommendations by an external customer service panel appointed last year to help the TTC establish better rider relations.

Other recent initiatives include station managers in the subway system and the hiring of a customer service executive, who starts work at the end of the month.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skybean View Post
TTC blames improper installation for electrical incident, one dog dead

Ouch. Please, I'm still really curious: Has the TTC or the City there spruced up its disintegrating overhead wiring in the past several years, because such retrofitting would be far more ambassadorial than posting Expo-like tweens at kiosks?
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Old May 16th, 2011, 01:01 AM   #998
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The H5 and H6 trains, which the Toronto Rockets will replace, are going to the new light rail system in Lagos, Nigeria. It was already known that they might be sold to another operator:
Quote:
In May 2009, the TTC found an undisclosed buyer for the H5 and H6 cars, which would be used on a potential transit system in another unnamed jurisdiction. However, that potential buyer will not know until early 2010 whether it has the contract to construct and operate the new system.

Last edited by Gag Halfrunt; May 16th, 2011 at 01:06 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #999
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Old May 27th, 2011, 03:10 AM   #1000
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TTC unveils Toronto's fancy new subway trains

ctvtoronto.ca
Date: Thursday May. 26, 2011 6:37 PM ET


The Toronto Transit Commission unveiled its new line of subway trains on Thursday, celebrating a new design meant to be both safer and more reliable.

The new line of trains – dubbed the Toronto Rocket – is expected to roll out in a few weeks.

The cars have more room, can accommodate up to 10 per cent more riders, are more accessible to people with disabilities and will be outfitted with surveillance cameras.

One of the key features is open gateways that allow passengers to walk from car to car. Transit officials believe this will help to reduce overcrowding.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross said that as ridership along the subway system continues to increase, so does the importance of the new design.

"The Yonge-University Spadina line is at capacity right now, so this will be a much greater experience and a much more comfortable riding experience for the public," Ross said.

The trains are also packed with new technology, including guides that allow riders to see and hear the next stop. There will also be an intercom to allow riders to communicate directly with security personnel if there is a problem.

The new rockets have even been sprayed with an antimicrobial treatment to reduce the number of germs on board.

Seventy trains are being delivered to the city between now and November 2013 at a shared cost of more than $700 million. Three levels of government are picking up the tab.

The trains were supposed to start running last year, but the roll-out experienced manufacturing delays an

The public is invited to tour the new train this Sunday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Davisville Station.

...

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/loc...TorontoNewHome



video at the source too
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