Aug 23, 2006

Council approves transit makeover

The bean counters at York Regional council have figured out another way to waste taxpayers money. But then again we have to look pretty… don’t we. Read more...

Aug 22, 2006

Transit adds 53 new buses

My comments: It will be a long time before we see something like this at Durham Region Transit.

New Flyer Bus Driver Amenities 

Transit drivers appreciate the layout of the instrument panel and the location of switches on the driver console. Easy-to-read gauges, clearly marked switches, ergonomically foot pedals, secure barriers, effective mirror locations, and the most adjustable transit seat in the industry are some of the many features that result in reduced driver fatigue and improved employee morale.

A reduction in environmental emissions and more bus service on the road are two one of the benefits of 53 freshly-minted New Flyer buses being delivered to Mississauga Transit over the next few weeks.

"Forty-five of them will replace our 1989 and 1990 vehicles which will be retired and the remaining eight will be used to provide better and more efficient service," Mississauga Transit Manager Bill Cunningham said. "The upgraded features and ergonomic design of these restyled buses make them more appealing and comfortable for both our riders and operators." Read more…

Aug 20, 2006

TTC cash whining blasted

The city has to stop crying wolf and blaming the province for all its funding problems, mayoral hopeful Jane Pitfield said yesterday.

Responding to a report that the TTC has a $1-billion hole in its five-year capital budget to buy and refurbish streetcars, buses and subways, Pitfield said it's wrong for TTC commissioners to talk about fare hikes.

"The threats to the public about fare increases have to stop," she said. "It's political. It upsets people and turns them off the TTC. Nothing is accomplished through threatening a fare increase and blaming the province when we still are negotiating with them." Continued…

Aug 7, 2006

Cool customers - not the first of its kind

There has been much in the news recently about CLRV No. 4041, the TTC's new air-conditioned streetcar.

This isn't the first time the Commission has introduced this specially equipped type of streetcar to its customers. According to John Bromley, author of Fifty Years of Progressive Transit, History of the Toronto Transit Commission (Electric Railroaders' Assoc.), the TTC added air conditioning to two of the new streetcars (CLRV No. 4089 and ALRV No. 4238) in 1995. However, in both instances, the trial was less than successful and soon terminated.

Almost a century before passengers using the streetcars of the still privately-owned Toronto Railway Company on hot summer days were treated to rides through the hot city streets on board what were called "convertible" streetcars similar to car No. 505 seen in the accompanying photograph. The sides on these cars could be removed in the nice weather and replaced when things turned colder. As cooling as a ride on these vehicles must have been, they could also be a dangerous way to travel. Over the years, more than a few passengers found themselves lying on the roadway outside the car following even a minor collision. Finally, in the fall of 1915, the Ontario Railway Board (since morphed into the oft-despised Ontario Municipal Board) ordered that the sides no longer be removed. Continued...

Aug 4, 2006

Transit system ineffective

This is from the News Advertiser.

Aug 3, 2006

To the editor:

I see Durham officials are warning residents of an impending transit strike this fall.

Have you used the service lately? I am unsure how it will be any poorer during a strike, as it is almost non-existent when fully operating.

Try using it to reach the GO station in time for a specific train or to get back to your residence from the GO station. Good luck! Walking is a more viable alternative.

Bill Bennett


My Comment: In Ajax and Pickering the bus timetables are setup for the buses to connect with the Go Train. Perhaps the rest of Durham needs to follow their example.

Transit system ineffective - Aug 3, 2006

York rapid transit lauded by U.S. group

The very notion that a bus could provide "rapid transit" is in its infancy in North America, but the idea of a cheaper alternative to subway construction and light rail transit lines is beginning to take root.

And about 200 transit experts from across the United States have come to Toronto to see how the idea is working here.

They had to go to York Region to find out. Continued…

Aug 2, 2006

CAW Files Bargaining Complaint

CAW Files Bargaining Complaint Against Durham Region Transit

OSHAWA, ON, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - The Canadian Auto Workers union is urging
Durham Region Transit to return to the bargaining table in an effort to
resolve the outstanding issues in negotiations with CAW Local 222 and its 300
Rather than negotiate, Durham Region Transit mailed a proposed collective
agreement to the members without consulting the union's bargaining committee.
As a result of the employer's actions and its attempt to undermine the
bargaining committee, the union has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour
Relations Board.
A July 31 media release from Durham Region Transit claims there is a
possibility of a service disruption because of a work stoppage. However, the
CAW has not even held a strike vote, as required by Ontario law.
"Any impending disruption of service will be the result of a lock-out
imposed on our members by Durham Region Transit," said CAW national
representative Mike Reuter. "Both the ridership and our CAW members deserve a
settlement that is negotiated in good faith by Durham Region Transit."
The collective agreement expired May 31, 2006.

Aug 1, 2006

Durham bus strike looms

My Comments: The war of words has begun. Negotiations are now being done in the news paper.

Durham officials are warning residents to prepare for a transit strike sometime this fall after negotiations for a first contract with the region's transit workers broke off two weeks ago.
"There is nothing worse than a transit strike for commuters and it's even worse if you don't know about it in advance," said Durham Regional chair Roger Anderson.

So the region is giving residents plenty of notice to make alternate arrangements for transportation in September or October. Continued...