Monday, November 20, 2006

TTC = Toronto Transit Crap

When I started writing this post this morning, I was in a fightin' mood and ready for a good rant. Now that it's almost 10:00 in the evening, I'm less in a ranting mood... Sometimes I wish I was more tempestuous - well, not really.

I heard on the radio this morning that the TTC (the Toronto Transit Commission for you out-of-town readers) is attacking the increasing problem of counterfeit tokens not by introducing the most-obvious solution - implementing a much-needed smart-card system - but by (wait for it) ... introducing a new brand token! How wonderfully 20th century of them. (If you're curious about how it looks, check out this link.

Frankly, I'm embarrassed by our transit system. We must still be the only major city in the world that continues to use the damn token. In defending the tiny token, TTC chief Howard Moscoe said that the TTC was the first transit system in the world to utilize the token system back when the subway opened in 1954. Er, Howie: that was over half a century ago! Technology has, like, you know, progressed a little since then. He did concede that Toronto will eventually have a smart card system - by the year 2015. That's nine years, by my count.

Maybe I'm just resentful because I've probably squandered about $20 in lost tokens over the years, but it strikes me that the TTC is trying to put off the inevitable for some unknown reason (ok, I know the real reason: $$$). I even had a token malfunction this past weekend: at the Yonge St. entrance the other night, I lost a token by putting it in the turnstile only for it not to work. (Serves me right: I should have gone with my original instincts and taken my bike.) To me, it's a symptom of what's really wrong with this city: instead of thinking long-term, the city decides to enact these short-term, patchwork solutions rather than having any real vision.

Believe me when I say I was more in a rant mood this morning. This is pretty tepid, I agree.

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