Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Boycott the TTC on Friday Nov. 13th

Normally, I wouldn't be interested in promoting mass action, it is not really my style. Still, after a lifetime of irritation, frustration and general annoyance, I think it's about time that we -- as disenfranchised TTC riders -- make a point to the management that we think that they are doing a bad job. A really crappy one.

The TTC, for all of my international readers, stands for the "Toronto Transit Commission". It is the organization directly in charge of making sure that Toronto has some type of public transit system that reflects our status in the world. They run our late buses, hulking streetcars, overcrowded subways and our silly little rapid transit system. Apparently they still subscribe to the idea that Toronto is "hogtown", since that's the appropriate level of service that they shakily provide for us.

In Canada, Ontario has always had a long, sordid history of running really pathetic, hopelessly inept bureaucracies. We seem gifted at gathering together unmotivated near-lifeless peons, packing them together like cattle and getting idiots with overly-simplified theories of process to lead them. We keep setting these abominations loose on the province to stagnate slowly in a stew of bad rules, inefficient processes, bitchy unions and perpetual political scheming that usually results in little more than them just squeaking through the minimal day-to-day requirements while wasting copious amounts of money. We are good at wasting money. Very good at it.

Our transit system is a shining example of this type of moronic accomplishment. We've long been treated to a pathetic history of wasting money, forgetting that we live in a "winter" city and a type of sever disrespect for the actual "riders" of the system that borders on nasty.

Recently TTC mis-management has decided to raise the price again. I'm not necessarily against that, although I'd feel it wouldn't be a requirement if they'd just stop wasting their money all of the time. Still, until they actually learn to control spending, they have to do something.

What pisses me off about this fare hike is the usual "contempt" that management has for its riders. Once again, in expectation for this hike, they've placed a "limit" on the number of tokens we can buy.

"What the hell?" all you non-Torontonians say "they won't let you buy stuff?". Yes, and it is totally brain-dead.

Every time the TTC raises it prices, they announce it long in advance, and then in expectation they limit the sales of tickets and tokens, so that we -- the "evil riders" -- don't stock up on them.

Normally I might buy 10 tokens, once a week. It's OK, I don't mind. But for a couple of months now I'll be limited to only buying only 5 tokens at a time. A pathetically small number of tokens. Primarily because some paranoid delusional door-knob somewhere in that decrepit organization can't get their head around buying a whole lot more tokens to meet the increased load, or to just announce the hike with a shorter lead time.

Why do either reasonable option, when instead you can be an asshole to your riders? Just because no other "sane" organization (in the world) would show such total dis-respect for their customers, isn't a strong enough reason why our bloated government monopoly shouldn't do it.

This from the bozos that accidentally priced their last metro-pass offering too low, and were complaining about being short by 14 million dollars. From the bozos that scream about litter and eating food on the subway, while exploiting their own employees for selling unhealthy pizza slices for a mega pre-charity collections agency. From the bozos that think "street cars" and "light transit" aren't somehow effected by snow, and that "outside stations" aren't freak'in cold in the winter. From the bozos that think "full" isn't cramped with enough people, until it means that everyone has to hold their breath in order to fit.

This from people who obviously don't use the TTC; who have their chauffeurs drive them to work everyday to avoid the masses. Who aren't there with the rest of us, in the trenches, trying to survive another awful day, in a badly run, overcrowded, dirty, subway system that some douche-bag marketer had the audacity to refer to as "the better way".

So, if you've had enough nonsense from these people, and you'd really like to send them a message that "their management techniques suck", like me you should consider not riding through the mess on Friday. I'm talking the day off. I'm going to boycott them.

If enough of us participate hopefully it will be noticed by the press, if not by the head incompetents themselves. Maybe someday they'll figure out how to get past their own uselessness to actually fix something, to make it work smoothly, or even just to motive their own employees to not be so grouchy. Maybe. Someday. We can dream.

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