We are a people focused on speed.  As members of the workforce, we work longer hours, do harder tasks, and are expected to make impossible timelines without erring once.  The advent of computer technologies only served to speed up our pace of development on the global scale.  In this insane need for speed, a vital component is being able to get where we want, when we want.

Everyone is part of this insane blur.

Doctors get rushed into the emergency room, computer technicians almost never sleep, and everyone wants their packages to arrive right at their doorstep the minute they order them.

Why then, does the TTC fail so spectacularly? Specifically in the following areas:

1. Schedules

The neat little rectangles at the bus stop details when each bus is supposed to come, and is a very useful feature.  For getting your hopes demolished that is.  Whenever I glance at the bus schedule to make sure my carefully planned journey is still consistent with my agenda, I reassure myself that everything is still going according to plan.  Then, about 5 minutes past the time when the bus was supposed to arrive, I tell myself that the traffic only slowed things down a little bit.  And when the bus finally arrives 10 minutes after that, my knuckles are bruised and my breaths are heavy.  The process repeats at the transfer point between two routes.  Being a little late is okay, but if it happens consistently, there’s a problem.  If drivers are taking breaks, at least reflect that in the schedule so that we as commuters can plan for it!

2.  Consistency.

On the day of my IAPS exam (go Mr. Santolin), I wake up refreshed and ready to go.  After I get to the station, I start waiting.  The line wasn’t too bad, and it was nice out.  So I stood, listening to my non-mainstream music, mentally reviewing.  Then a bus pops up from behind the wall, and I’m ready to get on when I realize that it was going the wrong direction.  So I went back to waiting.  30 minutes later, I had seen 6 more of the buses going the opposite direction, when finally, my bus came.  Along with 3 more pals, all clumped together.  And needless to say, I was late for my exam.  Insert two equal signs and an underscore between them.

3.  Planning.

Over my nine years in Toronto, the TTC has not expanded much, or changed much.  Sure, some of the buses look better now, but no major changes were made.  The only new addition to the subway was the Sheppard line, and that was pretty early on.  And sure, the subway trains have been updated, but I see no major difference, save in design.  There are almost just as many delays and failures as before.  Where are the light rails?  Where are better versions of streetcars?  Where are the subway expansions? Where are signalling systems that actually work?  The New York subway, though it might be crowded and pungent, at least spans throughout the entire region rather well!  And the Chicago subways are wonderful!  And don’t even try to compare our transit system to that of Tokyo.

We all want to cut down on our carbon footprint.  The fact that our transportation is not exactly well-developed or super-efficient isn’t helping at all.