Thursday, February 01, 2007

News Roundup

New streetcars, no new fare hikes

The TTC has voted to pursue a 1.5 billion, 10 year plan to replace the current fleet of streetcars with 200 new light rail vehicles. If everything goes according to plan, the first new vehicles will begin arriving in 2010. At the same meeting, they voted not to consider a fare hike to balance the operating budget. I guess we can have our cake and eat it too.

Possible CN Strike

CN conductors will be in a legal strike position at midnight, February 9. There are several proposals that would keep those assigned to GO service on the job, but if all those fail, trains on all but the Milton line will not run. Buses will not be sent to replace the trains, as there are no spare buses in the fleet. You can try to catch one of the regularly scheduled bus runs, or take local transit. You don't have to drive because the trains are not running!

In the mean time, GO is putting a plan together to address the bad start to the new year. Hopefully it will help minimize problems, but some problems simply cannot be fixed. To the letter to the star a few weeks ago, saying how "switch problems have been happening for twenty years, and they should have been fixed by now," I have this to say:

You've been leaving your car outside every winter, and you still have to clean off the ice and snow every morning. Why haven't you fixed that problem? You've had twenty years too...

The Big Delay

The Blogosphere is somewhat of a community, which is why I passed this story along to Transitrider. Here's his coverage, with more here. Here's a recap.

The 5:45 train leaves Union on time, and has just left Weston heading westbound towards Etobicoke North. Unknown to the engineer, vandals - nay, saboteurs - had placed a barrel filled with water and ice on the rail. The engineer, already slowing for the station, puts the train into emergency. The train strikes the debris fast enough to get it lodged underneath the cab car, but due to the quick reaction, not fast enough to cause a derailment. The train has to be terminated where it stops, and plan is to accommodate passengers on an extended 6:45.

However, plans don't always go well.

CN and Toronto Police consider the line a crime scene, and as a result, the line can be opened in time. The 6:45 is delayed for two-and-a-half hours, making it a three and a half hour delay for passengers on the 5:45.

If you have any information about this, call Toronto Police, CN Police or Crimestoppers.

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