This article, "Why the TTC should get liquored up" is just as moot as every other article I've been reading about the problems with the TTC. The problem lies not with the system, but with the public who use it and ABUSE IT! I should know, I ride the TTC everyday, as does my spouse (as a paying customer). However, I have a chance to see things from a slightly different angle as well. You see, I'm a TTC bus operator as well (hides under table to prevent getting hit by thrown rocks).
Comparing the TTC to the LCBO is just another of many ridiculous "solutions" to the problem. Last time I checked, I've never read a story in the paper about an LCBO clerk getting spit in the face because the price of Merlot went up 25 cents. Happens on the TTC more times than you read in papers, and that is already too often. Last time I was at the LCBO, one of my favourite bottles of red was $13.95. I paid the exact amount to buy it. Imagine if I tried to purchase it though I was short a dollar! Not gonna happen.
Yet everyday, thousands of people try to get away with this on the TTC. Even worse, they expect to be given such a break and when denied, then I'm the "f*#king moron who takes his job too seriously"! Happens all the time, and I mean EACH and EVERY shift I work. Ever walk onto a dirty TTC vehicle with trash all over the place, empty beer bottles with sticky floors, coffee soiled seats, stinky half-eaten lunches rotting away in the summer heat of a non-air-conditioned streetcar, offensive graffiti and scratchiti (graffiti etched into the windows and panels), etc? Well let me tell you, it wasn't the operator of that vehicle that did it. It was the public. That vehicle was cleaned and inspected before being put into service that day (it is the law and is done every shift) and yet somewhere, somehow, during the course of the workday, that vehicle became unsuitable for a farm animal to ride in. Here's the kicker: you may have to ride in that vehicle for a few minutes (maybe more), but certainly not 8-9 hours straight, without breaks or lunchtime. I DO! That vehicle is my office which i cannot escape for 8-plus hours. How about showing some respect for my workplace.
Yet, what happens when people board my vehicle and notice the mess and foul conditions? Well, of course, it's my fault that they have to pay to ride in filthy conditions. I'd be more than happy to put the vehicle "Out of Service," offload my passengers, drive back to the TTC garage, sign-in the vehicle to get cleaned, obtain a new, freshly cleaned vehicle, perform my mandatory safety inspection of the vehicle, drive back to my route location, and THEN continue back in service. Not a problem for me, huge problem for the ridership. But wait a moment, I'm part of the ridership as well! That means that I may get stuck out there on a cold night waiting endlessly for a nightbus that seems to never come. And I do. Happens more often than I would like, but i know 99 per cent of the time it has nothing to do with a TTC employee not doing his/her job. More often than not, it is a spoiled public that feels that it is OK to abuse the system and other times it is the fault of conditions outside anyone's control, such as congestion, weather, construction, road conditions, etc.
I, along with other TTC employees, am human, with human problems, human desires, human needs (umm, washroom breaks anyone?) and that other human aspect: friendship and family. More and more, it has become unsettling for my friends and family, let alone myself, knowing that I have to go to work everyday and face a disrespectful and unruly public. Unless people start showing respect for each other as fellow humans, no amount of "Blue Ribbon Panel" research will matter. The day I can feel comfortable going to work knowing that I will be respected as a human, and not a spit-receptacle in uniform, is the day the public will get the improvement it feels it deserves. Your choice.
Alex C., human being most of the time/TTC operator 8-9 hours a day
[url=http://www.eyeweekly.com/ttccentral/article/83897] Driver says: The TTC's Problem Is Not Customer Service: It's Customers[/url]
(Rebuttal to [url=http://www.eyeweekly.com/city/city/article/83311]this really stupid article about how to improve the TTC[/url])