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OC Transpo

Let’s call this a Thursday rant…

(… well, technically I am writing this on Wednesday night but it won’t pop up till tomorrow..)

Rant # 1 – People on social media who make a fulltime job of bitching and complaining about everything.


A sampling from a scan of my City of Ottawa feeds this evening:

  • There aren’t enough bike lanes. Vehicles block bike lanes. Bike lanes aren`t maintained well enough. Cars don`t respect cyclists. (Ottawa cyclists are REALLY good at complaining)
  • Taxes/user fees are too high and I refuse to pay that extra $25 on my annual tax bill (prolly said by folks with 500K + incomes and who live in 4000 square foot mansions).
  • Building a (fill in the blank) is a waste of tax dollars. I would prefer that you waste those tax dollars on something that I want! Like more bike lanes!
  • There hasn`t been enough public consultation on (fill in the blank) and someone is trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.
  • The process is too slow (because of public consultation).
  • Politicians are all in developers` pockets. Every last one of them, dammit.

And most of these “experts on everything” hide behind fake user names (at least on Twitter) so have a lot of courage when at a keyboard.

I am not saying that peeps shouldn`t be critical and maybe their aren’t enough bike lanes, etc., but when it is all that you write about, then I have to question their general level of happiness with life for these negative natties. I guess I should pity them.

And yes, I see the irony in posting a note complaining about people who complain. Carry on.

Rant # 2 – OC Transpo buses that cut in front of you.

Yeah, yeah, I know they have a right-of-way, but they really need to train the drivers better to use a signal IN ADVANCE of cutting into traffic and not just cut into it forcing folks to slam on their brakes, like I had to do this morning.

Rant #3 – People who don`t have their money or card at the ready to complete a transaction at the cash.

Seriously? You didn’t think you`d have to pay this time? You stood in line for 5 minutes and you couldn`t find the time to reach into your purse or pocket to get ready to pay??? Instead you dig into your purse or pocket and rummage around before finally finding your card or cash?


Rant #4 – Sinkholes.

Oh, wait. I actually kind of like them. Good conversation starters. Never mind.

Rant # 5 – The High Squirrel or Sparrow or whatever he is called on Game of Thrones

His feet. They are gross. Will someone please kill this guy off? Please?



So, OC Transpo…

… when did it become OK to allow Christian proselytizing on your buses?

I find this offensive:


And just a couple of ad slots along is yet another ad for a church in Kanata!

What gives? As I recall, there was quite a to-do when (if I recall correctly) the Canadian Freethought Association wanted to put atheist-oriented ads on buses. Initially, the ads were refused but then subsequently approved by City Council.

But I don’t recall any column inches or Council discussion being devoted (forgive the pun) to these new ads. Did I miss something?



Friday miscellany…

First, I am sorrow-filled for yet another young person who has taken their own life because of bullying.

The message that bullying is not acceptable and can have disastrous impacts – well, it’s not getting through. Not well enough, anyhow.

As a Dad, this is becoming increasingly difficult to watch.


So the City of Ottawa foresees challenges ahead while the LRT construction is underway starting in 2013.

No shit.

I was talking about the very same thing on the bus the other day with a guy who takes the same morning big, red limo. And we both agreed that this is going to be huge!

How exactly is OC Transpo going to do this? There will have to be a series of detours around parts of the Transitway for extended periods of time. How will riders be encouraged to stay with the bus when there are constant delays?

Gonna be interesting.



The EU wins the Peace Prize? Ostensibly it is for its efforts to promote peace and democracy in Europe

I guess the Committee overlooked the tragic wars in the Balkans.
Ah well, the EU can certainly the prize money that comes with this. But seriously, couldn’t the selection committee come up with a better recipient? Is the world truly that challenged to find individuals who are champions of peace???

Question: why are toilet roll and paper towel dispensers in the washrooms of most office buildings, restaurants, etc. locked up as tight as a safe?

Are people really concerned about theft?



So, Lindsay Lohan is supporting Mitt Romney.

I guess when intellectual giants and moral standard-keepers like Lohan stand by the side of the Mitt-ster, so should all reasonable Americans, right?

Like, I’m sure other GoP supporting luminaries (and similar intellectual giants and moral standard-keepers) like Ted Nuget, Scott BaioDonald Trump, Gene Simmons and Jon Voight are happy to see her on board!


It’s snowing in Orleans! Argghhhhh!!!!




OC Transpo… stay classy

This incident where an OC Transpo driver refused to stop and let off a mom who was accidentally separated from her child is almost too appalling to be true.

But considering the number of witnesses and the fact that the police are involved, I suspect it may be.

I can see where a parent could easily get separated from a child on a crowded bus. Routes like the 94, 95, 97. etc are often packed like sardines thus making it difficult to get to an exit upon arrival at one’s stop. Unless you are carrying your child, he or she may not make it to the door in time. I’ve seen this “almost” happen quite a few times in my 15 years of riding the big red limos.

Add this to the tendency of many an operator to get away from the stop as quickly as possible with little regard for those customers who are struggling to get to a door, and a scenario like this is almost expected.

Operators need to understand that it is the service to the public that is paramount and not their eagerness to get to their next lay-up!


Things are still messed up…

… in Prestoland!

And it’s looking more and more like I may be able to use my EcoPass a little bit longer than I thought!

Which is important to me as the service generally sucks – especially during the afternoon rush – and I don’t agree with paying more for a substandard product and having to go through hoops to have the “privilege” of buying the service.


Glitches in the new Presto transit cards…

… are forcing OC Transpo to delay the handout of the cards by at least 10 days to do some more testing.

To me, this is good news. Hopefully there will be even more glitches and I’ll be able to use my EcoPass a little bit longer.

Officials with the city and the province’s transit agency said the pilot project is being extended by at least ten days, meaning handout of 200,000 free cards won’t start Sunday.

“The Family and Friends pilot is designed to assist Metrolinx in identifying critical technical issues so that they can be fixed before our customers begin using the system in large numbers,” said transit commission chair Diane Deans in a memo.

“The pilot is working as planned and the problems with this new-generation Presto system are being identified and addressed. However, we have heard from Presto that more needs to be done and therefore the launch will be delayed.”

Deans said Metrolinx will give the city status reports during the next ten days, then the city will give an update.



Upper deck of a…

… OC Transpo #40!

Yeah, I’m just a kid at heart!



Friday miscellany…

… in like a lion edition…

I have, so far, stayed away from saying a lot about the ongoing car accident going by the name of Robo-gate, phonescam, etc. Final determinations of blame and guilt have yet to happen. Here is what we do know.

  • Something did happen in Guelph. The RCMP and Elections Canada are formally investigating and they would not be doing so without cause.
  • It is known that at least one CPC operative was behind the misdirecting calls.
  • What is not known is from what level of the organisation did the command to carry out the fraudulent calls.
  • Misdirecting and annoying or rude calls also occurred in dozens of other ridings. The overwhelming majority of these ridings were CPC / Grit contests.
  • The contention by the CPC that the Liberals made these calls themselves is beyond ludicrous.

My conclusion this far is that something fishy and likely illegal went down last spring. And in at least one case the CPC is culpable at some level of the organisation. As for the other cases, this will unfold as it will… too soon to make a judgment.


Elections Canada has been deluged by 31,000 complaints in relation to last year’s ballot, focused mainly on robo-calls and other harassing phone calls.

The non-partisan agency received 500 complaints in relation to the previous election in 2008, and 329 in relation to the 2006 ballot.

The explosion in complaints is related in large part to widespread media coverage of alleged fraudulent robo-calls in the Ontario riding of Guelph, as well as other alleged irregularities in dozens of other ridings.

Wow. 31,000.

What the CPC should be very concerned about is that IF there was knowledge of or overt support for these acts and IF foot soldiers are tagged by the Mounties or Elections Canada, then they may make a deal to avoid lengthy jail time. And names will be named.

In the meantime, this makes for fun times for those of us who would like to see King Harper dethroned.

And don’t preach to me all holier-than-thou-like that I and other progressives shouldn’t make political hay out of this! Think back to feeding frenzy at the beginning of the sponsorship scandal, my conservative friends…


OC Transpo? Tell me something. What are there far fewer buses stopping at Hurdman on Friday mornings? And why do some buses, like the 94 (bus number 6492) I just saw, pull up to either far end of the platform, unload, and get away ASAP even though you see customers running up to your doors? Hmm?


Lego profits are going through a block-constructed roof? Really? This is so old school, one might find it hard to believe this market is growing. But a cursory scan of the net shows a HUGE following out there. Go figger.


Hey! Davey Jones! My Monkees lunchbox was always my fave! Just so ya know.


So Sears is closing their store in the Rideau Centre! Wow! This will apparently open the way for something called Nordstrom  – whatever that is…




Finally – Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

My Mom subscribed to a kid’s book club pretty much since I was born and well into the ’70’s where a new hardcover Dr. Suess or Berenstain Bears books was delivered once every month or so. I can clearly remember my brother and I excitingly crossing the highway to our mailbox to see if the new, cardboard encased, book had arrived!

My fave? Green Eggs and Ham. Hands down,

And these books are still around after having survived me and my three siblings plus my kids and those of my brothers…



I’m surprised that this…

…hasn’t happened before.

Sightline-wise, it’s a helluva bad spot for buses coming on to the westbound Transitway. They do have to nose out to see if the way is clear in both directions if intending to get to the eastbound lanes of the Transitway.  Add this to the high rate of speed of some busses going westbound through the station and you have a recipe for disaster.

This could have been much, much worse…



Just a thought…

…but seeing that there is so much empty ad space on OC Transpo busses, why doesn’t the City offer the space to charities, community associations and not for profits to advertise their services or fundraisers?

These are group that normally would not be able to afford this primo ad space and could certainly benefit from such exposure. The group would be responsible for the design and of the ads. Plus, they could be removed with advance notice if paying customers needed the space. The ads could even be targeted to specific routes!

I’m sure there are a gazillion reasons why this couldn’t work, but, as the post title says…

Just a thought…