The kindness of strangers during another TTC mixup...Jim's Deals of the Day
Another TTC adventure. But with a fun and happy ending.
I got to the Lawrence station on the Yonge line shortly after 9 a.m., only to find folks milling about the fire trucks parading down the street. Not a good sign. A would-be passenger said there were reports of smoke on the platform and that service was cancelled between York Mills and Eglinton.
I ran into a buddy on Yonge St. as we mulled over our options. I thought about walking home and getting my bike but I don't like riding to work and getting all sweaty. I was going to simply walk back and work at home and monitor the TV. But then I saw a bus making its way down Yonge St, so I thought I'd hop on and take the bus to Eglinton and then transfer to the subway.
Of course, the bus was filled to the brim and was out of service for all of us waiting at Lawrence. Typical TTC. How about sending some empty buses for people to ride, guys? Geez.
At this point I figured it's a nice day so I'd just walk to Eglinton. But then a woman pulled in a silver-grey minivan and threw open her doors and shouted, "Who wants a ride?"
Isn't that great? Five of us clambered in and she closed the doors.
"I'm heading to Bloor, where do you want to go?"
Her name is Angela and she works for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and bless her heart.
"This happens to me sometimes so I hitchhike a ride myself," she said. "I thought I should offer people the same rides I get."
Usually she takes the subway but today she had to pick up a cake for a baby shower at work, so she drove. Lucky us.
She talked for a while in Spanish to a woman in the front seat who was born in Uruguay but lives in Canada, then chatted with us a bit. The woman in the front seat turned and offered us all a piece of gum, and the guy in front of me offered to share his newspaper.
I mostly worked on my Sudoku, but also listened to another passenger, Leonard.
"I haven't hitched a ride in 37 years," he said. "I hitchhiked from Toronto to Vancouver when I was a kid. It took me seven days. It would've been shorter but I was stuck in Wawa without a ride for three days."
It was only a few minutes, but it gave me a taste of carpooling, and I can see how people form longstanding friendships based on being cooped up in a car.
Anyway, Angela was a delight and dropped several of us off at St. Clair.
I'll be happy if the subway works Thursday. But if not, I'll stick my thumb out at Lawrence and see who I can ride with.
Oh, and Angela? Enjoy the baby shower. And safe travels.MOTHER OF ALL SINKHOLES
I've seen sinkholes before, but never anything so perfectly round as the one in Guatemala City. It's pretty bizarre. Part of me wonders if there isn't some kind of funny tunnel that caused this. I don't know. I'm usually not a conspiracy person, but that thing doesn't look like your average sinkhole/slide.JIM'S DEALS OF THE DAY
WESTJET EXPANSION PLANS
The folks at WestJet held a conference call on Tuesday to chat about their future plans, and they repeated again their pledge to hike their market share between the U.S. and Canada. They said their goal is to double that share, from 13 per cent to 25 per cent in the next six years.
They're also seemingly closing in on a partnership with a U.S. airline, likely Delta. There was talk of a code-share deal with Southwest but Delta appears the most likely dance partner at this stage.
"If you want to travel to more of the business-type destinations in the U.S., you need year-round service and you need a partner," WestJet executive vice president of strategy and planning Hugh Dunleavy said during the carrier's annual investor day.
Southwest Airlines earlier this year terminated plans to develop a codeshare with WestJet, claiming its would-be Canadian partner made "significant changes" to the deal forged in 2008.