I want to get on/off/on the bus
No, I’m not opposed to taking transit. I just want to be able to step off now and then to run some errands. The TTC, on the other hand, wants to hold me hostage.
While many other transit systems have payment systems that allow riders to hop on and off during a set travel period, the TTC carries on with an arcane transfer system that completely handcuffs its riders.
The TTC’s system works only if I am willing to go directly from A to B. But God forbid that I want to stop at C for some groceries or D to pick up my child from school.
Scrutiny of the strange tear marks on my grubby transfer by a brow-furrowed streetcar operator will instantly betray my radical quest for freedom from the TTC’s transfer rules. The only exception is the “pilot” on St. Clair’s 512 streetcar.
This system isn’t good for transit riders – and it isn’t good for our climate. It isn’t good for our climate because it artificially limits our use of transit for multiple short trips and makes us opt for the car instead.
Unless you are a monthly pass holder, the cost of multiple trips is simply too great. (And the TTC’s Metropass is actually one of the least generous among major Canadian cities in providing a net financial benefit to the average transit user, although about half of daily users now have passes.) I’d just as soon buy time on the system as individual rides.
With that innovation in place, I would then be free to run many more errands on transit. One other service would make this a really attractive option: I need local retailers to get back into the delivery business.
I had to laugh (ruefully) at a Toronto Star reporter’s description of some guy hauling a snow blower onto a jam-packed streetcar. We’ve all been there – either as the person being pushed aside by the woman with a giant new microwave or as the person struggling up the streetcar steps with some large and awkward package.
How great would it be to support local shops while getting goods delivered to your door (maybe even by bike trailer)?! This is a real economic opportunity for small retailers struggling to compete with big box stores equipped with hundred-acre parking lots.
If the TTC lets me get off and shop locally and I can then get my purchases delivered to my door, the vibrancy of local shopping streets is going to be a lot greater. And that, in turn, is good for my neighbourhood, giving me more opportunity to walk, bike or take transit the next time I need milk – or something bigger.