Horrific public transit delays now just part of daily life in Canada
With planes, trains and automobiles, bikes, boats and subway systems, getting from point A to point B has never been easier for humankind.
Never has it been so infuriating, either.
Canada's population is growing faster than its infrastructure can handle, putting increased pressure on housing markets, the healthcare system, schools, the environment, roads and public services.
But nowhere can the pinch can be felt and observed more acutely than on public transit vehicles in large urban centres at rush hour.
.@OC_Transpo how does it make sense... first stop at Tunney’s and 2 busses are late. Trains come every 3 mins and busses every 30. I just don’t understand your logic. Neither do the 100 ppl waiting. pic.twitter.com/HBgfdwuYvc— ❤️🌈ONE LOVE🌈❤️ (@berikeri84) October 23, 2019
Toronto, like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, and other global cities that are impossible to get around by car, has a subway system that hundreds of thousands of citizens rely on for their daily commutes.
Unlike the places mentioned above, Canada's largest city has only a handful of subway lines with which to serve its booming population.
In the nation's capital of Ottawa, issues with doors on the city's Light Rail Transit vehicles have been causing significant, system-wide delays and stoppages in recent weeks.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told city staffers earlier this month to "solve this damn door issue once and for all" after someone tried to jam one open during the commute, yet again, rendering powerless the city's high-tech, $2.1 billion LRT system.
Immobilized trains continue to regularly gum up the system, however, frustrating commuters to the point where local mental health centres are encouraging people to call their hotlines in cases of extreme anxiety.
And it's not just the shiny new LRT system that's making commuters rage. Like Toronto, Ottawa sees its fair share of bus problems, too.
@OC_Transpo @CouncillorGlen Instead of calling the "Bus Schedules" we should start calling them "Bus Suggestions" to help fill the empty pit of disappointment in our hearts. The #61 #261 and #263 have been insanely inconsistent in #Stittsville since the launch of #OttawaLRT pic.twitter.com/17dZwdEIyY— Jason Chute (@jason_chute) October 24, 2019
Vancouver's TransLink public transit system, while better than most in Canada, is not immune to the problems that come along with transporting a fast-growing number of people around a major metropolitan area.
A report set to be released by TransLink tomorrow shows that bus wait times across Metro Vancouver have gotten significantly longer over the past half decade.
"Eighty percent of the region's bus routes are slower today than they were five years ago, due in large part to increased roadway congestion and lack of sufficient bus priority," reads the report.
"The negative effect on customers is not only longer and less reliable journey times, but also longer waits and increased overcrowding due to bus bunching."
In Montreal, passengers are the leading cause of delays on the city's Metro delays.
Like Ottawa, the blocking of train doors is a problem in Quebec's largest urban centre. So too are things like passenger illnesses, which sometimes prompt the shutdown of entire subway lines.
It seems as though transit delays simply can't be avoided in cities of more than one million people — which, ironically, are where many people move for work (and then find themselves late all the time.)
Do Montreal metro lines still suffer at times long delays, meaning all of a sudden stop and there you sit and sit and sit, knowing you are going to be late for work, yet again due to some metro problem or other.— Cathryn. (@stocat1) February 21, 2019
Calgary Transit has problems of its own, including a lack of space on bus routes and some very gross passenger behaviour.
@calgarytransit hello Calgary transit . Th is is my humble request to put one extra bus at 10am for the route 14. I get on from Bridlewood drive at 9.45am or at 10.15am bus. It always get full and packed. This area has lot of ridership . pic.twitter.com/X29jnLff1p— sunshine (@ChemiDolma) October 17, 2019
Same goes for Winnipeg, where delays are frequent and weather conditions can make it tricky for transit vehicles to function.
This is ACTUAL FOOTAGE of a Winnipeg Transit bus this morning 😳 pic.twitter.com/amOD0r1nLH— DJ Blitz (@djblitzwpg) September 20, 2019
Edmonton ETS gets worse by the say. They cancelled an express 62 bus 5 days ago (no prior notice) and turned it to a 15 when there are already plenty of 15s and 8s between 3.30pm and 5.30pm going through a painfully congested Bonnie Doon area. 62 avoided this area @takeETSalert pic.twitter.com/4Q1tc3HlBZ— Mimi Ni Wa Juu (@263MJ) September 3, 2019
In smaller markets where motorists make up the bulk of commuter traffic, transit is often unreliable, underfunded and fails to meet the needs of those who require it the most.
So, while subway delays are annoying AF, I suppose those who are impacted by them should be happy they live in a place where subways even exist at all.
Or, maybe not.
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