When I first moved to the city I relied on the transit system to get everywhere; school, work, downtown, out with friends. Even when my husband and I first married we didn’t own a car, there was no need. We either walked or rode transit; buying our house we made sure it was transit accessible. Work and family demands pushed us into a car and now we actually have two, but there are many families that don’t own vehicles and rely on transit for their livelihood.
The problem of course is the TTC knows it. Why else would they have such disrespect for its riders and keep their jobs.
Before I go on, in the fairness of full disclosure, I should point out that I am not a big fan of the TTC union. I’m actually not a big fan of unions at all. I agree, they had their time and place but that’s behind us. Perhaps my vacation-working, medical-plan paying, self-employed bias is coming through.
I have witnessed my fair share of union service: drivers not opening the doors when stopped at a red light (sorry, you missed the 1 time only door opening), rudely speaking to passengers or making inappropriate comments, not waiting at a stop long enough to let a passenger off or not opening the back door at all at a stop. It’s always irked me when a TTC driver makes fifteen minute stop to get a coffee; they get a stop at each end of their run. Oh, but they’re monitored by video surveillance there. Out on the road it’s just us who are witness to this behaviour.
And they’re not just rude to riders. As a driver I’ve had to put up with abrupt stops in the street, forcing their way into my lane instead of waiting their turn, stopped with doors open through an entire light (no one is getting on or off), speeding up to box you in or not let you change lanes. Oh yes, my feelings for the TTC aren’t kind. I should point out that I have had pleasant encounters with TTC drivers too, sadly the rude and angry incidents overshadow most of these.
Needless to say I had a good chuckle when the sleeping driver image appeared. I think it’s great that passengers are now pushing the TTC to deliver the service they’re suppose to. So with all this public press and pressure you would think the TTC union would be making an effort to alter their attitude. No, not our friendly neighbourhood bully. No the TTC’s response is to work less and offer less service (if that’s possible)! And you know, like any bully, they know they have the upper hand, the power, and they’re going to use it to make you cry and give-in and shut-up about being mistreated.
I hated bullies when I was in school. I hate them even more now that I’m older. I’m lucky, I don’t have to take the TTC to get things done. I feel bad for the other kids in the neighbourhood that have to put up with this bully, at least until a parent steps in.