In defence of the TTC

I’m one of those people that tries to avoid arguments and heated discussions. I mean, they’re fun sometimes – pretty much when you try to trash my team in front of me. Like nope, only the fans themselves can trash their own team because they’re the ones who actually experience the pain when it happens, therefore they are allowed to trash their own team – but when it comes to netizen comments or social media comments in general, I try to avoid them. In fact, the last time I left a YouTube comment was a positive one.

But today, because of the TTC emergency shutdown during morning rush hour, I came across a friend’s Facebook post who shared a news article about the incident, and commented by saying that the TTC is trash and they’re not doing enough to become a better transit system.

Now look, I ride the TTC five days a week. My commute is 1.5 hours long. That’s 3 hours everyday. 3 hours that I could use more productively. So if I have the right to complain, I have it, but to say that the TTC hasn’t done anything to better themselves in the past few years is a lie.

So I left a comment on this friend’s post, and now I’m in this comment thread where we are both leaving paragraphs of arguments to backup our side of the story.

Yes, the TTC is a shitty transit system when compared to the London’s, the Hong Kong’s, the Seoul’s, and the Tokyo’s of the world. It’s one heck of a craptastic system. However, I just don’t think that you can say that they haven’t been doing anything. You can’t say that they haven’t implemented major changes in the past few years to better the system. Ever since Andy Byford came on board, I’m pretty sure most regular commuters have noticed differences.

Trains have been cleaner; TTC subway ticket booths have been cleaner; there are Q&A station assistants always ready to help; regular scheduled maintenance periods have been clearly communicated to riders; train delays are often with replacement buses than without; subway platforms are cleaner; there’s signage during scheduled maintenance periods; etcetera etcetera.

Ever since Byford has come on board, there has been a noticeable difference in the way things are communicated to us as passengers. We never had these things before. I’m not saying that things are ideal right now, and we should be complacent – obviously not – but I just think that with what TTC leadership works with on a daily basis, we should be more understanding and look at how things have changed so far.

Change isn’t instantaneous, and considering the lack of government funding the TTC gets, we need to be a little more patient with what we have. (But Toronto should seriously consider the real estate venture system that Hong Kong has in place. I mean, 20+ condo buildings are supposed to go up in Toronto in the next several years, so why are we not using them as they are using us? How else can we transport their x number of citizens from their newly built skyscrapers?)

Anyway. The TTC is shitty. We all get it. We all expect more. We all want more. Andy Byford knows this. But I think just complaining and ranting about the TTC without considering the full scope of things is a little unfair.

Let’s be a little patient, you guys. Change will come. It will happen. We just gotta keep expecting and pushing for these changes, so the people who have the power to make those changes don’t forget about us little people.

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  • Sharing some old photos of my day trip to Bath earlier this month.

01) River Avon flowing under Pulteney Bridge.
02) The Bath Abbey overlooking the Roman Baths. 
03) A photo of some ancient engineering still working today. The Romans dug up the hot springs to flow into the steam rooms in the bath building.
04) Piles of rocks that laid underneath stone floors in these steam rooms.

Ancient Rome is such a fascinating era to learn about. Still a bit disappointed we couldn't stay longer, but it was super interesting to learn about how Romans used to visit a still standing building. They even had old coins and old jewellery on display! Who needs to visit Rome in person when you've got Bath? 😂🇬🇧
  • I was on 3" heels. I'm usually not that much taller than @k7cheung. #WeddingSelfie 🤳🏻 - Also, sneaking that candid photo in for the lulz because I want to learn how it feels to be an Instagram influencer who posts up photos of herself in mid-pose while in a fancy dress. 😂
  • About last night. So happy that I was able to be there in person to celebrate you two. ❤️ Congratulations!! 😘
  • Checklist. Beautiful day to visit the mysterious Stonehenge. ⛅
  • One of the top highlights of my weekend though has got to be meeting @momosface for the first time! My all-time favourite dog celebrity. 🐕 He's as adorable and cute and energetic as he seems to be in all of @andrewknapp's Instagrams!! 😍 He's also so well-trained. So amazing to see Momo "stay" in one spot for as long as Andrew tells him too. WHAT A GOOD BOY. I've had such a crush on @andrewknapp and @momosface for so long, I was too shy to even go up to them to say hi at first. 😭 But then I was like, "OK, it's just a dog, Wendy, get over yourself." 😭 Anyway, I did shyly say goodbye to Momo and Andrew at the end, so that's got to count for something. Such a great dog lover meet-up. London needs to host more of these!! (P.S. I didn't apply any saturation filters on this photo. Only some brightening fixes. The Google Pixel really is this great.)