Pardon me for a rant about my commute. And about Translink.
I hardly think it’s acceptable for a public organization that trumpets public consultation, taxes us, is governed by an unelected appointed board, and so on, to say “it’s the policy, that policy won’t change, and there’s no one you can speak to.”
I’m currently living in the far eastern suburbs of Vancouver – as I try to move closer into the city. It’s quite a change from living in the downtown core of Toronto, and then on the slightly eastern periphery of the downtown core. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the difference in transit service – in Toronto, I could step outside my door, or walk down the street, and there’d be streetcars and subways. Rarely more than a 3-15 minute wait.
It was some kind of transit heaven, out there. Rumbling, grumbling streetcars. Murder-on-your-ears subways. But they worked, more often than not.
Enter a change of situation for me. I finished a graduate degree, was offered a pretty good job back in Vancouver, and wanted to move to be closer to a person incredibly important to me. I have a place to live, temporarily, while I pay off debt incurred as a student, and so on.
However, this entails a commute through Vancouver’s public transit system. One that I’ve often had an incredibly rough relationship with. Say what you will about the mountains, oceans, and rainy weather (and I’ve missed it, over the -35 magic that is most of the year in Toronto, with the sole exception being the +50 summers) and say what you will about the TTC (and boy, did Toronto like to complain about that system), Vancouver’s Translink is absolute and utter crap once you’re out of the Vancouver/Burnaby zone.
And if you have a problem – and you dare to phone Translink and complain about it – you’ll be told what I was told tonight, that the source of your problem is a faulty policy, and… “that policy won’t change, and there’s no one you can speak to about it.” And I hardly think that’s acceptable for an unelected public organization that taxes us and claims to value public consultation. And I think, perhaps, we need a change.