Saturday, April 26, 2008

TTC strike

TTC drivers and other employees have the right to strike--except when it inconveniences the public. Practically, they do not have the right to strike.

I do think that the lack of 48 hour notice is a red herring. Had the union given 48 or 72 hours notice, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty would still be recalling the legislature to pass a bill that orders the striking TTC employees back to work.

If we want to make public transit an essential service with no right to strike, I could accept that so long as there are fair arbitrators to decide on disputes between management and employees. The arbitrators may be appointed by the government, legislature, or by agreement between management and the union.

How can we make public transit more efficient in Toronto? Let us get rid of the ticket collectors at the subway stations and eliminate the responsibility of the drivers to collect fares. Let's go to the honour system where passengers pre-pay for tickets or passes and validate them on the buses, streetcars, and in subway stations. That way the vehicles will move faster with less delays. The TTC can lay off some employees and hire police constables/inspectors to enforce payments of fares. Make the fines high enough to enforce fare compliance. Most European transit systems are based on the honour system; they move passengers smoothly and quickly. Passengers get on and off buses and streetcars at both the front and back doors. There is no waiting around for someone to look for change to stick in the fare box. Finally, offer one-day, three-day, five-day, or seven-day passes with random starting days and times.

When the drivers get ordered back to work, I expect some of them to wait longer to make right turns at red lights. Safety is important. Service will slow down.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nothing in the fridge

Don't you hate it when you look inside your refridgerator and you say, "There is nothing to eat." Yet, the fridge is full.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

London: Where is the torch?

I am watching BBC News on the web. All I see are blue-jacketed Chinese police and yellow-jacketed British bobbies surrounding and guarding a Hanky-the-Christmas-stick. I wonder if any of the spectators got to see the stick behind the Great Wall of China guard.

Boycott the sponsors of the Beijing Olympics; boycott the torch bearers. Don't buy products that they may endorse.