Hey, TTC! Maybe I should drive
Between Tuesday’s bus accident (which left a kilometre-long wake of property carnage in North York) and Wednesday morning’s head-on streetcar collision (on Dundas), the TTC was already having a bad week—to say nothing of two massive delays on the Yonge line, the arrest of an alleged ticket-counterfeiting booth jockey and the continuing media coverage of a driver caught drunk on the job. The irony is that, last Friday, the TTC invited media to drive a bus through an obstacle course. I aced the test. I am ready to serve!
Driving a bus is weird. Imagine driving your car. Now imagine that your car is a giant car. Now imagine that your giant car’s giant steering wheel is fitted not to the driver’s seat, but to the front tip of your hood, so that all the vehicle’s weight is behind you. So are the tires that you steer, which is the weirdest part of the whole experience: when you turn a bus, it doesn’t turn in front of you, it turns behind you. To drive a bus is to spend your days as a hood ornament. Once I figured this out, the obstacle course was a cinch: I just had to get intimate with the pylons, get literally close enough to bend over and kiss them.
Of course, this was all on a closed course. I am certain that I, too, would leave lengthy trails of damage if I were to drive one of these behemoths on city streets. The trouble for the TTC is that, given the foibles of the past couple of weeks, it is unclear how my inability to drive a bus separates me from its own bus drivers. I expect that, in the wake of this series of unfortunate events, subway stations will soon (and once again) be blanketed with those propagand-ads about how wonderful TTC employees are. Remember those? It seems to me they were everywhere in the weeks leading up to the union’s negotiations with the city, then suddenly disappeared.
• Out of control TTC bus leaves path of destruction [CityTV]• Head-on streetcar collision puts TTC driver in hospital [Globe and Mail]• Man, 74, dies two days after being hit by TTC bus [Toronto Star]• Working city bus driver charged with DUI [UPI]• Fraud has TTC set to get rid of tickets [Toronto Star]• GO Transit and TTC delays, and weather debris, cause commuter headaches [680 News]