Comment 19681

By bigbri (registered) | Posted March 06, 2008 at 10:59:29

For nearly a decade, starting in 1996, I took the GO bus every work day back and forth between home in Hamilton and work in Toronto. I considered it Southern Ontario's best kept secret: it was cheap, it was relaxing, it was convenient, it even could be stimulating. You could sleep, do the crossword or simply stare out the window and think. Yes, your fellow travellers could be colourful at times and yes, like any transit system, you had to put yourself on a clockwork schedule. But never once, in the estimated 4,000 trips I took, did I witness a fistfight or even a loud argument. Oh, sometimes, the characters were obnoxious - like the drunken Ticat fan who sang Randy Travis songs all the way home or the dude who liked to play his music loudly - but they were harmless. At times, the people you met could be interesting, even enchanting - like a woman who became my girlfriend for a while. (I abandoned GO in 2005 because of what has become my bugaboo: how people use their cellphones in confined public spaces - but that's another story.) What Ben is suggesting would take us back to a more genteel, romantic era for sure, the turn of the 20th century when electrical radial lines fanned out from Hamilton in all directions.

But is it feasible now? Who's going to pay for it? What GO Transit ought to consider, at least in the interim, is finding ways to make the current bus experience more palatable (ban cellphones?) and comforting for the poor slobs who must rely on it. Start marketing it more effectively. Make it, dare I say, sexy. For what it's worth. Bigbri.

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