Ever since grade 8, I’ve relied on public transit in some capacity or another (although I do take long breaks awake when I have a personal car). I can only remember a transit strike affecting me once, which was back when I was in high school and I ended up riding my bike to school instead. The current YRT strike is the second time.

In reality, there is no large affect for this strike on me, I am fortunate that my work is supplied by both TTC and YRT/VIVA so I can switch over to using the TTC. Of course there is a lot of little frustrations and changes:

  • Did you know that you have to add 10¢ on top of your “extra fare” north of Steeles now? This is to match YRT prices (with the side effect that you can use YRT tickets as the extra fare). I wonder if that will increase to an extra 30¢ when YRT raises its fares in the new year
  • YRT asked TTC (or so TTC says) to change the frequency of the Warden bus from ~15 minutes to ~20 minutes. At the same time, YRT decreased the VIVA Pink frequency from 10-12 minutes to 15+ minutes. I wonder if they want to prevent people from switching to TTC?
  • I have to pay almost 2X per week to get to work now. If I take VIVA, that’s $26/wk and now it’s $50+/wk
  • The cost per day is $10.20, which is a lot of tokens and dimes to stock up on (20 tokens and 10 dimes a week). After doing that for a week, I just ended up buying a GTA pass for $52/wk
  • TTC drivers have much less skill than VIVA drivers. A lot of TTC drivers jerk their buses a lot, either to accelerate or brake, so the ride is uncomfortable and bumpy. I’ve only noticed once or twice on VIVA.
  • The last strike (in 2008) lasted two weeks. This one feels like it will last much longer, because there aren’t any talks or negotiations scheduled! It’s almost like they will be off the job indefinitely. That is frustrating, but what can you do? They have a monopoly and there is no real alternative.