Since the dawn of the e-cigarette and e-hookah, “vaping” – as they call imbibing in them instead of smoking – has occupied this gray area in terms of whether or not you are allowed to do it in enclosed public places. All that is about to change for those in Toronto who use the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). Minutes ago, the Head of Communications for the TTC, Brad Ross, told me on Twitter that “Bylaw No. 1 will be amended later this year to prohibit it officially.”
In case you’re wondering what this “Bylaw No. 1” that Brad Ross is referring to says here’s a link. The relevant portion which will (I am guessing) be amended is:
“3.32 No person shall smoke in or on TTC property or carry a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, other tobacco product, or any other lighted smoking equipment or material while in or on TTC property.”
I wonder if Toronto is the first to ban it but I am trying to get this post out so I don’t have the time to research at all. Do you know of any other transit systems or public places that have banned vaping? Let me know in the comments!
Also, do you agree with this move? Or do you think that vaping should be allowed in public places? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
There is a whole bunch of news today about how the TTC has unveiled a pilot program of new signage which is supposed to make everything clearer and easier to understand because they’ll be using numbers as well as names for each of the subway and streetcar lines. What the folks at the TTC don’t seem to get is that people – especially those who aren’t from the city – is that the U shaped Yonge-University-Spadina Line is in of itself confusing to people. As I mentioned in a post in March of 2011 “Spotted: TTC Referring To Subway Lines By Color!” I think that this would end up making navigating the system way easier. Read more…
TTC Sheppard Yonge Station: You may have been to this station before, you may not have been but chances are decent that if you live in Toronto you’ve ridden on one of the subway lines which attach to it – the Yonge-University-Spadina (YUS) Line and the less used Sheppard Line.
As you can see in the picture above when you are walking throguh the subway station you are advised by a directional sign what the escalators and stairs in front of you lead to. The folks who wrote this TTC signage decided to indicate to travelers that at the bottom of these steps can be found “Yonge Trains and Sheppard Subway.” Wait, what? What’s the difference between the two subway lines aside from the obvious answer that they service different areas of the city and one’s a north-south line while the other is an east-west?
Why is the Yonge Line referred to as having ‘trains’ and the Sheppard Line as being a ‘subway’? Is the idea to confuse commuters, people new to the city, and tourists? If so, they’re probably doing a superb job! Seems that in the City of Toronto our public transit does not only have subway lines, streetcars, buses, and the Scarborough RT cars but we also have a fifth option – trains! But hold on a second…don’t GO, VIA Rail, and the like run the trains? Aren’t trains intercity not intracity? Why the confusing descriptors TTC? Why?
The YUS and Sheppard Lines both run the same subway trains in the T1 so there is no difference there. (although the YUS Line also has the Toronto Rocket as well as the older H5s running on it, the latter of which are slated to be sold to Eko Rail of Lagos, Nigeria in the coming years.) In fact, the only difference I can think of between the two lines is that the Sheppard Line remains underground for its entire length whereas the YUS Line comes above ground for a fair portion of its route. Does that make it a train and not a subway? I have never heard or seen of it referred to as anything but a subway and this sign just seems so weird. I wonder why the TTC has chosen to compose the sign this way. It just seems odd and silly to do so as well as unnecessarily confusing.
Until I hear otherwise I am classifying this as an epic FAIL on the part of the TTC signage team. There’s bad signage which is what it is because it’s illegible or badly placed or not lit up or simply not present and then there’s this. This goes beyond being bad signage to the point of being confusing signage which works against the smooth flow of urban passenger traffic on mass transit.
If anyone knows the answer for this, I would love to hear it. I assume – or rather I hope – there must be a rational explanation for this. Then again, it is the TTC.
This is the fifth post in my continuing Exploring Toronto series (here are the links for Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV). I was having a discussion about cool things from the ‘olden days’ with my friends Katie (@kathrynboland) and Jason (@videojey) that are still around in Toronto only disguised as run of the mill every day things and I mentioned the TTC subway entrance/exit to Spadina Station at Kendal Avenue which used to be an old house. Since Jason and Katie were not the first people I have mentioned this to who had no idea of its existence I thought it would be a good addition to the Exploring Toronto series.
That house, as I learned from the plaque they have up on the building is the “Norman B. Gash House.” Norman Gash was a lawyer Read more…
The other day I visited the TTC’s Hillcrest Yard facility in Toronto to see the mockup of the new Bombardier manufactured Flexity Outlook which will be replacing the old TTC streetcars on the streets/rails of Toronto in a couple of years.
I got to sit in the “driver’s seat” – which is a completely separate compartment from the public area. This is because there are a lot of assaults on streetcar drivers…who knew?
One of the other main features was the wider seats they had installed in the cars. If you look at the picture below you can see a wider seat with a regular seat next to it. The wider seat is 1.5 times as wide as the regular seat. I knew when I saw this seat I had to sit in it and get a picture. I sat down in it with my legs comfortably apart (not trying to keep them together as you often do on public transit, more like sitting on a couch at home) and there was still plenty of room for more of me. To be clear, I am not a small guy but I am above average in the height department – I’m 5’10 and 175lbs and these seats were – to me – more than EXTREMELY generous. According to people I spoke to from the TTC this has been one of the most requested features to be added to new public transit vehicles…and they say Canadians are skinnier than Americans as a country!
What do you think of these new streetcars? Can you barely contain yourself until 2013 when they’ll be driving around Toronto?
OK, this is really one thought:
They should build the new subway extensions to allow for cell use even if they are underground tunnels.
To be clear, what I mean by that, is that they should allow for cell signals to be able to penetrate the underground tunnels – assuming it is feasible – by having shafts/grates above the tunnels to above ground to allow the signals to penetrate. This would mean a special network would not have to be built up below ground (at least for these new tunnels).
Here’s why: Read more…
In the news recently has been talk of the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) contemplating the sale of station & subway line naming rights to advertisers (see Torontoist’s article here). After that, Torontoist also came out with a joking new subway map which used all sorts of corporate and company names as part of the subway station names (see it here and here). A lot of people, as you can tell by those articles have ridiculed the idea of marring the naming of Toronto’s ‘beloved’ (OK, fine, ‘much maligned’ is more accurate) TTC system with names of companies instead of the names of stations or lines. However, as I have previously said they do need to do something to revamp the naming of stations and lines – I am not advocating for or against corporate sponsorship here – to make it easier to navigate in general.
TTC, City of Toronto, here is my idea – instead of selling the naming rights how about we start allowing advertisers to put signs in special places on subway platforms and near exits of stations letting people know what is outside and where…just like on the exits of highways! In case you don’t know what I mean I have included a picture I pulled from Google Maps Street View of Exit 320 of Highway 401 and posted it on the left. The sign tells me that at this stop there are places I can purchase food in this case the sign lists a Harvey’s, a Kelsey’s, a Starbucks, a Wendy’s and some place called Fifth Wheel Truck Stop if I turn left off the ramp and a Tim Hortons if I go right. Of course, what this sign doesn’t tell me (I assume because they aren’t paying for it) is that there is a McDonald’s closer to the highway (not by much but still) than the Harvey’s & Swiss Chalet and in the same plaza as those two there is also a Subway Restaurant. There are other versions of this sign which also tell me where they hotels/motels are at exits, where the gas stations are at exits and which exits have the interesting sights to see as well as where they are. These signs also exist (without the direction arrows) as you near the exit so you know to get over to the exit lane on the right and begin to salivate for the food, or check you gas gauge to see if you need to top up. Let’s tell advertisers that they we are putting something akin to those signs in the TTC stations on the platforms and near the exits. I don’t doubt retailers would pay a pretty penny for people to know there is one of their locations just outside the subway station.