"So I stare up at the flashing map and pray I’ll make it to Leslie."
January 28, 2020 7:23 AM   Subscribe

Singer Donna O'Regan wrote a song about taking the TTC, and the many trials and tribulations travelers must endure to get to their destination.
posted by cozenedindigo (18 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Another song of the TTC: Romantic Traffic by the Spoons.
posted by bonehead at 7:47 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]

Another song of the TTC: Spadina Bus by The Shuffle Demons.
posted by stevil at 7:58 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]

Another song of the TTC: TTC Skidaddler by Stompin' Tom Connors.
posted by Crane Shot at 8:04 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]

It's not about the TTC, but here's Tom Lehrer's song about the Boston Subway
posted by SansPoint at 8:04 AM on January 28

I see that someone has already posted "Spadina Bus" and "Romantic Traffic," so I'm just going to post the version of the Beastie Boys' Intergalactic that a woman and her kids filmed on the TTC (and other locations) last year.

Mainly because it's adorable.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:07 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]

Complaining loudly about the subway yet actually secretly loving it? Yeah, she's so very Toronto.

If it were buses or the SRT, though, it would be a different story.
posted by scruss at 8:12 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]

Dear god, other cities have it worse? Are their transit systems literally on fire all the time? Do they stack dead rat corpses in the corners of transit vehicles?

Though she did say "subway," not "transit system." I suppose the subway isn't terrible because its problems are mostly just overcrowding and a dumb fare card that fails sometimes and makes you wait up to 24 hours when you put money on it, as people only learn when a fare inspector fines them for it. I guess the subway gates would just lock you out of the station immediately instead of making you put up with that indignity.
posted by chrominance at 9:02 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]

My favourite song of the TTC will always be I Will Never See the Sun by Great Lake Swimmers. The chorus goes: "I will never see the sun, Spadina, St. George, Bay and Yonge".

It's my favourite TTC song because for years I had no idea it was a TTC song. I loved that album and kept the song on my iPod, eventually moved to Toronto, and one day took the Bloor line going east through downtown.
posted by ZaphodB at 12:14 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]

I've done things you wouldn't believe. I have ridden the red rocket. I've drunk barfed in a Bloor line station. I've watched automobiles hit streetcars from the breakroom of the Molson Brewery on Fleet Street. All those ... Torontonian moments ... will be preserved here ... in time, like ... sticky notes...written in effluvia.
posted by srboisvert at 1:25 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]

The best TTC song remains "I Get On the TTC".
posted by jacquilynne at 1:37 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]

If it were buses or the SRT, though, it would be a different story.

"Deep Ellesmere Blues" has a certain ring to it, tho.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:05 PM on January 28

Coincidentally, a higher-quality, brand-new transfer of “Spadina Bus” was just uploaded to the Facebook page Retrontario a few days ago, with this caption:
Stone cold Toronto classic. The copy on YouTube looks terrible so I tracked down a 3/4" from the video's director John Gunn (legend!) and made a new transfer. Looks pretty good for its age!
(It's a Facebook link but you don't need to be logged in to see the content, as it's a public page.)

It's really cool to see some of the unique buildings of Chinatown in the background of that video that have since been taken down. It's a sad reminder of how much architecture and culture we've lost.
posted by mr. manager at 6:10 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]

These are all fantastic. Thanks for sharing.... never knew there were so many TTC inspired songs. Also love seeing 80s Toronto and the older ttc vehicles in action.
posted by devonia at 2:26 PM on January 29

Dear god, other cities have it worse?

Meanwhile, in Ottawa
"Hey, I’m a Torontonian that just spent a few days alone in Ottawa ...

Prior to my visit, I did read a lot about the transit in this subreddit and didn’t think OC Transpo could be that bad but... wow. I’m sorry that these are daily recurring issues! I’ve never had to wait 15 minutes for a subway-type train until my trip on Line 1. Also, I applaud everyone that takes the bus because there’s so many routes that turn everywhere, I’m used to lines that just go straight down one street. I also noticed that the bus I frequented was consistently late (10+ minutes) which I thought was weird because A) this would happen at the FIRST stop B) A lot of times, the bus would sit in the layover. Towards the end of my trip, the bus gave me anxiety because I never knew when it was actually going to come despite having the transit app update in real time. "
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:05 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]

Dear god, other cities have it worse?

Meanwhile, in Ottawa

I've lived in Downtown Ottawa and Kanata. I grew up in Mississauga. I'd take Ottawa's system over Toronto's in a heartbeat. The transitways? Awesome. I wish every city had this!
posted by srboisvert at 11:47 AM on January 31

I'd take Ottawa's system over Toronto's in a heartbeat.

That was then, this is now.

They fired more than 100 bus drivers thinking they'd have a working light rail system. One that didn't fail catastrophically at rush hour. When the LRT was delivered late, they had to hire some drivers back, but they don't have enough buses or drivers.

Meanwhile, the LRT has had malfunctioning doors, malfunctioning rail switches, pantographs jammed by dirt and debris, and flat wheels. "The LRT is fine as long as you're not trying to use it at rush hour." We have some open air stations and it can be -15C out.

From dirty roofs to flat wheels: 8 causes of LRT delays

Buses are late. Or canceled without notification - your bus tracking app doesn't know what's going on. We
have open air bus stops and it can be -15C out, waiting for a canceled bus to get work on time or to a medical appointment. Sometimes you'll have waited at the bus stop longer than it would have taken to walk.

Some former bus commuters have had to buy cars to get to work.

OC Transpo cancels 138 bus trips to help boost service along Confederation Line
OTTAWA -- OC Transpo has cancelled 138 bus trips across the city today to help boost power along Ottawa’s fourth-month-old light rail transit system.

The buses from higher-frequency routes will be uses to shuttle passengers from three major stations as the system deals with a shortage of available trains.

Passengers faced delays both Saturday and Sunday as several trains were stopped at stations because of power issues. The power problems that plagued the system over the weekend are expected to affect light rail transit service today.

For Phase 2, the people with the winning bid failed their technical score. They seriously didn't know if the rail line they're extending is currently electric or diesel.

SNC-Lavalin's 'poor' LRT bid should have been tossed, evaluators found - Documents shed light on why city's own technical evaluation team failed company's Trillium Line bid
SNC-Lavalin was awarded the $1.6-billion contract to extend Ottawa's north-south Trillium Line last March even though the team assembled to assess the bids reached a "unanimous consensus that the proposal should not be considered further in the evaluation process," according to documents released by the city Thursday night.

The SNC-Lavalin bid failed to include a signalling and train control system, had no plan for snow removal and, at one point, appeared to believe the trains that run on the Trillium Line were electric, not diesel.
(For context, SNC-Lavalin has a history of overseas bribery scandals )

Staffers and city manager regularly stonewall or work around city councilors trying to look into simple questions like "Did the bid you accepted have a passing technical score".

Speaking as an advocate and user of public transit, I'm voting for the moleperson candidate for Ottawa mayor next time. Sure he's pledged that his "oppressive regime will be an iron boot on the neck of humanity", but there's the hope we'd get a functioning tunnel system out of it. Maybe even on time and under budget.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:20 PM on January 31

We should just do it like Montreal.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:55 PM on February 8

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