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Sic transit gloria

February 9, 2017

There’s a lovely ticket collector at Victoria Park subway station who always makes me smile.

When I ask for 10 seniors tickets, he winks and pushes them across the counter.

“For your mom, are they?” he laughs.

Ah, yes. My morning chuckle.

But what the heck is going on at the TTC? First they change the names of subway lines to numbers. So the Bloor-Danforth line is “Line 2” and the Yonge-University line is Line One. They’re also starting to colour-code the lines on the TTC map, which is fair enough. Once we start adding the new LRT lines, the map will become complex.

But for pity’s sake, why are they taking away the line names that actually indicate something about where the trains are going? Other cities around the world give their subway lines names that become part of the city’s historic tapestry. Think of London, with its historic Piccadilly line, commemorative Jubilee and Victoria lines and directional Northern line.

Now they’re changing the way the numbers on streetcars and buses are expressed. The 501 Queen car was always pronounced 5-oh-1. Now, according to the automated voice on the streetcars, it’s five hundred and one. Really? When the recorded voice on the streetcar calls the vehicle a name the passengers on it don’t recognize, you wonder where they made the recording. Mars? Or is it from Uranus?

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