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Joe Fiorito of The Toronto Star January 31, 2011

Posted by huymix in News, Politics.
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Joe Fiorito

I’m sorry but I had all but abandoned this blog. From now on, this blog might only post when I have particularly strong feelings, one way or another, towards something. Even then, it would have to overcome my innate laziness. I will try to keep the posts short, again due to laziness, but I won’t have a particular devotion to the previous 3 bullet point format.

So when I post something, you gotta know, that the topic that I’m posting about has gotten to me.

Today’s topic: The Toronto Star columnist: Joe Fiorito

I think what has really turned me against Mr. Fiorito has been his more recent coverage of the TTC service cuts. I’ll invite you to check out a couple of his recent articles:

The Toronto Star: Cuts threaten bus service to Toronto’s deaf-blind community

The Toronto Star: Hiding in the back of the bus

You might be asking what is your beef with these articles? Well, I have a few points to make:

  • His short, conversation style is fine except that he will take it too far to the point that it can feel childish. For example: “In. The. Entire. Country.” when he already wrote that it was for the entire country. Maybe it was written for emphasis, but I think he has already made his point before that and writing that does not add to the point.
  • He’s essentially written the same talking points over and over again. TTC cuts means some people, including less capable people in some ways, will not have service. Almost by definition, a service cut to anything means some people will not have service.  In each article, he’s written that same point just using different examples. I’m sorry for those people that do get service cut, but this point is hardly surprising and certainly does not warrant so much coverage.
  • The bias runs a bit too deep. He is writing a column and not the straight news and thus he is allowed his personal bias to show more. However, his articles do not have a hint of consideration for an alternative perspective and puts his credibility at stake. I think that his writing makes him seem like he is completely unwilling to listen to a different perspective and that can mean people will be less likely to believe what he is saying is based on sound and reasonable judgment. There are probably good reasons why those service cuts are being made and in his writing, none of those reasons feel like they have been explored.

Nothing I am saying is meant to criticize Joe Fiorito the person. I do not pretend to know him or know anything about what he believes. I’m only looking at it from the perspective of a Star reader. Maybe he isn’t everything I think his writing makes him out to be. Maybe, but I certainly cannot tell from his writing.

Conclusion: He needs to work out whether he has already made his point and move on.



The Tube July 27, 2009

Posted by huymix in Random.
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Riders in the TubefminusUnderground logoThe London Underground (“Tube”) pretty much does one thing very well. They get you from point A to point B fairly easily. Unfortunately for me, that’s not the only factor I care about. While the Tube does have a pretty regular schedule and covers a good area, there are other factors that ultimately make taking the Tube a gigantic pain. If you’re in London, be prepared for the Tube because:

  • It’s not cheap. A day pass can be pretty hefty and thus present a problem of offering sufficient value-for-money to the Tube’s passengers.
  • It’s uncomfortable. When you get to the station above ground it can take a full 5 – 10 minutes to actually get to the platform (depends on which station) because of the often long walk and many staircases. Added to that, the train itself is often hot (not air conditioned) and cramped (very low ceilings, even at 5’10” I have to bend to fit.
  • It can be dangerous. The TTC here has signs that say to “Mind the Gap” and the Tube also has the same slogan. In comparison, the TTC gaps are incredibly small to the virtual chasm on some Tube stations. Also, the stairwells are very high and steep, a fall could seriously mess you up.

I suppose at the end of the day the Tube is still widely used by tourist and commuter alike regardless of the above. I think its less to do with the competance of the Tube as a system and more to do with the power of monopoly. I’m sorry but for a much touted world-class system, the Tube is a disappointment.

Adam Giambrone April 6, 2009

Posted by huymix in Politics.
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Adam GiambronefminusAdam Giambrone (Chair of TTC)

To be clear, I have never met him personally, shook his hand or really stood in his overall presence. The closest I really got is at a discussion in an auditorium on gridlock. So this review is more about stuff he says and some things I notice. Also, I don’t want to imply that being the Chair of the TTC is an easy job or anything about TTC employees, this is strictly a commentary on Adam Giambrone the public persona.

  • Spin, spin, and more spin. Quote from his TwitterLRTs will be very similar to streetcars with the most notable difference being dedicated transit lanes”. I’m pretty sure streetcars still have dedicated lanes, not all, but there are definitely some. Besides, if that’s the biggest difference, it doesn’t seem like an improvement and feels more like spin.

I could definitely go a lot deeper into the individual points raised above, so e-mail me if you want a fuller explanation. A lot of my criticism is due to his time at the TTC and his very public voice over TTC matters. He very well may be competent or even good as a Chair, but unless he can fix the above points I will never be able to really say his legacy was one of competence or transparency. Thanks for your work Mr. Giambrone, but based on you I would rather the Chair of TTC be a non-politician any day.

TTC Elevator Guide: Move With the Grooves February 28, 2009

Posted by huymix in Advertising.
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fminusTTC Logo

This is an actual pamphlet the TTC produces and distributes. This pamphlet, like many other non-transit related efforts sucks (TTC store in Union station I’m looking at you), here’s why:

  • The advice is pretty stupid.
  • Whatever it cost to come up with this campaign, it was too much.
  • Why is the escalator the focus for safety? What about getting shot on the platform or pushed on the stairs? Ugh, how do they even prioritize the escaltor above other more important safety considerations?

Ultimately, I still use the TTC everyday. But I’m not a fan. Just for spite, I’m gonna have to start not following this pamphlet. And where the heck is my Mallrats reference? Talk about pure failure.

Flickr pics of TTC pamphlet