Read the damn signs!

People should really learn how to read signs – other than signs offering something for 50% off that is.

On the main thoroughfare near my home run three bus routes.  One of these is the local bus, run by Durham Regional Transit (DRT).  The other two are intercity routes, run by GO Transit (Government of Ontario Transit, hence “GO” and one of the few things the government of Ontario hasn’t screwed up too badly).   The two intercity routes are the route 94, which runs from Oshawa to Yorkdale Plaza in northwest Toronto, making all regular GO stops along the way.  The other is route 95, which also begins (or ends, depending upon direction of travel) in Oshawa, but ends at a different terminal and only makes certain stops.  At some stops, there are signs showing both the DRT and GO logos, indicating that the local coach and the route 94 will stop there.  There is an additional note “Express” for the 95 at its designated stops.  At all stops are also signs, in English and French, that instruct passengers to flag down the bus they want.  With three distinct routes, this makes sense rather than have each coach stop because someone is waiting when they might not want the bus that stopped.

If you’re familiar with buses, either because you take them or you see them in your rearview mirror (intimidating, aren’t they?), you know that on the front is a destination sign.  With the electronic signs now in use, the GO buses display the destination on the top half of the sign, such as OSHAWA GO, and the bottom of the sign displays places they stop, such as Pickering, Ajax GO, Whitby, so that people will know both where the bus is going and what cities it stops in along the way.

What prompts this is that today I travelled into Toronto.  You may recall in my posting of yesterday, “Now they’re using Benin”, at the end of that post I mention  I had a better use for the $100 they wanted, that use being a pair of red stilettos.  Went and bought them today – they look fabulous ☺ .  Okay, now back to my story.  Despite all the signage, people still won’t flag down the coach they want.  They’ll just stand there and expect the bus to stop.  The drivers are aware that passengers have to indicate, usually by waving, that the customer wants them and not one of the other routes, so don’t stop unless signalled.  On at least three occasions today (I was sitting in the front seat on the right side) I noticed people at a bus stop who just stood there. Every single one of those people appeared to get most upset when the bus kept on going.  One person got lucky because the light just past the stop was red and the bus had to stop and that person managed to board the bus.  What she said to the driver I won’t repeat, but the driver simply pointed out the sign says to hail the coach and that since she hadn’t done so, he didn’t know he needed to stop. Lady, read the damn sign.

As I wrote above, the front of the bus displays the destination and various towns and cities it stops in.  With all this information available, can you see any reason why someone would have to ask the driver if he’s going to Oshawa?  Read the damn sign – it shows the destination as OSHAWA GO in capital letters no less.

Is the problem, and it isn’t just restricted to public transit but anywhere there are signs, that people can’t read anything when the words contain more characters than a word in a typical text message?  Is it perhaps that  they just can’t read; or are too lazy to exercise their brains for the length of time to read the words “Hail GO bus” in green against a white background?  Could it be they feel they are too important and those instructions are for other people of lesser importance?  They would rather ask the bus driver foolish questions.  These questions could be answered before the bus even stopped if they would just read the damn sign.  And,  answering these unnecessary questions can, and often does, put the bus behind schedule, thereby inconveniencing the other passengers – those who did read the sign.

Okay, I’ve ranted and I feel better. Now to go and see if those shoes really do look as good with the outfit I had I mind as I think they will.

Since it’s Friday, enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.
And remember to read the damn signs!

Cat.

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