Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gimme Shelter

About 3:00am Sunday morning I was returning home from a gig in Grimsby.  Driving into Dundas I came up on the bus stop that I use every day on my way to work at the corner of South Street and Ogilvie.  One of the panes of glass was shattered into a million pieces.  I thought to myself that it sucks and seems to happen much more than it should throughout the City of Hamilton and honestly didn't think much more of it.

By Sunday night someone had swept the glass into the bus shelter and placed a couple of pylons around it.  A note was placed by someone on the shelter indicating that the HSR was aware of the issue.  I was surprised that it was still in that shape and disappointed that the no one had swept the glass into a container and removed but I figured it was the weekend and maybe the City had a rash of these that they were working on.

By Monday morning when I had to walk to the bus stop it was evident that nothing was being done about the mess.  I took a picture and uploaded it to twitter, tagged my Councillor and the City of Hamilton.  Until the writing of this I have had no reply from either account acknowledging the issue.

In the age of social media that in and of itself is shocking.  This is the perfect example of the Hamilton Street Railway needing a social media presence.  A social media manager would have picked up the tweet and been able to advise of what was being done to fix the issue.

I have been advised from a friend who is a bus driver that the HSR doesn't have anything to do with the shelters and that it is a City issue.  If that is the case I wonder if a single bus driver reported to anyone that the glass was shattered or if they are even required to do so.  If not then what does it say about the state of the transit system in this City?

It may seem like such a small thing but I honestly think that this is a symptom of the overall sickness that is pervasive in the Hamilton Street Railway and the way that it has been mismanaged and underfunded for the past 20 years.  I think that it is also indicative of how poorly this City is being run currently.

The fact that as of Wednesday night glass has been sitting in the shelter for at least 4 days is unacceptable to say the least.  The fact that the bus lane was removed on the say of Councillors who have little to no skin in the game is appalling.  The fact that Council has muddied the water of the LRT ask by including a request for an additional $300 Million dollars, with almost all of that money going to a garage that costs more than Tim Horton's Field or replacement for Copps Coliseum, is insane.

When are we going to say enough is enough?  When are we going to hold the decision makers to task about how poorly they have handled the transit file and continue to ruin the transit system in this City?  It may be one pane of glass but it truly is a symptom of everything that is going wrong with transit in the City of Hamilton.  I don't see it getting any better anytime soon.

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