I took Ken to a birthday party for a boy who's a day younger than he, today. I dropped him off in a not-too-distant corner of Scarborough, and went to study for my dissertation for an hour or so. I'd timed my return to the party site so that I'd arrive 5-10 minutes before pick-up time. Not a problem at all, given that I was in a library across the street from a subway station only three stops along from the Warden station where the party was.
Or so I thought. Instead, the TTC threw everyone (all 350 of us, by my estimate) off the train at Victoria Park and let use wait the seven minutes until the next train. They effectively doubled my transit trip time with that stunt!
When I spoke with the mother of the birthday boy, she said that as a daily rider she understood completely. She had recently seen the case where the driver of a crowded street car regretfully told his riders that he'd have to short turn. But then he added that at the next stop he'd run up to the driver of the car ahead of him and ask the fellow to wait for the dozens of riders. And that's what he did, and the other driver agreed.
But as the first passengers arrived, that driver closed the doors and took off, leaving the first driver and his passengers to stand there in the cold, snowy evening, amazed.
That's what passes for customer service in a city completely dependent on its transit.