It is no secret the TTC is far from perfect and if used extensively, you surely have come to curse it at one point or other; which is a natural response to all Transit Systems, politicians, lawyers, and well, everything actually. However if you are car-less like me, then you know Riding The Rocket is probably the best way to and fro around Toronto's urban jungle.
For my own motives --mostly common sense-- I have always tried living within a token's throw of a subway station. Having grown in the suburbs and commuting then two hours to York University for school pretty much scarred me for life --but my mental state is another post altogether. In the end, unless you have children, are urban-phobic or your mate demands he/she is chauffeured, then the TTC is your best bet.
Escalating fares aside; $109 for a Metropass... Really? SERIOUSLY? Well, rant aside, I guess, I am happy to see they are trying to modernize the system. The newer subway cars will hit the tracks rolling sometime in 2009 and look at 'hem, they might be a nice pimpin' ride. Although that remains to be seen, there is no mention as of when in 2009 the deployment will start and if it does, it will be only on the wealthy line that is Yonge-University... plebbed Bloor-line be dammed! There are other changes like the Transit City project which is basically making lots of Spadina's and St. Clair's right of way streetcar lanes, but that won't be finish until 2021. So, let's just wait on that one for now.
For the time being, one of the best new services provided free of charge are their TTC-eAlerts. Which in our always-on-line generation can be seen as a blessing in disguise. Having been launched on January 14, it has been tested by me and has given its users another perspective of the TTC. The only catch is that at best --with about 10 minutes advance warning-- you might find out of an outage until you are about to head to a station, so "knowing" is not half the battle, as you might not be able to circumvent the issue due to it still being too short notice. Thus you will be hindered, except you are now armed with the knowledge that you will be stuck and left wrestling for shuttle busses or cabs with hundreds of other passengers ahead of time.
So yes, subway lines go out of service a lot, the most I have seen is four in one day! So if you want to have a daily shot of paranoia as to whether your train breaks down in the middle of a tunnel while someone in your car may or may not be coughing up a lung due to swine flu, this is your ticket!
In the end, it might not save you a headache or that much time or money if you decide to cab it but it will provide you with undeniable written proof you can show to your boss as to why you are late and in my opinion, that's a start. TTC, I salute you.
If you would like to subscribe to the TTC alerts, click here.