Calgary Transit

Oh, here we go, transit woes.

I’m visiting Mom in Calgary and to get to downtown (or anywhere, really) it’s a bus to a C-train, to maybe another bus.

A day pass for transit normally costs about 3x a single fare (when purchased in a 10-pack of tickets). During Stampede week, it’s the price of 2 tickets.

Bus passes are only available at c-train stations. And – here’s the rub – they’re only available the same day that you’re going to use them.

Mom and I spent about 15 minutes on the phone with the help line last night, trying to figure out why this is. For someone in the suburbs like us, you have to spend a ticket to get a day-pass?

Apparently, day passes used to be sold at convenience stores, but (as CT still uses the paper-based system the had since the early 90’s when I moved here) they would get photocopied and re-sold. Sure enough, a half-decent colour copier could make a very good clone – they don’t have the silvery holographic stuff that monthly passes do. So, I get that.

But then the employee mentioned “this way’s okay for park-n-ride users.”

Call me indignant, but a transit system that assumes you’re going to drive the first leg of the trip is not a transit system.

Luckily, I explained that Mom and I were going downtown and the bus driver let me on and then had a long conversation with Mom about Montreal, during which the entire bus got to hear my life story, as my face got redder and redder.

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