Thursday, April 3, 2014

Minor karmic duties

I'm still pushing to get more service late nights on the 49.  I don't know when it will get rolled out M-F, but there will be more service Sat. and Sun. starting June 23.*

Returning from Metrotown on the 49 (after having missed the 430 by a couple of minutes), I couldn't help but overhear a group of teens talking about how they really had wanted to catch the 430 and whether the 49 would take them where they wanted to go.  It sort of would if they transferred to the Canada Line.  I was a bit tempted to ignore them, as they were a bit loud and obnoxious.  They eventually figured they would just transfer to the 430, but one guy insisted that they could transfer at Fleming St.  I knew this wouldn't be the case, and finally had to speak up.  It just wouldn't be right for them to be "stranded" watching the 430 pass them by, when in fact if they transfer a couple of stops earlier at Victoria, they would be in good shape.  So I convinced them that they should transfer at Victoria. It's not a big thing, but I do sometimes have to remind myself  to do the right thing by others, even when I find them a bit annoying.

Now this does not hold at all for panhandlers.  I have adopted the Freakonomics approach which is to ask myself -- do I want to see panhandlers rewarded for their bad behaviour in public?  Since the answer is no -- and I definitely do not want to see more panhandlers -- then the answer is obvious, do not give people on the street any money.  When the pangs of conscience get too bad (every couple of years), then I give to reputable charities in the area.  However, this past year the money didn't go to local charities, but to the Red Cross to help with the terrible tsunami.  (Given that tsunamis respond to the same laws of supply and demand, I doubt I encouraged more of them.)

* So the current situation is that there will not be buses added M-F for the time being.  However, they will be revisiting this and trying to add additional night time service in Sept. or perhaps Dec.

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