As I headed to the subway to go to work today, I discovered that the Danforth part of the Bloor-Danforth line was shut down between Woodbine and Broadview, a stretch which naturally included my station (Pape).
Broadview is only a couple of stops away, so I considered simply walking over there and catching the train from that point. I also considered taking the Pape bus south, since it (eventually) hooks around the downtown core, and even with the G20 route changes it still wouldn't be a long walk from the closest stop.
Either way, though, I'd need to pay a fare and was out of tokens, so I went over to the booth to buy some. The collector wasn't there.
I saw a guy standing outside the station in the light blue short sleeve shirt most TTC employees wear in warmer weather. I walked over to him and, sure enough, he has a TTC logo on his shirt pocket. I asked him if I could buy some tokens.
He looked at me with what I guess was annoyance. "Collector's not here."
Oh. Huh. I guess I'm walking to Broadview. I leave the station and get down to the Danforth. Shuttle buses are already piled three deep at the corner, taking people between Woodbine and Broadview Stations.
Based on past experience, that was a good thing. Usually by the time it takes the TTC to get the shuttle buses organized and on the road, whatever was causing the delay was cleared, so I turned around and headed back to the station. Mr. Short Sleeves was still hanging around out front, but inside someone more important (you could tell because he had one of those nifty red TTC hats, a clipboard and a radio) was dealing with people wanting to know what was going on. I walked up to him.
"Subway's closed", he said.
"I know it is, I just want to buy some tokens so I can get on the shuttle bus."
"Oh." He looks over at the empty booth. An older women is right behind me with the same complaint. "I NEED TICKETS!", she screeched. In my ear.
Mr. In Charge walked outside and talked to Mr. Short Sleeves, who then grumpily came inside and opened up the booth, which led me to one of two conclusions:
1) Mr. Short Sleeves had lied to my face when he said the collector wasn't there, since he was the collector; or,
2) The real collector had buggered off when the delay hit, and poor Mr. Short Sleeves had been shanghai'ed into covering for that person.
I'm leaning towards #1.
On the bright side, as soon as I bought my tokens the subway was re-opened.
Moral of the story: anybody who gets on a shuttle bus during a TTC subway delay is a sucker.