Posts Tagged With: news

Merry Christmas Toronto’s Mayor Ford, We are sending you A Chicken Bus Terminal from Guatemala

While enjoying our winter home far afar away from the Cold of Toronto one cannot refuse the need to once every month or so to check in on the latest events of Toronto Mayor Ford and the TTC wars. The point of this rambling message is to offer the City of Toronto and Mayor Ford a solution to the problems facing tax payers and passengers in Toronto mired in this conflict. A Chicken Bus Transit System or the CBTS.

First what is a Chicken bus?
Often two young men will partner in the operation of a bus, one of whom will have his license, while the other dubs himself the ayudante or “helper”. The ayudante is responsible for heckling passengers aboard, collecting money, and organizing the luggage, livestock, produce, etc. onto the roof of the bus — often while in motion. In Guatemala this helper is also known as the “brocha” (brush), referring to the fact that this person prompts people to get inside the bus (brushes them in) by shouting the destinations the bus is reaching. Each bus is painted vibrantly with its name and permanent route. Buses are stuffed with passengers (whenever possible) and then hard-driven to their destinations at top speed.

What is the TTC?
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is a public transport agency that operates transit bus, streetcar, and rapid transit services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1954, the TTC has grown to comprise four rapid transit lines with a total of 69 stations, as well as over 149 bus routes and 11 streetcar lines, of which 148 routes make 243 connections with a rapid transit station during weekday rush hours.
The TTC is currently suffering a $100 million deficit, reports the Toronto Star, yet instead of cutting their own costs, the commissioners are inflating TTC ticket prices.

  • The TTC is currently suffering a $100 million deficit, reports the Toronto Star, yet instead of cutting their own costs, the commissioners are inflating TTC ticket prices.
    The Chicken Bus Transit System of Guatemala or CBTS operates at a profit.
    Fare costs compared between The Toronto Transit Commission or TTC and the Chicken Bus Transit System of Guatemala.
    The TTC of Toronto charges a rider $3 dollars per ride. Tokens will cost $2.50, cash fares, $3, and Metropasses will increase from $109 to $121. According to the Toronto Star, the extra revenue will bring in $45.5 million. The change will affect 4.5 million riders in the Greater Toronto Area.
    The Chicken Bus Transit System of Guatemala has an average cost of a one way ride for distances of about 20 kilometers of $.15 thats right 15 cents.

If Toronto’s Mayor Ford were to consider abandoning the current TTC expansion plans and employed the Chicken Bus economics the financial problems of the City of Toronto would be almost certainly erased. A Chicken Bus is for the most part an old Yellow School Bus, god know the city of Toronto School boards and the surrounding municipalities have thousands sitting in the bone yards.

  1. In Guatemala Transit system model, we have no Unions like the TTC
  2. In Guatemala we have no computerized Transit systems.
  3. Money is collected by what is called a ayudante. As part of the two man team that operates a Chicken Bus.
  4. TTC Operators and Station Collectors ranges from $100,065 to $128,500, and that a station collector earns roughly the same amount.
  5. No supervisors waiting for retirement
  6. The added Color of a Chicken Bus roaming the streets of Toronto would add to the failing Tourism Industry of Toronto and the Province.
  7. Guatemala I am sure would be willing to export a few thousand Chicken Buses in exchange for those aging Buses operated by the TTC
  8. Okay Mayor Ford we decided to make a Video to show you how much fun and excitement a ride on a Chicken Bus is compared to the TTC.

Hope you enjoy Mayor Ford. Oh I have read so much on-line I was supposed to say Mayor Elected Rob Ford. What ever.

Please take the time to see the fun passenger have on a Chicken Bus.

Categories: Antigua Guatemala News, Antigua Guatemala Travel Blog, Canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yolkobsens travel to Guatemala with a few hundred US dollars

Credit cards

Image via Wikipedia

Yolkobsens always travel to Guatemala with a few hundred US dollars in cash. Not too much and never flashed around. But it’s worth going to the currency exchange before you leave home and getting some Yankee greenbacks to take along to Antigua Guatemala and anywhere else you might want to travel in the country.   It’s a good idea since most places accept both Quetzalesand dollars and there will be those inevitable days when the entire country’s ATM machines go on the fritz.Yolkobsens have found this usually happens during peak holiday times such as La Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) and around Christmas and national holidays. Don’t bother looking for an official currency exchange office during these episodes; they are all at home feasting and/or nursing hangovers. During these festive times, the ATMs simply run out of cash and the people who stock the dough in the machines are, well, on holiday.  Also, if disasters such as earthquake or roads washed out by tropical storms or hurricanes happen, the armed cash trucks can’t get through, leaving the ATMs empty.

A word to the wise when it comes to currency exchange in Antigua Guatemala or elsewhere in the country, the US dollar still packs a mighty punch.  Also, almost none of the truly interesting places take credit cardsand a lot of the banks, which often run out of cash since they get it from the same source as the ATMS, won’t give you cash from your credit card.  That’s kind of hit or miss. Some banks say, “si” others don’t.  Be warned.The official currency is the Quetzal (GTQ) divided into 100 centavos. In 2001 the US Dollar became the second official currency alongside the Quetzal and both are accepted.

The Quetzal (local pronunciation: [ke’tsal]; code: GTQ) is the currency of Guatemala.It is named after the national bird of Guatemala, the resplendent Quetzal. In ancient Mayan culture, the quetzal bird’s tail feathers were used as currency, one of the early currency exchanges.  It is divided into 100 cents, called centavos in standard Spanish or lenes in Guatemalan slang. The plural can be either Quetzales (as it is in Spanish) or quetzals (in a slightly anglicized form).

Travelers cheques and major credit cards are accepted, though some more than others. It is recommended to take travelers cheques in US dollars. Cash exchange is easier, but more risky. Visitors are not advised to trade money at the informal currency exchange booths on the street.

There are ATMs in the towns and cities, which accept American Express and Visa. MasterCard and Diners Club have a more limited acceptance. In simple currency exchange conversion terms, you can use 8 Quetzales to one US dollar. This is a good rule of thumb.

Note: Arriving in Guatemala if you have come with money from other countries other than the US you will have a hard time with currency exchange.

Money changers do exist in areas such as Livingston, Belize and Honduras borders. However, this is risky and the exchange rates while good caution is highly suggested.

Categories: Antigua Guatemala News, Antigua Guatemala Travel Blog, Antigua Guatemala Travel Reviews, Canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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