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City-specific transit tips and etiquette


Ed Drass
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I have been thinking about soliciting Toronto-specific transit tips -- the kind of customs and etiquette that newcomers or visitors may not know about riding transit in Toronto. (A few locals may be oblivious as well...)

It's something that could eventually be compared with other cities and transit systems both on this board and beyond. There are plenty of matter-of-fact differences (TTC transfers are only good for one trip in one direction; did you know 393-INFO can help in 70 languages but they aren't open late; etc.) -- but I'm especially looking for the more quirky ones.

Let's see...

1. If you're asking questions at a TTC collector's booth, don't be surprised if other riders squeeze past you through the turnstile. It's normal.

2. When on a GO train, never put your feet upon the opposite seat cushion. Instead, the cushion may be attached merely by velcro which will lift away from the harder surface underneath.

3. We don't really have a simple way to distinguish the two parts of the "Yellow" subway line -- the "Yonge line" will do for one side, but the other might be cumbersomely referred to as the University-Spadina line or something else entirely. Almost no-ones calls the lines by their colours. Special names are reserved for the Blue line, especially after a big snowfall.

4. The authorities may be trying to discourage walking on escalators, but some Toronto riders will get frustrated if you block the left side. They won't say anything while behind you, but they're leaning to the side trying to figure out if it's just you blocking the way. Please just stand to the right.

5. Before guessing, ask random locals how they pronounce "Spadina", "Yonge" or "Dundas". Write down any discrepancies.

These are a bit plain. Any more?

-Ed

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I have been thinking about soliciting Toronto-specific transit tips -- the kind of customs and etiquette that newcomers or visitors may not know about riding transit in Toronto. (A few locals may be oblivious as well...)

It's something that could eventually be compared with other cities and transit systems both on this board and beyond. There are plenty of matter-of-fact differences (TTC transfers are only good for one trip in one direction; did you know 393-INFO can help in 70 languages but they aren't open late; etc.) -- but I'm especially looking for the more quirky ones.

Let's see...

1. If you're asking questions at a TTC collector's booth, don't be surprised if other riders squeeze past you through the turnstile. It's normal.

2. When on a GO train, never put your feet upon the opposite seat cushion. Instead, the cushion may be attached merely by velcro which will lift away from the harder surface underneath.

3. We don't really have a simple way to distinguish the two parts of the "Yellow" subway line -- the "Yonge line" will do for one side, but the other might be cumbersomely referred to as the University-Spadina line or something else entirely. Almost no-ones calls the lines by their colours. Special names are reserved for the Blue line, especially after a big snowfall.

4. The authorities may be trying to discourage walking on escalators, but some Toronto riders will get frustrated if you block the left side. They won't say anything while behind you, but they're leaning to the side trying to figure out if it's just you blocking the way. Please just stand to the right.

5. Before guessing, ask random locals how they pronounce "Spadina", "Yonge" or "Dundas". Write down any discrepancies.

These are a bit plain. Any more?

-Ed

-Our tokens no longer look like dimes. So don't try. ;-)

-Before setting up camp outside of the subway entrance when the trains stop rolling, why not try the handy-dandy Blue Night bus service?

lol I don't know. Sorta hard.

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I guess this is more on the sarcastic side than it is helpful to passengers. But it points out common behaviours observed while riding transit.

- No matter how many times you read (or don't read) the destination sign on the bus, you still have to ask the driver if the bus goes to the subway.

- Run as fast as you can to catch your train. Contrary to popular belief, there will be another one within 5 minutes.

This one is good on the etiquette side:

- You CAN sit next to a complete stranger, and not feel weird about it.

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I guess this is more on the sarcastic side than it is helpful to passengers. But it points out common behaviours observed while riding transit.

- No matter how many times you read (or don't read) the destination sign on the bus, you still have to ask the driver if the bus goes to the subway.

- Run as fast as you can to catch your train. Contrary to popular belief, there will be another one within 5 minutes.

This one is good on the etiquette side:

- You CAN sit next to a complete stranger, and not feel weird about it.

then there is my favorite.....holding the subway doors open, AFTER the chimes have rung, and letting another 5 to ten people on the train..... then the train suddenly has problems with the doors......then the train has to go out of service......

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-Our tokens no longer look like dimes. So don't try. ;-)

-Before setting up camp outside of the subway entrance when the trains stop rolling, why not try the handy-dandy Blue Night bus service?

lol I don't know. Sorta hard.

Instead they look like inverted smaller toonies.

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My Transiqette stuff...

Viva -

- You don't need to show your ticket to the driver

- PLEASE let the people off FIRST before coming on, and give some room near the door for said people to get off. It's not fun pushing people aside to get off, and expect to be pushed if you're in the way.

- MOVE BACK, don't block the front wheel-well area, there's not much room there.

- For goodness sakes, give up your purse/bag's seat (if it's that special) for somebody standing.

- Please be prompt when getting your bus. Not only do you see when your next bus arrives at each stop, but you can now find out online. This prevents a bus falling behind waiting for that one rider who needs to buy their ticket RIGHT when the bus arrives.

- Learn how to read instructions. Getting a ticket at a Viva display is not THAT hard. ;)

- Please take your garbage out of the bus, Viva buses seem to be full of newspapers now-a-days.

- Please don't get mad at a driver for leaving without you or for not opening the door when it leaves the platform. The driver has regulations and a time schedule to work under. The next bus will arrive in 10-15 minutes anyways, and there's usually another YRT route which serves along the same route that could be near as well.

GO -

- Purchase your tickets at a vendor if possible. This speeds rides up.

- Have your money ready before boarding the bus. Do your research if it's a first time, but afterwards, you should know how much your trip costs.

- If the bus or train is packed, please remove your purse/bag from your adjacent seat.

- Ask the person behind you if it's okay to recline your seat. Some people have long legs and don't have enough room as it is before the seat ahead of the person is reclined. The recliners are a luxury, not a need. If you REALLY need to recline, then switch seats. If you feel resistance while reclining your seat, it's most likely the person's knees stopping it. Return the seat to the proper position and ask if you are able to recline rather than hurt the person's knees.

- Please be careful if you're sitting near a stop-request strip and fall asleep. This can cause great confusion on part of the driver.

- Look at the destination sign. You'll save yourself trouble and time by observing the destination on the destination sign rather than having to stop the driver to ask what route they're on. (Infamous example: Yorkdale riders thinking the York U is their bus in Newmarket)

- Please don't yak loudly on your cell phone. GO buses have a general quiet atmosphere (apart from the occasional conversations). If you talk loudly on the GO Bus, EVERYBODY will hear you.

- Wave at a good time before the train arrives at your stop, and not while the bus is a few meters from you. These are huge coach buses that need a good distance to safely stop, especially on wet or snow-covered roads. If you need to wave down a bus in the dark, try to use something with a light (Like an iPod or cell phone) to make sure the driver sees you.

- If the bus or train is busy, please move to the outer seat to prevent new riders from having to squeeze past you.

and most of all...

- LEAVE EARLY FOR YOUR TRAIN, IT IS NOT THAT HARD!

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TTC

- Unlike Tokyo or New York, you can't move between subway cars.

- The signage at Bathurst station could be misleading if you don't pay enough attention, so pay attention there!

- Don't mind the pigeons at Bathurst station, sometimes they're even on the platform.

NYCTA

- DON'T try to move between carriages on a R40 Slant!!!

- Stay in the first five cars if you want to exit at South Ferry.

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NYCTA

- DON'T try to move between carriages on a R40 Slant!!!

It's fine if you're trying to move between "A" ends (the slanted ends) as all the bars and chains have been added to assist with moving between cars. However, the "B" ends -- the blind ends -- are a bit tricky, because there's nothing to hold onto except the door handle of the next car. It's risky and should only be done when the train is stopped or not moving around a curve.

But if you try to move between cars on ANY car type, make sure that there aren't any cops around -- you WILL get a ticket.

- Stay in the first five cars if you want to exit at South Ferry.

145th Street on the 3 is also a first-five-cars-only station, although it's not as widely used as South Ferry. But South Ferry's situation will change when they open the fancy new station (waste of money) later this year...

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If you're coming to Edmonton to photograph/ride enjoy our trolley coaches don't post it publically, use the PM feature.

Strange things tend to happen to the BBC's/6000 (hell even the hybrids) when somebody posts that they are coming to town

Very strange unexplained things with impeccable timing :D:lol:

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TTC:

If you are waiting for the bus and the first one that comes has no room for you, try to board anyway. You never know when the next bus will be along.

If you are waiting for the bus and the first one that comes has no room for you, try to board anyway because the empty one right behind is just too far too walk to or wait for.

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- When boarding a bus with a young child in a stroller, do not expect the bus operator to assist with boarding. It is solely the passenger's responsibility. If you are not able to do so, that means your stroller is too big.

-When boarding a bus with a young child, please pay the fare for yourself and the child (if he/she requires a fare). We don't have time to wait for you to lift the child out of the stroller so he/she can put the money in, no matter how cute you may think it is.

-While onboard, be sure to hang onto something as the bus/ coach may need to come to an abrupt stop.

-When alighting, please do so by using the rearmost door on the bus/ coach.

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When you're validating your GO ticket in the machine, have it ready before you approach the machine. Once you hear the punch move away from the machine right away - or face the wrath of a thousand commuters!

To add to that...

- Don't hog the automated ticket purchasing machine's shelter if it's cold out or the weather is horrible and you're not buying a ticket (unless it's obvious nobody needs to buy one). There are generally a good number of other shelters available anyways (Except for York...).

- If people are boarding the train and you're standing up, please try to make an effort to give them some room to stand or to go elsewhere.

- GO is not YRT. (Yes, I've seen this happen)

-- GO Transit employees don't know everything about YRT, and vice versa.

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Also for GO, keep your ticket handy at all times when in fare paid areas. Random inspections can take place at any time and I have noticed SC's now waiting on the platform at Union Station beside the elevators and stairs checking tickets on the platform.

For TTC, please do not block the aisle with your stroller. If by chance you happen to baord a high-floor bus use the middle section of the bus to store your stoller out of the walkway. For low-floor buses maybe TTC should adopt a policy similar to ETS whereby patrons who have a stroller flip up the designated accessible seat and store the stroller beside them while the remaining seat can be used for an accessibility customer if required or another stroller with the drivers discretion.

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Boston subway system does not use eastbound, westbound, northbound or southbound. Instead, they use inbound and outbound. I find it painful to navigate through the subway system.

As the four lines come together in a square in the middle of the city, it's actually quite simple.

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As the four lines come together in a square in the middle of the city, it's actually quite simple.

i see. The least they can do is put to put a map showing where the inbound or outbound going to. Last time I took subway there, I almost got lost. Luckily, a kind passenger gave me the directions.

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For low-floor buses maybe TTC should adopt a policy similar to ETS whereby patrons who have a stroller flip up the designated accessible seat and store the stroller beside them while the remaining seat can be used for an accessibility customer if required or another stroller with the drivers discretion.

The TTC already allows passengers with strollers to use the wheelchair spot to store the stroller but nobody knows about it since the TTC doesn't advertise it or any thing like that.

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