One of my favourite things about living in Toronto is definitely the TTC. Not only does transit mean that I don’t have to drive everywhere, it can also be a pleasant experience in and of itself. So, in honour of its one hundredth anniversary, here are a few reasons that you should take the TTC.
Here’s why you should take the TTC
It’s no secret that traffic in Toronto is awful. Little know fact: traffic on the DVP had already exceeded its capacity by 1985. Next time you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic, remember that the highway was out of date nearly forty years ago. It’s no wonder that one in ten drivers spend an hour commuting to work every day.
In the grand scheme of things, two hours total every workday is a lot of time. That’s time you could be doing anything else, reading, exercising, cooking, or really any hobby for that matter. Toronto’s traffic problem is just one reason I enjoy taking the TTC.
Productive (or Relaxed) Commute
For starters, you can actually do things on the TTC. You’re not driving so you don’t have to pay attention to the road or other drivers. You can spend your commute on a book, writing, sketching or whatever you do to relax. The fact that I can sit down without any interruptions or responsibilities makes taking the subway so much nicer than driving.
Sometimes, I don’t even do anything on the ride. It’s so rare these days that you can slow down and just be present, be idle, think or not think. It’s certainly better than getting annoyed at the guy who forgot to use his turn signal.
Transit is also far better for the wallet. I’m pretty sure I made $200 on my presto last through three waves of COVID lockdowns. Now that things have opened up and I’m out and about I’ve swapped to a monthly pass. Use it enough and it basically pays for itself.
Car insurance alone can cost more than a $156 adult metro pass. Depending on where you live you may not even have to bother with the expense of owning a car at all. Monthly payments, gas, insurance, and repairs all add up really, really quickly.
Take Action Against Climate Change
There’s another cost of owning a car that isn’t taken nearly as seriously as it should be. Cars are a major source of pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. No wonder that transportation is the largest contributor to CO2 emissions.
An electric car isn’t the answer many think it is. Consider the amount of energy it takes to actually build the car. Mining and refining the resources is one thing, assembling and shipping the products is another.
However, the nature of the lithium batteries that power electric cars are worse still. While CO2 emissions from driving an electric car are less extensive than a conventional passenger vehicle, the emissions that come from building the lithium battery actually makes eclectic cars even more harmful to the environment. In fact, the CO2 emissions from building a battery may be as much as 76% higher than emissions from building a conventional car. If we’re going to take climate change seriously, we’re going to have to revaluate our relationship with cars.
Verdict: TTC Over Cars
For all these reasons and more, I’m glad to live in a place with a public transit service like the TTC. Consider taking it the next time you’re travelling across The 6ix. As we shift into the fall, the TTC offers some great views of the autumn colours across the Prince Edward Viaduct and the Humber River. It sure beats looking at someone else’s license plate while moving an inch at a time on the road.