There are two types of people in this world: city dwellers and suburbanites. Okay… so maybe I’m down-scaling here, but for the purpose of today’s article these are the two groups we shall focus on.
When you live in the ‘burbs, it’s all about driving. You drive to get to work; to go to the movies; for grocery shopping; and even just to the convenience store to grab a bag of milk. Your car becomes an extension of you. It is where you store your gym bag, your sunglasses, comfy shoes (because driving in heels ain’t easy) and sometimes even a change of clothes in case of emergency. This is because the suburbs are designed to be car friendly. All amenities come complete with easily accessible parking requiring no change for the meter, nor do you need a university degree to parallel park. Lower crime rates equals lower car insurance, and the luxury of a parking garage means you can spend that extra 15 minutes in bed rather than de-icing the windshield.
We city folk are not privy to such luxuries. Driving doesn’t really make sense in the city. Parking is limited and expensive; roads are narrow and busy; and making what should be a 15-minute journey is likely to push closer to 40. It just ain’t worth the extra grey hairs!
Enter the Toronto Transit Commission’s public transportation system, aka the TTC. Granted it isn’t 100% perfect (*cough*), and some rightly have beef with the whole thing, but I personally would choose a 20-minute jaunt on the streetcar any day over maneuvering hesitantly through the city on 4-wheels, dodging pedestrians and cyclists and dealing with the torture of never being able to make a left turn. When choosing public transit it is simply a case of popping in your headphones and going on a hassle-free ride. Or at least it should be. And on that note, here are our tips on what to do and what not to do to ensure that getting around downtown is as pleasant as it can be for the good people of our city!
It’s Not a Gossip Forum…
Some of us use transit time as precious moments to think about the day ahead, ponder the night before, or to just chill the flip out for a second. I’m not saying that you and your co-worker shouldn’t be loudly berating the boss on a bus full of strangers… but, actually, I also kind of am. Save it for the office where you can discreetly voice your opinions on MSN Messenger.
Nor Is It a Phone Booth
In the same vain, talking loudly on your cellphone is not favoured on a crowded streetcar. Yes your boyfriend may be a selfish jerk and you absolutely should go on a sex-strike for 12 days to punish him for his egotistical ways, but your squealing is doing nothing for my red wine headache so please… hang up before I throw up.
Take Out Your Trash
If you’re eating or drinking on your travels, don’t leave your crap all over the seats for someone else to deal with. You’re a big girl/boy, you can ditch your own garbage.
Keep It Clean (Again)
So maybe there’s just something you must discuss before you arrive at your destination, and maybe there’s no one on the subway that has the energy or the balls to tell you keep it down. But if you can’t keep your voice to indoor levels at least keep it clean. I am the first to admit that I have the mouth of a trucker. (What can I say…? I was raised by an army of feisty Irish women!) But there’s a time and a place for cussing like a sailor and a busy bus or subway is not one of them. This is a family environment, so save your effing and blinding for the pub!
Keep It Classy
I am lucky that my TTC use is very rarely during rush hours because I know what an absolute, jam-packed nightmare it can be. All that pushing and shoving and rushing the doors… it can be mayhem and it can bring out the animal in all of us. So try your best to keep it classy. Let’s keep our public transit friendly and safe so ours is the one setting the standard. Be aware of elderly riders and mothers with little ones – if you think your commute is hard try strapping a mini-me to your chest.
Remember Your Manners
Busy lives make for busy minds and too often we can forget basic common courtesy. Don’t ignore the person in the driver’s seat as they’re responsible for getting you to your destination and the least they deserve is a chipper “Hello!” as you board. (Bonus points if you can muster a friendly “Thanks!” as you step off the front of the car.) It doesn’t take much effort on your part, and it may mean a lot more to them than you think.
What are your thoughts on TTC etiquette? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.