Toronto’s TTC Etiquette (or lack thereof)

I’m standing during rush hour waiting for the 116 bus at Morningside Avenue and Ellesmere Road on a cold fall day. Herds of people stand in a bunch behind me.

When the bus finally arrives, everyone rushes to the curb trying to be the first person on. As I inch closer, a young girl who looks about 15 cuts in front of me and the others who have braved the cold a lot longer than she had.

As I drilled a hole into the back of her head with my eyes, I realized what the people of Toronto are really lacking are basic manners. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people are well mannered around their bosses and teachers, but once they enter the maroon accented vessel known as Toronto public transit, their manners go right out the horizontally open window.

There are some basic rules of public transit. One of them includes waiting your turn in a simple line-up. Would you cut someone off in line at the grocery store? Then why would you cut someone off in line for the bus?

Another basic rule of public transit includes vacating your seats for those who need them more than you do. It’s understandable that your feet hurt from a long day at school or work, but then again, so does the guy clutching onto the handle for dear life with a cast on his foot.

If someone has a broken or visibly weakened part of their body, the right thing to do is vacate your seat and allow them to sit down. It seems like common sense, but many people do not do it.

The same goes for visibly pregnant women and the elderly. They may not take your seat, but they will more often than not be grateful that you offered it.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when you are on a crowded bus or subway car and one person takes up two seats. One seat is for their bottom and the other is for their knapsack, or even worse, their feet.

It’s very simple math really. One person, plus one seat, equals appropriate. On the other hand, one person, plus two seats in a crowded TTC vehicle, equals a person with poor manners.

Although some of us may feel that we live on the TTC based on how much time we spend commuting, it is not our home. Therefore we cannot put our feet up, leave our garbage around or, even worse, pass gas as we please. My theory is, if you wouldn’t do it on a first date, then please don’t do it on the TTC.

After taking public transit on a daily basis I can literally rap the entire Lil’ Wayne album. This, however, is not based on my own preference for music, but on the fact that some people listen to their music either too loud on their headphones or bring actual speakers onto the bus.

Transit riders do not pay $2.75 to listen to your IPod. We pay that money for a quiet, quick and comfortable commute, which is made near impossible by riders who act as if the TTC is their home, and you are a visitor.

About this article

By: Tiffany Kallinikos
Posted: Nov 13 2008 6:50 pm
Filed under: Opinion