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Last year I asked readers to send in suggestions for making commuting better, and although it took me months to print the results, here they are.
Carolyn of Toronto has a tip for riders obliviously using cellphones: “We don’t want to hear it. Your voice is always louder when speaking on the phone. Also, keep the private private. If you can’t, just talk quietly. People shouldn’t have to move away from you to have a pleasant ride.”
Saron of Toronto urges women to use the TTC’s “Request Stop” program. “I used to hesitate, but it practically saved my life once. If you want to be dropped off between two stops on a regular TTC route after dark — where it is safe to do so — request the driver let you off.”
She also suggests, “Offer your seat to a pregnant woman, or any woman with a young child, baby or a baby carriage. While there are designated spots on the bus for the elderly and disabled, there are none for pregnant women or mothers of young children. Just because it’s not legislated, that doesn’t mean we can’t employ common sense and good manners.”
When this fails, Katherine of Toronto suggests, “If you’re pregnant and nobody will give up their seat for you, stand in front of the spot you’d like to sit, hold your tummy and tell someone close to you that standing on the TTC always makes you feel like you’re going to throw up. That will snap the ‘seat hogs’ out of their stupor and you’ll be sitting down in no time.”
Gary warns that shoestrings or long coats can get caught on escalators, between the moving steps and the steel panels along the side. Stay clear of these edges, he says, and hold the handrail.
Jay of Toronto writes, “If you are entering St. George station at the Bedford Road entrance, and you want to get on the Bloor-Danforth line, the elevator is immediately to your right. It’s much quicker to take it down two floors, rather than walking downstairs to the University line platform, then having to turn around and walk down another flight of stairs to the Bloor platform.”
Contestants who provided their addresses were sent copies of the TTC Subway Rider Efficiency Guide and the booklet Unorthodox Tips For Riding the TTC, both from Sean Lerner of www.ttcrider.ca.