Don’t push and shove in a crowd of commuters

I have some more transit tips from readers.


Saron of Toronto writes about riding a chilly bus. If it feels like someone has left open a window, but you cannot see which one, she advises “Look up. The emergency exit ceiling (hatch) is probably open. ... Close it. If you’re not tall enough, ask your bus mate.”


And here’s a trick for closing those unco-operative sliding windows on older buses. When the window sticks, try swivelling the handle in the “opposite” direction as you push normally.


Thomas of Toronto writes, “If you take the Yonge subway line at rush hour northbound from Dundas, Queen or King stations and you’re tired of standing, then I suggest that you first go south a few stops to Union station. Cross over to the other side of the platform and ride the subway north from there. It only takes a few minutes and you always get a seat.”


John, a longtime TTC customer, writes, “I knew of the GO (train), but, until a few years ago, I never even considered (taking) it. Scarborough GO station is 10 minutes from my house. A little more expensive, but reasonable. Cut my trip time downtown by more than half.”

Carolyn of Toronto writes, “Don’t get off at Christie station if you’re hoping for escalator ease. The biggest commuter-related design flaw is that there are two sets of escalators, but the second leading up to ground level has a small set of steps before you have to get on and thus defeats its own purpose. Or, at the very least, it’s a partial defeat.”

She also has a tip for subway riders in need of amusement.

“If you have nothing to do while waiting for the train, just look down at the tracks. While they may at first seem like they’re moving — look closer. In some stations, dirty grey mice run up and down the line ... they’re usually well camouflaged, but if you see them, it’s fun to watch.”

Lastly she advises, “Don’t push and shove in a crowd of commuters. Like traffic congestion, it only exacerbates the problem of getting on any vehicle in a hurry.”

Thanks Carolyn. I’ve noticed when people are trying to board a train during busy periods — whether it be in Toronto or Madrid — the doorways that take the longest to clear are those where exiting patrons are crowded into a slow-moving single line. You can, in fact, get into the vehicle faster by first allowing others to disembark double-file.