Commuting in Toronto
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Park Your Bikes Facing the Grills
Burnharmthorpe Road (Canada)
It's not a sport. It's not a game. But believe you me, commuting in Toronto is much more than a decathlon. Precision, patience, perseverance and a lot of physical exertion - that's what I had to go through last Friday.
A trip planner could've helped. But I relied on hunch to get me the right time the bus will slide through the stop fronting the apartment. Hunch cost me 20 minutes of waiting in a frigid -10 degree weather.
Then there's the subway. Which is like a game of choosing the best door to enter so that you get a good seat facing the TTC map or the one nearest the stairs at Bloor-Yonge station. In so doing, you choose the one on your right, ahhh..10 people waiting. To your left is a yellow line with 11. Two lines on the platform further is 9. So you dash to it with 3 more people, and now - all of you are lucky 13.
It doesnt matter.
The subway train arrives and its just physically draining being pushed back, left, right and being gentleman enough to let others exit first leaves you with hearing the "tccchhhhhh" sound, as if the door was telling you, "try the next train, #$%^@". So you wait. The wait was more bearable, just 3 minutes and this time you choose your seat.
Having to have so much choice can be a problem too.
The more time you allow yourself to shop for the best seat, the less probability you'd get to be seated. That's why Nike told us to "Just Do It". Just Sit.
So you stand to wait for the next stop.
Surely one would be vacated. But no. Two stops further and the train just becomes smaller and smaller and the plan for you to relax, open your book and listen to your Ipod while munching on an apple will take a miracle. It was just you and the pole that you can't hug long enough (thinking how many millions of hands have held it since it was last cleaned in 2000).
And the ordeal begins.
Lost in a sea of commuters of different sizes and shapes, of varying colors and ethnicities. There's nothing to do but enjoy the ride and feel glad that despite your 1x1 ft personal space (which is considered too close already in Canada), you're relatively safe.
Just one problem.
You're still halfway to your destination.
Mississauga Transit fare increase started last February 27. From $ 2.25 to $ 2.50.
Toronto buses and trains will increase a month from today, April 1. From $ 2.50 to $ 2.75. That's no April Fool's day joke.