Week 10:  Complaining About The TTC (And Other Cool Torontonian Things I Do)  


“HEY CAN’T YOU SEE I AM WALKING OVER HERE” says a a random stereotypical protagonist as he/she bangs their hand on the hood of a taxicab that just screeched to a halt before to avoid murdering the lead of the movie before the drama begins.

You see it in almost every movie based in New York. This is the move that establishes that said faceless character is a “real New Yorker” without explicitly saying it out loud. Also they tend to obsessively love pizza.

I always assumed that the day you start to criticize and whine about basic things that exist in a city, is the day you belong in that city. Well I must have really taken to Toronto, because I was barely in this city for 5 hours before I realized that I disliked the TTC system

To be fair to this great city, I am extremely spoiled in terms of public transport systems. (#ImmigrantIssues) Singapore has an extremely organized, and meticulously planned MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system – that is both easy to understand and easy to use. A universal EZ-link card  (similar to the Presto card here), that allows you to tap-in and tap-out whether you’re in the subway, riding the bus or taking a cab (or even buying ice cream at any 7/11).

It’s a ridiculously simple system, that is compounded by the fact that Singapore is a tiny country. The first thing that initially confounded me here was the whole system of transfers. Paying $3 to travel in only one direction, and then paying $3 more to travel back. (ok when I write it like that, it seems fairly simplistic – but at the time I was quite confused) Not to mention, the second time I actually used the streetcar, it just stopped in the middle of the road for like 5 minutes because it was running ahead of schedule. And then I ended up getting off at the wrong stop anyways.

The point is, that the TTC system is just not reliable, and can be quite expensive. And I barely use the system at all. I live in the heart of downtown Toronto. I can literally walk everywhere. But I shudder to think about the students who are forced to commute everyday. According to this article, approximate 5,024 students from UofT, OCAD, Ryerson and York, face more than 2 hours commute everyday to and from class.  I actually know 3 people who moved schools just because they couldn’t handle such a commute.

When this is taken into consideration alongside the sheer problems associated with the travel itself – it can be quite a burden on most student commuters

I realize that problems with the TTC system are complex issues, and that several factors must be taken into consideration. But unless the city council makes this issue an absolute priority- the situation is only liken to worsen. Especially considering the fact that the city’s transit budget is on track to be chopped this year. The TTC is already the least subsidized transit system in North America.

I guess this means I am not moving off of college residence for a while.

(#ImmigrantIssues : Not understanding why on earth a metropass is so expensive, and feeling too much like a fool when asking someone this question)


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