TTC Etiquette – The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Public Transit

We have a fairly decent public transit system in Toronto. The occasional delay aside, the system is efficient at getting us from one place to another.

On an average business day in the city, the TTC busses and trains can carry hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Torontonians. With so many people on board, there’s a certain decorum that riders are expected to follow.

Here are the basics of travelling by public transit that will not only make your life easier, but will reduce your chances of pissing off a fellow passenger and create a pleasurable riding experience for all.

1. If someone sitting three seats down can clearly hear the music playing on your headphones, it’s too loud! Just because you want to go deaf, it doesn’t mean you have to punish the rest of us.

2. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat on a busy bus or subway car, don’t be a princess and put your bag on the empty seat beside you and then pretend you’re sleeping when someone wants to sit down.

3. Know the escalator lanes. If you’re going to just stand there and wait to be moved to the top, keep to the right so that people who have somewhere to be can walk up the left side uninterrupted. This is common escalator etiquette. Get it right or take the stairs.

4. When the bus driver asks people to move to the back of the bus, MOVE! There is nothing more irritating than people who stand there blank-faced as the bus leaves behind angry passengers standing in the cold when the whole back of the bus is empty. Climbing up two steps to the back won’t kill you.

5. When there’s a whole line of people waiting to get on a bus, don’t push your way on as soon as the doors open. You’ll just end up pissing someone off. Be patient and you’ll get on. And if not, you better hope that people already on board move to the back of the bus.


  • Marissa

    #2 is one of my biggest pet peeves. Also: Please, please, please do not make out on the bus/streetcar/subway. I don’t need to be 5cm from the couple who has no concept of how much PDA is just too much.

  • TMR

    OH MAN! I get so angry at people who don’t move to the back of the bus when others are trying to get on. There’s nothing worse then having a half-empty bus pass you, in the winter!, because everyone is bunched at the front and the driver can’t tell that the back half is empty. Even more infuriating is if the driver does ask people to move back they act as though this is a surprise or as though the bus driver is the rude one for saying something.
    Please please please think about others! You will make it off the bus at your stop, I promise, in the meantime, fill up that spacious back end of the bus.

  • jay


    I disagree, while most PDAs are too much most times, this is the right of the individual. If the offending rider was smelly, for lack of hygene, you have every right to be upset. If a couple is kissing, get over it! Unless they are getting bodily fluids on you. Freedom in this city shouldn’t suffer because of a few shy/lonely people

    On that note I am not one of tHese offenders, or care much for PDAs, but I choose to live in a FREE city, please do not try to take that away

    Just my

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