Every month (for the most part) I purchase an adult TTC pass for $141.00 (with taxes). But, if you’re experiencing the current state of the Toronto transit system, you wouldn’t know it. How could people pay this much for a system that is so archaic? I have made an effort to complain less about commuting; however, as the year’s go by, the TTC is getting worse and worse.
Just the other day, they had to shut down a huge chunk of the main subway line (Bloor/Yonge to Union) during morning rush hour. Luckily, my route went untouched, or so I thought. Instead of having enough back up buses to act as shuttle buses during these type of emergencies, they took TTC buses off their normally scheduled routes. Of course this lead to a crowd of up to 15-20 angry people at my bus stop (Route 53 to Finch) waiting for a bus that wasn’t going to come at its regular time.
Below is an account from one of my morning commutes to work. This experience has opened my eyes to how desperately we need more intersecting subway lines, how bad it must be for people who suffer from being claustrophobic, and compassionate towards those who stand their entire commute.
To my surprise I had to stand when I got on the train at Finch this morning. Usually I don’t settle, and wait for the next train in order to get a seat, but I was running late. As was the TTC – I soon found out – it was behind schedule due to traffic again.
There I was, standing up against the wall beside the doors. I really wanted to indulge in my reading. Meg and I have jumped into Oliver Twist.
Though I am a bit under the weather with a cold, and it being my time of the month (ugh), I continued to read – not noticing how warm it started to get.
I had a toque on and my lama scarf but my lightest winter coat. As each stop approached, more people crammed in, so much so – that I no longer had any personal space.
Sounds like the norm for the TTC here in Toronto, doesn’t it?
Except this time I was stuck against the clear wall where the doors open. One stop away from where I get off, and there it was, panic setting sin. I started to get a hot flash of anxiety. Sweating now – I knew I needed to get off and ingest some fresh, cold winter air. My vision was going fuzzy, in-and-out, almost permanently black. Was I really going to faint?
Davisville is an outdoor station, and thankfully I got off there – stripped off my winter layers and sat on the cold bench.
I did not want to be one of those people who pushes the Emergency Alarm during rush hour. I refused. My nerves kicked back in once I realized I had to be brave and get back on a packed train for the duration of one more station.
Well, I did it. I had no choice. Once at work – I still felt panicky, and apparently to Paula (my co-worker) I looked green. This made sense as I felt nauseous and overwhelmed.
The Toronto subway system is lacking on so many levels. I know it does its best, but it’s not enough. Our infrastructure is severely hurting and for people like me who are prone to anxiety and panic attacks – it’s clearly not great for my mental health.
Get your shit together TTC. We need more central lines, or more frequent trains. I now understand why people faint on a daily basis. I will no longer judge them. That was almost me.