Four Tips to Help You Speed up Your Transit Commute

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Taking transit can be a great way to get around since it frees up time to read a book or listen to a podcast, however it can also be stressful. Here are some tips to help you make your transit trip as efficient and stress-free as possible.

1) Know exactly when your bus is coming

If you take a TTC bus or streetcar, it’s helpful to know the stop ID of the stop closest to your house or workplace so you can text the number to find out when the bus is coming before you walk out the door, and figure out whether you need to sprint down the street to catch it.

YRT has a real time bus tracker online or you can download the YRT app. You can also use apps like Rocket Man or Google Maps.

2) Optimize your train car position

It’s worth paying attention to which train car is closest to where you need to go to exit or to transfer to another line.

Anyone who transfers from Line 2 to Line 1 at Bloor-Yonge knows this is especially important. The platform is packed during rush hour and there are separate staircases at opposite ends to access either the northbound or southbound platforms. Fighting through the crowds to get all the way to the other end of the platform just eats up more of your precious time! 

Check out these illustrated maps by Daniel Rotsztain to help you plan where to stand on the subway platform. Having the subway doors perfectly line up to the staircase you need allows you to be the first one to bolt upstairs before you get stuck in the bottleneck of crowds trying to do the same thing.

3) Familiarize yourself with the best stop to board

Speaking of crowds, you might consider boarding transit at a different location if you know one stop tends to be significantly busier than another. It might be worth the extra walk to know you’ll likely get a seat!

4) Consider incorporating cycling into your trip

If your transit trip involves several steps, such as taking a bus to a station, you may want to consider cycling for part of your trip to make it faster and/or more enjoyable.

All GO stations have bike parking, nearly all subway stations have places to lock up your bike, and many have bike repair stations as well. YRT also has several stops with bike amenities too. GO, TTC and YRT buses also have bike racks so you can take your bike with you.

We hope these tips help you shave off a bit of time on your commute. Do you have tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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