By Katrina Kotarba, volunteer writer
Winter weather makes everyone’s commutes more difficult, but it’s important to recognize the little things that make us smile and keep us moving! In advance of Winter Commute Week, our volunteer writer, Katrina Kotarba, has put together a list of things that make us smile on the TTC.
1. TTC Underground Sounds
This isn’t a new addition to the TTC (it’s been around for more than 35 years!), but two years ago it revamped its program and increased the number of stations in which musicians can perform. Every time I see a performer in a subway tunnel, I stop to listen for a minute – a beautiful melody by a Toronto artist? How could I refuse!
2. Text messaging
For those of us without cell phone data to use real-time transit apps like Transit, the TTC Text Messaging Service is incredibly useful. Whether you’re about to leave your house, or waiting at a stop, you can text your stop number ID to receive a list of all the real-time estimates for the next bus/streetcar arrival. This way, you can time your travel to get where you need to go on time!
3. Kind drivers
This one’s a bit more personal – every morning when I board the bus, I’m greeted with a smile and a warm “Good morning!” Sometimes, on especially rough mornings, a friendly face is enough to turn around my day.
4. Supporting Toronto artists
The city, especially in winter, seems so grey. TTC works to combat this by supporting local artists to design and implement their artworks throughout transit routes. A recent example of this was the project, A Streetcar Named Toronto, a colourful CLRV streetcar that ran on the 506 Carlton and 511 Bathurst routes last fall. An unexpected pop of colour is surely enough to brighten my day!
5. TVs on subway platforms
TVs on subway platforms: most mornings, I don’t have time to check the news and weather before I leave for the day. Getting to read the news headlines for a minute or two while I wait for the subway is a nice addition to my morning and helps to let me know what to expect for the day ahead.
6. TTC trip planner
I know when there’s somewhere I have to be, I have numerous options to help me plan my trip. The website even displays delays and weekend line closures, so there’s no need to stress! This is my go-to resource every time I have to travel somewhere new.
This winter, whether you take transit, walk, bike or carpool, I hope you find something that makes you smile along the way.
We’re celebrating all forms of sustainable commuting next week with Winter Commute Week. If you commute in York Region or Toronto, see how you can participate here.