Meet 10 types of TTC riders who make your daily commute that much more miserable.
Ask any habitual TTC rider about the comportment of fellow passengers and they’ll tell you, with the conquered resignation of a mother of twins negotiating the breakfast-cereal aisle, that it sucks and sucks large.
True, the vast majority of riders are polite and mindful of the comfort of others. But just a few bad apples crammed into a westbound Bloor train between Pape and Yonge at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday morning can inflict misery wildly disproportionate to their numbers. And mysteriously, their ranks seem to be swelling of late. Have these TTC ne’er-do-wells simply forgotten the proper rules of conduct or is flagrant ass-clownery now hip?
With the dawn of a new year, it’s time to call out these seat-hogging, doorway-blocking mofos and itemize the Top 10 worst behavioral offences on the TTC, just in case anyone out there is unsure of what constitutes beastly manners. If you recognize yourself on this list, know that your fellow riders loathe you. But it’s never too late to change.
1. Backpack Wearers
This offence is so obvious that the TTC actually plays loud-speaker announcements reminding students—and let’s be blunt: it’s almost always students—to hold their backpacks in their hands when riding. But no, they keep them firmly strapped on, knocking others passengers about like bowling pins while sucking up huge amounts of extra standing space. Sherpas facing down Everest don’t cling to their stuff this tightly. If you wear a backpack, take it off when entering a TTC vehicle and hold it until you disembark. You’re already getting a break on the price of the fare, Junior. Make it count.
2. Doorway Standers
Is there really any confusion about why this particular act is totally annoying? No? So why are you blocking the narrow passage where the masses must nimbly exit or enter in roughly the time it takes for a queue to form outside Grand Electric on a Thursday night? It’s not like you’re a frail old lady afraid to miss her stop. Oh, and we especially love it when you stand there blithely reading the paper or checking your iPhone, taking up even more room. Sit down, jackass, or move inside the car.
3. Front-end Clumpers
Few things are more exasperating than watching a bus bypass a stop full of hopeful passengers because it’s ostensibly full when, in reality, people are merely clustered up front and there is a vast expanse of empty space in the back past the rear doors. When the overhead announcement helpfully says, “Please move back,” just do it.
4. Seat Hogs
Unless you paid two fares, don’t take up two seats. Trust us when we tell you that your purse, unlike us, won’t mind sitting on your lap.
5. Outside Sitters
A raging personal peeve, this offence refers to the worthless scum who sit on the outer side of those two-seat benches, forcing anyone who wants to take the window seat to first ask them to move and then, most often (since the Outside Sitter won’t actually stand up to let you in, but will merely shift his or her legs imperceptibly to the side) will force you to crawl over them to get in and out. If you are going to sit on one of those two-seat benches, push over to the window side and leave the outside seat vacant for the next person. And if you’re either not prepared to do that or simply too tall to squeeze inside, then don’t make me ask you to move. Offer it graciously using eye contact and stand the hell up already to let me in and out.
6. Loud Talkers
News flash: Though exciting to you and maybe (just maybe) your seat mate, your adventures in shopping/arguing/TV-watching are dull, dull, dull to the rest of us. So pipe down and let us glare at the Outside Sitters in relative peace. Coda: If you are a teenage girl in the company of at least one other teenage girl, I guarantee this refers to you.
7. Loud-Earbud Wearers
Lady Gaga (or Kanye West or Motörhead) might sound better cranked up to 11, but the distorted bleed emanating from your skull is torture for those nearby. Unless you are sitting next to an Outside Sitter who made you crawl over them—in which case, please turn those babies up to 12—be a kind music lover and dial it down a shade.
I once watched a woman on the Yonge subway line crack open a styrofoam takeout box of steaming hot noodles and begin slurping them voraciously, flinging bits of vegetable onto the floor and sending the entire car into an olfactory nightmare reminiscent of the infamous garbage strike of summer 2009. If you eat anything on the TTC other than a granola bar or carrot sticks discreetly drawn from a Ziploc bag, you are a menace who should be slapped. I don’t care if you’re rushing to work—this is public transit. Nobody wants to watch you eat a meal.
9. Heedless Leg Positioners
Perhaps you were raised by wolves on the frozen tundra and were never informed that putting your filthy feet up on seats intended for the rears of your fellow riders betrays a ghastly lack of manners. So we’re telling you now: Putting your filthy feet up on seats intended for the rears of your fellow riders betrays a ghastly lack of manners. Ditto for stretching your legs out into the aisles or crossing your legs and then dozing off so passengers have to step over and around you. This is not a game of Twister.
10. Litter Bugs
In 2013, does anyone really need to be reminded to not leave their empty coffee cups and juice bottles rolling around on the seats and floors of transit vehicles? Evidently, yes, so here goes: See those bin-like things situated every 10 feet throughout the city and at TTC stations? They’re called “garbage and recycling receptacles” and they’re—wait for it—intended to collect garbage and recycling. Crazy coincidence, huh? Also, gum-chewers who spit their used wads of Juicy Fruit onto platforms and sidewalks should be fined Singapore-style and forced to clean it up on their hands and knees using a butter knife. Ah well… a girl can dream.
Are there any other annoying TTC behaviours that tick you off? Share them in the comments section below.