By Eric Lam
As a commuter, I’ve discovered that one truth stands above all others: Never piss off the bus drivers.
For the past year, I’ve woken up every morning and found myself chasing after a rapidly accelerating bus while the driver cackles at me, watching with glee as I shrink in the rearview mirror.
It happens whether I leave my house early or late, but it always ends with me shaking my fist at the heavens. Of course, this experience is a close tie to my other favourite commuting experience, something you’ll see repeated in all of your first-year classes (especially the early ones). Imagine: A huffing,
puffing student dashing into the classroom 20 minutes into the lecture, exclaiming to t
he professor, class and anyone who will listen that they missed the bus/train/subway/rickshaw. If you’re lucky, this could be you.
“Oh no!” you are saying to yourself. “I barely made it to class in high school, and it was across the street.”
Well, you’re not alone.
Ryerson has a large core of commuters because a lot of students live far away in suburbia and can’t walk to class, but not far enough to justify the expense of living in residence (a whole other can of worms) or in any shack in the downtown core.
As said above, this leads to punctuality-related crises. But fear not, young commuters, there’s hope.
One of the most important things you can do is become intensely familiar with your route, whether it be GO Transit, TTC, or some combination of the two. Also store the TTC Info number, 416-393-4636, in your phone.
Not only will it give you a better idea of how much time you’ve got in the morning, but soon you’ll notice those buses actually follow a schedule, appearing at predictable times each day.
And while you may feel like Howard Moscoe, chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, is personally spitting on you every time the bus pulls away, that schedule ensures that most people get on the bus most of the time rather than none of the people all of the time.
And, believe it or not, there are benefits to commuting by transit — sure they don’t sound as glamorous as funneling beers and waking up in your dorm with vomit caked to your clothes.
For one, commuting gives you time to catch up on some reading, with relatively few distractions (if anybody tells you they don’t read en route, they’re probably lying or illiterate).
And when you’re on your way to an exam, these rides are practically labelled official cram time (if anybody tells you they don’t do it, they’re definitely lying).
So, if you have chosen to commute this year, take it easy and try to use your time constructively.
I, for one, will use my time to get on friendlier terms with the good drivers of 25 Don Mills, if they’d only stop closing their bus doors in my face.
Kiss my Metropass!