Photo: Natalia Balcerzak

Commuting and computing

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By Victoria Shariati

Commuters rejoice. A place to come together and share your stories of struggle has made its stop at Ryerson.

A website, titled Rye Commute – Stories On The Go, has given a platform for commuters to connect with each other and share their transit experiences. Stories of rather odd and difficult trips to class are submitted anonymously, then posted regularly in a blog-type fashion.

Founded in November, the site is run by five students – Bobby Langridge, Lucy Lu, Ramsha Naeem, Tyler Webb and Amanda Watson. It originally started as an assignment for their participatory media and communication course, in which they decided to base it on another popular campus page, Spotted at Ryerson.

Watson said that her group admired the anonymity behind Spotted at Ryerson and wanted to do the same with their own website. By keeping it anonymous, the stories are relatable to almost anybody’s experience using transit.

According to Ryerson’s National Survey of Student Engagement, commuters make up approximately three quarters of the student body. The group’s goal was to bring the Ryerson community closer together through their website.

The site hopes to let students relate to the tales of both good and terrible commutes.

Andrea Dolic, a Ryerson student, commutes everyday from Port Credit using GO train and the subway. She said that she once had an experience when she was chased by a homeless man on Bay Street until he was stopped by two construction workers.

“I texted my mom after and she freaked out,” Dolic said.

Jake Thielen, a first-year business management student, said that he once ran into an extremely paranoid woman on the subway. The woman gave Thielen a package of papers and then tried to pursue him that the government was out to get her.

Given Ryerson’s downtown location, there’s an abundance of unusual stories that some commuters are happy to divulge in. The site features similar strange characters that many people are able to recount coming across during their commutes.

Watson said that whether you have to take an hour long subway ride or a ten minute walk to get to class, there’s always a chance that you’ll run into someone or something strange.

“A commute is still a commute,” Watson said.

She said that during her commute, a 45 minute subway ride from Scarborough, she has often been on the same train as Toronto’s very own Spiderman and able to witness his antics. His various tricks, like hanging from the bars, keeps commuters entertained during the long ride.

“It’s odd, but it’s definitely amazing,” she said.

Rye Commute now also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Commuters can share their stories using the hashtag, #RyeCommute.

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