Photo: Samantha Moya

EYERANT: The types of commuters you encounter on the TTC

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Christopher Saunders

Ever tried commuting on the tiring, bothersome, and sometimes frightening Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)? Regular commuters, you’ll relate. For those who live on residence or relatively close to campus, this is a cautionary warning: When the time comes when you’ll step foot into the TTC. With these tips, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but most importantly, you’ll people-watch. Here are the commuters you’ll inevitably meet on your way to school.

The 24/7 Olympic Sprinters:
These. People. Are. Everywhere when it comes to travelling using the TTC. I kid you not, if you made subway-line sprinting an Olympic sport, Canada would win every time. As soon as you make your way down to the station platforms, be prepared for these people rampantly bolting in random directions. Even when there’s no train in sight, you’ll find these people speeding down the escalators like it’s their last chance to ever board a train.

To these Olympic assholes: Relax. Unless you’re Dash from The Incredibles, your sprinting does nothing more than aggravate the rest of your fellow commuters.

The Claustrophobics:
No, I don’t have a hatred of people who fear condensed spaces, but some just aren’t equipped to deal with prime TTC rush hour. Just the other week I was riding Line 1 south to Dundas Station when I heard, “Can you please move, you’re leaving me no space.” It sounded like a reasonable request. But when I shifted my attention to the upset man (who we’ll now refer as Chad)—there was zero space for either of them to move at all.  Do us all a favour: Don’t be a Chad. An early morning transit isn’t fun for anyone— something to remember before causing an unwarranted ruckus.

The Inconvenient Bag Carriers:
There’s a difference between whining about limited space on the TTC when it’s easier to compromise and suck it up, and dealing with a monstrous student-backpack that takes up half the bloody train. I’ll be smudged into a corner and all of a sudden a wild bag will appear, suddenly hurdling at my face. They’re practically the size of luggages. There has to be an unwritten rule somewhere stating bags must be limited to small accessories. I’m either way too tired in the morning to tolerate it or I’m already irritated from a long day. If you’re one of those people—please stop.

The Stalkers (also known as eerily-staring mongers):
The name says it all! These are the creepy commuters who blatantly stare at you. Doesn’t matter if you’re standing up, sitting down, talking with a friend, they’re always watching. Very, very disturbing stuff.

The Intoxicated:
The intoxicated commuters are easily my favourite riders. Once they step on your train, there’s no stopping them. They enjoy conversing with random strangers, yelling belligerently, pestering others, or my favourite yet, banging the train’s ceiling whilst shrieking—usually about the amount of “turbulence” on the train. Yes, that truly happened, I witnessed it. If you’re ever really bored during your commute, do yourself a favour: eavesdrop. Listen in on one of their slurred conversations, they can be pretty entertaining. You’ll learn their life story in a quick two-minute drunk or high synopsis of their life’s journey. Sure, 80 per cent of their story might be gibberish, but that’s besides the point. It’s quality transit banter and we need more of it.

I could go on for hours about this never ending list with the numerous amount of pet peeves I have with commuters, but those are easily the most common. Just remember: when you’re fed up with your transit situation, you can always sit back, escape your surroundings with music and entertain the thought of setting fire to the entirety of the TTC. But ‘till that day comes, looks like you’re stuck tolerating these infuriating commuters.

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