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The Dos and Don’ts of Commuting On The TTC

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Over the last few weeks, Toronto has been seeing a significant uptick in violence within its public transit system. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) consists of subway, bus, streetcar and para-transit systems which operate to deliver the city with timely and affordable travel services. 

However, these days there seem to be overwhelming reports of unprovoked attacks on the TTC, with new incidents occurring on a weekly—almost daily—basis. From stabbings and robberies to being pushed onto the tracks, the news stream is filled with nothing but transit violence which is both concerning and exhausting.

As an avid commuter in the city, there has been increasing paranoia felt by both my peers and myself concerning our day-to-day safety. However, small, simple, effective methods can be followed to ensure safer travel.

Here are some things you can do (and not do) on the TTC to remain vigilant and as safe as can be.

DO:Implement the Buddy System (when you can)

Whether you’re with another person or in a large group, having others around you can lower the risk of getting hurt. Most of the reported attacks have been unwarranted and towards those travelling alone. If you cannot implement the buddy system, try to be near crowded areas without invading someone’s personal space.

DON’T:Get Distracted

During a commute, it is easy to get lost in the flow of traffic and routine. With headphones on and music blasting in your ears, you can lose sight of your surroundings and become oblivious. To avoid this, it’s important to be mindful of what’s around you by eliminating distractions. Turn your music down, put your phone in your pocket, and simply pay attention to where you are. It may seem like a small detail but it can make a world of difference. Staying alert means staying safe.

DO:Wait in a Well-Lit Area

Specifically for bus and streetcar stops, it is important to get on and off in well-lit areas. Avoid isolated stops and curate your route so you remain in more populated locations where it is easier to blend in and less likely to be sought out by anyone. 

DON’T:Flash off Your Belongings

Personal and valuable belongings, including electronic devices, expensive jewelry and watches, designer accessories and so on, should be kept close and concealed as much as possible. This way, less attention is paid to you, and the risk of victimization in terms of a robbery is reduced.

DO:Trust Your Instincts

Never force yourself to be in an environment in which you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. If your gut is ringing the alarm and telling you to leave, then do so. Your personal safety should be your top priority, so listen to the voice in your head from time to time. Taking an Uber every once in a while won’t hurt, and it’s better than being in a situation where you are paranoid.


Plan your route before you embark on it and let loved ones (friends, family or both) know your travel plans. Keep them updated continuously throughout, and if you’re ever in an emergency or an uncomfortable situation, stay on a phone call with them whenever possible. Avoid going silent and maintain a system of communication with trusted individuals.

It is always important to take whatever precautions possible in order to keep yourself protected to the best of your abilities. In times of immediate and urgent emergency, call TTC Safety Constables or 911. Let’s look out for ourselves and our loved ones by prioritizing our safety and well-being.

Khushy Vashisht

Toronto MU '25

Khushy Vashisht is a second-year journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University. She enjoys singing, hate-watching Twilight, and reading thrillers. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found watching romcoms, procrastinating on her readings, or both at the same time.