Toronto Metro

Jan 6th, 2007, 07:35 PM
  #1  
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Toronto Metro

I'm working on my trip plans for this coming summer, and I'm hoping for some non-promotional insight on the metro system.

1. How bad is the rush hour really? Is travelling to downtown at 7:30/8 a.m. that much more terrible than travelling at 8:30/9 a.m.?

2. Are there any stations I, as a solo woman, should really avoid at night (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.)? I am usually observant and careful but not timid. I know SallyCanuck mentioned the Warden Station as pretty iffy, are there any others?

3. How safe is the Kipling Station at night?

4. If I get a Day Pass, can I use that to travel on the streetcars and busses also? I thought I could, but then I read they only take exact cash, tickets and tokens and now I'm confused.

As I continue to research, I'm sure I'll have more questions. Thanks a lot!
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Rush hour is not so bad, whether you have a seat depends on how far from downtown you get on. You may have to stand and be pretty close to your neighbor, but if you are ok with that then no worries.

Day passes can be used on streetcars and buses too. What you read simply means that bus and streetcar drivers will not make change whereas subway ticket collectors will.
snoopy12 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 09:37 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Snoopy! That makes my planning and scheduling much easier.
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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It is not called the metro and people will look at you oddly if you ask for the 'metro' stop.
It is called the "TTC" (Toronto Transit Commission - subway and buses and streetcars).
1. Rush 1is probably at its worst 8AM-9AM and 4:30 PM - 6PM. It you are starting our from the end of the line (like Kipling) you should still be able to get a seat on the subway.
2. Most stations are fine except very late - say after 11PM - although if one is alert and sensible - even then they are OK.
3. Kipling station is actually quite safe even late - because many buses pull in there. The only part of it that would make me nervous late at night is the corridor and stairs to the parking lot - the lot is kind of desolate and creepy late. The taxi pick-up area and bus area are both fine.
4. Yes a pass is good for ALL transit vehicles. If you are paying cash - you must have exact change for the buses and streetcars. Tokens and tickets are good on all transit vehicles.
When you first go to the Kipling station, get a System Map from the ticket collector - very useful.
Generally the TTC is easy to use and pretty efficient.
Check out their website:
http://www.toronto.ca/ttc/
semiramis is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Thanks Semiramis! Toronto = TTC, Montreal = Metro... I'll get it down before my trip

I have all their maps and schedules downloaded, so I've been busy studying routes. It's a pretty simple system and I'm pretty sure I'll be OK, I just hate going in "blind".
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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One thing that the TTC does very well is integrating the subway and surface routes. One fare, regardless of how you paid for it, will take you anywhere in the system (within the city limits) with as many transfers as are needed for a logical route. If paying cash or token you should get a transfer from the driver or from a machine in the subway station. This slip of paper will let you onto the next vehicle. Just give it (or show if you still need it for a subsequent transfer) to the driver or ticket collecter. In many stations this is not needed because the surface vehicles come into the fare paid area.
Gavin is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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I thought I would get a Day Pass each day. I'm figuring I'll be hopping around at least 2, more likely 3, times per day, so it seems cost effective and I won't have to worry about remembering to get a transfer each time.

I would go with the weekly pass, but I'm there Thursday to Wednesday...
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Rushhour on the TTC (at least downtown) is far worse at 8:30/9 am then at7:30/8am. Not to worry either way, you'll manage to squeeze on.

Daypasses are the way to go, given your dates and the ridiculously high fares.

I have no idea about Warden or Kipling, but you'll be perfectly fine at any subway station from Union to Eglinton, and Spadina to Pape.

The stations are fine, though some of the areas around them might be so great. IMO bus & streetcar stops are the things to watch out for late at night.

There's no real reason you'd be in these areas to begin with, but avoid Sherbourne/Dundas at night, incl the Dundas streetcar (not really dangerous but not "safe-feeling" at night)

Avoid Pape/Cosbourn area (IMO actually dangerous, and perhaps deceivingly close to the Danforth, which is a fantastic area and very safe)

Be careful around the Annex alone at night. And take some care around deserted stations like Yonge/St Clair, which may be an upscale area but dead at night.

Toronto is a very safe city, but it has become a little rougher in the last few years. Please don't be out alone at 1am, as your post suggests. TAke a cab home, or at least to and from the subway.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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Apres - thanks so much for the rundown on the areas.

I don't plan on being out alone at 1 a.m., but I wanted to be aware of iffy areas just in case. There's no subway system here at home, so it's not a mode of transportation I'm familiar with and want to get my bearings before I'm dependent upon it for a week.
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 05:21 PM
  #10  
BAK
 
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I think day passes are only valid after the end of rush hour in the morning, but they work during afternoon rush hour.

Worth checking.

As for transfers from bus to subway to streetcar, etc. Transfers do not allow stopovers. They are time stamped, and you are supposed to be going directly from one vehicle to another.

And you are supposed to be going generally in one diection, not on a round trip.

All that said, the TTC is still a good way to get around.

BAK
BAK is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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I checked the TTC website, and apparently the day passes are now good from the start of service to 5:30 a.m. the next morning - so no waiting until 9:30 a.m. to head out for the day. That's a good thing.

I figured the transfers were time stamped and I wouldn't want to "fudge" anyway - as a visitor, I don't think it's appropriate (living there, I might feel differently). Besides, for $8.50 a day, I'm still spending way less than I would by driving in and parking and it will take less time. Can't beat that.

I will add that while searching the internet, I came across so many sites that stated that the TTC is a safe and efficient system, and you have all confirmed that. I'm impressed even before I've experienced it.
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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You'll be fine. Subway stations all have a Route Map somewhere on the wall. TTC drivers can be identified by their grey trousers and maroon jackets, sometimes you'll see a small group of them standing around in a station drinking coffee. Don't be shy about asking them for help, they are usually quite friendly and helpful, especially towards women on their own.

Remember to walk left, stand right on the escalators. And once you reach the top (or bottom) of the escalator, keep moving, even if you're unsure of where you're going. Once you're safely out of the line of traffic, you can stop and get your barings.

Meant to add- you can't purchase passes or tokens on a bus/streetcar, only at stations or authorized sellers, usually corner stores or drugstores have them.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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Apres, surprised you would think the Annex (subway stops St. George (Bata Shoe Museum), Spadina and Bathurst) is an area to be careful around - besides million dollar homes and the university, it's always busy with street life because of the many restaurants and the students and university staff who live in the area.
SallyCanuck is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Apres - don't worry, I promise not to be one of those folks who stops in the middle of a crowded pathway and blocks all traffic. That drives me crazy also. I always try to move off to the side before figuring out where I'm going or better yet, figure it out before I get there.

It looks like I'll most likely be stopping at Kipling, St. George (mostly to transfer to the yellow line), Union, High Park, Bloor-Yonge, Museum and St. Patrick stations. From those, I'll head out in various directions to see the sights.

Thanks again for everyone's help. I'm much more at ease with my plans... now I just have to wait for vacation time!
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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I would like to add that the subways have a well lit area called DWA-Designated Waiting Area--where you can wait for the train. This area also has a pay phone and when you board the train,you will be in the car with the conductor.
Scotia is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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I never knew they stopped the trains so that the conductor cars are in line with the DWA's, that's a good thing to know about.

There is also some sort of safety protocol on the night buses/streetcars; a woman can request that the driver let her off between stops, the idea being that she can get off the bus where it is most convenient for her and or/reduce her walking distance.

Also, I believe the night bus drivers are to only allow people to use the front doors of the bus, so the driver can monitor who is on the bus, etc.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the Annex is dangerous or threatening. I agree it's a lively area with lots of activity. I had a lot of fun as a student when I used to live there, myself.

I guess I'm thinking of gangs of frat boys stumbling out of the Brunny, that sort of thing. Also, I think it's a good idea for single women to be a little cautious in student areas/campuses at night, as those areas can sometimes attract the pervs.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 09:20 PM
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I'm extremely impressed with the whole system. From the comments here and the TTC website, it's obvious that Toronto takes safety seriously.

With the between-stops bus stops, apparently they only open the front door so that someone can't slip off at the back while a solo woman is getting off in the front.
toedtoes is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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The only time I asked a bus driver to let me off before the stop he got so snarly that I never did it again.

I only travel by transit as I don't own a car, by the way.

Also, I very rarely exit by the front door and I've never heard of only exiting at the front at night. People who exit at the front slow up the whole process.

I'm often on my own and would have no hesitation about walking around the Annex at night.

SallyCanuck is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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I travel by transit frequently and sometimes at night. Every driver I have asked for a "special between stop" after 9PM has been very courteous and for those stops they only open the front door. Also I have to use the front door anyway - bad leg makes the rear doors awkward.
semiramis is offline  

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