Back to school is right around the corner and many of you commuter students understand the struggle. The hustle and bustle of commuting comes with the package of having to work or get an education in Toronto. One thing you have to do is go with the flow. Therefore, we are here to tell you about the top services that will save your life, both literally and metaphorically for the ever dreaded daily commute to school or work.
1. Presto Is The Way To GO
If you are an out of the city commuter traveling by GO transit, then a presto card is something you should already have. The good news is that the TTC has been slowly incorporating Presto into the daily commute of Torontonians by allowing you to use Presto to pay your TTC fare. You can now use Presto at 26 subway stations and on some of the newer streetcars and buses. If you don't have a Presto card yet, then you can grab one at a TTC Pass Vending Machine located at either Union or Queen's Park stations. After a $6 dollar issuing fee, the card comes preloaded with $14, making them ready to use. Student and senior rates will have to be applied after receiving the card as they are dispensed with the adult fare rate.
If you are travelling from out of the city, your local town transit may also offer a co-fare discount. Whenever you transfer directly from the GO to your local transit, use your presto card and save!
Here is a list of the current TTC routes that allow you to tap and go.
- 510 Spadina (new streetcar only)
- 509 Harbourfront (new streetcar only)
- Don Mills
- Dundas West
- Queen’s Park
- Scarborough Centre
- St Andrew
- St George
- St Patrick
- York Mills
2. A Tracking App For Public Transit
Nothing is worse than anxiously waiting for your bus or streetcar to arrive and realizing that it is already 10 minutes late. With all the construction occurring in Toronto, it is bound to happen. In that case, you can always stay one step ahead to avoid the frustration and anticipation by downloading a transit app. There are a few to choose from. Some of the most popular are RocketMan, Transit App, Moovit, Transit Now Toronto, and My TTC App, to name a few. Use the transit tracking app to confirm the schedule, choose your favorite stops, and check for updates to make sure your commute runs smoothly.
GO transit also has an app called GO Mobile, designed by Ryerson students in partnership with Metrolinx.
3. Bike Share
Avoid traffic and the wait for the transit. Get some exercise while you're at it. If you don't have your own bicycle, share one. With the Bike Share Toronto system in place, you can rent a bike and ride around Toronto. Take in the urban cityscapes as you ride through the six and forget the woes of frustrating and smelly bus rides. If you are new to the system, don't worry. Check out some riding tips from Bike Share Toronto.
4. Traffic Alerts For The Commuters Who Drive
Chances are that if you live in central or downtown Toronto you won't even bother to own a car. But if you live on the outskirts, driving may be your best way to get around efficiently. If you choose to drive to Toronto on your commute rather than take transit, staying alert on traffic updates is a really good idea. A reliable cell phone provider, a car charger, and Google Maps or CP24 Traffic Alert may be a great service. Use these apps to let you know what roads and areas to avoid during heavy traffic and never ending construction.
Headphones are a must for long commutes. Not only can you use them to drown out the hectic world around you. But it's a great way to listen to your music without everyone staring at you in annoyance. Let's not be that person that feels the need to share their music on blast with everyone on the TTC or GO.
Bring along a book or a movie on your laptop/tablet. Maybe catch up on some schoolwork or study for that exam on the commute. Keep yourself occupied as it can make the commute feel shorter when your mind is busy. Just don't miss your stop!
If you drive, try listening to an audio book with Audiobooks, or Audible, amongst many other apps of your choosing. Maybe even tune into a podcast with apps like Overcast, Pod Wrangler, or Player FM on demand. Even recording your notes and listening back to it on your way to school can save you time while driving.