A recent conversation about safety unfolded on Reddit after someone asked for advice on ways to conquer their fear of riding the TTC.
"It's irrational for me to fear taking the TTC - I know that I'm more likely die or be injured in a car accident. But over the last couple weeks Ive walked right up to a station... ready to go in and then decide 'nope, going to just walk the rest of the way,'" the Redditor stated.
"Anyone else struggling with this? Any ideas about how to get over it? I don't mind walking right now but I start work again in a week so I have to deal with this," they asked.
Someone suggested they try the bus or streetcar first because the commuter would be above ground and "can get off quickly if you start to panic."
"Once you're comfortable doing that, try going one stop on the subway during quiet times, then gradually add more stops/go during busier times. Exposure therapy!!" they added as the following steps.
Another Redditor shared an experience with the original poster, relating to their concern and how they conquered their fear.
"You have no idea how big of an impact this just made on my perspective. Going to use this when I try to go with a friend," the original poster said.
"The fact that you can go to the station is already progress," someone reassured them. "You live in one of the safest cities in North America and have one of the safest transit systems. Your likelihood of injury in a car is a couple of orders of magnitude larger than in TTC."
Others have told the rider to bring someone along for the first few rides until they get more comfortable, which is a great suggestion.
In other words, if you've been scared of using public transit in Toronto, check out this Reddit thread. There might be some information in there that could help you face your fears too.