Dear Toronto TTC riders. Please Read This!

Dear TTC riders,

Let me preface this letter by saying that I’m not calling every single TTC rider out. I’m just calling those out how choose to look away and ignore a RULE and in place for specific reason.


Last Thursday evening during prime rush-hour traveling, I took the street car to the subway station. I usually don’t travel by TTC very often and hardly ever during rush hour these days. I was looking forward to some time to read a new book while by myself. The streetcar traveling northbound on the Yonge line was packed like a can of sardines. Everyone was pushed up against one another and there were no seats available. Oh well, I would have to stand. But I’m young enough, and agile enough that it’s no big deal.

What I saw kept me from my book and really boggled my mind. Where are people’s manners?

I get that everyone has had a long day for various reasons. Maybe they didn’t sleep well or very much. Maybe they were on their feet for a long shift at work or stuck sitting in a chair in front of a computer. They are exhausted. They are tired. They are stressed out.  But by the looks of it, they all looked capable.

Capable of moving to give a seat to an elder. Or a person with a disability or a visibly pregnant woman.


You see, somewhere along my subway ride, two elderly ladies entered my train. They immediately scanned a very packed car. Both of their heads perked up and over all of the riders to see if somebody, anybody would move for them. I was standing up in front of a young couple who were “asleep” in the priority seating area. The lady sitting directly in front of me saw the ladies and looked away. The guy beside me applying lip balm was completely obviously to the entire situation. There were two guys who were dressed in construction gear, seemingly quite young but did not move.

No one offered these two ladies their seats.

What is wrong with people?

Do you not see this sign? Can you not read it?

Can you not be kind and courteous to two women who need to and would appreciate a seat? To two women who don’t need to be smushed and jolted at every station. That they don’t need to be pummeled by other TTC riders who are getting on and off of the train.

After one stop someone offered one of the those ladies a seat. At this time they were too far away from me in a packed train to say anything.

So, please Toronto. Be aware of who is near you when you are riding on the TTC. Be kind to those who REQUIRE a seat. Think about others first. Stop looking away, ignoring and pretending you are not there. Because, one day you will be one of those two old ladies and no one will move for you. And how do you think you’ll feel then?



  1. mom2michael says:

    Good for you Renee. I can’t believe how rude some people can be.

  2. Love this review! I travel occasionally on the subway and this is why I never sit in their priority seating even when no other seat is available. It really irks me to see able-bodied human beings to NOT give up their seat for elderly, pregnant women, or anyone who’s visibility vulnerable. I don’t know where basic human respect has gone. I know there are good people out there who would & do give up a seat, but sad to see the people who blatantly do not.
    Great blog post…I totally agree!

  3. Maya Fitz says:

    I can’t even begin to tell you the lack of courtesy I received when I was pregnant traveling on the street cars. The subway riders were “respectful” compared to the people on the street cars. Where’s people’s basic dignity these days? So sad.

  4. Sam says:

    I found the TTC to be the worst when I was pregnant. At one point I was about 7-8 months pregnant and using a cane…still nobody got up and offered me a seat. Once, a seated person even asked when I was due and continued to sit! One day- a street car driver actually stopped the streetcar and asked someone to give me a seat because nobody got up for me! People need to get off their phones and open their eyes on the TTC.

  5. When I was pregnant and commuting, I had to make general announcements to the packed train, asking for a seat (fortunately, I am not shy). And I’m talking 8 months pregnant and all belly. It was ridiculous. Also, people need to stop asking someone if they want to sit. If they look like they may need a seat, just stand up and tell them they can have it.

  6. Dafna says:

    omg! so true! I can’t stand the culture in our city! it is so selfish and obviously most are not raised that well. When I was over NINE months pregnant and still taking the subway to work –very few people gave me their seat. Usually the young men would see me coming over and immediately drop their heads as if sleeping. The few times that people did get up… they were older woman! This lack of courtesy extends above the ‘give a seat up at the subway’ situation. In general I am finding that people are getting ruder and ruder… people don’t hold doors for one another, cashiers don’t say thanks and you’re welcome! the list goes on….what’s this world coming to??!!

  7. Donna says:

    TTC drivers might announce as they get on 2 seats are needed. Or just as it is in parking lots put sign above the seats for priority seating.

  8. I remember when I had to travel the TTC to work when I was pregnant. I was always surprised whenever someone would offer me a seat since it seemed to become the norm to pretend like anyone needing a seat was invisible. I always hated to ask but sometimes I had to and even recall I received a couple annoyed looks.

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