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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Using Public Transit : Commuter Essentials - Basics

Last year I shared about my decision to embrace "city living" and that included learning and taking TTC on the regular (you can read it here). Since my first experience during a snow storm in late 2014 and sporadic outings in 2015 (as I was still only spending a few days here and there in the city), and while 2016 got off to great start with purchasing an actual monthly pass the enthusiasm started to fizzle as I started to question if I could really return to the city- so much had changed since I last called it home ten years ago.

Fast forward to autumn 2016, I finally made the decision, I am ready to leave the green acre life and return to the city. With this firm decision, my intention to embrace "city living" once again included TTC. For the past couple of months I have been getting out and exploring the city using TTC - as I plan my return - to discover different areas of Toronto, lots has changed in ten years. I have also discovered my outings go much smoother when I have certain essentials. 

Below are my basic essentials for going from point A-B...

1. Shoe Bag: 
For storing your heels or on route footwear to your destination and a place to store your flat transit footwear when you arrive. I have found that adding a plastic bag inside is especially essential on wet days.

2. Water Bottle: 
Having a water bottle at your disposal is a great reminder to stay hydrated. If you drink a bottle to and from that's like 2-4 glasses in your day.

3. Scarf: 
Keeping a scarf in your bag is essential year round ... while you are dressed for sweltering outdoor temps the A/C can really be cold in some subway cars. They can also be used as a barrier between you and the seat when you are wearing light coloured clothing. 

4. Smile:
People will shove, be rude and inconsiderate - smile and carry on. Don't let their issues become yours. Be thankful you aren't a miserable person.

5. Kleenex:
Because you just never know when you might need one. There is nothing worse then getting a running nose and having to sniffle through it. Or listening to someone else sniffling away.

6. Ear Buds:
Perfect for tuning out the world around you, especially people who think public transit is the appropriate time to have a full on conversation (loud) on their phones. It's also a good way to enjoy some soothing music while in transit.

7. Pass Holder:
Avoid the stress of having to find that small, thin pass in your bag. The pass holder enables you to easily locate your pass.

8. Hand Sanitizer:
This is the next best thing to washing your hands, you would be amazed at the germs and bacteria that linger on the rails, poles and what not... after all thousand of people are using the transit each day.

9. Flat Shoes:
Whether you have a ways to walk before reaching a subway station or other stops - life is just that much easier when you are sturdy on your feet. If you have been in heels or wedges all day - having a pair of flats to switch into will be bliss. And if you opt to wear your heels to and fro know that the heel can get stuck on the escalator - and if your heel breaks having a pair of shoes on hand to slip into makes life easier. I saw a gal once have to hobble away - because her heel broke. 

10. Cross Body Pouch:
Having hands free makes things so much easier.. a cross body pouch is perfect. And when you find your hands full with bags - you don't have to worry that your hand bag is slipping off your shoulder.

11. Tote:
A tote is a great option - on days you have a little more to carry around (like a change of footwear) or picking up a couple of grocery items on the way home.

Whether you are taking the subway, bus or street car, the thing to remember is that when you take transit you should be prepared for the unexpected - so pack accordingly. 

I'll be sharing my essentials for raining days, hot days, and exploring the city days in a future post.

 What are your tips for making public transit travel easier?

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  1. Public transit??? Hahahahahahah, yeah right! My public transit is a red bicycle from Detroit Bikes - I can ride it over to Leland's office across the parking area. I don't think I'm ever going to live in an area with real public transit again. I don't think the cows would like it!!

    1. LOL ... you are probably right Nan,the cows may have a thing or two to moo about ... but I'm liking your kind of transit ... though in the city I will limit any bike riding to parks and the bike only paths along the lake.. Getting back on a bicycle is on my list of things to do this year!! Happy week ahead. xo

  2. Good tips, Celia! I used public transport for a lot of my working life and you are spot-on. Thanks for linking xox


  3. These are such great tips! I don't think I'll ever find myself living in a city, but these tips are great for travel when you are in a city and using its public transport! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I hope you are enjoying the transition. Great tips, as I remember when I had to take public transport, headphones were needed for quiet music, relaxing. Also, love the tip on smiling as people can be crabby on public transportation, and why react? Hope you are enjoying it!
    thanks for lnkiing up with turning heads tuesday
    jess xx


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