The Ultimate Commuter Guide

Coming from an experienced commuter, here are my top tips for navigating your commute!

As a commuter student from Brampton, my commute consists of driving to the GO station, a 30-minute train ride using GO Transit, and a 10-minute TTC subway ride, totaling to about a 1-1.5 hour commute one way. Coming from an experienced commuter, here are my top tips for navigating your commute!

Green Presto card in hand with a blue seat in the background

1. PRESTO discounts

It wasn’t until my third year that I found out about the Go Transit 40% off student discount. I couldn’t believe how much money I could’ve been saving all this time. The TTC also offers a discounted monthly pass for post-secondary students, which can make a difference if you're commuting to campus every day. Unlike me, take advantage of these deals sooner, rather than later!

2. Plan ahead of time

Packing my bag the night before has saved me on those days when I hit snooze a few too many times.

Also, don’t forget to check the weather before you leave! When you’re in a rush, it can be easy to run out the door without a jacket or umbrella, just to be caught in the elements by midday.

Building patio with wooden chairs and tables on a rainy day

3. Leave early

Speaking of being in a rush, I like to estimate arriving at least half an hour before I need to be on campus, to account for the unexpected. There is nothing more stressful than having a TTC delay on the day of a midterm. You’ll thank yourself later!

4. Find a space on campus for you

Finding your go-to spot that brings you comfort is so necessary for those long days on campus. My personal favourites are Robarts Commons, my clubs' office space, and Emmanuel College library.

5. Know where the microwaves are

Packing a lunch can help save money by avoiding spending $10 every day at a St. George Street food truck. The U of T interactive map offers a list of microwaves on campus. To mention a few not on the list, there are also some at Gerstein Library (Green Beet Café), Med Sci, UTSU Student Commons, and College/Faculty student lounges.

6. Embrace the commute

Romanticize the commuter life by plugging your earphones in, looking out a window and enjoying the views of the underground walls of the subway. Just kidding, the views are pretty nice once the train goes outside.

TTC subway window, with a view of trees with green and orange leaves

I also like to finish up some class readings, so I don’t have to worry about them later. Or, I use my commute as downtime and listen to a podcast or a good Taylor Swift playlist.

💡Pro Tip: Download readings (or Netflix shows) to your phone or laptop so they’re available on the go!

7. Travel safely

When I’m walking late at night, I feel a sense of comfort when talking or walking with someone to ensure I get to my destination safely. U of T Campus Safety offers a free service called TravelSafer, in which you can request a building patroller to walk with you from any location on campus to the nearest TTC station.

Happy commuting and travel safe!

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