Getting Around Toronto on Public Transit

Getting Around Toronto on Public Transit

A massive city like Toronto requires an equally complex public transportation system to connect its diverse population and geography. With a vibrant mix of culture, plus miles of trendy neighborhoods and lush parks to explore, it only makes sense for Canada’s largest city to have one of the most heavily used mass transit systems in North America. If you’re in town for a visit, commuting is your convenient and inexpensive way of getting around.

Toronto has subways and rapid transit systems that vastly cover the busy downtowns up to the far-flung suburban neighborhoods.

The subway, which is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), is considered an essential service because of how it alleviates traffic congestion in the city. The service is so reliable and frequent that it even offers early morning and late night rides. For its speed and efficiency, the subway is hailed by many locals as the most convenient way to get around Toronto.

TTC has four subway lines, but you might find yourself getting on the Yonge-University line often because it passes through some of the top tourist spots in Toronto, such as the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which are both near the Union Station. But before hopping on any train, you should first decide on which ticketing option works best for you.

There’s also a regional train that is operated by GO Transit and is your way to Toronto’s neighboring cities. When onboard a GO train, remember to keep your valid ticket at all times because the train operates on a proof-of-payment system.

TTC buses have special equipment and policies designed to make their passengers feel convenient and at ease. For instance, there’s the Request Stop Program, which is intended for commuters who feel vulnerable, especially when traveling alone. 
Buses stop at designated waiting platforms, but during the wee hours of the night, between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., you can alight in between stops. Just make sure to let the operator know of your desired drop-off point at least one station ahead of the location.

Most buses are also accessible for people with special conditions and disabilities, as well as for those with luggage in tow while riding the special airport service. There are amenities onboard and in subway stations that accommodate bikes so that more people are encouraged to include cycling in their journey.

Like the buses, streetcars operate after hours and accept TTC passes. However, they can get crowded and get caught in traffic during the rush hour, so better stay informed about current road situations through various update services and journey-planning apps provided by TTC. 
Toronto is the only Canadian city that has retained its streetcar lines, so you might consider going for a ride on the way to one of the attractions to complete your Toronto experience.

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