Ride the rocket much? For my non-Toronto audience, our bus system ironically calls their transit services "The Rocket" in hopes of convincing even one passenger that their service is consistently reliable. If you do ride often, it's without doubt that your journey starts with a sigh and some sort of boost to your mental fortitude. You may hold your breath (literally) and wonder what kind of excitement you're about to witness this time in the bowels of the TTC.
Or am I projecting?
We all have our grievances of the bus systems, the subways, the ongoing "upgrades" that disrupt service just when you need it the most. We all grumble and huff and have the sourest faces while getting from point A to B.
You can tell who owns a monthly pass, as they're the ones that are equipped with books and Kobos, they're listening to podcasts, or are on level 278 of Candy Crush.
They've learned the tricks of avoidance to make their daily trips a little less dismal and hate-filled.
Thanks to social media though, we all have a place to air our biggest peeves of rocket riding. Many take to Twitter to blast that one thought of aggravation that could keep them fuming for hours later otherwise. It's a coping method for us to get our thoughts out there where anyone may listen and then move on with our day.
Well, it turns out that the #TTC is listening. And have turned our tweets into an interesting campaign.
— TTCStuart (@TTCStuart) April 28, 2017
You've got issues? Send them out into the ether of Twitter, and the TTC social team will make sure everyone knows you have a grudge.
Honestly, I haven't read one courtesy complaint that I don't agree with yet (and have mostly thought of at one time or another each week,) but I have to wonder how these posters will pan out for our community's heath as a whole.
In response to @butihen's complaint on backpack wearing above (seriously those book-laden things are back breaking WMDs when rocked into you,) we have Annie tweeting encouragement...
— Elizabeth Wild - Raw, Real & Unedited (@anniex62) May 8, 2017
But then we're also treated to Sana's inspiring words of wisdom...
Then don't go on ttc during rush hour.
— Sana (@sanagulzarx) May 5, 2017
I can't help but wonder how effective these posters are aside from being copious reminders of all the things that drive us all nuts about the riding the TTC with our fellow humans?
As an aside, the TTC must not have a lot of advertisers lined up right now, because these "ads" are absolutely everywhere. I've seen seven today within a 45-minute trip.
Personally, I could write you a book of proper transit etiquette, which would simply be my ranting over all the ways that people are inconsiderate jerks en-masse.
How responsible is it to print these peeves and post them in an environment that is largely hostile? Employees and transit users alike are more apt to adopt a no-nonsense attitude, which is illustrated remarkably well in this new "Courtesy Campaign".
If these posters inspire one backpack-toting rider to take off their bag to not cripple those around them, has this campaign done its job?
I would hope that at least in an alternate universe, these printed tweets would inspire conversation for making travel better. (I completely get the irony of my writing a plea for discussion on a blog post.)
Where is the inspiration to do good though?
Is the #TTC Twitter thread simply inundated with unhappy people? Are there no inspiring moments of gratitude to be found? One quick look, it's a mishmash of TTC disruption notices and of women who are Trying To Conceive.
After waiting 5 min in the train #ttc Davisville station, the driver remembered to tell us that the train was out of service
— Elias Abdel Ahad (@elyias8) May 11, 2017
— Mish (@MisheeMo) May 11, 2017
I scrolled for a good news tweet, I really did, but the only ones were along the lines of...
Here's to that moment your #miracle finally arrives.
— ZFC Fertility (@ZouvesFertility) May 11, 2017
I'm thinking their holistic approach didn't include a bumpy bus ride down a pothole-filled street.
Are we all just a bunch of a-holes Toronto?
Where are our good moments during our daily rides? Riding the TTC can take up a major chunk of our time daily. I live in the Westend of town, and it would take me 2 hours just to get to Markham every workday for two years. If you do the math, that means it also took me 2 hours to get back home on those days as well. That was 4 hours of my day depending on the TTC to get me where I need to be.
I'm actually trying to think of a good moment myself. To be honest, the only one I can think of is the time someone mistook me for being pregnant and gave me their seat when I was admittedly feeling desperate to sit down, and must have looked it. I was struggling with massive bags of stuff from Babies R' Us for my inlaws when my nephew Kit was due to join us at any moment (I was all kinds of eager for my monkey to finally show up!) And my plus sized frame made it look like I was the one carrying the organic goods instead of my SIL (who was home with her feet up at this time.) The elder gentleman grasped my shoulder and made sure I'd sit down in his place.
I was a bit too embarrassed to admit to him that it wasn't me with child, "that's just fat, good sir." And since there aren't any close BRUs near my home, the journey was epically tiring and long, so I went with it with a blush and a thank you and finally gave my aching feet a rest.
Considering Kit is 6 years old now, I really wish I had a more recent example for you.
I'd love to know what your thoughts are of this new campaign. I'm of mixed feelings. While I wholeheartedly agree with the complaints, I'm not sure if this campaign is not more detrimental over its intentions. Going by the current #TTC thread, I would guess that some of the current complaints are there in hopes of reaching the printed stardom of having your tweet show up on a bus.
Mom would be so proud, right?
Would someone's complaint make you pause, take stock, and change your ways?
Or would you be more apt to scoff and roll your eyes?