|Source: Torstar New Service|
I don't entirely blame the TTC for the terrible emergency shuttle buses. They have to quickly get drivers and buses together and the streets become so congested with people getting picked up or taking cabs (especially at rush hour!), that the buses can't even make it to the station.
Here is a quick little rundown of "TTC Situations" that may help you make your plan:
- Injury at track level can often mean someone jumped in front of a train. This one can be a doozy and take a long time to get the subway back up and running
- Fire Investigation is often just smoke at track level from some garbage catching a spark. In my experience, these clear up within 10-20 minutes
- Passenger Emergency usually means an illness and passes within a few minutes
- Signal problems can go either way- but in my opinion often last a long time and if the subway isn't shut down it will probably be a snail
So what should you do if you get stuck in the midst of it?
1. Avoid the Situation
Just leave. Leave the station, grab a magazine and get some food. Come back when everything is fixed. One time I was supposed to meet friends in North York for drinks and then stay over at their place downtown and the subway went down, so bought a magazine and got some dinner and just hung out for a couple hours until they could work their way down. If the subway is down for a few minutes, try picking up a free newspaper or going for a walk for a bit.
2. Find an Alternate Route
When the subway goes down at work, I try to find another route home on the TTC. There are often buses that head south pretty far, and then I can get off at a streetcar line and take the streetcar to pretty close to my condo! It takes a bit of time, but I find it is quite comfortable and low-stress. You can also hail a cab, but in a big shutdown that can be near impossible.
3. Be Firm, But Polite
If you really need to get home NOW, try and be patient. Everyone is in the same position and it sucks all around. That being said, don't be a pushover. Work your way calmly to a bus. Who knows- you might meet someone new! I met a new friend one day when we got off a bus that was cemented in traffic and decided to walk home together. If you find your stress level rising, text a friend or tweet about it- your friends can cheer you up!
Please share your subway horror stories and coping mechanisms! I avoid that shuttle bus at all costs :)