TORONTO’s subway – for the most part, it’s efficient, clean and reliable

If you’re a tourist, TORONTO’s underground will serve you well.  There are about 70 stations altogether, and we’re now building six more plus a massive lightrail network in the suburbs.  The subway is open from roughly 6 am until 2 am Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays from 9 am until 2 am.  Avoid the rush hour.  It’s wicked.

PROS
– rush hour trains run every minute or two; off-peak, every 3-5 minutes
– all cars are air-conditioned
– stops are announced clearly
– the system has an anti-graffiti policy; you’ll never see any in the cars; seldom in the stations
– most of TORONTO’s major tourist attractions are on the subway or nearby
– single fares are about $3, but there are Day Passes ($11.50 per adult weekdays; $11.50 for 2 adults on weekends) and Family Passes (up to 4 children, on weekends and holidays).  There are also reduced fares for students and seniors.
– transfers are free, and allow you to ride the subway and transfer to buses and streetcars
– you can get to Pearson International Airport by subway (Kipling station, and then an airport bus) for one fare
– there’s a window in the front of some trains.  Kids love that.

CONS
– a few of the stations are ugly, ugly, ugly
– stations are always being fixed up or rebuilt or something
– escalators seem to be continually out of service.  A green indicator on station platforms will tell you if an escalator is functioning.  Elevators are also available in most stations.
– the trains will squeal and screech, as steel wheels hit steel rails.  Kids love that.

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One thought on “TORONTO’s subway – for the most part, it’s efficient, clean and reliable

  1. What you haven’t mentioned is ticket-takers sound asleep in the station booths, surly drivers who snarl at passengers and refuse to pass transfers – you have to reach for them, long delays, etc. If a street car gets into an accident, the object of the exercise is not to restore service as quickly as possible, it’s to delay everything until the police arrive, take notes and photos, interview witnesses, etc. Why? Above all, the City wishes to avoid litigation. It’s underfunded, with a hostile union, and is NOT the example to other cities that it once was. You want good public transit, look to Asia.

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