Plan Ahead and be in control.
The fact that you are using public transportation, doesn`t mean that you can`t be in control. So next time you are planning on going public in Toronto, you might want to keep in mind these useful tools.
Before you even go out to catch your next ride, you should access Protected content ( Toronto Transit Comission´s website ). This site will provide you with options to better plan your trip in advance. Once you access this website, go to the upper left hand side, to ¨ Schedules and Maps ¨, and beneath it you will find ¨ Trip Planner ¨. The ¨ Trip Planner ¨ feature gives you an insight of available routes from your departure address to your specified destination. You can start your trip by filling out the information on ¨ From ¨ / ¨ To ¨, after which you can either click on ¨ Leave Know ¨ for current available services or go to ¨ More Options ¨ to choose future departure and arrival dates and times that you would like to explore. This will give you more flexibility in planning your trip ahead or for rescheduling if you are running late.
If you know the route name or number of the bus or street car you will be riding, you can check manually by clicking on ¨ Find a Schedule ¨. This feature is right above ¨ Trip Planner ¨ and will provide you with the next available times of such route.
In all cases, be sure to check on which direction your transport should be heading to. Example: East or West / Towards Broad View or Towards Dundas.
This will help you know on which side of the street to wait and also help you avoid taking the bus or street car in the wrong direction.
Once you are out on the street, you might want to check how much time is left before your chosen bus or street car arrives. If you have a smart phone ( Blackberry, Iphone or Android ) you can access the following website: Protected content . Once on the page, scroll down on ¨ Select your state/province ¨ until you find ¨ Ontario ¨ . Click on it, and then choose ¨ Toronto TTC ¨. This will lead you to ¨ Select your route/line ¨. Here you will refer to the route name and number of the bus or street car you look forward on using. Once you have chosen the route number and name from the scroll menu, you will have the option to ¨ Select your destination ¨. Here you will be able to choose the direction you are heading towards ( East, West, South, North ) or the Station towards which the transport you are riding is heading to. Once you click on the appropriate option, click again on the ¨ Select the stop you are travelling from ¨ which refers to the intersection from which you plan to start your trip. Once you click on the correct option ( address ), you will have finally reached the ¨ Tracked Vehicle in ¨ screen, in which the remaining minutes before your transport arrives will be shown. Additional waiting times will also be presented below as alternate references.
Although the explanation seems long, it becomes rather easy to access once you get the hang of it. In any case, knowing ahead of time that you have those extra couple minutes proves to be priceless when the weather isn´t as welcoming or when you are determined to get that coffee on the go before you head out.
Hope this has been of help. Be sure to comment constructively!
Take care and travel safe.