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Commuter Accessibility: From bikes to the TTC

How accessible is the UTSG campus for commuters?
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Bike Share Toronto is an easily accessible, affordable way to commute, but only for those who live downtown. SAMANTHA YAO/THE VARSITY
Bike Share Toronto is an easily accessible, affordable way to commute, but only for those who live downtown. SAMANTHA YAO/THE VARSITY

Likely due to its location in the heart of downtown Toronto, most of the students at UTSG commute from home. These commutes can range from a few minutes to a few hours, and as a subway commuter myself, it is difficult to remember how accessible the campus really is.

Are these stickers for TTC users in wheelchairs really useful? SAMANTHA YAO/THE VARSITY

Day after day, riding the same route on the TTC and being likely to encounter at least one delay per trip can get frustrating for me. Despite this and the limited locations of TTC stations, our campus is fortunate to be close to not one, but four subway stations: Museum, St. George, Spadina, and Queen’s Park. The TTC also has elevators at most stations, although the usefulness of the stickers installed on the platforms to designate spaces for boarding the trains is doubtful. The TTC seems to be one of the most popular — yet also most unpopular — ways to get to campus.

Arguably, I believe that the most inaccessible way to reach campus is by car. This is different from most other universities, as well as UTM and UTSC. Driving in downtown Toronto brings a whole myriad of problems, not to mention the limited and expensive parking on campus.

Not many students have the luxury of living within a reasonable walking distance of campus. While on campus, however, U of T has made walking quite accessible and safe for its students. From dedicated pedestrian streets to crosswalks at frequent intersections along St. George Street, it is quite enjoyable to explore the scenery on campus and be able to commute to different areas on campus without using a vehicle.

With Toronto constantly improving its streets for cyclists, biking is becoming an increasingly popular method of commuting. St. George Street has dedicated bike lanes, and there are multiple locations to lock bikes throughout the campus — to me it seems that biking is a compromise between walking and driving.

There are also multiple Bike Share Toronto stations on campus, which serve as a relatively convenient and affordable way for those to bike who may not have space at home to keep a bicycle. 

Accessing campus by commuting is open to far more possibilities than those that I mentioned. Just the other day, I saw commuters skateboarding, rollerblading, and scootering. Keep commuting fun, and don’t forget about the opportunities that UTSG’s location brings!