Public Transit Safety Tips

Commute Safer

The following tips can help you use transit systems more safely.

  • Be intentional – plan your route before you go
    • Know your exits on the platform
    • Know where the platform emergency phone/waiting area is located at your stops
  • Be aware
    • Move as briskly as you can – look like you know where you are going
    • Use only one earbud so you can hear what is happening around you
    • Don’t be so engrossed in your book/phone that you miss movements around you
      • Look up every 5 minutes
  • Pay attention
    • Is there something happening on the platform/bus/train?
    • Is someone paying you undue attention?
      • Look out for others too – is someone else experiencing uncomfortable or harrasing behaviour?
        • Can you move closer or make it obvious that you are watching?
  • Check in with yourself – are you feeling uncomfortable/anxious?
    • Should you wait for the next bus or train?
    • Should you contact a friend/family member?
    • Do you need to move closer to the driver or conductor?
    • If you get off the bus/train, will you be in a populated station or area?
  • Every transit provider has safety measures and suggestions in place:
  • Use the emergency strips to stop the train and bring an Operator to a location of concern
  • TTC buses (but not streetcars) offer a Request Stop program.  You need to give the Operator at least one stop’s notice and must get off using the front door:

The Request Stop program is available to all customers travelling alone by bus between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Request Stop allows any customer feeling vulnerable to get off the bus between regular TTC stops. 

  • Use the U of T Safety app’s “Friend Walk” feature so that a trusted person can “walk” with you and alert 911 to your location if something happens to you.
  • Not feeling comfortable with another passenger on the bus/streetcar?
  • Move to the door closest to the driver,
  • Wait for everyone else to get off before you at the next stop, if possible
    • If the person causing you concern follows you off the stop, get right back on the bus/streetcar

Commuting Safely Slide Deck

The following slide deck created by the Community Safety Office team can be viewed by members of our community for their own use or can be shared by University staff or Faculty with their colleagues and with students at their discretion.