How to Be a Pro Commuter

Posted by Arshia on October 28, 2015

A Tale of Two Campuses | Archive

Hello everyone! You haven’t heard from me in a while, but I wanted to check in. I hope everyone is having a good start to the school year so far.

This term is the first one I’ll be commuting from Ajax all the way to Glendon. After living in residence for my first two years of university, now is the time for me to experience life as a commuter student — something I’ll share with many of you. Thousands of students commute to York U every day, making our school a hub for buses from throughout the GTA. Here are some things that I plan on keeping in mind to survive the academic year.

Ballpoint drawing of people commuting.
Commuting. Blue ballpoint drawing by Miyuki Mouse.


  • If you use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), always have tokens or your monthly pass on hand. If you use a Presto Card, make sure it’s loaded. For GO tickets, Presto Cards, and VIVA, YRT and TTC passes, head down to Inkblotz at York Lanes. These suggestions might seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many people come to the bus unprepared. From the few times in the past that I would take the GO bus to come home on weekends or for the holidays, I know there is always that one person who holds up the bus by paying with cash. If everyone in line paid with cash, the bus could be delayed for at least an extra 10 minutes, which is definitely something no commuter wants. Unless . . . you’re that person running behind schedule, the one actually hoping for a delay. I admit that’s happened to me once or twice!


Which brings me to my next piece of advice.


  • If you’re waiting for a bus, ARRIVE EARLY. Don’t be that guy/girl running after a bus or waiting around for another one. Sometimes, depending on the bus you’re taking and the time of day, another bus might not for an hour or so. So plan ahead, so you don’t miss it!


Be ready!


  • I have one final tip those taking public transit. I know it may sound a bit odd, but you’ll see how useful it is: Make sure your phone is charged. Make it a habit to either bring a portable charger with you to school. During those long bus rides, keep yourself busy with the help of a phone at the ready: you can catch up on email, read the news, do some research or relax with a video. And, of course, a charged phone is important if you need to contact anyone in case of an emergency. I find portable chargers particularly useful because they mean you can say goodbye to hunting for an outlet at school!


If you’re coming to school by car, go to Parking & Transportation Services at William Small Centre to explore your options for parking. The home page for Parking offers some useful tips to make commuting a breeze:



  • York has many viable parking options for short- and long-term parking.
  • Map out where you will be parking prior to your visit to campus.
  • Park in designated areas only and be sure to read the signs carefully to ensure you are parking in an appropriate space.
  • Be respectful and considerate; do not park in or block fire routes, medical spaces, bus stops, building or walkway entrances; and do not drive in restricted areas like the Common roadway.
  • Contact Parking Services at 416-736-2100 ext. 55335 if you need more help.


Here is where you’ll find Parking & Transportation Services:


Keele Campus Office Location
Room 222, William Small Centre,
155 Campus Walk, York University ,
4700 Keele Street , Toronto , Ontario M3J 1P3

Office Hours 
Regular Office Hours
Monday – Thursday: 8:45am to 4:15pm
Fridays: 8:45am to 1:15pm


They offer a number of great initiatives that make commuting bother easier and more sustainable:



These are just a few things for you to remember while you’re commuting. Stay tuned for more bits of advice on transit and life at York U from my colleague Sam. And I’m sure you yourself have some suggestions about how to make commuting easier asnd more enjoyable. Let us know in the comments below!


Arshia is a third-year international studies major at Glendon College. She no longer blogs regularly for the YU Blog but may post on occasion as a guest-blogger.

See other posts by Arshia

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