Traveling via transit, bike, or subway can be nerve wracking during the winter months.
Compten Management has a few tips on how to stay warm, safe and confident during your commute this winter.
When using the TTC
Even though you will be riding inside a warm bus or streetcar to get to your destination, dress for the weather and expect the occasional long wait.
- Use a transit app to help you plan your route and notify you of any delays.
- Purchase some warm, touch-screen compatible gloves that will allow you to use your smartphone without exposing your fingers to the cold.
- Move your body while you wait to help generate body heat.
- All exposed skin is susceptible to frost bite. Cover as much skin as possible and use an extra scarf to cover your face when the wind picks up.
- Winter roads will be slippery, and busses may slide. Stay in designated waiting areas and don't move until the bus has come to a complete stop.
- Be patient. We know you're out waiting in the cold, but if there is a delay, it's not likely the driver's fault. It's better for everyone to arrive safe & sound, just a little later than expected.
Riding the Subway or a Train
At most stations, snow is removed promptly; but you may still have to walk through snow, ice, and slushy piles, so dress warmly and wear waterproof shoes or boots with non-slip soles.
- If you normally drive to work or school, if the roads are especially bad - take the subway!
- Remember trains will be busier when commuters don't want to drive themselves -- give yourself extra time to not only to get to the station, but to be able to take the next train, if the first one is full.
- Remember indoor floors will become slippery with slush and snow. Never run inside a station.
- For the most warmth during your ride, find a seat farthest from the doors.
Biking or Walking
When braving the elements on foot or on a bicycle, it can be hard for drivers to see you. Be sure to always stay in designated biking lanes and walkways, even if they are covered with snow.
- Bundle up! Wool is a great fabric that will keep you warm and dry.
- When biking, wear many thin breathable layers. Keep all fabrics tight to your body so nothing can become tangled in your bike.
- When the really cold weather strikes, give yourself extra travel time so you can take a break and warm up in a restaurant or retailer along the way.
- Don't forget to pack spare clothing and other items to change into if you become too wet during your commute.
- Don't listen to music on your commute -- when the roads are bad, you should use all your senses to be aware of what's going on around you.
- To keep your hands and toes extra warm, consider purchasing hand and foot warmers that you can insert into gloves and boots.
For the city drivers
Ready to brave the harsh city streets? Our city team works hard to clear major streets prior to rush hour whenever possible. However, be prepared for when the roads aren't clear.
- Make sure you have winter tires in good shape, installed on your vehicle. They can make the difference between stopping safely at an intersection, or skidding forward.
- Be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians. Everyone is anxious to get out of the cold and to their destination -- just remember those who are travelling outdoors might be in an extra hurry to get where they're going. Give them the space and extra time they need!
- Don't leave your car wanting gas. If you get stuck in snow or stuck in traffic, you'll want to make sure you have enough gas to get you through the extra time you need. Fill up often!
- Don't forget the wiper fluid! We use a lot more wiper fluid during the winter, to keep our view clear of snow and that salty spray from other vehicles. Make sure you keep an extra container in your trunk, in case you run out without a gas station nearby!
- Last, take public transit when you can. Less cars on the road will make it safer for everyone during bouts of bad weather and road conditions.