Commuter City: GO Train Riders We Love to Hate

go train

Ah, the GO Train commute.  Every day, 51,500 of us ride the green and white rockets shuttling between Oshawa and Toronto’s Union Station along the Lakeshore East line.

But what’s it like to spend 45 minutes in the company of a hundred strangers packed into a train car?  We’ve dissected the best of the worst, so you don’t have to. Here are the top four commuting types we love to hate:

The Buddies:  There’s nothing wrong with commuter camaraderie.  In fact, we applaud how groups of friends make the daily ride from Oshawa to Union Station more pleasant by spending the hour-long journey in each other’s company.  But while friendships are great, there’s an intensity about seat-saving that tends to go hand-in-hand with GO buddies who always ride together.  Remember, GO lacks a seat reservation system for a reason, so be gentle with the hapless intern who accidentally sat in Carol from accounts payable’s regular seat.  We were all new once too, right?

The Groomer:  Most regular GO Train commuters have found themselves doing a little in-seat primping on the way to Union Station.  We get it – you wake up before dawn, guzzle a coffee, then drive to the Oshawa Go Train parking lot because the only time you can guarantee finding a parking spot is by arriving before 7:00 am.  But for the riders that pull out nail clippers, dental floss, apply foot lotion or nail polish, we have some friendly advice:  Before you begin grooming, ask, “Is this appropriate to do in the office?” Would we dig dirt from underneath our toenails, then cut them while scattering the trimmings on the boardroom floor?  No.  And it’s not okay to do on public transit either.  That’s an important life lesson right there.

The Door Hogger:  We’re talking about you, Whitby and Ajax riders.  But we’re not here to judge.  In fact, we applaud how dedicated you are to being the first off the train, and the first to screech out of the parking lot.   It’s rare to see that kind of self-focus on a public transit system, which relies heavily on the good manners of its users to make the experience tolerable.  You ignore the daily grumbles, glares and snide comments from your fellow commuters with steely resolve and unwavering commitment to being at the front of the line.  You’re the rank and file of the GO Train army, the first wave of recruits sent off from the trenches and into the battlefield. For that, we salute you.

The Drunk:  We actually love drunks on the GO Train.  Why?  Because despite being in the midst of an alcohol-fueled haze, these riders didn’t reach for their keys and get behind the wheel of their car.  They might be loud, they might be obnoxious, but at least they’re not driving the wrong way on the 401 with a belly full of Jager Bombs.  And that’s always a good decision.

Do you commute using the GO Train? Tell your commuting story in the comments!


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