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Not just kids flouting Toronto transit etiquette

By David Silverberg
Posted Jan 25, 2012 in Lifestyle
The attached pic shows an elderly lady on the Toronto subway system recently, unabashed by her blatant flouting of transit etiquette: she takes up two seats by sitting sideways, her legs draping the free seat.
(It's not a packed subway car, but there were still riders who passed by that two-seater, glanced at her legs covering the seat and walked on)
Why am I calling her out? I remember talking to my parents a few years ago about how youth in Toronto were horribly rude on subway and streetcars, taking up two seats with their bags or legs or sports equipment. Sure, I get it, I see that sometimes, but why are kids always getting the brunt of this critique?
This senior woman is not the only 50-plus adult I've seen thumb a nose to these unspoken rules. And she won't be the last, I'm sure. I often think kids get a bad rap and are made to be the scapegoat by those who don't look around to see others disregarding that same etiquette.
"But Dave," you might say, "this woman could have leg problems and may need to stretch her legs." OK, fine, but why don't you think the same about young'uns? They might also be subject to searing pain, requiring them to take up two seats. Could be from a sports injury, could be from something at birth.
I guess I'm asking people to not just see youth as the perpetrators of TTC crimes, but all demographics. How can we combat these breaches? Maybe calling out individuals and letting them know their behaviour won't be tolerated. Or maybe letting our transit operators know (at town hall meetings, for example) that riders need to be better educated on what they should and shouldn't do while riding the transit system.
What do you think?

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