Riding the Subway

Easier Access

Easier access on the subway

The TTC currently operates three subway lines. The system stretches from Kipling Station in the west to Kennedy Station in the east, and from Union Station in the south to Finch and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stations in the north.

More than half of subway stations provide elevator access to train platforms and transfers to and from Wheel-Trans and/or TTC accessible buses. These stations typically have accessible fare gates, sliding automatic doors and improved signage. Visit Elevators and EscalatorsSubway or Maps to find out which subway stations are accessible with elevators; just look for the International Symbol of Access ISA icon.

Accessible subway trains

TTC customers using wheelchairs/scooters and other mobility devices can travel on all subway trains.

Each accessible subway car has one (or two in the case of the Toronto Rocket trains on Line 1) allocated wheelchair/scooter position, which consists of a flip-up or flip-down row of seats, handhold, and Emergency Alarm strip or pull handle. Unlike buses, Operator (or Guard) assistance is not available for securing wheelchairs or scooters on subway trains.

The easiest way to locate a wheelchair/scooter position onboard the train is by looking for the blue and white International Symbol of Access displayed on the outside of each car and by boarding the train at that door. Similar decals are located on the inside of the vehicle at the wheelchair/scooter position.

Priority seating for seniors and persons with disabilities

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA), TTC provides Priority Seating on all of its vehicles, designated for use by persons with disabilities. You must give up these seats for a person who is disabled or has a physical limitation requiring priority seating.  A customer with a disability occupying a priority seat is not required to move for another customer with a disability. In this situation, use of these seats is on a first-come, first-served basis. You are not required to give up your seat that is not designated priority seating. TTC encourages customer co-operation particularly as it relates to giving up seating for people with disabilities, elderly customers, and pregnant women.

priority blue seats

Seats with blue fabric are designated priority seats. TTC By-law No. 1 requires that you obey signs posted by the TTC, including Priority Seating signs on TTC vehicles. Persons who do not comply with Priority Seating signs may be subject to penalties under this By-law and liable to a fine of $235.00 plus applicable charges.

Decals also indicate where priority seating is located. It is generally located near the entrance of vehicles.

Image of the Priority Seating decals that appear on all TTC vehicles. Text reading 'You must give up these seats for people with disabilities, the elderly, or pregnant women. AODA, O. Reg. 19/11 | TTC By-Law No. 1'   Priority seating decal showing Accessibility Icon. Text reading 'You must give up these seats for people with disabilities, the elderly, or pregnant women. AODA, O. Reg. 19/11 | TTC By-Law No. 1. Please use the brake or secure your mobility device.'

More information can be found in the Priority Seating FAQ.

First on, last off

Customers using a mobility device are encouraged to board our vehicles first, before other customers and exit last, before others leave. Customers should be mindful of this when they see people using a mobility device.

The better way to travel by train

Here are a few travelling pointers to follow:

  • When boarding and exiting trains, always mind the gap on the floor between the platform edge and the subway car.
  • Always allow train passengers to leave the car first before you board.
  • If using a mobility device, face directly towards the doors and ensure that you have enough room to approach the train so that your front wheels do not turn sideways. Enter the train carefully, but not too slowly, making sure to mind the gap between the train and the platform. Do not enter at an angle.
  • Never rush towards the doors of a subway car, especially when the door chimes are sounding and the orange light in the doorway is flashing, as this indicates that the doors are closing.
  • Do not block train doors. Keep doors clear so passengers can enter and exit easily and quickly.
  • Listen for the automated station stop announcements over the train’s public address system as the train departs a station and just before it arrives at the next station. The Toronto Rocket trains also have screens that visually display the next station.

Planning your transit trip

  • Elevator/Escalator Status: before you begin your subway trip call the TTC 24-hour Information Line at 416 393-4636 (INFO) and press 5 to confirm whether or not the elevators or escalators you plan to use on your trip are operating or scheduled for maintenance. Elevator information is also available at 416 539-5438 (LIFT) or on our Elevators and Escalators page.
  • Trip planning: for 24-hour TTC routes and schedules, or for general travel and trip planning information, please call 416-393-4636 (INFO).
  • Internet Trip Planner: it provides TTC users a self-serve means of planning their transit trips using route information, timing points and travelling distances.  
  • TTC hours of operation: signs indicating the hours of operation for each subway station are displayed at every Designated Waiting Area (DWA), outside station entrances, and on our station information pages.
  • Weekdays/Saturdays: train service runs every few minutes from about 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. the next morning.
  • Sundays: train service runs from about 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. the next morning.

Helping visually impaired customers

The TTC has been recognized by the CNIB for creating and building a barrier-free subway system. Among the easier access features providing accessibility to blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind customers are:

  • Subway platform edge tiles.
  • Wayfinding paths on centre platform floors.
  • Subway door chimes and flashing lights.
  • Station stop announcements.
  • Stair upgrades that include stair nosings with tonal contrasts.
  • Braille and raised lettering in elevators and at Designated Waiting Areas (DWAs).
  • Public address announcements in the subway system.

What to do in an emergency

Emergency situations on the TTC requiring evacuation are rare, but do happen. Learn more about how to safely evacuate from a subway train or station on our Emergency Evacuation Procedures page.

Platform Video Screens

Digital video screens are located above the platforms in the majority of subway stations. A great source of information, these 101-centimetre, flat screens show TTC service updates, next-train arrival times, the date and time, as well as news, weather, advertising, charity and community messages. During emergencies, key information will appear on these screens.

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