Bus etiquette

Yesterday, my daughter was on the 110N bus at about 4:15 p.m. heading to Square One from South Common.  When she got on the bus at South Common, it was crowded with students.

My daughter has a disability and was trying to get to where she could stand comfortably without stretching to reach the bar that runs high in the bus. None of the students would move for her to pass to the back of the bus where it wasn’t so crowded.  She also requested one of the seats reserved for the disabled or elderly.  Not one of them would move from where they were sitting.

She contacted Mississauga Transit at the terminal at Square One and was told that the driver has no power to force the people to give up their seat for a disabled person unless that person is in a wheelchair; then the people sitting in those seats would have to move. The driver can’t even make them move to the back of the bus, either.

It doesn’t matter whether the disability is visible or not! According to the province, disabilities come in many forms and must be treated with kindness and understanding. I have found that the students that attend the University of Toronto Mississauga campus to be largely rude and only thinking about themselves. This is an ongoing problem on the 110 bus that travels in either direction.

I am writing this to you as it seems that Mississauga Transit’s hands are tied when it comes to these problems on the bus. I feel that maybe your school should teach these kids a little consideration and kindness as part of their education. My point to you is that maybe these students need to be reminded that the bus is a service for not only them but the rest of the people in Mississauga—and that they should realize that!

I am hoping that you could speak to your students and encourage them to be more considerate and polite.  Encourage them to move to the back of the bus and give up their seat for someone that says they need to sit down!

Submitted by Paul Donoghue on behalf of a concerned parent.

  • Leon the Alumni Tiger

    This is really shameful, this really needs to be forwarded to Student Affairs so something can be done. Shame.

  • Not reflective of all UTM students, sorry you had to meet some of the bad apples.

  • no name

    While it is a shame that those people sitting in the reserved seating chose not to vacate, the letter doesn’t make it clear whether the daughter explained the situation and why she needed the seat or merely asked them to move and expected them to read minds. Especially since it was made clear that the disability in question isn’t visible. If she did explain and they still chose not to move then, well, they’re assholes I guess. What does the mother actually expect the school administration to do about assholes though?

  • 2012realist

    This has nothing to do with the University of Toronto in Mississauga. If a person were to request that a seat be vacated on the basis of a disability, the seat should have been vacated. I wonder how clear her NEEDING the seat was, as opposed to just preferring it. This vacating of a seat should not be considered mandatory, rather courteous. Rudeness is not unique to Mississauga nor is it abundant at the University. Open your eyes and see that this world is made up of individuals who make their own choices. If your daughter were truly to need to sit due to a disability then perhaps she should consider using alternative transportation (especially on express services) during high volume rush hours. Complaining to the University, and suggesting that they ” encourage them (students) to be more considerate and polite) is a far cry. This is a UNIVERSITY where they teach science and math. Hope for polite and sensitive societies lie in the hands of parents, not universities.

    • 2012optimist

      How dare a person try to improve the situation of another human being for something other than selfish reasons. As a person who apparently does not have a disability that they have to live with daily, it’s obvious as you why you would think on a basis of equality instead of one of equity. It is a courtesy for people without disabilities to be afforded a seat, but it should be seen as mandatory for those with disabilities to be given a seat. Open your eyes and see that not everybody is as fortunate as you and can’t afford the luxuries that you may have, whether physical or economic. Perhaps their daughter was truly in need to sit due to a disability and alternative transportation during high volume rush hours is not a possibility due to financial or logistical reasons. This is a UNIVERSITY where progressive, educated minds are supposed to learn to improve the environment that we all live in. Progress towards polite and sensitive societies lies in the hands of the youth, regardless of parenting. To blame your upbringing is a cop-out.

    • Phillip Niedzielski

      obviously, cuz it didnt teach you SHIT

  • Leon the Alumni Tiger

    Oh man, I love, simply love how some people are defending this behavior. The man said in the letter that he has had previous experience with UTM students on the 110, going both ways. Yes, this can be the case in other places, but he talking about UTMers and he is speaking from experience. These guys should know better. Just saying…….

  • Doug

    This is a rude generalization of UTM students. As a previous poster stated, rudness is not unique to the University or to UTM students. The entire school and its students should not be cast in a bad light because of the kids on the bus. The city and many of its citizens have it out for UTM and the students who move to the city. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Homestead debate.

    • Leon the Alumni Tiger

      This is straight from the letter:

      ” I have found that the students that attend the University of Toronto Mississauga campus to be largely rude and only thinking about themselves. This is an ongoing problem on the 110 bus that travels in either direction.”

      That part tells me, the person has had frequent experience with UTM students on the 110. He is speaking from experience, not generalizing. We, and I say we, because I am a UTMer, albeit Alumni, need to stop playing the victim. Also, the Homestead debate is something totally different.

  • John P

    TOTALLY AGREE with following statement:
    This has nothing to do with the University of Toronto in Mississauga. If a person were to request that a seat be vacated on the basis of a disability, the seat should have been vacated. I wonder how clear her NEEDING the seat was, as opposed to just preferring it. This vacating of a seat should not be considered mandatory, rather courteous. Rudeness is not unique to Mississauga nor is it abundant at the University. Open your eyes and see that this world is made up of individuals who make their own choices. If your daughter were truly to need to sit due to a disability then perhaps she should consider using alternative transportation (especially on express services) during high volume rush hours. Complaining to the University, and suggesting that they ” encourage them (students) to be more considerate and polite) is a far cry. This is a UNIVERSITY where they teach science and math. Hope for polite and sensitive societies lie in the hands of parents, not universities.

  • Adam

    Seems like a parental issue not a school issue

  • Phillip Niedzielski

    Because a very strong majority don’t have the decency to take off their backpacks when they stand I’m going to suggest that this story is very reflective.

  • fitz

    If the issue was found within a particular demographic, it is merited to be expressed, and doing so through the university newspaper was very smart. This has given UTM students the chance to reassure and show support and compassion, an opportunity young adults don’t typically recieve. Though I concur this behaviour is not common among the students of our school the awareness is important. We must not be ignorant of the cost of disabilities or the right to independence regardless of a disability, not everyone has the option to find such alternative means of transport. This is a concerned parent, It is only right to be considerate when responding to someone in distress.

    From my experience, the University of Toronto at Mississauga holds a collection enthusiastic of young adults, it is not a high school, where morals are taught to growing adolesents. As a community we can encourage greater compassion. However communicating accusations as opposed to concern will not lead to progress.

    I also find it important to mention that many young people on the 110n from south common at 4:15, are probably in high school..

    • Darren Savage

      Well said.

    • Phillip Niedzielski

      And this kind of sentiment is generally the ripe fruit of UTM. “If the issue was found within a particular demographic, it is merited to be expressed, and doing so through the university newspaper was very smart. This has given UTM students the chance to reassure and show support and compassion, an opportunity young adults don’t typically recieve”. Yes, it’s true, we are always glad for these rare moments to excercise our compassion; usually we prefer to sit on our asses, you know. What’s smarter is the oppertunity to prove the existence of distinguished growing adolscents among us – I dare say it’s not only in your experience, fitz, but if anoyone seems to think otherwise, that this university does have a place for the education of moral duties which, surprisingly, ended in highschool, let such people be assured that we have an overflowing abundance of intelleigent and competent young fellows to lead the way. This, you realize, is all the more pressing, since, by your admission, you recognize that that same moral education taught in highschool, may not have been taught at all, for if not the matured university student who finds his morality after he has been taught it, so it say, who finds it important to examine what is of so much interest? For I think you have stumbled upon a most intriguiding of demogrphic phenomena, most particular indeed: highschool students who get moral education in highschool evidently don’t learn it so well. but at the same time we expect they become distinguished univeristy students. That’s excellent!

  • Saddened

    This is extremely dissappointing. The fact that people are defending this behaviour is discouraging, and unfortunately reflective of some of the sentiments Mr. Donoghue touched on in his letter to the medium.

  • Darren Savage

    Wow, that is a horrible story. But it is great that this opens up a discussion. I agree wholeheartedly with Leon: “These guys should know better”. But bringing this to the attention of University Affairs seems a bit too much. Moreover, 2012realist makes a good point regarding the responsibility of politeness falling outside the jurisdiction of our University. But Mr. Donoghue has been left with few options. The responsibility does fall on the students themselves. Hopefully, the responses below will remain in the minds of those who read them and that those readers will act accordingly should unfortunate instances such as this arise again.

  • Phillip Niedzielski

    I don’t know where some you learned to read but there is nothing in this letter demanding action other than to encourage students to be more considerate and polite. The suggestion to bring this to University Affairs was made by someone else; the idea that “the University” has or has not some moral ogligation is your own invention, the manifestation of your own pathetic attempts to run from yourself in shame ignorance and stupidity into the dark corners of your own repression amid the mockery and pity of those who see no need to secure a victory where there is no need, and see no need to justify what needs no justification.