Transit Safety

You Are in the Driver's Seat

PLAN AHEAD – use common sense and good judgment. Think about where you are going and plan your route before you leave. Consider:

• The time of day

• When the next bus/streetcar/train is scheduled, is the route delayed or out of service?

• How can you avoid walking through uninhabited or badly lit areas


Crime Prevention on Public Transit

Safety Tips on the Street

  • Let others know where you’re going and when you’re expected to arrive/ return. Arrange to check in with them if possible

  • Know where you are going and walk with confidence

  • Avoid shortcuts (e.g. isolated areas/laneways/garages) and stick to well-lit/high-traffic areas to get to your destination.

  • Be aware of your surroundings (people, traffic and what’s happening around you). If you feel uncomfortable or think that you are being targeted, put your phone/device away and move towards an area with more people and/or a nearby escape route


Safety Tips While Waiting For Public Transit

  • Carry only what you need and have your fare ready – avoid rummaging through your purse/wallet while in public and don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket

  • Know when the next transit vehicle is scheduled to arrive and time your arrival to minimize your wait time

  • Do not allow yourself to be targeted, when waiting in a transit shelter. Exit the shelter if you feel threatened or uncomfortable

  • Limit the use of electronic devices - this may target you

Safety Tips When Using Public Transit

  • Sit near the bus or streetcar driver, use the lead car or sit in a Designated Waiting Area (DWA) while using the subway

  • Be alert for people watching or following you

  • If someone is bothering you, change seats or alert the bus driver

  • Keep your personal belongings close to you (on your arm, between your feet, or on your lap). Avoid placing them under the seat where they can be easily stolen or forgotten

  • Remain vigilant. Thieves will often use distraction or trick you to take out your device. (For example, asking you to give them directions or the time)

  • Avoid using devices near the doors as it makes it easy for thieves to grab your property and run through the closing doors

  • At night, ask the driver to make a “Request Stop” between regular bus stops

What You Should Know About Electronic Devices

  • Smartphone theft has overtaken purse theft as a common crime type

  • Put a password lock on your device that doesn’t contain any of your personal details and set the lock timer so your device locks a er a short period of inactivity

  • Keep a record of your device(s) unique IMEI number(s) – located on the original purchase box or you can dial *#06# on your cell to obtain

  • Check your IMEI number for free on to ensure the device has not been reported lost or stolen in Canada.

  • Keep device software up-to-date to ensure that security features are working to their maximum capabilities

  • Consider installing an application that allows you to track your device (if one wasn’t provided on your device)

  • Consider installing an application that will allow you to remove/erase data from your device remotely if lost or stolen

  • Watch out for “shoulder surfers” – people who stare over your shoulder. Treat your device as if you were entering a PIN number into a key pad when other people are around

  • Clear the device of all personal data when recycling/discarding your device



  • Try to remember distinctive points of identification about the suspect and, if possible, write this down while it is still fresh in your memory

  • If someone demands your property and displays (or implies) that they have a weapon, DON’T RESIST. You have a greater chance of getting hurt if you do

  • If someone tries to assault you, ATTRACT ATTENTION. Activate the Emergency Alarm - Yellow Stripe Alarm, scream, run - do whatever you can to get away - ONLY YOU can decide how to respond to an attack

If you see trouble, ask yourself what are my options - can you cross the street or go into a nearby store? If you are heading to an unfamiliar area, did you get directions prior to departing or do you have the capability to look this up while enroute?


  • Never step in front of or out from behind a transit vehicle

  • Do not walk across streetcar right-of-ways

  • Never purchase transit tickets, tokens or passes from any place other than an authorized TTC agent - they may be counterfeit

  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS - Trusting your own instincts that a situation seems “wrong” can be the best personal safety tool you have

  • Pay attention to it and don’t be afraid to act on it. A moment of embarrassment, if you are incorrect, is far less important than your overall safety


For further information about public transit safety, check out the TTC website


To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at:

In An Emergency: Call 9-1-1.

To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency call 416-808-2222.


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