Here's what that weird little high chair on TTC buses is for
If you ride public transit in Toronto with some degree of regularity, you've likely seen (and maybe even wondered about) the single raised seat that's sometimes found on certain buses.
Covered in red fabric, it looks like any other non-priority seat on the bus, except slightly higher and flanked by yellow bars that look like handles or perhaps uncomfortable armrests.
"For anyone under 5'5", your legs dangle as if you are sitting in a baby's high chair. For anyone with junk in their trunk, it's a challenge to physically fit in the seat, or your parts spill over the arm rests," tweeted local transit user Lisa Cavicchia yesterday. "The location and height also give it a crown-like feel."
Royal as it may look, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green confirms that "this prestigious throne does not entitle the occupant to reign supreme over all others on the bus… or give them the ability to control dragons."
The reason they exist, as it turns out, is more of a design quirk than a feature, found only on the oldest buses in the TTC's fleet: The Orion VII.
TTC's oldest bus in the fleet has been retired. Bus 7575 (2004 Orion VII) made it's last run on 505 Dundas on Tuesday November 26, 2018. Bus 7575 is seen on route 54 Lawrence East in September 2009. pic.twitter.com/bfCawlgKhI— ttc2252 (@ttc2252) November 28, 2018
"This particular bus has an extremely tall engine and there is an access hatch in this location," says Green. "Instead of losing this space, it was made useful by installing a seat on the raised cover of the hatch."
"Since the seat was quite high, grab rails were included to assist with getting in and out of the seat," he adds, "and also to prevent passengers from sliding out of the raised seat and onto the lap of an unsuspecting neighbour."
Sadly for those who love to commute in the style of Daenerys Targaryen, these special seats are also just about extinct.
"There are about 10 of these left in our fleet operating out of Eglinton and Birchmount divisions (Scarborough) and are scheduled to be retired in the next week or two," explains Green of the Orion VII buses.
So enjoy them well you can—or celebrate the fact that you'll never get stuck on the high seat again after 2019.
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