ttc bus driver coffee

People keep getting mad at TTC bus drivers for getting coffee

Being held up by anyone when you're running late is frustrating, but being held up by someone who's being paid to get you moving? That's enough to blow a gasket if you have any effs left to give.

Public transit riders do not take kindly to drivers hopping on and off their buses mid-ride, as evidenced by complaints all over Twitter — and in some cases they're justified in feeling that way.

In 2010, video footage went viral of a TTC bus driver running into a Coffee Time while leaving passengers on a running bus for seven full minutes (and then telling off the person who filmed his unauthorized coffee break.) 

That driver was subsequently suspended and the TTC apologized for his allegedly regular habit of stopping for sustained breaks in the middle of the night.

The thing is, most operators who run into coffee shops during the course of their shifts aren't breaking any rules. In fact, the TTC itself would be breaking the rules for not allowing them to do so.

"The Employment Standards Act ensures that all employees are entitled to a certain amount of breaks within every shift," wrote the TTC's customer service account on Twitter in response to one upset passenger earlier this week. "This allows our operators to provide customers with the best service possible."

The bus passenger complained on Tuesday that her "TTC driver just went to get coffee while a full bus of people is waiting for her," hashtagging the post "#unbelievable."

Included in the tweet was a photo of said driver carrying what appeared to be a Tim Horton's cup.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green explained that bus drivers — like all humans who work — are allowed to stop for bathroom breaks if needed.

"Operators may not have breaks in their shift and may need to use facilities mid-route," he said. "This is common and we have arrangements with some businesses to allow our operators to use their facilities."

Upon reviewing the tweet from Tuesday, he noted that "that's likely the situation here."

And those times when a bus will just sit somewhere for 10 minutes without moving? They're called "dwells" and they're meant to get buses back on schedule if they are ahead. 

So rest easy the next time your driver hops off to run into a cafe, Toronto — they're likely just using the bathroom and grabbing a drink on the way out like anyone else.

Of course, if the behaviour feels excessive, you can reach out to the TTC directly with your complaints.

Lead photo by

Anna Gurevich


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