My streetcar stopped at a Tim Hortons mid-route, and the driver got out and grabbed a coffee.
Dear Urban Decoder: My streetcar stopped at a Tim Hortons mid-route, and the driver got out and grabbed a coffee. Is that kosher?—Ivan Topple, Etobicoke
It depends. Some bus drivers run routes that can take up to two hours in rush hour. The TTC lets them nip out when nature calls. Stopping in for coffee or food, though? “That shouldn’t be happening,” says a TTC spokesperson. But it might not be that simple. As anyone who’s tried to use a coffee shop bathroom knows—and as the TTC drivers’ union takes pains to point out—the privilege is sometimes reserved for paying customers. This can lead to drivers buying things they may not want, just to get into the loo. Union boss Bob Kinnear suggests that the TTC take a cue from Hamilton’s transit agency, which has arranged for its operators to use coffee shop facilities gratis, although we’re guessing that wouldn’t stop drivers from grabbing the odd Timbit.