Tuesday May 23, 2017

Commute from Hell

Subway delay in Toronto on Thursday May 19, 2016.

Subway delay in Toronto on Thursday May 19, 2016. (Graeme Roy/CP)

Listen to Full Episode 53:59

Work can't help but be affected when people spend almost as much time commuting as they spend on the job. How can a stressful commute impact a person's professional performance? What does it ultimately do to family life, or social engagements? Another in IDEAS' ongoing annual consideration of work-related mobility issues looks at the terrible experience of Toronto commuters.

Paul Kennedy speaks with five regular Toronto commuters, and hears some of their horrendous stories about getting from home to work, and back again. Our guide is Stephanie Premji, who has been studying work-related mobility issues as part of a larger research project called On the Move. **This episode originally aired January 9, 2017.


"Our society is very much geared towards the nine-to-five. Childcare is geared towards the nine-to-five. So, my daycare is open from seven to six. And if we're late, we're charged a dollar per minute. That's very difficult -- if not impossible-- for people who are in these precarious employment situations. So, how is it that we have our society geared towards the nine-to-five, whether it's child care or public transit? And yet we're not adapting to this reality of employment."
-- Stephanie Premji

Guests in the program:

  • Stephanie Premji teaches at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She's part of a seven-year research project called On the Move, which is studying work-related mobility issues across Canada, and around the globe.
  • Baolinh is a mother, and a regular TTC commuter.
  • Elif lives in downtown Toronto, but commutes for two hours in either direction to get to a job that she loves in Aurora.
  • Margot takes Toronto transit to school every day, and is trying to resist the temptation to get a driver's licence and buy a car.
  • Rabiul immigrated to Canada as an engineer, and found precarious work as a temporary labourer in Toronto.
  • Siddharsana is a student at the Scarborough Campus of the University of Toronto. Almost all of her fellow students are commuters.

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