Year in review 2002

March 21: Arrow Road Operator Dean Baker is honoured as the TTC/Bell Mobility 2001 Transit Community Watcher of the Year. Baker saw something floating in a pond, which turned out to be a drowning woman. His call for help saved the woman’s life.

March 31: Bus service starts running out of the new Eglinton Division/Garage in Scarborough. The closing of the Eglinton site at Yonge and Eglinton, and bus operations at Danforth, ends a combined 167 years of surface operations, which began with the Toronto Civic Railways in 1915. Operator Lindsay Spence signs out the first bus at new Eglinton; Operator Winston Fraser signs in the very last bus at old Eglinton.

April: Wilson Operator Sidney Baker receives a Rescue/Merit Award from the Toronto Fire Services for his assistance at a major fire on Lawrence Avenue West.

April 17, 18, 19: The TTC and its three unions ratify new, three-year collective agreements.

April 26: Federal Transport Minister David Collonette makes a precedent-setting announcement that the federal government will invest $76 million in the renewal and modernization of the TTC. “The Government of Canada recognizes that transit plays a fundamental role in the quality of life in our community,” Collenette said.

May: The TTC wins the American Public Transportation Association’s 2002 Bus Safety Gold Award for transit systems with more than 30 million annual riders. The TTC has received APTA Safety Awards in 10 of the past 11 years. 2002’s award was presented at APTA’s Bus and Paratransit Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

May 29: National Transportation Week honours Streetcar Maintenance General Superintendent Ian Lane with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Subway Operators Brad and Debbie Ireland with Recognition Awards; and Lakeshore Garage employees with an Excellence Award.

June 6: Elevators open at Queen’s Park Station.

June 8: The TTC finishes second to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in APTA’s 10th Annual Rail Roadeo in Baltimore, Maryland. Representing Toronto were Wilson Operator Ed Debeljak and Danforth Operator Robert Leithwood.

June 9: 31st Annual Roadeo winners: Arrow Road Operator Bill White wins his sixth consecutive (eighth of his career) Bus Roadeo Grand Championship. Maintenance Driver Ray Tonna wins his eighth Grand Championship. Wheel-Trans’ Operator Rick Cyncora wins his second consecutive title. Arrow Road’s Michael Enright and Ken Melloy win first place in the Maintenance Team event. Carey Leroux became Grand Champion in the Special Group.

June 17: Elected officials, including Federal Transport Minister David Collenette, and media take a T-1 train on a preview tour of the Sheppard Subway.

June 18: TTC Chair Brian Ashton presents the first commemorative TTC Papal Mass Passes to Father Tom Rosica, CEO and National Director of World Youth Day, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman and Commissioner Joe Mihevc, Chair of the World Youth Day 2002 Council Reference Group. A $4 TTC Papal Mass Pass, serial #100, sells on ebay for the unbelievable price of $173 a month later.

June 24: The new nine-member Commission is sworn in at City Hall. Ward 17-Davenport Councillor Betty Disero and Ward 39-Scarborough-Agincourt Councillor Sherene Shaw are named Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively.

June 27: Elevators open at Davisville Station.

June 23-28: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Toronto to celebrate 2002 World Youth Day. The TTC’s Transportation Plan for the largest international event ever held in Canada peaks on Sunday, July 28 when the morning mass performed by Pope John Paul II at Downsview Park draws close to a million people.

August 15: Ontario Ministers Norm Sterling and Chris Hodgson were at Finch Station to announce $13.3 million worth of SuperBuild funding for a number of short-term TTC transit improvement projects to help unlock gridlock in Toronto and outlying regions.

August 27-28: After 26 years of service, rail grinding cars W-30/W-31 are retired. W-30/W-31 are loaded onto flatbeds and shipped off to Halton County Radial Railway Museum in Rockwood. The converted PCCs began service as rail grinders in 1976.

September 19: Harvey Shop officially unveils rebuilt Peter Witt Car #2766, and rededicates the historic vehicle in honour of Ray Corley, former Equipment Department Superintendent of Design and Development.

November 22: The TTC officially opens the Sheppard Subway – Toronto’s first rapid transit line in 17 years. The 6.4-km line opens to the public on Nov. 24.

December 10: The TTC carries its 24 billionth customer.

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