Message from the Executives
Highlights from the TTC Board’s March meeting
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide everyone with some highlights of discussions and decisions taken at the TTC Board meeting held at City Hall on March 20.
Over the last several months the TTC has been experiencing ongoing reliability problems with the new, paddle-style fare gates. So much so that we ceased installation work last week until the manufacturer comes up with an action plan to correct the hardware and software issues affecting the proper operation of the paddles. Once the solution is in place we’ll continue with the installation work at the remaining stations for completion later in the summer.
I updated the Board on an investigation that is underway involving an incident between a Transit Fare Inspector and a customer that occurred in February. The confrontation triggered a letter from the Toronto Ombudsman, which I responded to publicly on Feb. 23. I assured Commissioners and the public that the matter is being thoroughly addressed through our fare inspection complaints procedure, which is comprehensive and being conducted in consultation with the Diversity and Human Rights Department. We are also co-operating with the Toronto Police Service, which is investigating to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
The TTC saw another two vehicles drive into the Queens Quay streetcar tunnel in the past two weeks, which brings the number of occurrences to about 25 since 2014. We’ve covered the entrance with an increasing amount of lights, signage and rumble strips, but it’s clearly not enough. We’re working with the City to look at the intersection and corridor as a whole, we’re investigation the GPS apps that might be directing cars towards the tunnel and we’re expediting a barrier that could be designed and installed in the coming months.
On the accessibility front, we’ve been participating in a unique pilot at St Clair Station. Partnering with the CNIB/Rick Hansen Foundation, small beacons placed in the station using Bluetooth technology are sending way finding messages to customers with sight loss through a free app on their smartphones. As one of the over 100 businesses in the Yonge and St. Clair area participating, this pilot is helping to support our Family of Services initiative and diversity and inclusion efforts.
Board members unanimously approved the introduction of the Universal Pass (or U-Pass) Policy Framework for post-secondary students in Toronto. This would provide students with a more affordable, unlimited travel fare option at a monthly price of $70. Participation would be mandatory for all eligible students and the cost of the pass would be included in the fees paid by them each semester. The TTC U-Pass, available only on the PRESTO card, would be sold starting this fall if the upcoming student vote at the University of Toronto proves favourable.
The Board approved two new bus routes in southwest Toronto. The first route will run between Park Lawn Loop and Mimico GO Station. The second route will run along The West Mall from Kipling Station to Sherway Gardens. The Mimico GO shuttle and The West Mall services are scheduled to start in September. Both will operate out of Queensway Division.
And great news for crews at Wilson Garage. Commissioners approved the award of a contract worth $35.6 million for major improvements that will see upgrades to the ventilation system, anti-slip flooring in the fuelling lanes, as well as new wash racks and overhead doors. Construction is expected to get underway in the second quarter of this year.
Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer (Acting)
March 22, 2018