Message from the Executives
CEO's Report: August Commentary
As of the week ending August 5 boardings by mode were higher on our bus network at 60 per cent of pre-COVID levels with streetcar and subway boardings at 53 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively. Overall system-wide boardings now sit at approximately 57 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
The TTC has been witnessing a steady ridership increase over the past few months and we’re anticipating another increase in September as more people return to in-person work and students return to school.
To prepare for this, the TTC is doing September readiness planning throughout the summer. This work is focused on four key areas:
• Increasing service across all modes and on many routes to make sure we’re delivering service where and when it’s most needed;
• Recruiting, hiring and training more frontline employees to meet the service improvements;
• Enhancing cleanliness throughout the entire system, including a station cleaning blitz over the summer;
• And of course a renewed focus on safety and customer service excellence.
We plan on sharing details of all that we have been working on to make sure the TTC is ready for the fall – everything from deep cleanings all our stations to hiring more operators to support service. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.
Diversity and Culture Group
Underground Freedom Train Ride returns in-person
After two years as a virtual event, it was wonderful to welcome back the annual Emancipation Day Freedom Train Ride in 2022.
The Freedom Train Ride is symbolic of the role the Underground Railroad has played in Canadian history. Recognizing Emancipation Day, and Emancipation Month in August, reminds us of how important it is to shed light on anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. It is also an important aspect of the TTC’s broader commitment to building a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming transit system for everyone.
The Freedom Train Ride is a public event organized by the Blackhurst Cultural Centre and took place on Line 1 from Union to Sheppard West stations. The TTC is proud to be an integral participant in the ride.
This year’s event featured music, singing, moments of reflection and remarks by TTC Chief Diversity and Culture Officer Keisha Campbell.
Calling for backpacks and school supplies
For the third year, volunteer organizers at the TTC are supporting the Toronto and Region Chapter of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) with its backpack and fundraising drive. The drive collects new backpacks filled with school supplies for children and youth in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas around Toronto.
In 2021, employees donated more than 1,000 new backpacks loaded with school supplies for students in the Jane/Finch, Rexdale and Malvern areas.
Strategy and Customer Experience Group
Closing out TTC 100
I’m very pleased to announce that we have selected the winners of our TTC 100 Contest. Earlier this year, we invited young students in Toronto – our next generation of customers – to share their vision for the TTC of the future. They responded with fantastic and creative ideas using illustrations, photos, drawings, models and written submissions. Thank you to our partners at the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the STEPS Initiative.
The winners will be announced at a special event to close our 100th anniversary celebrations at our Hillcrest Complex on August 20. Congratulations and a big thank you to all the participants!
ACAT applications available
The Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) will be accepting applications for new members until September 12. ACAT is a 15-member committee that advises the TTC on the difficulties faced by persons with disabilities, including seniors, and makes recommendations on the elimination of barriers to accessible public transit.
ACAT is also committed to providing opportunities for diverse voices to influence accessibility in transit. We welcome members to apply from all communities, including racialized, Indigenous, Military, LGBTQ2+ and other groups.
Applications will be available at ttc.ca until September 12 for any resident of Toronto interested in joining the committee. Applications can also be requested by phone at 416-393-3030 or 1-800-855-0511 (relay service for people who are deaf or hearing impaired), and mailed to Wheel-Trans – ACAT applications c/o Customer Service, 580 Commissioners St., Toronto ON, M4M 1A7. They can also be faxed to 416-338-0126. Please visit ttc.ca/acat to learn more about the committee and its responsibilities.
Free TTC travel on Warriors’ Day for Canadian military and veterans
The TTC is honoured to continue our long-standing tradition of providing free rides to all current members of the Canadian Armed Forces in uniform as well as war and peacekeeping veterans wearing military service medals or ribbons on Warriors’ Day, August 20. Free travel is also extended to one companion on all TTC vehicles.
Each year, the TTC recognizes the valuable contributions of the Canadian military, veterans and peacekeepers by providing them free rides on Warriors’ Day and on Remembrance Day.
The 2022 Warriors’ Day Parade at Exhibition Place commemorated the 100th anniversary of the parade.
Ongoing winter readiness
In addition to our September readiness planning, our operations and maintenance groups are using the next few months to ensure the TTC is ready for the coming winter season. Winter readiness planning is a year-round function at the TTC and we use the warmer months to prepare.
Currently, we are reviewing all our contracts and agreements, making sure that all our inventory and equipment is in place and ordering anything we may need. We are also using this time to train our employees and make any necessary updates to our severe weather plans.
Innovation and Sustainability Program
Ontario Transportation Expo
I want to thank our eBus team and Mount Dennis maintenance staff for their outstanding efforts in welcoming delegates from the Ontario Transportation Expo and Conference last month.
The expo and trade show was held in Toronto from July 17 to 20. The TTC hosted more than 100 delegates on a field trip to Mount Dennis Garage.
Attendees, guided by knowledgeable members of our eBus and Innovation and Sustainability teams, toured the facility to learn more about how we have become a leader in the eBus space. Participants were able to interact with and ask questions about each phase of eBus charging and the required infrastructure. Groups also rode on all three bus types on different legs throughout the trip.
The TTC provided electric buses to shuttle delegates from the conference to the trade show at the Toronto Congress Centre, which was extremely well-received by all delegates, and we have received numerous e-mails thanking the TTC. This shuttle service also included a very special guest, The Honorable Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation, who was very appreciative of the TTC’s efforts towards the Green Fleet Program.
My thanks to our colleagues at York Region Transit, Brampton Transit and PowerON for their collaboration on this event, and special thanks to TTC staff and volunteers for all their efforts in making this an overwhelmingly positive experience for our transit peers.
Safety and Environment Group
The TTC continues to work closely with public health officials regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and although mask wearing is no longer mandatory on public transit, the TTC continues to strongly recommend that customers and employees wear masks while on the TTC.
Pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics continue to take place around the city and all eligible residents are encouraged to get their vaccine shot to protect against variants during what is now the seventh wave of the pandemic.
The TTC is doing its part through ongoing enhanced cleaning efforts, upgrading vehicle filtration to the highest standards (MERV 13) and running buses with windows open and unlocked to enhance the air flow through the vehicle.
Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
This commentary is published in the CEO’s Report, which can be found on the TTC Intranet and ttc.ca.