Message from the Executives
CEO's Report: July Commentary
On July 2, the TTC’s Red Rockets cricket team finished second in the 18th annual Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Mayor’s Cricket Trophy event. Cricket teams from the public, private and community sector participated in the event held at Sunnybrook Park. The TTC’s team was made up of employees from across the Commission. A big congratulations on this year’s showing!
After a two-year hiatus, we are pleased to see things starting to return to normal with more in-person events happening at the TTC. On July 23, the TTC Recreation Council will hold its Annual Softball Tournament where teams from around the Commission will compete. Good luck to all those participating!
These events are not the only sign that life is returning to what it used to be pre-pandemic – our ridership is also continuing to return. As of the week ending June 24, overall ridership remains close to 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. As was the case throughout the pandemic, bus boardings lead the way at 64 per cent of preCOVID levels with streetcar and subway boardings at 56 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively.
As we head into summer, I hope everyone will be able to take some time to rest and recharge. I also want to say a special thank you to all our employees for their hard work over the past few months. Getting our customers to and from their destinations safely and getting more people back on transit is thanks to you.
Diversity and Culture Group
Underground Freedom Train Ride
The TTC is proud to once again be supporting and participating in the annual underground freedom train ride to celebrate Emancipation Day on August 1. This is the 10th annual Emancipation Day Freedom Ride and will be an in-person event after two years of being virtual.
The event begins at 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, at Union Station and ends at Sheppard West Station. The midnight train ride is hosted by the Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly known as A Different Booklist Cultural Centre) and ushers in Emancipation Day on August 1. It marks the role of the Underground Railroad in Canadian history.
Celebrations include: singing, poetry readings and drum playing. The event is open to the public. Honouring Emancipation Day reminds us of how important it is to combat anti-Black racism and to eliminate discrimination in all its forms in our communities as well as our workplaces, something the TTC is firmly committed to.
June COMTO events
Late last month, the Toronto and Region Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) hosted two virtual events in recognition of Indigenous Heritage Month and Pride. The first event involved a discussion on the history and resilience of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. It was hosted by the TTC’s Anti-Racism Policy Consultant Brittany Manu and featured Darin P. Wybenga, a Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Co-ordinator.
The second event dealt with trans inclusion in the workplace with a focus on how to use inclusive language. The session was hosted by Gayle Hollett, transgender woman activist for Natural Inclusion, and also one of our bus Operators. The guest speaker was Sandeep Nair, Business Development Manager for Pride at Work Canada. If you weren’t able to watch the sessions, they will be available on the COMTO Toronto and Region website in the coming days at comtotorontoandregion.ca/past-events.
Strategy and Customer Experience Group
TTC 100 Contest Update
I’m very pleased to announce that we have selected the winners of our TTC 100 Contest. Earlier this year, we invited school-aged kids 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. Also a very big thank you to everyone who participated!
Take the Tiger Bus to the Toronto Zoo
This summer, we are encouraging all our customers to visit the Toronto Zoo – and to take the TTC to get there. To continue celebrating the Year of the Tiger, the TTC has a specially wrapped bus featuring tiger stripes. The bus will be rolling out this month and we look forward to sharing images with everyone on social media.
Visit Torontozoo.com to find out more about special Year of the Tiger events July 29 through August 1.
The TTC has seen a steady increase in its ridership for the past few months and we are expecting this upward trend to continue in September. In order to prepare for the increase in ridership, the TTC has undertaken September Readiness planning.
This planning focuses on ensuring the TTC is ready to welcome customers back. We are doing this in a number of different ways including: providing better service by increasing the number of routes and vehicles; hiring more employees to meet demand; improving cleanliness throughout the entire system, including a station cleaning blitz; and a renewed focus on safety. We are also going to take the opportunity to remind customers about how affordable transit is compared to driving (especially given current gas prices) and about programs, such as children under 12 riding free and the two-hour transfer, which allows customers to get on and off the system as much as they would like within a two-hour period.
Through this planning, we are examining every part of our business to make sure we are ready. In the coming months we will share more.
Safety and Environment Group
Ongoing Safety Precautions
Safety remains a core priority for the TTC. Even though masks are no longer mandatory on public transit, we have a number of COVID safety measures that remain in place:
• Vehicle filtration has been upgraded to the highest standards on our vehicles.
• Enhanced cleaning is ongoing.
• Windows on TTC buses will continue to be opened when the bus goes into service, to enhance the air flow on the vehicle. Decals have been affixed to the windows of every bus, encouraging customers to leave them open for fresh air.
• Customers can view real-time bus arrival and occupancy levels by route on TTC.ca to plan ahead before boarding.
The TTC continues to work closely with public health officials and is still strongly recommending that customers and employees wear masks while on the TTC.
The next TTC Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 14 and will be live-streamed on the Official TTC YouTube Channel, starting at 10 a.m.
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.