Message from the Executives
CEO's Report: June Commentary
I am pleased to let you know that this month we are once again recognizing both Indigenous Peoples Month and Pride Month at the TTC with an employee and a customer campaign. The TTC has made equity, diversity and inclusion organizational priorities. The campaigns are important opportunities for us as we continue building an organization where employees feel like they belong and our customers feel welcome.
Art created by Indigenous artists in Toronto will be showcased on six buses and four streetcars to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Month in June. This year’s campaign was led by Indigenous members of the TTC’s Diversity and Culture Group and will also highlight Indigenous stories on posters in the subway system. Within the organization this year, we will also be holding sunrise ceremonies at various work locations throughout the month. The TTC will also hold a celebration for employees at its Hillcrest Complex showcasing Indigenous dancers, music, food and artisans.
On May 31, the TTC kicked off Pride Month with a flag-raising ceremony.
As in previous years, you will be able to see one of our wrapped buses on the 94 Wellesley route with Pride-themed artwork to celebrate the diversity of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ communities. We have also wrapped a second bus as well as a Wheel-Trans vehicle. If you spot one of the Pride-themed vehicles, be sure to take a photo and share it on social media using #TTCPride.
Safety and Environment Group
TTC extending contracts for Security Guards and Community Safety Ambassadors
It simply cannot be overstated: the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. Over the past several months, the TTC has enacted and implemented numerous measures and initiatives to enhance our safety and security practices and policies.
Recent data analysis has shown that overall incidents have declined, indicating that interventions have been effective. Based on the findings from the activity-based assessment and evaluation of services provided by Security Guards and Community Safety Ambassadors, the TTC will extend funding of the contracts to September 30, 2023, and will explore options to further extend the funding as needed.
Moving forward, safety and security metrics will continue to inform resourcing to support initiatives in the areas of education and training, community engagement, internal and external communications, and program development and implementation. The TTC will also continue to collaborate with other orders of government, external agencies, and its union partners to ensure the safety of its employees, customers as well as members of the public.
As of the week ending May 12, the TTC’s average weekday boardings stand at 71 per cent of pre-COVID levels, at 2.30 million, which sets another post-pandemic record.
Boardings by mode continue to be highest on the bus network at 84 per cent of pre-COVID levels while streetcar and subway boardings were at 57 per cent and 63 per cent, respectively. Wheel-Trans ridership is at about 75 per cent of pre-COVID. Although post-secondary student demand declined with schools transitioning to the summer semester, the work commutes and discretionary trips encouraged by the warm weather have made up for the decline to maintain ridership at levels observed in April.
A decline is expected in July and August as elementary as well as secondary schools enter summer break. Although more office employees are expected to return to the workplace at least two-to-three days per week through the year, full demand is not expected to return until after summer.
Diversity and Culture Group
TTC recognizes National Accessibility Week
The TTC celebrated National AccessAbility Week from May 28 to June 3. This was an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and to highlight communities as well as organizations working to remove barriers. It also presented an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to making the TTC more accessible and inclusive for employees as well as customers. To recognize this important week, we highlighted the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) and Wheel-Trans staff for their tremendous efforts in making the TTC a reliable and accessible service for all customers.
Strategy and Customer Experience Group
TTC opens its doors for Doors Open
This year’s Doors Open at the TTC featured Danforth Garage and McCowan Carhouse. A total of 6,000 people made the visit to our two locations on May 27.
At McCowan Carhouse in Scarborough, visitors experienced the full scale of SRT train maintenance operations, with an SRT car, wheels, axles and snow-removal vehicles on display. Those who attended had a chance to look behind the scenes before Line 3 Scarborough is decommissioned in November.
At Danforth Garage in Toronto, a vintage GM New Look bus and the all-new TTC eBus were on display, along with more than a century of public transit history. Originally called Danforth Carhouse, the Edwardian-style facility began servicing streetcars for Toronto Civic Railways in 1915, until 1921 when the TTC took over operations and introduced its new Peter Witt streetcars. When the Bloor-Danforth Subway opened in 1966, the facility was converted to an all-bus garage, and it served in that capacity until 2002.
TTC, City, Pet Valu promote pet adoption
I want to remind everyone that our joint campaign with Toronto Animal Services and Pet Valu to promote the benefits of pet adoption is on until June 15. Images of adorable cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits appeared last month at Spadina Station on digital billboards, vinyl wraps, and platform murals at high vantage points throughout the station.
We are thrilled to offer this eye-catching and impactful campaign to promote responsible pet ownership and we are pleased with the public response thus far. Toronto Animal Services encourages anyone who is interested in adopting a pet to research what care is needed, the commitment involved, and to consider how well the pet would fit with their current lifestyle.
People are encouraged to check the City’s Adopt a Pet webpage at www.toronto.ca/adoptapettoronto.ca/AdoptAPet as new animals are posted for adoption regularly. People who are interested in adopting a pet from Toronto Animal Services can call 416-338-PAWS between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to schedule an appointment for a meet and greet.
Operations and Infrastructure Group
Last day for SRT train service is targeted for November 2023
Last year, the TTC Board approved decommissioning Line 3 Scarborough and replacing train service with an express bus service to begin in Q4 2023. The last day for the SRT train service is targeted for November 18, 2023. Express buses are scheduled to start running the following day on November 19.
The closure of the SRT will require a very frequent bus replacement service to provide alternate services for customers connecting between important nodes, such as Scarborough Centre and Kennedy stations.
Equally important is keeping our customers informed ahead of the line closure. The TTC will continue to advise all of our riders of the planned Line 3 decommissioning throughout the year, especially as the construction for the transit priority measures gets underway. This includes preparing in-station communication with signage and notices on the transit network; digital communications with up-to-date notifications about construction progress; and print communication to post and distribute to customers, local communities and residents.
A comprehensive communication plan has been developed to support the closure of Line 3 and is being implemented now. The campaign includes large graphics in stations, paid newspaper ads (print and digital), ads on the exterior of buses in Scarborough, billboards, transit shelter ads and ads in movie theatres and shopping malls. We are also doing direct mail as well as running ads in multiple languages – Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, Urdu and Hindi.
TTC staff will also attend community outreach events to share information about this vital project. A dedicated project website can be found at www.ttc.ca/line3.
Transportation and Vehicles Group
New Wheel-Trans vehicles enter service
In May, Wheel-Trans added its 83rd seven-metre bus into service.
In 2023 and 2024, the TTC is scheduled to receive 23 six-metre and 52 seven-metre ProMasters to replace the 157 vehicles due for decommissioning. The 52 six-metre ProMasters approved by the Board, along with a future procurement of the TTC’s first battery-electric buses, will complete the replacement of these vehicles by the end of 2025.
Seasonal Service to High Park starting this month
Beginning on June 18, the 203 High Park will operate between High Park Station and High Park in the morning and afternoon on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Along with routes to the Toronto Zoo, Bluffer’s Park and Cherry Beach – seasonal service is one more way the TTC is making it easier for its customers to get around Toronto and enjoy all that the city has to offer.
Customers can now easily identify seasonal routes, marked by white and pink branding on maps, station signage and stop poles. Customers are encouraged to visit ttc.ca for more information on seasonal service changes.
June service changes
The TTC continues to deliver service to match capacity to demand. Starting on Sunday, June 18, the TTC is introducing service changes on the following routes:
• Service frequency in the evenings will be improved on Line 1 Yonge-University and Line 2 Bloor-Danforth.
• Adjustments to match service with projected ridership demand will result in new schedules on the following routes: 14 Glencairn, 28 Bayview South, 42 Cummer, 108 Driftwood, 130 Middlefield and 132 Milner.
• Service reliability improvements to schedules to better match observed operating conditions will result in new schedules on the following routes: 14 Glencairn, 28 Bayview South, 39 Finch East, 57 Midland, 94 Wellesley, 120 Calvington and 939 Finch East Express.
• Seasonal service adjustments for the end of the school year, such as the suspension of school trips.
Engineering, Construction, and Expansion Group
New Community Office is now open
The TTC officially opened its new community office for the Bloor-Yonge Capacity Improvements (BYCI) project last month. The accessible office is located at 25 Hayden St., directly across the street from Bloor-Yonge Station’s Hayden exit.
My thanks to TTC Chair Burnside, Vice-Chair De Laurentiis, and Commissioner Jagdeo for assisting us in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The opening of the community office marks an important step in overall improvements to Bloor-Yonge Station and TTC service through the area. We know construction can be challenging, and the support of the local community is invaluable to this project.
The office will serve downtown neighbourhood residents and businesses throughout the construction process to ensure any concerns that may arise are addressed directly by our Community Relations staff on site. Anyone interested in visiting the office is encouraged to book an appointment by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 416-472-2524.
Bloor-Yonge Station will remain operational for the duration of the project. A preliminary overview of the plan is posted on the project website at ttc.ca/blooryonge.
The next scheduled TTC Board meeting will be on Monday, June 12. The public meeting 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.