Andy Byford - CEO of TTC Safety before service is the TTC's mantra

These are increasingly busy times as we push on with delivery of the many initiatives and projects designed to modernize the TTC.

Work is progressing apace on the roll-out of the PRESTO farecard, the introduction of our new streetcar fleet, construction of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and re-signalling of Line 1. We are making progress in changing the TTC culture to be truly customer- led, and we are working hard to improve all aspects of our service. Moreover, we continue to carry ever-rising numbers of customers on a system that is struggling to keep pace with the city’s growth.

At a time of such relentless change, it is more important than ever to remain focused on our number one priority – keeping our customers and employees safe. The TTC has always had a strong safety culture and this remains the case. While recent, tragic events have given cause for concern, the overall safety record of the TTC remains very good, especially when seen in the context of over 530 million customer journeys a year – and over 250 million service kilometres logged annually.

When incidents do occur, they are thoroughly investigated for root cause to determine what can be done to prevent a recurrence. Our operating procedures put customer and employee safety first, a good example being our approach to reports of fire or the smell of smoke in the subway. In such circumstances, service is suspended while the Toronto Fire Service and TTC staff investigate. Our employees receive job-specific training and our mantra is that of safety before service, meaning that we would rather a service be late than have anybody’s safety put at risk. It is with this philosophy in mind – and following recent events – that we are undertaking a review of how we recruit, train, supervise and re-certify our operators. They already deliver safe service day in and day out in an increasingly busy environment. We are determined to keep it that way.

Update: Early subway closures north of Eglinton Station

The TTC has been rehabilitating the tunnel north of Eglinton Station, resulting in early subway closures (12:30 a.m.) six days a week. While regular system-wide maintenance is done nightly when the subway is closed between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., bigger projects require more time.

Since 2008, crews have undertaken three major upgrades north of Eglinton – repairing the tunnel structure, removing insulation on the tunnel walls, and repairing the structural concrete slabs that support the Lawrence Station bus loop.

For TTC riders, the end of these early closures is in sight. The restoration of the safety critical areas of the tunnel between Eglinton and Finch stations will be complete by the end of 2015, at which point regular nightly subway service to Finch Station will resume.

Until then, the TTC will continue to operate frequent bus service between Eglinton and Finch stations, after 12:30 a.m., Sunday through Friday. Safety is always the TTC’s number one priority. The wait has been long, but will result in a more reliable service for many years to come.

Thank you for your patience.

Employee Profile

Name: Jack Martin
Title: Instructor
Years of Service: 29

This coming June, at the age of 74, I will complete 29 years at the TTC. After working as a bus, streetcar and subway operator, I joined the Training and Development department, specializing in training and programming the TTC’s Bus Simulator. I have enjoyed every one of those years. As someone who joined the TTC later in life, I appreciate the TTC for being an equal opportunity employer. I never felt my age was a disadvantage when applying for new positions or training at the Commission. The most memorable event of the 29 years was being given the opportunity to participate in the development of a brand new Bus Operator training program in 2010.

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