John Tory talks transit relief after nightmare rush-hour commutes for TTC riders

After two days of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) commuters posting their displeasure over morning rush-hour delays on social media, Toronto Mayor John Tory says he is working with TTC chair Josh Colle to tend to a number of issues.

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“To ensure that all state of good repair projects are done in an efficient way that mitigates the impact on daily commuters,” Tory told reporters Thursday afternoon.

“That will include, of course, that continued installation of the automatic train control, which we will make sure is delivered on time and on budget. So it can be completed next year, and this will allow us to significantly add to the capacity of line one.”

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The comments come after platforms were left brimming with disgruntled passengers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said day one was largely a series of unfortunate operational issues.

“It had everything to do with decision-making that was made on Tuesday that we need to re-think,” he explained.

“Particularly bringing in a train that was disabled down at 7 a.m — that was the wrong decision.”

Signal issues, door problems and an emergency alarm activation were among the disruptions tacking on travel time to transit users’ journeys on the Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor-Danforth subway lines.

Ross issued an apology to them over Twitter earlier this week, calling that commute ‘abysmal.’

The second morning of delays was the result of signal issues caused by a cracked rail at Bloor Station. The station serves as a major transfer point between the two subway lines and approximately 300,000 passengers funnel through it daily.

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“We can do better at communicating on board the train,” Ross admitted.

“For example, with the crowding at St. George, with the crowding at Bloor-Yonge, we should have offered customers some alternatives.”

Ross told Global News a crucial part of that communication means providing train operators more information to relay directly to passengers.

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Meanwhile, Tory said he will also be meeting with city staff sometime in the next two weeks to reiterate the longstanding question among many transit advocates: What can be done to speed up progress on the Downtown Relief Line?

“Things happened in the last couple of days that were inconsistent with, I think, the patterns that had been set in more recent years to communicate these things better and more effectively to the people who are affected,” he said.

Tory also told reporters he supports Colle’s call for a review of ‘the failures’ experienced earlier this week. Tory hinted that the report will be tabled at the next TTC board meeting.

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