Tory promises relief line after this week's TTC commuter nightmare

Feb 2 2018, 9:40 pm

It was a commuter nightmare on the TTC earlier this week, as problem after problem held massive crowds at several Line 1 stations with no trains in sight.

There was a switch problem, smoke on a train, as well as an emergency alarm pulled all within the same time during morning rush hour. While the TTC apologized for the “abysmal” service that morning, Mayor John Tory spoke on the issue on Thursday.

“I want every transit rider in this city to know that I am absolutely committed to improving and expanding the TTC so that their daily commute improves,” said Tory. “We are doing everything possible to make sure the existing system is running properly and that we are expanding transit as fast as possible for the future.”

The city said that TTC staff and leadership have been working to address the operational issues that have caused “unacceptable delays” and that left commuters crowded onto subway platforms this week.

To assist transit initiatives, City Council will be approving a total operating budget of $1.98 billion for the TTC this year, which is a $21 million increase from last year. That is in addition to the almost $1.16 billion capital budget.

Last May, Council voted to move forward with the Relief Line. The planning, design and engineering work are fully funded, according to the City, which says it will have a detailed design complete by next year. Tory will be asking the province to match the federal government’s $4.8 billion investment in Toronto transit including the Relief Line.

“The federal government has made it clear that they expect provinces to match this investment at least 33%, but other provinces across the country have committed to 40%, and it’s time for Ontario leaders to commit to doing the same for people of Toronto,” said Tory.

“Toronto is growing fast and we must keep up. Having a strong and robust transit system is vital to our residents, to our economy and to our competitiveness as a city and a province.”

The City said that TTC Chair Josh Colle is working with the TTC regarding the repair projects, to ensure that it is done efficiently and does not impact daily commuters. This includes the installation of Automatic Train Control to be completed next year and to help add capacity to Line 1, which is part of the reason we have so many planned subway closures on weekends.

Colle called for a review of this week’s “failures” experienced by the TTC, an idea supported by Tory, to be addressed at the next TTC board meeting.

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