Dozens of TTC routes will experience service cuts starting next week as the implementation of an employee vaccine mandate leads to staffing shortages.
Beginning Monday, November 22, the subway’s Line 2, one streetcar route, and a whopping 57 bus routes will experience temporary service reductions or periods of service suspension, the TTC says.
The transit agency announced in September that employees who do not share their vaccine status by the end of the day on November 20 will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence until they complete their vaccine course. Any employees who are not fully vaccinated by the end of the year will be let go. As of the end of October, 88% of TTC’s 15,090 employees had shared their vaccine status.
The TTC says it is working to protect the city’s busiest routes during their busiest periods and that the reduced schedules are expected to continue into December.
The Bloor-Danforth line will have reduced service at all times from Monday to Friday. In the daytime, service will be reduced from every three to four minutes to every four minutes. In the evenings, service will be reduced from every six minutes to every seven to eight minutes.
A full list of all of the affected routes is available on the TTC’s website.
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News of the cuts was met with pushback, particularly from transit advocate group TTCriders.
“Cutting service is a total failure of leadership from all levels of government,” TTCriders said in a statement. “Mayor Tory must immediately extend the vaccine mandate deadline, and the federal, provincial, and city governments must act now to extend emergency transit operating funding. The TTC could implement interim measures such as regular testing while it conducts a hiring blitz and continued education about vaccination.
“TTC cuts are not an option. Cuts will cause chaos for working people who depend on the TTC every day to get to work, school, and groceries. The TTC has had months to prepare for a labour shortage, but has been operating “just enough” service due to underfunding.”