TTC chair wants to move forward with streetcar camera enforcement for safety reasons

Sep 24 2019, 8:10 am

Exactly one week after a woman was struck by a dump truck while exiting a streetcar, the TTC is holding its board meeting, and TTC chair is pushing to move forward with cameras to “ensure passenger safety.”

According to a motion by chair Jaye Robinson, legislative amendments to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act are required to permit the TTC to operate streetcar enforcement cameras. And in October 2017, the former TTC Chair submitted a request to the former Minister of Transportation to amend the appropriate provincial legislation to allow the TTC to use external cameras for traffic enforcement.

On Tuesday, September 17, a passenger exiting the 511 Bathurst streetcar was struck, but Robinson said the TTC records indicate that this wasn’t an isolated incident.

The chair said that from 2014 to 2016, “26 individuals were struck by either a car or bicycle when boarding or exiting a streetcar.”

The TTC motion stated that the transit commission currently operates fifteen streetcar routes, eight of which operate in mixed traffic, requiring customers to cross the traffic lane adjacent to the curb in order to board or exit the vehicle.

“This matter is urgent as it pertains to the safety of passengers on the TTC streetcar network,” said Robinson’s memo.

“In light of the most recent incident on the 511 Bathurst streetcar route, various stakeholder groups and provincial representatives are working together to advocate for the necessary legislative changes at the provincial level. The TTC Board has a unique opportunity to express their firm support of this initiative at this critical juncture.”

On Tuesday morning, advocates TTCriders and NDP transit critic Jessica Bell were at Bathurst station to “stand up for safer streets.”

“Bathurst and Ulster is a very dangerous transit stop. I know this because it’s my transit stop,” said Bell. “Action is needed now at the provincial level, from supporting Vision Zero, to permitting safety cameras on transit vehicles so everyone is safe.”