Editorial Archive

CEO’s Report – April commentary

5/3/20 9:36 PM

In my March commentary, I noted that from the outset of the pandemic we have been embedded in the City’s Emergency Operations Centre and reporting daily on a number of key metrics. You will find a summary of these metrics beginning on page 11 of this report. They paint a stark picture of the impact this pandemic has had on our service and operation.

On April 23, the TTC came to a very difficult decision in announcing cost-saving measures designed to maintain critically important transit service to Torontonians during the COVID-19 crisis.

After reviewing all other possible options, we informed our workforce that it was our intention to temporarily lay-off approximately 1,200 employees.

I come from an operations background and having to do this to dedicated and hard-working employees is the hardest decision of my career.

The TTC will take care of our co-workers impacted by this as best we can during this difficult time, and we look forward to everyone coming back once ridership has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Like other businesses and organizations across the public sector, the TTC is not immune from the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

At the TTC, our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our customers and employees.

We continue to receive the most up-to-date reports and follow the guidance from Toronto Public Health to make sure the TTC remains resilient and prepared to serve our customers.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the TTC workforce for their unrelenting commitment to the well-being of our customers, and for the care and support our workers show each other day in and day out. We’re living and working in an incredibly difficult time, but I’m confident that we will all get through this, together.

So many people, even with a deep decline in our ridership, rely on the TTC to get them from A to B. We continue to adjust service levels and redeploy vehicles to routes where we know essential workers are making essential trips. More and more of our vehicles now operate with an additional onboard barrier to further enable physical distancing.

I’d like to publicly thank our skilled tradespeople in our shops who have manufactured and installed these items in all of our buses in short order. They are also manufacturing cloth masks for our frontline employees.

TTC staff have been very diligent in practicing physical distancing across our property – in divisions, garages and offices. We know that it’s incredibly important that we all continue to be personally vigilant, at work and at home, and keep doing those basic things that are preventing the spread of this virus:
> Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
> Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
> Sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
> Stay home if you’re not feeling well.

We continue to incorporate other measures into our operations, such as deep-cleaning of our vehicles, rear-door boarding and extensive signage in our vehicles and stations to reinforce best practices as advised by Toronto Public Health and our own safety experts.

Tuesday, April 28 is the National Day of Mourning. On this day, the TTC will lower flags to half-mast as a tribute to those in our workplace who lost their life or suffered a serious injury.

This is a day that we ask our employees to take a personal moment to reflect on the importance of safety at the TTC – now more than ever.

The TTC Executive and I are truly appreciative for the important work performed by our joint management-union Health and Safety Committees. These dedicated teams play a vital role by allowing workers and managers to equally participate in resolving health and safety issues, and to promote safety in the workplace on a continual basis.

Our most important job at the TTC is to ensure the safety and security of our customers, employees and everyone around us.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
April 2020

Published in the CEO’s Report, which can be found on the TTC intranet and ttc.ca.

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