Editorial Archive

Office of the Chief Executive

Commission seal 7/30/20 2:30 PM

Updates on COMTO, Freedom Ride and Bus Lane Implementation

In early June, I wrote to tell you about a group of employees who formed the first international chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). This is an organization that develops and advocates for its members while fostering barrier-free access to career advancement opportunities within the transportation industry for all people of racialized and marginalized groups. Members of the chapter have produced their first video message. Please take a moment to watch this important and thought-provoking video posted on The Coupler’s YouTube channel as well as playing on all TTC-TV screens. As I’ve said before, we’re serious about making change!

As mentioned in this week’s Leader’s Digest, I’d like to remind everyone that tomorrow night, the TTC will be partnering with A Different Booklist Cultural Centre on its annual underground freedom train ride to celebrate Emancipation Day on August 1. Last year’s midnight subway ride saw more than 1,200 participants commemorate the role of the Underground Railroad in Canadian history with songs, poetry readings and drum playing.

I’m disappointed that this year’s event won’t physically take place on the TTC because of the pandemic. Instead, a virtual event will be live-streamed on YouTube, and we’ve been invited to provide the sights and sounds of the subway to help make the virtual journey a unique experience. Our job at the TTC is to make connections. And I will be speaking on behalf of all employees to convey how proud we are to participate and assist in making this connection to an important moment in our nation’s history. The Virtual Emancipation Day Freedom Ride begins at 10:45 p.m. Please visit the cultural centre’s website at adbcc.org for more details.

By recognizing Emancipation Day, and Emancipation Month, it reminds us of how important it is to combat anti-Black racism and to wipe out discrimination in all its forms, once and for all. We’re making progress, but we have much work to do in our city and our workplace. We at the TTC have zero-tolerance for any kind of racism against, or committed by, any employee or customer using our services.

With Toronto and the remaining neighbouring regions entering Stage 3 on Friday (July 31), it is with a sense of relief to tell you that our Bus Lane Implementation Plan cleared its final hurdle this week. On July 28, City Council unanimously approved priority bus lanes on the Eglinton East corridor. Dedicated bus lanes along Eglinton Avenue East-Kingston Road-Morningside Avenue, from Kennedy Station to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, by the fall will have an immediate benefit for customers returning to the TTC as the city reopens.

Stay safe and have a great long weekend.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
July 30, 2020

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