Editorial Archive

Office of the Chief Executive

TTC Operator 4/15/21 6:00 PM

Board decisions this week

At yesterday’s (April 14) Board meeting, Commissioners received the findings of a Racial Equity Impact Assessment conducted by the University of Toronto’s Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah and Dr. Scot Wortley. The Board also approved staff’s recommendations on the Racial Equity Impact Assessment. I consider this examination necessary to root-out and address bias in all its forms at the TTC.

The U of T professors have been examining our approach to data collection and use, and ensuring that Special Constables and Fare Inspectors have the tools and training they need to do their jobs in a more inclusive way.

Our work with the professors is ongoing as they complete the second phase of this assessment. That will include consultation and engagement with racialized communities – an essential piece of this work.

We’re scheduled early next year to present the Board with the results of those consultations and a plan of action that will make us a leader among peer agencies, as well as the City’s agencies, boards and commissions.

This assessment represents an opportunity to help us build a transit system where everyone feels welcome and safe regardless of what they look like or where they come from.

I’d like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Owusu-Bempah and Dr. Wortley for their insights; and to Chief Diversity and Culture Officer Keisha Campbell, Diversity Director (acting) Rupa Aggarwal, Revenue Protection Head Michelle Jones and Special Constable Service Head (acting) Andrew Dixon for their overview presentations on actions we’ve taken to date.

TTC’s Green Fleet Program
At the same meeting, the TTC’s Green Fleet Program took two major steps forward to sustain us on a path to better air quality in Toronto.

Commissioners approved the purchase of approximately 300 long-range, battery-electric buses. They also approved a tripartite agreement framework between the TTC, Ontario Power Generation and Toronto Hydro-Electric Services Limited for building out eBus electrification infrastructure to support what is already North America’s largest zero-emissions bus fleet.

The electrification of our fleets is a key component of the City of Toronto’s TransformTO Climate Action Plan, which targets an 80-per-cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our goal is to transition to a zero-emissions fleet by 2040.

I’d like to thank Ken Hartwick, President and CEO of Ontario Power Generation and Elias Lyberogiannis, Executive Vice President of Toronto Hydro, for their collaboration and attending the meeting. Thanks also to Vehicle Programs Head Bem Case for his comprehensive presentation on both reports.

Below are more highlights of Commission decisions approved on April 14. The meeting can be viewed on the Official TTC YouTube Channel. The next scheduled virtual Board Meeting will be on Wednesday, May 12.

I know that COVID-19 cases remain high and this is a big concern for all of us. I want to remind you how important it is to continue following guidance from public health. Please remember to wear a mask and maintain physical distance from others. And in particular, if you are feeling unwell, please stay home.

Stay vigilant and be safe.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
April 15, 2021

Commission seal

TTC Board Meeting Highlights (April 2021)

TTC Board Meeting April 14, 2021

Racial Equity Impact Assessment
After receiving a presentation from University of Toronto professors, Dr. Akwasi OwusuBempah and Dr. Scot Wortley, on the findings of their racial equity assessment, followed by TTC staff presentations, the TTC Board approved the Racial Equity Impact Assessment report. The TTC Board also directed staff to report back on progress to implement the recommendations by Drs. Owusu-Bempah and Wortley through the regular reporting of the Revenue Protection and Special Constable Service departments’ culture change reports.

Commissioners approved the following motion by Commissioner Brad Bradford:
> Request the TTC CEO to explore opportunities for the relevant TTC divisions to continue to engage with the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) Unit, and Indigenous Affairs Office (IAO), with consideration for opportunities to:
   - Develop policies for the sharing of race-based data between the TTC and City, including providing the City Manager’s Office an overview of data, findings and analysis from incidents involving the TTC’s fare enforcement activity;
   - Align work plans to achieve shared objectives, with particular regard to advancing the priorities of the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism; and
   - Ensure the City of Toronto’s Community Crisis Support Service model pilot includes mental-health and other crisis-based calls from customers on the TTC.
> Request the relevant TTC staff to ensure the selection criteria for the future Community Racial Equity Advisory Committee (C-REAC) and Employee Racial Equity Advisory Committee (E-REAC) includes representation from BIPOC TTC riders from all four districts of Toronto and those with lived-experience of fare enforcement interactions.
> Request TTC staff, in consultation with the City of Toronto’s Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration Division, to consider opportunities to engage with local City Councillors and the City’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas Planning Tables as part of the outreach and promotion for community stakeholder consultations, with an emphasis on expanding outreach to Black and Indigenous transit users.

In 2019, the TTC retained U of T researchers, Drs. Owusu-Bempah and Wortley, to conduct an independent review of the historical customer data derived from the TTC’s Fare Inspector and Special Constable Service activities (the Racial Equity Impact Assessment). Their assessment and inquiry employs a variety of research and investigative techniques intended to:
> Identify racial disparities in key enforcement outcomes;
> Determine the causes of these disparities; and
> Identify appropriate measures for reform.

Having completed their Phase One review, the researchers found that between 2008 and 2018, both Black and Indigenous people were overrepresented in TTC enforcement incidents, and in both TTC charges and cautions. Reference to enforcement activities includes cautions and charges related to fare inspection, and safety and security incidents.

The findings further support the critical need for the TTC’s ongoing work to identify, prevent and address racism, anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism, in the workplace and in the delivery of services, and to build trust with Black, Indigenous and racialized communities.

The TTC received the report late last year and has taken the information to heart. In addition to the TTC’s commitment to a system-wide Anti-Racism Strategy, in December, the TTC Board endorsed the TTC’s 10-Point Action Plan for Diversity and Inclusion.

The TTC is actioning the following through commitments under the 10-Point Action Plan and Anti-Racism Strategy:
> Development of a Racial Equity Unit.
> Consultation and engagement.
> Launching a Community Racial Equity Advisory Committee.
> Development of an Anti-Racism Policy.
> Review of Policies.
> Confronting Anti-Black Racism Training.
> Anti-Indigenous Racism Training.
> Anti-Racism Training.

Progress on these items were reported in December 2020 and will be provided in the Anti-Racism Strategy and Embrace Diversity updates anticipated this summer.

Preliminary results of TTC’s head-to-head eBus evaluation
After receiving a presentation by TTC staff, the Board approved a progress report on the preliminary results of the TTC’s head-to-head evaluation of long-range, battery-electric accessible buses (eBuses) with the following recommendations:
> Delegate authority to the TTC CEO to undertake a public procurement through issuance of a Negotiated Request for Proposal and enter into up to two contracts for the supply of approximately 300 long-range, battery-electric buses, based on the following:
   - Limit the total contract award amount, including all applicable taxes, and project delivery costs to within the approved funding of approximately $300 million;
   - Apply lessons learned through the TTC’s eBus Head-to-Head Evaluation to pre-qualify potential suppliers based on demonstrated compliance with system compatibility requirements and Transport Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards;
   - All 300 eBuses to be delivered between Q1 2023 and Q1 2025; and
   - Negotiation of an acceptable agreement that is satisfactory to the TTC General Counsel.
 
Commissioners also approved a motion by Commissioner Brad Bradford requesting the TTC CEO and relevant TTC staff to include in the next report back on the Green Bus Program, a fleet plan that provides an overview of the TTC’s current vehicle stock, potential allocations for future eBuses within the fleet, and possible priority routes for eBus deployment upon expansion of the TTC’s eBus supply.

Framework for agreement on electrification infrastructure for eBus program
Commissioners approved a staff report outlining a tripartite agreement between the TTC, Ontario Power Generation and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Ltd. with the following recommendations:
> Approve the Framework for Agreement between the TTC, Ontario Power Generation and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Ltd. for the co-investment, ownership, design, build, operations and maintenance of all electrification infrastructure required to implement the TTC’s Green Fleet Program.
> Delegate authority to the TTC CEO to enter into the non-binding TTC-OPG-THESL memorandum of understanding under the Framework for Agreement satisfactory to the TTC’s General Counsel; and
> Report back to the Board no later than Q3 2021 with staff’s proposed negotiating position and proposed commercial terms for the TTC-OPG Master Agreement, satisfactory to the TTC’s General Counsel.

Financial update for year-end 2020
Commissioners approved the financial and major projects update report for the period ending December 31, 2020. The report outlines preliminary operating and capital financial results for the conventional and Wheel-Trans services for last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major financial impact on the TTC, which totaled $751.9 million in 2020, which was reduced to $590.2 million after accounting for the cost containment savings which were achieved. The 2020 shortfall was fully offset by funding from the provincial and federal governments, primarily through the Safe Restart Agreement (SRA). Through the SRA, a total of $1.312 billion has been made available to the TTC to support operating budget shortfalls due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.

Impact of ride-hailing on transit
Board members approved a motion Commissioner Shelley Carroll directing the TTC CEO to partner with City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Transportation Services and Planning staff to study the impact of ride-hailing services on public transit, which builds on the City’s 2019 report, The Transportation Impacts of Vehicle-for-Hire in the City of Toronto, and specifically studies:
> Rides lost annually to ride-hailing since 2014.
> Ride loss projections based on: i. Anticipated growth of ride-hailing; and ii. Changing rider concerns during and after the pandemic.
> The corresponding impact on fare revenue and, therefore, the TTC Operating Budget.
> Changes to traffic congestion, vehicle kilometres travelled (including commuting, cruising, on route and in-service time) by Private Transportation Company vehicles and corresponding effect on TTC surface transit caused by the growth of ride-hailing apps.
> Strategies and solutions to remain competitive in the mobility ecosystem when coming up against ride hailing companies.
> The potential synergies with ride hailing companies that could drive mutual economic benefit.

Next meeting of the TTC Board The next scheduled virtual TTC Board Meeting will be on Wednesday, May 12. 

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