March 27, 2020

A message from the CEO

Good afternoon everyone,

We just learned that a third employee, a Wheel-Trans operator, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Operator, who is based out of Lakeshore Division, was first symptomatic on March 17. The individual did not work in the 48 hours prior to showing symptoms and has not worked since. Toronto Public Health has determined that there are no implications of this diagnosis on the rest of our employees or our customers.

Your health and well-being will always be my number one priority. The executive team and I will continue to take these diagnoses very seriously and take our direction from the experts at Toronto Public Health, our health and safety team as well as our occupational health unit. We’re all working closely with ATU Local 113 with your safety in mind.

I hope you take comfort in knowing that we are going to great lengths to keep your work areas, and the entire system, clean and sanitized. We continue to listen to your concerns, assess our operations, and make sure we are in line with recommended best practices.

Thank you for showing up for the city at this difficult time and delivering service we can all be proud of. 

Please join me in wishing our friend recuperating at home a speedy recovery.


COVID-19 and Handling of Internal Mail

How is COVID-19 transmitted? 

The Toronto Public Health officials advise that the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close and prolonged contact with one another (within about 6 feet and more than 15 minutes).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

What about Objects and Surface Contact?

The Centre for Disease Control, which is a renowned United States health protection agency also says that it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. TTC has implemented frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common contact points like door knobs, handles and railings to reduce surface contacts.

How Long Does Covid-19 Survive on Surfaces?

Public Health Agency of Canada indicates that coronaviruses generally do not survive on surfaces after being contaminated. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. Cold and flu viruses are less persistent on porous surfaces like cardboard and paper and cloth that tend to cause more rapid drying of the cell walls and collapse of the virus structure.

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

What is Recommended for Internal Mail?

The risk in handling internal mail is expected to be low.

Employees should be hand washing and using hand sanitizer on a regular basis at work so the likelihood of transferring germs to paper should already be low.

If the delivery has been longer than a few days, it is unlikely that the Covid-19 virus would survive on a dry porous surface.

What are the Handling Precautions?

  • Wear disposable nitrile gloves when handling large amounts of external mail or objects from unknown sources.  This is most applicable for mail room attendants.  Nitrile gloves are not required for those who handle mail less, such as departmental employees organizing departmental mail and handling invoices. 
  • If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a disinfectant wipe or spray. Ensure appropriate contact time for the disinfectant to work. 
  • Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water after opening or handling the mail.
  • Most importantly, wash your hands often and especially before eating and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Bus boarding and payment changes

Customers must board and exit the bus from the rear doors only, except those who require the kneeling ramp to be deployed. We are no longer accepting cash, TTC tickets or tokens on buses at this time. If a customer does not have a PRESTO card or ticket, they will not be denied service and we ask that they pay at their first opportunity, like at a station or on a streetcar if possible.

As of March 18, 2020 the TTC stopped handing paper transfers out to customers on buses.

The information on this page is intended for TTC Employees. Customers can learn more about health and well-being on the TTC by visiting Toronto Public Health.

In addition, customers and employees can visit the TTC’s Coronavirus update page and COVID-19 FAQ for more information.

TTC employees play a vital role in keeping the city moving. Your commitment to the city and to our customers maintains a safe and reliable public transit service during these uncertain times. Thank you. This is what we do, and you’ve delivered. This page includes resources to help keep you safe, supported and informed throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A message from the CEO

March 24

Good evening everyone,
Late today, we learned that a fellow employee, a subway operator, tested positive for COVID-19.
This is a very recent development and we’re working closely with Toronto Public Health. At this time we know that the Operator, who is based out of Wilson Division, worked part of a shift on March 16 before reporting feeling unwell and has not been at work since. We also know that none of our other employees or our customers are at an elevated risk of exposure.
As you know, the TTC takes safety very seriously. On a personal level, I consider the health and well-being of TTC employees my top priority and that’s why we’re continuing to take our direction from Toronto Public Health. Our health and safety team as well as occupational health units are also working closely with ATU Local 113 to determine the best way forward and to ensure you are safe, you are armed with accurate information, you are well-supported, and you continue to be able to help keep the people who need us most, moving.
I hope you take comfort in knowing that we are going to great lengths to keep your work areas and the entire system clean and sanitized. We continue to listen to your concerns, assess our operations, and make sure we are in line with the recommended best practices that will keep you safe. I also want to assure you that if any employees need to be given further instructions about this incident, they will be contacted directly.
I want to reiterate my thanks to all of you for showing up for this city and continuing to make a difference. I’m so proud of the service that we are providing Toronto.
Please join me in wishing our friend recuperating at home a speedy recovery.

March 23

COVID-19 Livestream Town Hall and Q&A - POSTPONED

Wednesday, March 25 - POSTPONED
10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
With Dr. Vinita Dubey
Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health

Thursday, March 26 - POSTPONED
6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
With Dr. Alain Sotto
TTC Occupational Medical Consultant

Representatives from TTC Safety and Environment and Operations Groups will also be available to answer questions live.

Join us live.

March 19

A message from the CEO

Late yesterday, we learned that one of our employees at Duncan Shop has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee worked one shift on March 11 after returning from travel and was sent home sick. They have not returned to work since.

Out of an abundance of caution we have asked all impacted shop employees to self-isolate until March 25, and return to work on March 26 if they have no symptoms. We will continue to consult with the local health authorities and keep you advised of further developments.
During this time, Duncan Shop will undergo a thorough disinfection, with special attention paid to common high-touch areas. This complements the increased cleaning and disinfection measures we have in place across our vehicles, stations and workplaces.

This is an unsettling, unprecedented time at the TTC, but I want to assure you we are doing everything we can to fight the spread of COVID-19 and keep you and our customers safe.

I will continue to keep you updated of any further developments.

For now, I must thank you again for all your hard work in keeping Toronto moving, even in this difficult time. I also ask you to keep this employee and their family in your thoughts.

Rick Leary