Editorial Archive

All in a night’s work at the TTC

9/26/14 5:41 AM

We are often asked why the TTC subway does not run all night and why it doesn’t open until 9 a.m. on Sundays.

The reason is that we need every minute of the few hours available overnight to carry out essential maintenance and to undertake safety checks of critical equipment. Unlike some other systems, New York City being a good example, we do not have the luxury of additional tracks to enable 24-hour service.

As we progressively upgrade track and signals, we will look to extend subway operating‎ hours. As an alternative, the TTC does provide the Blue Night Network, where bus and streetcar night service criss-crosses the city on 22 routes.

Every night, TTC crews fan out across the network to undertake an array of tasks after subway service concludes at 1:30 a.m. ‎Track and signals workers patrol the track to ensure everything is ready for morning service and to fix defects that have been reported the previous day. Teams of janitors scrub and sweep stations and carry out light maintenance, while technicians work on our fleet of escalators and elevators.

In the subway and Scarborough RT carhouses, crews prepare the trains for morning service, a scene that is replicated in our streetcar barns.

Meanwhile, our seven bus garages and Wheel-Trans facility are also hives of activity. There are more than 1,800 vehicles that need to be fuelled, cleaned and washed in just a few short hours, a task that relies on excellent teamwork between operators and service crews.

In the Transit Control Centre, our team prepares for the morning start up. Safety of work crews is paramount and work sites must be clear before service begins for the day.

After just a few short hours, operators take trains, streetcars and buses back into service at 6 a.m. to once again begin the task of transporting you, our customer, aboard North America’s third largest transit network.

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