Editorial Archive

Office of the Chief Executive

Commission seal 9/3/20 9:27 AM

Preparing for a safe back to school season

As we approach the start of the school year, the TTC has been getting ready to meet the demand for more service by bringing back Operators and increasing service to the busiest routes across the network.

We’ve been working closely with school boards across the city to understand what travel demands will look like – particularly around the start of the school day and early dismissal. Our goal is to ensure safe, demand-responsive service as students return to classes.

Like everything else this year, we know that the back to school season will be different. For now, we’ve prepared for private school students to return to class next week; and for the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board to welcome students back the following week. The safety of our customers as well as the safety of our employees remains my top priority.

Earlier this week, Mayor John Tory announced the City’s plans for a likely resurgence of COVID-19 this fall and winter. Based on the advice of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, the City is developing revised scenarios to such priorities as child care, long-term care homes and the TTC.

For us it means protecting service on high ridership corridors. Cleaning and sanitizing regiments in our stations and vehicles are non-stop. Simultaneously, we continue to ramp up a demand-responsive service.

I’m truly impressed by the level of respect and care people are showing each other by complying with the wearing of face coverings. Since face coverings became mandatory on the TTC at the beginning of July, we’ve documented more than 104,000 observations and 96 per cent of riders are wearing masks.

At the same time, we must continue to emphasize to the public that there are exceptions to the rule for people with medical conditions and Operators or Collectors working behind physical barriers. It’s vital for all of us to keep this top of mind when on the TTC.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, Mayor Tory rode the subway a couple of days ago and posted a terrific video message on his Twitter account thanking TTC employees for everything they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Great job everyone!

Have a safe and enjoyable Labour Day long weekend.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
September 3, 2020

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