Though the back-to-school season is different this year, students and parents can count on the TTC for improved safety and service.
"Since January, we have been making sure we are ready to manage any challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to our customers and employees with additional cleaning and continuation of service where it is needed most,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "With schools in Toronto re-opening over the next week, we are making sure we’ll be ready to meet an expected increase in ridership head on."
To accommodate anticipated service demand this month, the TTC is:
Deploying an additional 110 special run buses to manage anticipated high school student ridership and communicating with school boards to determine hot spots, student volumes and start and dismissal times
- Adding staff at stations with increased student use to monitor for crowding and ensure safety for all customers.
- Maintaining service flexibility and implementing demand-responsive bus service to supplement scheduled service
- Continuing distribution of free masks throughout the system to ensure as many customers as possible are wearing face coverings
- Continuing enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all public places and vehicles with a focus on touch and grab points, such as buttons, railings, handles and straps
- Continuing to stock hand sanitizer in every station and on every streetcar and Wheel-Trans vehicle.
Because of the potential for increased demand, some service will need to be deployed in real-time and will not appear on schedules or on transit apps.
"Over the past few months, our City has been working to help the province and school boards prepare for back to school to help keep students safe," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "We have worked to ensure the TTC continues to provide a safe and reliable ride to and from school. I continue to encourage residents to follow public health advice and wear a mask when using the TTC to help protect everyone."
"As students across Toronto begin to return to school, the TTC is prepared to provide the safe transit service that Torontonians have continued to rely on over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "All transit riders are reminded to wear a mask in TTC stations and on all buses, trains, and streetcars."
The TTC reminds students and parents of the following:
Face coverings are mandatory riding TTC vehicles or travelling through TTC stations.
Children 12 and under ride the TTC for free. All other students can pay their TTC fare using several methods of payment, including:
PRESTO single fares
- $2.25 for youth 13-19
- $3.20 for post-secondary students
PRESTO Monthly Pass
- $128.15 for youth 13-19
- $128.15 for post-secondary students
- $2.30 for youth 13-19
- $3.25 for post-secondary students
Customers are also encouraged to use up any remaining tickets or tokens and switch to PRESTO as soon as possible.
Post-secondary students enrolled full-time at an accredited institution in Toronto are eligible for a discounted monthly pass on PRESTO. They will be required to have a TTC post-secondary student photo ID in order to set their PRESTO fare type, purchase, and use their post-secondary monthly pass on PRESTO.
The TTC Post-secondary Photo ID can only be obtained at the TTC Photo ID Office at Bathurst Station. Please note that there will be no on-campus visits for the 2020-2021 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, the TTC would like to remind everyone about some important safety tips as the school year begins:
- Drivers: As the streets, sidewalks and crosswalks get busier for back-to-school, please be extra vigilant while commuting. Please yield the right-of-way to TTC vehicles and make sure to slow down to allow buses to re-enter traffic after servicing stops.
- Pedestrians: Please don't run alongside or in front of a bus or streetcar. It's always safer to wait for the next vehicle, which will be along soon.
- Subway riders: Always stand behind the yellow line on the platform when waiting for a subway train. Never descend to track level for any reason. If you drop something, such as your cell phone, leave it and tell a TTC uniformed employee who will make arrangements to retrieve it.
- Streetcar riders: Be sure to check to make certain that traffic has stopped before exiting a streetcar.
- Bus/streetcar riders: When on board, always be sure to stand behind the white line at the front of the vehicle and stand clear of the doors.
- Backpacks: Customers are asked to be mindful of those around them when wearing large backpacks as they can pose safety risk.
Customers looking for more information about the TTC's back-to-school plans are encouraged to visit www.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Points_of_interest/back_to_school.jsp.