Toronto mayor promises probe into TTC handling of derailment and delay

Commuters jam subway cars and the platform at Museum station on the TTC subway line in Toronto, Thursday, Jan.24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

TORONTO  The mayor of Toronto is calling for an investigation into the handling by the city’s transit agency of a derailment that shut down a stretch of a major subway line on Thursday.

John Tory says a breakdown in communication after the incident may have contributed to the roughly eight-hour-long delay.

The Toronto Transit Commission says a work car derailed around 5:30 a.m. at St. George Station, stopping service between St. Clair West and Union stations until 1 p.m.

Nobody was injured in the incident.

The TTC ran shuttle buses along the affected subway line, and also says it added extra cars and streetcars on alternate routes.

But Tory says details of the delay weren’t shared with transit workers or members of the public quickly or effectively enough.

“Clearly there is an inadequacy, especially in the digital age, in the communication of that information the minute that those kinds of things happen,” the mayor told a news conference Thursday morning.

“There’s less and less excuse nowadays. In days gone by, you didn’t have this kind of digital communication and instantaneous information being conveyed. There really isn’t any reason anymore.”

Tory said he could see passengers getting off buses and heading for subway stations where service had already been cancelled at 6 a.m.

“Obviously that bus driver didn’t know, because had he or she known, they would’ve said ‘Please don’t get off the bus,’ or ‘Understand when you get off the bus, there’s no train running at the moment,”’ he said.

TTC spokesman Kadeem Griffiths said the derailment was a complex issue and will take some time to investigate.

“It’s not something we’ll have an answer to immediately,” he said. “Essentially what we try to find out in situations like this is what happened, why it happened and how can we make it not happen again.”

Tory also said the TTC should look into refunding customers who used a Presto card to pay for access to the backed-up system.

“When it’s easy to see where people swiped and what time people swiped … it should be possible to do that,” Tory said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here