The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) announced it is proposing the addition of 178 new frontline staff to deter and respond to safety and security incidents on the system.
A new report going to the TTC’s Sept. 26 Board meeting recommends using $10.3 million in projected 2023 savings to hire new, high-visibility customer service agents and bus, streetcar, and subway supervisors.
The report also proposes extending a number of safety and security initiatives launched earlier this year.
“We have an obligation to keep our customers and employees safe,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “Increasing TTC staff in stations will improve customer service while having more supervisors at key locations will increase the visible presence of staff and improve our ability to respond to incidents. The TTC will continue working with the City, Toronto Police, and our union partners in building a long-term plan to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, customers,and members of the public.”
Safety Initiatives the TTC Recommends
The TTC report recommends:
- Hiring 161 new customer-facing personnel, vastly increasing the visible presence of TTC staff across the system. This includes 130 new customer service agents and one clerk to assist in subway stations and at secondary entrances, and 30 new supervisors in stations and on bus and streetcar routes to enable more effective responses to incidents in the field
- Continuing mental health and social support for people experiencing homelessness and individuals with complex needs. This includes hiring a program manager to oversee the development of a Five-Year Community Safety and Well-being Plan, including a review of all TTC security operations and best practices from other jurisdictions. Additionally, the TTC will continue to support 20 Streets to Homes outreach workers, 20 Community Safety Ambassadors, temporary security guards, de-escalation training, and the Multi-Disciplinary Outreach Team (M-DOT) pilot program.
- Adding six new bus operators and creating special transport and temporary shelter buses to assist individuals sheltering in subway stations to get out of the cold and into proper shelter beds.
- Onboarding 50 additional Special Constables by the end of 2023, providing high visibility patrols and rapid response to security incidents
- Maintain all-day coverage of the Transit Control Security Desk with six additional dispatchers
- Hiring four additional janitors for extended station cleaning, and maintaining end-of-line streetcar cleaning