|Daily ridership 2.70 million|
Headquarters Toronto, Canada
Began operation 1921
Number of vehicles 1,869
|Chief executive Andy Byford|
CEO Andy Byford (Mar 2012–)
Transit types Bus, Rapid transit, Tram
|Locale Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham|
Number of lines more than 149 bus routes 4 rapid transit lines 11 streetcar routes
Number of stations 69 in use 31 under construction 22 approved
Track gauge 4 ft 10 ⁄8 in (1,495 mm)
Owner Municipal government of Toronto
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The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is a public transport agency that operates bus, rapid transit, streetcar, and paratransit services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1921, the TTC comprises four rapid transit lines with 69 stations, over 149 bus routes, and 10 streetcar lines. In 4th quarter 2012, the average daily ridership was 2.76 million passengers: 1,425,300 by bus, 271,100 by streetcar, 46,400 by intermediate rail, and 1,011,700 by subway. The TTC also operates door-to-door paratransit service for the elderly and disabled, known as Wheel-Trans. The TTC is the third most heavily used urban mass transit system in North America, after the New York City Transit Authority and Mexico City Metro.
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- hd moving toronto underground with the toronto transit commission part 2
- Island Ferry
- Gray Coach
- Presto card
- Schedules and route information
- Connecting transit
- Cellular and Wi Fi connectivity
- Stations stops and terminals
- Headquarters and facilities
- Commuter parking lots
- Safety programs
- Crisis Link
- TTC By law No 1
- Transit Enforcement Unit
- OneStop media system
- Management and personnel
- Current management board
- Station managers
- Labour disputes
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Public transit in Toronto started in 1849 with a privately operated transit service. In later years, the city operated some routes, but in 1921 assumed control over all routes and formed the Toronto Transportation Commission to operate them. During this period, streetcars provided the bulk of the service. In 1954, the TTC adopted its present name, opened the first subway line, and greatly expanded its service area to cover the newly formed municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (which eventually became the enlarged city of Toronto). The system has evolved to feature a wide network of surface routes with the subway lines as the backbone. On February 17, 2008, the TTC made many service improvements, finally reversing more than a decade of service reductions and only minor improvements.
The Gloucester subway cars, the first version of TTC subway cars, known as "red rockets" because of their bright red exterior, have been retired. The name lives on as the TTC uses the phrase to advertise the service, such as "Ride the Rocket" in advertising material, "Rocket" in the names of some express buses, and the new "Toronto Rocket" subway cars, which began revenue operation on July 21, 2011. Another common slogan is "The Better Way".
The TTC has recovered about 70% of its operating costs from the fare box in recent years. From its creation in 1921 until 1971, the TTC was self-supporting both for capital and operations (it even had to pay property taxes until 1967). Through the Great Depression and World War II, it accumulated reserves that allowed it to expand considerably after the war, both with subways and major steady growth of its bus services into the suburbs. It was not until 1971 that the Metro government and the province started to provide operational subsidies, required primarily due to rising costs of delivering transit to low-density suburbs in Metro Toronto and large wage increases. Deficits and subsidies soared throughout the 1970s and 1980s, followed by service cuts and a period of ridership decline in the 1990s, partly attributable to recession.
When the Harris Progressive Conservatives ended the provincial subsidies, the TTC cut back service with a significant curtailment put into effect on February 18, 1996, and an increased financial burden was placed on the municipal government. Since then, the TTC has consistently been in financial difficulties. Service cuts were averted in 2007, though, when the Toronto City Council voted to introduce new taxes to help pay for city services, including the TTC. As a result, the TTC became the largest transit operator in Anglo-America not to receive provincial/state subsidies. The TTC has received federal funding for capital projects from as early as 2009. The TTC is also considered one of the costliest transit systems per fare price in North America. For the 2011 operating year, the TTC had a projected operating budget of $1.45 billion. Revenue from fares covered approximately 70% of the budget, whereas the remaining 30% originated from the city. In 2009 through 2011, provincial and federal subsidies amounted to 0% of the budget. In contrast to this, STM Montreal receives approximately 10% of its operating budget from the provincial (Quebec) government, and Ottawa Transpo receives 9% of its funding from the province. The fairness of preferentially subsidizing transit in specific Canadian cities has been questioned by citizens.
The TTC operated the ferry service to the Toronto Islands from 1927 to 1962, when it was transferred to the Metro Parks and Culture department.
Gray Coach Lines was a suburban and regional intercity bus operator founded in 1927 by the TTC. Gray Coach used interurban coaches to link Toronto to points throughout southern Ontario. In addition, Gray Coach operated tour buses in association with Gray Line Tours. The main terminal was the Metropolitan Toronto Bus Terminal on Elizabeth Street north of Dundas Street, downtown. In 1954, Gray Coach expanded further when it acquired suburban routes from independent bus operators not merged with the TTC as it expanded to cover Metro Toronto. By the 1980s, Gray Coach faced fierce competition in the interurban service in the GTA. The TTC sold Gray Coach Lines in 1990 to Stagecoach Holdings, which split the operation between Greyhound Canada and the government of Ontario three years later.
Buses are a large part of TTC operations today. Before about 1960 however, they played a minor role compared to streetcars. Buses began to operate in the city in 1921, and became necessary for areas without streetcar service. After an earlier experiment in the 1920s, trolley buses were used on a number of routes starting in 1947, but all trolley bus routes were converted to bus operation between 1991 and 1993. The TTC always used the term "trolley coach" to refer to its trackless electric vehicles. Hundreds of old buses have been replaced with the low-floor Orion VII, and the TTC has acquired many hybrid electric buses. The TTC's hybrid buses were first put on the road in 2006; these were replaced with the newer 500 Orion VII Next Generation Hybrids in 2008. A new order will bring the total number of hybrids to over 500, second only to New York City. Older (2001–2006) TTC Orion VIIs feature the standard "breadbox" style, whereas newer (2007– ) buses feature Orion's new, more stylish body. Although most of the bus fleet has already been replaced, a number of lift-equipped, high floor buses are reaching the end of their useful lifespan, and another order of buses may be needed around 2012. With a total of 2,031 buses, the TTC is the third-largest transit bus operator in North America, behind the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City (more than 5,600) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2,911).
The TTC also runs Wheel-Trans, a paratransit service for the physically disabled with special low-floor buses designed to accommodate wheelchairs and to make boarding easier for ambulatory customers with limited mobility.
The TTC ordered 27 articulated buses, nicknamed 'Artics', with all newly ordered buses in service by January 2015. At 60 feet (18 metres) long, the Nova LFS Artics hold about 112 people, compared to 65 on a standard 40-foot bus.
The Toronto subway system consists of the Line 1 Yonge–University, a U-shaped line that was opened in 1954 and was last extended in 1996; Line 2 Bloor–Danforth, an east-west line that was opened in 1966 and was last extended in 1980; Line 3 Scarborough, a partly elevated light metro line that was opened in 1985 and continues from the Bloor–Danforth line's eastern terminus; and Line 4 Sheppard which was opened in 2002.
The three subway lines are served by 678 cars grouped in trains of four cars on Line 4 Sheppard subway, and six cars on Line 1 Yonge–University and Line 2 Bloor–Danforth. The three subway lines share non-revenue track connections and use the same technology. The two versions of subway trains in use today are the new Toronto Rockets on Lines 1 and 4 and the T1s on Line 2. Line 3 Scarborough RT has a fleet of 28 S-series cars grouped into trains of four cars each, and is not compatible with other subway lines. It shares no track connections or equipment.
All subway lines provide service seven days a week from approximately 5:45 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (the following day) (last train runs at approximately 1:45 in each direction) except for Sundays, in which the opening is delayed until approximately 8:00 a.m. During the overnight periods, the subway and its stations are closed to perform maintenance at track level and in the stations themselves. Overnight service is provided by buses and streetcars operating above ground. These overnight routes are issued numbers in the 300 series and are referred to as Blue Night routes, indicated by a typical TTC bus stop sign with a blue band added.
The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is under construction. It will run underground in the central part of the line between Keele Street and Laird Drive, with the remainder a surface LRT route which would span almost the entire length of the city, from Mt. Dennis in Etobicoke to Scarborough. Service is expected to commence in 2020.
Toronto's streetcar system is one of the few in North America still operating along street-running tracks. It has been operating since the mid-19th century. Horsecar service started in 1861, and 600 V DC overhead electric service began in 1892. New TTC routes since the 1940s have generally been operated by other modes, and the less busy streetcar routes have also been converted. Streetcar routes are now focused on the downtown area, with none running farther north than St. Clair Avenue, 6 km from Lake Ontario.
Up to the 1980s, the TTC operated a fleet of 765 PCC-type streetcars, 540 of which it purchased new. The rest were purchased as other cities sold their PCC streetcar fleets.
The TTC's current fleet of streetcars consists of 248 Canadian Light Rail Vehicle and Articulated Light Rail Vehicle streetcars which are nearing the end of their useful life. The TTC ordered 204 new Flexity Outlook light rapid transit vehicles from Bombardier Transportation. The first of these new streetcars entered service on the 510 Spadina line on August 31, 2014. As more vehicles arrive, they will be rolled out onto more streetcar routes with full deployment expected by the end of 2019.
Since March 1, 2015, children 12 and under have been able to ride the TTC's transit system free of fare. The TTC accepts cash, tickets (for students ages 13 to 19 and seniors 65 or older), tokens, and transit passes. Since January 3, 2016, the adult cash fare has been $3.25 for a single trip. The cost of tokens since January 1, 2017 has been $3.00.
TTC cash fare prices have risen faster than inflation since 1990. While the consumer price index (CPI) has risen at an annualized rate of 1.8% in Canada, TTC fares have increased at 4.5%.
Group fares and single day fares can be purchased via the TTCconnect app which is available for Android and iOS.
Transfers are free for trips in one direction, and are encouraged by the grid system of routes and by transfer terminals at many subway stations.
The Presto card (an operating division of Metrolinx which operates GO Transit and Union Pearson Express) is an electronic unified contactless smart card-based fare payment system for the TTC and other transit service providers throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Users tap their card on a Presto card payment machine as they enter TTC subway stations/surface vehicles, and the fare is automatically paid through money already loaded on the card, on which the card itself then acts as proof-of-payment (POP) to show TTC fare inspectors or special constables on streetcars (on which they carry hand-held devices to verify Presto fare payments) and can also be used as a transfer for connecting TTC routes. As of December 23, 2016, it is available widely on all TTC conventional buses, streetcars and at at least one priority subway station entrance across the TTC network.
However, the Presto card cannot be used on contracted TTC bus routes operating in Mississauga and York Region.
Schedules and route information
Route information can be accessed through the TTC Info number (416) 393-INFO (393-4636). Individual route schedules are available online. Google Maps has supported the TTC since October 2010. Schedules for particular route are also usually posted at TTC transfer points, and trip planning services are available by phone.
Additional TTC information is circulated by "What's On" and "Rocket Rider/TTC Customer News" pamphlets on some vehicles. Information can be accessed in person at the TTC head office (Davisville Station 1900 Yonge St.), but the TTC Info Centre at the Bloor–Yonge Station has been closed.
On December 15, 2008, the TTC launched a new Next Vehicle Arrival System (NVAS) to indicate the time of arrival of the next vehicle along a given route. All TTC streetcars have been upgraded with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and now operate with NVIS.
Most subway stations are equipped with OneStop media screens that display the time until the next train, and other information. The next vehicle feature is available on LCD screens in all stations. Since mid-2011, all buses and streetcars have had the tracking feature enabled, accessible free online and by SMS for commuters.
On February 3, 2010, the TTC launched an online trip planner, which allows commuters to plan their routes and transfers on the TTC's website. However, since its launch, the trip planner has remained in beta mode with many bugs remaining to be fixed. On October 2010, the TTC integrated its trip planner with Google Maps. Transit information in Toronto was available in Apple Maps since the release of iOS 9, when the company first launched support for public transit data.
The TTC connects with other transit systems of the Greater Toronto Area. GO Transit, MiWay, York Region Transit, Viva Rapid Transit, Brampton Transit, and Durham Region Transit are connected to the TTC via some of Toronto's subway stations and GO Transit's commuter rail stations. Some of their bus routes also coincide or intercept some of those of the TTC's, such as the Viva buses plying Finch Avenue en route to its North York hub. Via Rail and Amtrak connect with the TTC at Union Station, while Greyhound intercity buses also connect with the TTC at the Toronto Coach, Scarborough Centre and Yorkdale terminals.
Cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity
The communication system used by surface vehicles is called the Communications and Information System. It was piloted in the 1970s, implemented in 1991, and is now deployed on all TTC surface vehicles.
The TTC is installing wireless routers in many subway stations for the TCONNECT Wi-Fi network. The service is supported by advertising, and is free for users.
As of September 2016, the service is available at the following stations: Bathurst, Bay, Bloor-Yonge, Castle Frank, Christie, College, Dufferin, Dundas, Dundas West, Dupont, Eglinton, Glencairn, High Park, Jane, Keele, King, Lansdowne, Main Street, Museum, North York Centre, Old Mill, Osgoode, Ossington, Queen, Queen's Park, Royal York, Runnymede, Sherbourne, Spadina, St Andrew, St Patrick, St. Clair, St. George, Union, and Wellesley. The TTC plans to have wireless internet rolled out throughout its entire network by mid-2017.
From early December 2015 to late January 2016, commuters had to sign on to Twitter, through a sponsorhip deal with the social media network, in order to use the subway stations' Wi-Fi network. This arrangement was resumed on an optional basis from July 2016 to late November/early December 2016.
On June 17, 2015, the TTC announced that Wind Mobile customers could access cellular connectivity at some TTC subway stations. BAI Canada has built a shared Wi-Fi and cellular infrastructure for the TTC that allows any wireless carrier to sign on and provide underground cellular service to their customers. Wind, as the launch carrier, had a one-year period of sole operation, which expired in June 2016. Since July 1, 2016, the shared cellular DAS had been open for other carriers to join. Cellular services are available at 28 stations with additional stations coming online in December 2016.
The Wheel-Trans door-to-door service has been available since the mid-1970s. Since the 1990s, the TTC has focused on providing accessible services on conventional bus routes, the RT and subway. 35 of the 69 stations on Lines 1 Yonge–University, 2 Bloor–Danforth, and 3 Scarborough are wheel-chair accessible, and all stations on Line 4 Sheppard are fully accessible. In December 2011, all bus routes became accessible with the retirement of the commission's last inaccessible buses. On August 31, 2014, the commission launched its new fleet of low-floor Bombardier's Flexity Outlook streetcars, which will replace the commission's non-accessible vehicles by 2020.
All surface vehicles have been equipped with the on-board Surface Vehicle Automatic Stop Announcement System (SVASAS) since February 2008. It operates over speakers indicating the next stop. A digital orange LED board on streetcars and buses displays the name of the upcoming streets as the vehicle progresses on its route. All of the TTC's newer Flexity Outlook streetcars are equipped with external speakers that play automated announcements of the route and destination of vehicle travel. They have also been installed on many TTC buses at all garages, as well as on some of the TTC's older CLRV and ALRV streetcars.
Stations, stops and terminals
Most TTC surface routes terminate at loops, side streets or subway station complexes. The TTC system is one of the few mass transit systems in Canada where many surface routes can be accessed inside a paid-fare zone common to other routes or subway lines. This feature allows boarding via the back doors at terminals, reduces the usage of paper transfers, and the need of operators to check for proof-of-payment. However, if trespassers are caught, they could be fined up to $500 for entering the paid-fare zone illegally.
The shelters in the system are installed and maintained under contracts with Astral Media (now owned by Bell Media) (with CBS Outdoor since 2006 and previously Viacom Media) and Toronto Transportation Services. Approximately 4,100 shelters are managed by Toronto Transportation. Some shelters are solar powered and include next vehicle arrival displays.
There are four versions of shelters found in the city:
There are 10 sets (men and women) of public washrooms located on the TTC system, all at subway stations that are major transfer points, at the ends of rapid transit lines, or at the former ends of rapid transit lines. All are located within the paid fare area and thus available only to customers.
Headquarters and facilities
TTC buses and streetcars are operated out of a number of garages and carhouses located around the city and are serviced at several other facilities. The surface routes are divided into several divisions. Individual divisions have a manager, an on-duty mobile supervisor, a CIS communications centre, and a garage facility tasked with managing the division's vehicle fleet and routes.
TTC Head Office is in the William McBrien Building, located at 1900 Yonge Street at Davisville Avenue, which opened in 1957. The previous TTC Headquarters was at Yonge and Front Streets in the Toronto Board of Trade Building.
There are plans to relocate the HQ to a yet-to-be-built site at 4050 Yonge Street near York Mills Road. The site is a commuter parking lot with a TTC entrance to York Mills Subway Station. Build Toronto is charged with helping the commission relocate, but it is facing political opposition from many mayoral candidates.
Commuter parking lots
The Toronto Parking Authority on behalf of the TTC operates 30 commuter parking lots, all at subway stations, with a total of 13,981 parking spaces. Effective April 1, 2009, it eliminated free parking for Metropass holders. All passengers using parking facilities during peak hours must now pay for the service. The rates vary by location from $2.00 to $6.00 between 5:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekdays, with free parking at other times. Certain lots can only be used by commuters with a valid metropass. All TTC lots are open (uncovered) parking lots.
Safety features provided by the TTC include:
In June 2011, the TTC announced a new suicide prevention program called "Crisis Link" aimed at people who are in a station and in immediate danger of performing self-harm. Special speed dial buttons have been installed on pay phones in station Designated Waiting Areas that "link" the caller to a 24-hour crisis counselling service provided by Distress Centres of Toronto. Signage has also been placed in high risk areas of the station platform directing those at risk to utilize the service. The program includes 141 speed dial buttons on the system's payphones and 200 posters placed on station platforms.
TTC By-law No. 1
The TTC's By-law No. 1 is a by-law governing the actions of passengers and employees while on Commission property. It can be enforced by a "proper authority" which is defined in the by-law as: "an employee or agent of the TTC wearing a TTC uniform; an employee or agent of the TTC carrying an identification card issued by the TTC; or a municipal police officer." The by-law covers rules regarding fare payment and conduct while in the system. Effective October 12, 2009, a revised version of the by-law has been issued. Revisions include the restriction of placing feet or "any object that may soil" on seats, the prohibition of using offensive language, and the provision that one must give up their seat to a person with a disability in priority seating areas.
Transit Enforcement Unit
From 1997 to 2011, the TTC employed Special Constables that were responsible for safety and security and had similar policing powers to Toronto Police Service officers. During the phase out of the Special Constables, the Toronto Police reinstated its Transit Patrol Unit, which had been cancelled in the mid-1990s. The Special Constables were replaced by bylaw enforcement officers known as Transit Enforcement Officers, as part of the TTC's Transit Enforcement Unit.
The negotiation between TTC and the Toronto Police Services Board took place in 2013 resulting in restored Special Constable Status and Peace Officer Authority.
OneStop media system
The TTC, in partnership with OneStop Media Group, have installed large LCD television screens in major stations throughout the system. The new media system replaced the old "Subway Online" system, which has been decommissioned.
The signs feature advertising, news headlines and weather information from local 24-hour news channel CP24, TTC-specific information regarding service changes and delays, information pertaining to using the system, and Toronto Police Service alerts about suspects. The system can also be used when an Amber Alert is issued, which also may include announcements via the P.A. system.
In September 2008, Dundas Station was the first to feature a "Next Train" announcement integrated into the signage. The system has been expanded to many other stations since its initial roll out. Since mid-July 2009, the majority of stations have been equipped with this service.
The TTC uses several types of voice and data communications. There are three main systems. The first is the system used by Operations, Security and Maintenance. This system operates on five UHF conventional frequencies. Channels 1, 3, 4 and 5 are used for day-to-day operations, while Channel 2 is reserved for the Wheel-Trans service.
Buses and streetcars use the Communications and Information System (CIS). This system employs transmit facilities throughout the city. Each bus and streetcar has a Transit Radio Unified Microprocessor (TRUMP) set on board. This is attached to a transponder receiver, which allows CIS operators to track the location of the vehicle using an older computational system known as dead reckoning. The TRUMP also allows the operators and CIS operators to send and receive text messages for such things as short turns and route adjustments. There is also the option of voice communications between the operator and the CIS operator. The CIS was conceived in the late 1970s and was fully implemented in 1991. With the introduction of the NextBus GPS technology, the CIS positioning system is now using a combination of GPS data and the old dead reckoning sign-post system. In the event that internally managed TTC communications are unavailable, the TRUMP unit operates on Bell Mobility's CDMA network to communicate with divisional operations and transit control. Recently, the TTC began research into transitioning from the outdated and antiquated CIS to a newer computer aided dispatch (CAD/AVL) system. Utilizing this technology would help improve headways, provide more reliable communications and allow divisional supervisors to locate vehicles in real time (the current GPS system only sends location updates every 20 seconds). There is no current estimate of when this technology is to be implemented. Each TRUMP unit on every streetcar and bus is equipped with a silent "yellow alarm" key which can be activated by the operator in the event of an emergency on board. When activated, CIS supervisors and transit control dispatchers are able to hear what is going on via a high-quality boom microphone located in front of the steering wheel and dispatch emergency responders. There is also a "red alarm" key, which enables one way communication with CIS once pressed. This can be used in events such as fires when immediate assistance is required and two-way voice communication would prove detrimental to safety.
The third system is used by the subway system. This is called the Wayside system. Replacing the old devices which communicated by the third rail are new UHF MPT-1327 Trunking radio sets. The Subway system is divided into three separate systems, each representing its respective subway line. This new trunking system allows Transit Control to communicate directly with a single train, a zone encompassing several trains, or the entire line. Line 3 Scarborough is not included in this system. They continue to use a single channel UHF system, much the same as the system used by operations staff.
All of these systems can be monitored by a scanner capable of the UHF Low band (406–430 MHz). Numeric codes — often referring to people or positions (299 Bloor – Subway Line mechanic at Bloor) are also announced through the radio and/or the overhead paging system. The TTC also has Several "Plans" ('Plan A' through 'Plan G') that are used in emergencies but are not announced on the P.A. system and only referred to on the radio.
Management and personnel
The TTC day-to-day operations are managed by the Chief Executive Officer; Andy Byford holds this position. It used to be managed by the Chief General Manager (CGM). The executive of the TTC is led by the Chair of the TTC Board.
Current management board
In 2013, the TTC assigned group station managers on most subway lines:
Lines 2 Bloor–Danforth and 3 Scarborough
Lines 1 Yonge–University and 4 Sheppard
The TTC has more than 12,000 employees. Most are operators, however the Commission also employs supervisors, custodians and a wide range of skilled trades people who work on vehicles and critical subway and surface infrastructure.
Unionized workers of the TTC workers have performed strike actions eight times since 1952:
At the request of Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto City Council, on March 30, 2011 the Province of Ontario passed legislation classifying the TTC an essential service, which removed the employees' right to strike.
Beside the main transit operations, the TTC has subsidiaries: