Toronto, Ontario — August 2 2017 — It must be nice to have a contract with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), who has dealt with approximately 10.5 collisions every day for the past three years, from 2014 to 2017.
According to a statement from The Star, the wheel-trans, streetcars and buses of Toronto have been involved in 11, 498 collisions over this time period—and these numbers are getting higher. Insurance costs surged last year, pushing the amount the transit agency spent to settle accident and other claims to $33.6 million.
According to figures provided by the transit agency, the money it paid out in 2016 was a 50-per-cent increase compared to 2014, when the TTC settled $22.3 million worth of claims. It was also higher than the $29.4 million it spent in 2015.
Stuart Green, TTC Agency Spokesperson, said that the “vast majority of these would be of a minor nature” and resulted in no significant injuries or damage to property. They include collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, motor vehicles, and fixed objects.
He continued, noting that while the number of crashes has risen in recent years, it’s largely because the TTC has increased service and has put more vehicles on the road. The rate of crashes itself—which is measured by the number of collisions per kilometers traveled—has not increased.
The TTC has taken steps at an attempt to reduce these collision rates. In 2015, following a spate of fatal crashes, the TTC developed a 12-point plan to enhance bus and streetcar safety. The new policy includes random GPS checks to detect whether operators are speeding, earlier interventions for drivers involved in multiple collisions, and daily “safety talks” from supervisors to alert vehicle operators of potential hazards like bad weather or construction on their routes.
That figures provided by the agency show some individual drivers have been involved in a high number of collisions since 2014. Thirty-five vehicle operators were involved 10 or more collisions, including one bus driver who racked up 19 crashes. The TTC determined that none of the 19 was preventable.
“If there is an operator who’s involved in something serious, or a number of less serious incidents, we do have options ranging from reassignment to retraining,” Green said.
“If we need to, we will reassign an employee from an operator to another duty.”
For more information on Toronto Transit Commission, please visit: ttc.ca