TTC Stakeholder Update January 31, 2023

Safety on the TTC

Safety is our priority on the TTC

The safety of customers and employees is paramount to all the TTC does. We are continuing to work with our partners at the City, including Streets to Homes, Toronto Police Service as well as our union partners, among others. We know we are dealing with complex issues and the solutions aren’t always easy.

Last week, Mayor Tory, TTC Chair Burnside, Toronto Police Service Chief Myron Demkiw and TTC CEO Rick Leary held a press conference to reiterate the joint commitment to work and collaborate on solutions to ensure public safety and security in public spaces and on the transit system. One new enhancement announced includes increasing the Toronto Police Service presence and visibility on TTC vehicles, properties, and in public spaces.

As the TTC continues to work closely with city services to prioritize community safety on Toronto’s transit system please see the most recent supports being added:

Access to more than 20 Community Safety Ambassadors (Community Safety Team)

Community Safety Ambassadors work directly with people experiencing homelessness and liaise with the City’s Streets to Homes workers to provide outreach services. The outreach efforts focus on engaging with individuals experiencing homelessness to build trusting relationships, help address immediate needs and ultimately support the individuals in finding permanent housing.

Access to more than 50 security guards

More than 50 security guards will be temporarily added across the system. The guards have daily experience dealing with underhoused people in crisis and have advanced training in areas including:

  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Overdose prevention, recognition, and response training
  • Nonviolent crisis intervention

De-escalation training to support TTC staff

With support from the City, the TTC is in the process of ensuring that all its Chief and Mobile Supervisors are provided with de-escalation training to support station staff. The TTC has also updated its schedules to ensure an increased employee presence in hotspots in the system and during peak times.

The TTC moves hundreds of millions of customers every year without incident, but safety and security remain top priorities. As a result, we are addressing this through a balanced approach that would see officers specially trained in de-escalation, mental health issues and social/racial equity deployed to assist in the event of security issues and to be visibly present as a deterrent.

Significant societal and systemic issues are at play regarding the root causes of these incidents that require a multi-pronged response. Therefore, we welcome being part of a broader discussion with community and government stakeholders to improve safety and security on the TTC and across the City.

TTC Safety Features and Programs

TTC Special Constables and Toronto Police Services

The Toronto Police Service has been actively increasing its high visibility patrols on transit properties in recent weeks to augment the security provided by the TTC’s Special Constables.

Safe TTC Application

The SafeTTC app is a mobile app for both iOS and Android that offers TTC customers a quick and discreet method for reporting harassment, safety concerns or suspicious activity directly to the TTC’s Transit Control Centre.

Learn more on how to download and use the app on our website: Safe TTC app

    Designated Waiting Areas

    If customers require assistance in a TTC station at any time or during an unplanned subway closure/emergency situation, please go to the Designated Waiting Area (DWA) and use the intercom on the platform or at any elevator to contact station staff. TTC station staff will contact emergency responders to provide assistance. When possible, customers may also return to the train to the next accessible station and request assistance from staff. Transit Control will advise customers of significant delays and any accessibility impacts via service alerts.

    Request Stop Program

    The Request Stop program is available to all customers travelling alone by bus between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

    Request Stop allows any customer who is feeling vulnerable to get off the bus between regular TTC stops.

    The request should be made at least one TTC stop ahead of the desired location.

    The Operator must be able to stop safely in order to meet your request.

    Exit the bus via the front doors, the rear doors will remain closed.

    Transit Control

    TTC’s Transit Control operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and oversees all the TTC properties, subways, buses and streetcars. TTC Transit Control Staff also dispatch emergency services and have a direct link to 9-1-1. 

    Public Telephones

    Public phones are located on all subway station platforms, at station entrances and in many bus and streetcar transfer areas.

    In an emergency, call 9-1-1. Calling 9-1-1 is always free. When police, fire, or medical emergencies occur, call 9-1-1. Trained emergency call takers will provide you with the information and assistance you need. Your exact location is on a sign near each telephone.

    TTC Uniformed Staff

    TTC Operators, Station Collectors, Customer Service Agents, TTC Special Constables and supervisory personnel are prepared to assist you. TTC personnel can easily be identified by their uniform and TTC crest.

    Yellow Emergency Alarm Strips

    If there is a situation that requires emergency medical, police or fire services, press the yellow emergency alarm strip. The emergency alarm is a yellow strip located above the windows, along the wheelchair positions and near the doors of the subway car. Emergency services are then notified through TTC’s Transit Control.

    Learn about when and how to use the emergency alarm on the subway by watching our video, TTC – In Case of Emergency.

    Assistance Intercoms

    Intercoms are located in Designated Waiting Areas, in elevator cabs, at elevator landings and at entrances not staffed by Station Collectors. The Assistance Intercoms let customers talk directly to the Station Collector.

    Streets to Homes Outreach Partnership

    The TTC also has more special street outreach workers in the system to assist those in need to get support in a compassionate way and more uniformed supervisors and station staff in the system to assist and be visibly present for additional comfort and peace of mind.

    Security Mirrors

    Security Mirrors are located at many points in the transit system. They will help you to see around corners or into other passageways.

    Security Cameras

    Security cameras are on TTC properties and on TTC vehicles (bus, streetcar and Wheel-Trans). These cameras help the TTC:

    • investigate incidents involving our vehicles
    • support the investigation of customer complaints and claims
    • enhance public and customer safety

    Personal Safety Tips

    Customers can also use these additional safety tips to take care when on the TTC:

      • Walk with confidence. Do not become distracted. Avoid using your cell phone or other electronic devices. Keep your head up and be alert to your surroundings.
      • Avoid taking short cuts or walking in unlit areas.
      • Be aware of places where you can get help on your route, like open stores, restaurants and public telephones.
      • If carrying a purse, knapsack or other bag, ensure it is zipped or fastened closed; hold it tightly and close to your body. Hold it in such a manner that any zippers or fasteners are visible to you at all times.
      • If carrying a wallet, keep it in a front pocket.
      • Keep the volume down on your music so you can hear the surrounding sounds.

      Learn more about safety and security on the TTC on their website.