TTC Driver Caught on Mid-Route Coffee Break

The hits just keep coming for the TTC. After last month's photos of sleeping fare collectors went viral, it seems everyone with a camera is anxious to document the Commission's service failures.

Shortly after a streetcar rider captured his driver doing a little personal banking the other day, a seven-minute long video of a bus-driver taking a coffee break mid-route has surfaced on YouTube. What's particularly disconcerting is the employee's response, which demonstrated an inflated sense of entitlement and little fear of being reported to his superiors.

Although the footage itself is rather boring -- capturing what it's like to wait for seven minutes on an idling bus! -- it underscores just what a problem the ubiquity of photo and video technology has become for TTC public relations.

Reports of this type of behaviour from TTC operators were quite common in the past, but the willingness and desire to provide "ocular proof" appears to have picked up steam after the kerfuffle the fare collector photos caused.

If you can't make it through the whole seven minutes, the most interesting part comes when a rider complains about the delay (after the six minute mark). Although the footage is quite grainy, the driver's eventual response is pretty classic: he raises his finger to his lips so as to quiet her.

The video was posted by Reuven Politi after he also complained to no avail. According to a report in the Toronto Star, when Politi confronted the driver, he replied "This is the 21st century, kid, not the '60s; I can do whatever I want."

Not surprisingly, TTC spokesman, Brad Ross -- who must be the hardest working person in the city -- is doing damage control by promising a full investigation.

"It is not acceptable for a TTC operator to leave passengers on a running bus to get a coffee.... Our operators and collectors are public servants. They deal directly with customers ... in the jobs they do. They need to think about the passenger who is waiting on the bus at 3 a.m. while they're taking seven minutes to get a coffee.

"To those customers, we apologize. We have a lot of work to do here," said Ross, who must be getting pretty frustrated by all these boneheaded moves.

But, of course, they're nothing new. It's just that they're captured on camera now.

UPDATE (10:50am):

CP24 is reporting that the driver has been identified and suspended by pending further investigation. The union will say nothing more at this time.. It's not clear whether or not this suspension is with or without pay, but in all likelihood it's the former.


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