Extreme cold weather in Toronto is messing up the TTC
The work week is getting off to a painful start in Toronto this Monday morning as cars, buses, streetcars, traffic equipment, roads, buildings and human bodies struggle to cope with windchill values as low as -38 C.
Tale as old as time, sure, but it never gets any easier.
The carnage from St George station this morning on the coldest day of 2019 so far. The city should change the name from "Toronto Transit Commission" to "Toronto Trash Commission" at this rate. #lol #toronto #ttcsucks #ttc pic.twitter.com/xwCiA6W71S— Barry_SC (@mr2damng00d) January 21, 2019
As of 9 a.m, January 21 was the coldest day of the 2018-2019 winter season so far with a high of just -12 C and a low of-20 C (though it'll feel closer to -40 C throughout the morning.)
Environment Canada issued a new extreme weather warning for the City of Toronto around 5 a.m. on Monday to warn of the potential for frostbite, but they're not the only agency prepping the public for cold-related problems today.
Due to the extreme cold, you may experience some minor travel delays. We thank you for your patience and understanding today and urge you to use extra caution outside.— TTC Service Alerts (@TTCnotices) January 21, 2019
"Minor travel delays" is a gross understatement.
Toronto's public transit system is a bloody freaking mess right now on account of malfunctioning equipment — chiefly older model streetcars, some of which have now been on the roads for more than 40 years and don't hold up well in extreme cold weather.
"Despite heroic efforts by TTC crews, we experienced some frozen switches in our Wilson Yard and at Leslie Barns," wrote TTC spokesperson Stuart Green on Twitter at 8:18 a.m. "All available low-floor streetcars and buses are out in place of legacy fleet to avoid breakdowns."
Shuttle buses are out, according to the TTC, but they're doing little to help people get to work on time...
Like this a.m. Cold weather = signal problems = packed eastbound platform @ Lansdowne at 8:15. Took over an hour to get Bay Station. 6 stops!!! Every year it gets worse. #ttc #ttcsucks pic.twitter.com/tJhHaZBRox— Jacqui Land (@jacqui_land) January 21, 2019
Or in any sort of moderately comfortable fashion...
Or without turning them into a popsicle first.
My collage of this mornings #501Queen shitshow. Every photo was taken one stop after another @JayeRobinson @JohnTory fare hike? Let’s start by providing the service we already pay for and don’t get! #TTC #TOpoli #failingsystem #fundttc pic.twitter.com/nVVDqHxwko— StEvE (@socialsteve_TO) January 21, 2019
Streetcar riders, in particular, are feeling the chill in a very big way as hundreds of people clump together at outdoor stops only to watch cars pass them by.
This was the line this morning at Sudbury St & King trying to get in the #ttc. I waited 45 mins trying to get on a streetcar. 10 passed us before I gave up & went home. How do people do this daily?! pic.twitter.com/pmicbJ0iaj— Kate L. Grant (@KateLGrant) January 21, 2019
Some people report waiting for nearly an hour outdoors to catch a ride, only to give up and go home, take a cab or call an Uber.
And where there are streetcar delays, subway delays are sure to follow.
Like the streetcar lines, Toronto's major subway lines have been experiencing mass overcrowding all morning.
@TTChelps @TTCnotices @TTCStuart @CP24 this is what the #ttc can offer. Major chaos. They blame the cold weather as if the cold is a new thing in Toronto. #pathetic #horribleservice #ttcsucks pic.twitter.com/DlowM1XyNR— Elionelle (@elionelle) January 21, 2019
Many people report being unable to get onboard the trains at all.
The situation is so disastrous that some are wondering aloud on Twitter how cold weather can cause so much chaos in a Canadian city.
According to the TTC, it hasn't.
"There were several issues along Line 1, signals, mechanical, 4 emergency alarms, our apologies," wrote the transit agency's customer service account in response to a query just before 11 a.m. on Monday.
Transit shutdowns and very slow service continue to plague the city.
The TTC advises everyone traveling by transit to leave themselves extra time today, but has yet to advise on how the system will be running during the evening commute. Fingers crossed.
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