TTC workers' union tells bus operators to limit passengers to 10 at a time
TTC ridership has significantly decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Toronto and social distancing measures were put into place, but some bus routes are still packed with those riding for essential reasons during the morning rush hour.
To mitigate the issue, the transit system has added a minimum of 47 extra buses to the busiest morning routes, but the TTC workers' union says that simply isn't enough.
This is Steele’s this morning pic.twitter.com/maMylPTlIQ— Rocco Signorile (@imthedarkknight) April 2, 2020
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 has issued a public letter to the 12,000 union members, as well as the public, advising TTC bus operators to limit the number of passengers to 10 riders on a regular bus and 15 riders on an articulated (bendy) bus in an effort to enforce physical distancing measures.
"To protect your health and help limit community spread of the coronavirus, ATU Local 113 is advising TTC bus operators to limit the number of passengers to 10 riders on a regular bus and 15 riders on an articulated bus," the statement from ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos reads.
"ATU Local 113's recommendation comes after ongoing overcrowding on some TTC bus routes, which goes against the guidelines coming from public health officials and political leaders."
According to Toronto Star reporter Ben Spurr, this directive has not been sanctioned by TTC management and is simply a recommendation to protect the health and safety of TTC operators.
TTC union president Carlos Santos has confirmed to me the directive to limit the number of passengers on buses has not been sanctioned by TTC management. "This is not job action, this is health and safety action," he says.— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) April 2, 2020
This news comes as several photos of packed TTC buses have been circulating on social media in recent days despite strict calls for social distancing.
ttc bus this morning 645am , what social distancy pic.twitter.com/L3j2xNVjGC— Jpitts36 (@blsrocks666) April 2, 2020
When TTC spokesperson Stuart Green announced the addition of 47 extra buses yesterday, one Twitter user asked if the TTC is also planning to set maximum passenger loads for vehicles as other transit systems in other cities have done, and whether fare inspectors could be used to enforce this considering they're no longer issuing fare evasion tickets.
"We are not setting caps at this time as it could potentially open operators up to confrontations with customers. We don't have enough TFIs to do what you suggest and reassigning them would mean taking them out of important support roles in stations," Green replied.
"Our approach is to put more buses out and spread the riders out while keeping operators out of conflicts."
Join the conversation Load comments