ttc toronto

Parts of the TTC are apparently being held together with duct tape

Between overcrowding, technical issues, hours-long delays and more, Torontonians usually have a lot to complain about as far as the TTC is concerned — or at least did during the pre-COVID era when more of us were riding the rocket.

But the things going on behind the scenes in at least one portion of the system that is on its way out may be worse than commuters even know.

According to a report about the aging Line 3 Scarborough RT that was recently obtained in part by CTV News, the line has well surpassed its purported service life of 30 years, leading to some haphazard bandaids before it is decommissioned in a few years' time to be replaced by a proper subway.

The document cites "heavily worn" brakes, parts of which "display signs of corrosion," as well as other components that are "in poor condition" and need "urgent attention."

This includes the wiring of the trains, some of which is actually currently being held together and poorly sealed with duct tape, the report reveals — part of the "piecemeal approach used in maintenance" of the six-station (including both terminuses), 6.4 km-long, 36-year old line.

Details like this are part of the reason that TTC staff are asking that the RT be taken out of use earlier than planned, even if it means residents have to ride buses for years in the interim before the Scarborough Subway Extension is complete in 2029-2030.

It is also noteworthy that the report, titled Integrity Assessment for Life Extension, is from all the way back in 2016, begging the question of whether things have deteriorated even more since.

City Councillors who support the idea of trying to replace the line with new LRT infrastructure rather than build the subway, which will be more expensive and service less of the area, are now demanding it be released to the public.

Despite this somewhat scary news of the true state of Line 3, things in general for TTC riders have been looking up lately, with multiple new lines in the works, contactless card payment and other solutions potentially on the way and a young new commissioner in charge.

As for the RT, we may also be seeing its raised tracks eventually turned into some cool new public green space reminiscent of New York City's High Line.

Lead photo by

Enoch Leung

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