rick leary ttc

Transit union boss alleges TTC coverup of near miss subway incident

A union representing thousands of transit workers is demanding that TTC CEO Rick Leary step down or be fired, alleging a year-long cover-up of a near-collision between two subway trains that occurred last summer.

A news release issued today by ATU Local 113, which represents most TTC employees, includes some very eyebrow-raising language, leading with a quote from union president Carlos Santos, saying that "Someone is responsible for that cover-up attempt."

The near-miss in question, known as the "Osgoode Pocket Incident," apparently happened on June 12, 2020, when (according to ATU Local 113) "a Line 1 southbound train was directed by TTC Transit Control to move into a siding – called a 'pocket' – near Osgoode Station and then move over to the northbound track to fill in for a temporarily-delayed train at St. Andrew Station, one stop south of Osgoode."

What could have been a devastating crash and a black mark on the TTC's safety record was averted when a guard at the rear of the "pocket" train shouted to the operator of the delayed train, who was able to stop just in time.

What is truly alarming about the incident is that it was only brought to public attention this past June, almost a full year after the near-miss, through an investigative report published by the Toronto Star.

"It was truly inexcusable that the person in charge of the TTC should not inform the Commission Board, the Mayor and the public that Toronto's subway system had been less than one second from a horrific disaster," the statement from Santos reads.

The TTC seems unfazed by the scathing news release.

Stuart Green, Senior Communications Specialist and Media Relations with the TTC, tells blogTO, "we're not going to dignify the union's statement with a response except to say that the evidence shows the facts of how this incident occurred."

"Mr. Leary looks forward to continuing to serve as the TTC's CEO and working with the 16,000 incredible employees of this organization to safely provide our customers with the best service possible."

Lead photo by

Jason Cook

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