ttc service

Toronto might make a change to force telecoms to offer mobile service on the TTC

Following an unprecedented wave of violent crimes on the TTC, calls for underground cellular service throughout the transit network have only increased, with many believing that mobile service could address some of the safety concerns of riders

Former City Councillor, Ana Bailão, has announced her intention to run for Mayor of Toronto in the June by-election, and is promising to cancel contracts with three major telecommunications companies until they promise to deliver reliable mobile service on the TTC. 

In a press release on Thursday, Bailão promised to cancel $30 million worth of City contracts with Rogers, Telus, and Bell, and instead work with companies that will offer reliable cellular service on the TTC. 

"TTC riders shouldn't have to hold their breath and wait for their train to go above ground to use TTC safety apps and text-a-tip lines," Bailão said. 

Currently, Wi-Fi service is available at all subway stations in the system, and according to the TTC, cellular-capable infrastructure is being installed alongside the system's Wi-Fi network, with more than 30 stations "cellular-ready" so far.

In 2015, Freedom Mobile became the first wireless service provider to activate cell service on the TTC network, but Canada's three largest carrier companies have refused to offer their customers the same. 

"The issues we are seeing on the TTC are public safety issues. If Rogers is seriously 'committed to being part of the solution' they will take action today," Bailão said in the press release.  

"Telecom companies don't get to decide if there's mobile service on the TTC, elected officials do." 

On Thursday, City Council is set to decide whether to grant the TTC the authority to use $15 million from its Stabilization Reserve on measures to address the health and safety of employees and the public throughout the transit network. 

Lead photo by

Jason Cook

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