ttc bus

New TTC buses with USB outlets are now on Toronto streets

One day, our lives won't be limited by how much power we can carry in tiny, lithium-ion polymer batteries.

That day is not today, but it did just get a bit easier to keep your phone alive while moving around the city — as long as you remember to take a cable with you on the bus.  

That's right, the TTC is finally rolling out buses equipped with USB chargers under the seats. Each charger comes with two ports each, meaning that 24 riders per bus will be able to plug in their smart devices.

Only "a small number" of these new Nova Bus vehicles have hit the streets so far, according to TTC spokesperson Stuart Green, all of them in northwest Toronto.

The good news is that we'll be getting a lot more of them than initially thought.

Earlier this year, the TTC announced in its 2018 Customer Charter that Toronto would receive 200 new, clean diesel buses "featuring USB ports for charging smart devices" by the end of this year.

It looks like we'll actually see a total of 325 USB-equipped buses on the streets by 2019, with more new clean diesel (and electric) buses to follow.

Many public transit riders are thrilled by the news, but questions have been raised about how well the sharing system is going to work.

"The location of the USB ports can make certain situations awkward because there are two USB ports under the seat, so if someone wants to charge their phone when is someone [else] is sitting, this may seem like harassment because you have to reach between the [other person's] legs," wrote one customer to Green on Twitter.

"We would expect people will be respectful when using these," said Green. "There's capacity for 24 devices at a time," he said in response to another tweet about potential fights. 

"Sharing is caring."

Lead photo by

Stuart Green


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