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TTC launches new anti-harassment app

Last Updated Sep 6, 2017 at 6:26 pm EDT

The TTC is taking a big step towards making you feel safe when you ride the rocket.

The transit agency has launched a new safety smartphone app to combat harassment and improve customer safety. Through the app, customers can discreetly report incidents — as well as any alleged misconduct by TTC employees.

“What we’re doing is trying to use the tool that’s in everybody’s hand on the subway, and use that as a tool that makes them feel safer,” TTC Chair Josh Colle explained.

The app will allow riders to provide transit authorities with real-time alerts of vandalism, assault, sexual assault and other offences.

Riders can take videos and photos of alleged incidents and immediately relay them to the TTC. The app automatically disables the smartphone’s flash to make picture taking more discreet and provides location using GPS.

Colle said the app will help authorities get a clearer image of what actually happened, as opposed to riders using social media to shame other riders — and TTC employees — for their sometimes poor, but perhaps not illegal, behaviour.

“Our professionals at transit control, in conjunction with the police, can now actually do the triage or assessment of what action should be taken, as opposed to someone just falsely posting a picture of you cause you bumped into me on the subway,” Colle explained.

When users are in a tunnel, the app saves the report and will send it to transit authorities when the phone reconnects to the Internet.

Similar apps are used by transit systems in several U.S. cities including San Francisco and Boston.

In conjunction with this new safety initiative, the TTC also announced free Wi-Fi is now available at all 53 subway stations.

It is a project the TTC has been working on since 2013.