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Mayor calls for investigation into seven hour TTC service disruption

Last Updated Feb 13, 2020 at 5:27 pm EST

Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling for an investigation into how the TTC handled Thursday morning’s seven hour service disruption that left thousands of commuters stranded in stations along the downtown subway line.

Service was suspended around 6 a.m. after a work car derailed at St. George Station. More than 100 shuttle buses were brought in to transport thousands of commuters into and out of downtown on the University side of the line. It also saw floods of people filing into connecting stations such as Bloor-Yonge and Union.

Service resumed again around 1 p.m.

Tory said details of the delay weren’t shared with transit workers or members of the public quickly or effectively enough.

“Clearly there is an inadequacy, especially in the digital age, in the communication of that information the minute that those kinds of things happen,” the mayor told a news conference Thursday morning.

“There’s less and less excuse nowadays. In days gone by, you didn’t have this kind of digital communication and instantaneous information being conveyed. There really isn’t any reason anymore.”

Tory said he could see passengers getting off buses and heading for subway stations where service had already been cancelled at 6 a.m.

“Obviously that bus driver didn’t know, because had he or she known, they would’ve said ‘Please don’t get off the bus,’ or ‘Understand when you get off the bus, there’s no train running at the moment,'” he said.

He added that the TTC should look into refunding customers who used a Presto card to pay for access to the backed-up system.

“When it’s easy to see where people swiped and what time people swiped … it should be possible to do that,” Tory said.

There has been no word on what caused the work car to derail.

TTC spokesman Kadeem Griffiths said the derailment was a complex issue and will take some time to investigate.

“It’s not something we’ll have an answer to immediately,” he said. “Essentially what we try to find out in situations like this is what happened, why it happened and how can we make it not happen again.”

This is the second such incident the TTC has had to deal with this year.

Last month, a train partially derailed on Line 2 near Keele Station during the morning rush. Service was disrupted for over four hours while crews worked to identify the problem.