October 7, 2016
This Sunday, Line 4 Sheppard joins the ranks of subways all over the world that run their trains with one operator. From London to Lisbon, Bangkok to Berlin and Montreal to Mexico City, the single operator train is the new normal.
Beginning on Oct. 9 on Line 4 and then moving to Line 1 Yonge-University once our new signalling sys-tem is in place, one-person train operation (OPTO) is going to allow us to run the system with improved safety and efficiency.
This is in keeping with our Five-Year Corporate Plan, launched in 2013, and which has modernization of all aspects of TTC operations at its core.
OPTO is hardly a revolutionary concept. It’s not even revolutionary within the TTC where Line 3 Scarborough has run with one operator with no safety-related issues since it opened in 1985.
In the past, Toronto’s current two-person crew model — one driver and one guard — was the standard for longer trains elsewhere in the world. The additional set of eyes allowed for things like monitoring of passenger flow. But as technology has improved and evolved, so too has the way systems operate.
We would not be doing this if we thought for even a second that the safety of our passengers or our staff would be compromised. Safety remains the bedrock of TTC operations and the fact is that OPTO helps deliver a much more structured and systematic approach to managing safety.
Should operators have to leave the cab of the train for any reason, such as investigating an emergency alarm, hand-held radios are provided to allow for communication with Transit Control. Station staff will also be on hand to assist. In fact, our new Stations Transformation program ensures there are Customer Service Agents in stations, available to help customers at all times.
To top it off, all of these benefits to passengers and operators come with no job losses. Cost savings will be about $18 million once implemented on both Line 1 and 4, and will be achieved through attrition.
I am proud of the work the TTC has already done to modernize our system and of what’s still to come through initiatives such as our stations transformation project, new signalling and the move to new fare payment options. I am also proud of our train operators who are as capable, if not more so, than their cohorts across the world that successfully operate trains on their own.
OPTO is the next step in the evolution of modernizing Toronto’s transit system to be on par with the very best systems across the world.
Improved safety features associated with One-Person Train Operation include:
- Multi-camera views providing three different camera views will cover the entire platform with overlap to ensure duplicate coverage. These views are displayed on screens inside the driver’s cab and remain on as the train leaves the platform.
- New technologies that significantly reduce the likelihood of the doors opening on the wrong side or off-platform.
- A 25% reduction in health and safety incidents for operators relating to guard duties, including: open-ing/closing the window, assaults on the guard, and accidents where the guard was struck by debris or other objects while the window was open. Under OPTO, the operator remains inside the cab during subway operation.
Line 2 Bloor-Danforth
This long weekend, there will be no subway service on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth between Pape and St George stations as the City of Toronto completes important concrete structural work on the Prince Edward (Bloor) Viaduct. Shuttle buses will operate frequently throughout the weekend, stopping only at subway stations along the route.
Wheel-Trans will be available for customers who need it. To request the service, customers can speak to any TTC employee at an affected station.
Line 4 Sheppard
Line 4 Sheppard will be closed until 2 p.m. Sunday to allow for special track maintenance in advance of the start of one-person train operation. Shuttle buses will operate.
Streetcars will be returning to the 506 Carlton route this Sun., Oct. 9, after four months of essential maintenance work. Since June, TTC crews have completed the following work:
- Removal of three street car passenger platforms for accessibility
- Rail replacement at College St./Brock Ave. and Howard Park Ave./ Indian Rd. streetcar stops
- Concrete rehabilitation at four major intersections along College St.
- Overhead wire replacement at College St/Dundas St. and at College St./ Lansdowne Ave. Intersection
Buses on the 47 Lansdowne route will divert until the end of October as the City of Toronto continues watermain work at the intersection of College St. and Lansdowne Ave.
The TTC thanks its customers, Toronto residents and businesses for their patience and understanding in allowing us to complete this important work.
Name: Zach Ressler
Years of Service: 3
I started with the TTC three years ago doing track reconstruction projects. From there, I became a night janitor and now I work afternoons. This change has been great for me because it allows me to interact with customers every day at work, which is my favourite part of working in stations. This job keeps me really busy and I like that I make the experience of travelling on the TTC better for our customers, with coworkers that I enjoy being around on every shift. Outside of work I play sports but really I’m a family guy — I like to hang out with close friends and family members.
Weekly Customer Service Report
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