TTC apologizes for signal issues that caused morning subway delays
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:48PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 10, 2017 6:34PM EDT
The TTC is apologizing for signal issues that caused significant delays along Line 1 during the morning rush hour.
TTC Spokesperson Brad Ross says that crews doing maintenance work at St. Patrick Station overnight “inadvertently” caused the signal system at the station to fail after removing some old equipment.
Ross said that the failure of the signal system forced the TTC to use a manual “trip arm” in place of the red light that typically indicates to drivers that it is not safe to proceed to the next station.
That in turn caused delays of about 40 minutes for commuters travelling between Sheppard West and St. Patrick stations, according to the TTC.
Several commuters who reached out to CP24, however, reported delays well in excess of one hour.
“The trip arm is a fail-safe system but it causes significant traffic behind the train, so there was very, very slow service,” Ross said. “The wait times were incredibly long and for that the TTC apologizes.”
Ross said the issues on Line 1 this morning were a “one-off” situation that only occurred because a piece of equipment was removed in a way “it ought not have been.”
He said that the delays were further aggravated by at least four emergency alarms that were set off on trains along the line during the morning commute, something he called a “perfect storm” of sorts.
“It is kind of a domino effect,” he said. “When we have this kind of problem where trains are moving so slowly, people faint or have other medical issues, which causes people to activate the emergency alarm.”
The issue along Line 1 has not yet been solved; however Ross said that the delays are not as long as they were earlier this morning because there are fewer trains running than there were during rush hour.
Asked about the issue at a press conference on Thursday, Mayor Tory said that while the delays faced by many commuters on Thursday aren’t acceptable, they are a “byproduct” of completing the long-overdue work of replacing a signal system that dates back to the 1950s.
“We recognize this is not meeting the standard that people expect on a Thursday morning or any other morning for that matter but as you do this work there will be times when things happen that cause a disruption and you just hope to minimize them as much as possible,” he said.