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Recent violence on Toronto transit 'indicative of something larger': TTC


The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) says the rash of recent violent incidents that erupted on its network over the weekend points to a bigger problem that requires an “all hands-on-deck” approach.

“These incidents that are happening on the TTC are indicative of something larger,” TTC spokesperson, Stuart Green, told CP24 Live at Noon on Monday. “There were a number of violent incidents right across this city and throughout the GTA this weekend, and we saw at least two on the TTC. So, all of these are of great concern.”

Four people were injured after a fight broke out on Saturday night outside Kipling Station, where police said a man assaulted several people at the station’s bus bay. According to police, an officer injured their leg while trying to arrest one of the individuals.

The following evening, a man in his 50s was rushed to the hospital in life-threatening condition after being stabbed at Victoria Park Station. On Monday afternoon, a shooting at Kennedy Station sent a youth to hospital.

“We have an obligation to keep our customers and our employees safe, but there are certain things that happen that are just beyond our capacity and that’s why it’s really important that we have those partnerships,” Green said, referring to its partnerships with Toronto Police and the City.

“We did see, you know, in the colder months of the year a lot more of these incidents happening frankly, that those numbers are about half of what they were – they’re still too high – but they are coming down and that’s a positive trend.”

According to Toronto’s data of the rate of offences that occur on TTC premises – which include theft, assault, harassment, threats or other misconduct directed at transit employees – there has been a steady decline of reported incidents since January 2023.While the data only goes until July, the rate of offences against transit users per one million boardings has gone from 2.7 to 1.5 over those seven months.

The data showing the number of reported offences committed against TTC workers, however, has remained steady since January.

Last winter, Toronto’s transit system was at the centre of a string of seemingly random violent incidents, which pushed the city to boost police presence and enforcement. In February, a Nanos survey commissioned by CTV News revealed about 71 per cent of Ontarians felt less or somewhat less safe using public transportation than they did in 2022.

That’s why the police patrolling the transit system and the city’s mental health supports are important to have, Green said.

“It gets into the winter months and we have to look at things like accommodating people who don’t have places to stay who are using the TTC … they need proper shelter and support, but we’re going to do our part to make sure that people are accommodated as best we can,” Green said. “So really, it’s an all hands-on-deck approach.”

Green told CP24 that the TTC will have a report out to its board next week, discussing some of the tangible things the transit network can do to improve safety and security ahead of winter. Top Stories

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