TTC recalls some employees laid off to increase service before schools reopen

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In anticipation of the students returning to school, the Toronto Transit Commission said Thursday it was recalling some of its laid-off operators to increase service.

In a press release, the transit agency said 150 of the 450 operators who were temporarily laid off in April following a significant drop in ridership due to school closures and companies following the COVID-19 pandemic had been called back to work.

“It has been a difficult time for everyone at TTC as we have been forced to respond to the pandemic by making difficult decisions to cut expenses and review service delivery,” said CEO Rick Leary.

“The good news is that things are changing and we can start bringing operators back and restoring some of the service as well as adding service to the busiest routes on the network. ”

Before the pandemic, the TTC said it carried 1.7 million passengers on a typical weekday. However, at the height of the pandemic, the transit agency saw the number of riders drop by 15 to 20% from pre-pandemic levels.

The TTC had said the layoffs were part of the agency’s cost-saving measures to maintain transit service throughout the city. It has maintained service at 80% of regular levels throughout the pandemic.

As more businesses reopen as part of the province’s Stage 3 reopening, the TTC said daily ridership increased from 35% to 40% from what it was before. the COVID-19 pandemic.

All licensed operators should be recalled when the TTC reaches 50% of pre-pandemic ridership levels, the transit agency said.

“I would like to thank Mr. Leary and all TTC employees for working with the City of Toronto to maintain public transit during the pandemic. The unprecedented decline in ridership was not the TTC’s fault and I am proud to have secured hundreds of millions from the federal and provincial governments to help protect our transit system, ”said the Mayor John Tory in a statement.

“The changes announced today will ensure that as schools reopen and more people return to work, the TTC can continue to provide safe and reliable service throughout the city with increased service on its routes.” the most frequented.

Earlier this month, the province announced that the city would receive $ 404 million in transportation funds under the federal-provincial COVID-19 assistance program.

According to the TTC, ridership increases by up to 10 percent between August and September in a typical year.

“But with so much uncertainty over what ridership will look like after Labor Day, the TTC is preparing to meet the additional demand by increasing service as needed until full service is restored,” said declared the agency.

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