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CEO's report shows reduced ridership and pass purchases, increased sexual assault on TTC

Last Updated Jun 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm EDT

Commuters wait to take the subway at Ossington Station in Toronto on Friday, June 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Summary

The TTC CEO's June report says ridership as well as the purchase of monthly passes is down

The number of sexual assaults and thefts on the TTC have increased

Overall customer satisfaction levels are high

The TTC CEO’s report for June has been released with updates on how the transit service is faring on a number of factors including ridership, customer satisfaction, safety and on-time performance.

Ridership

The report says between the period of April 7 to May 4, 39.4 million passengers used the TTC – half a million less than the targeted 39.9 million rides and 0.8 million less than the same period last year. Overall, year-to-date ridership fell by 1.5 per cent compared to 2018.

According to the report, there are two main reasons for the reduction in ridership – severe weather and increased adoption of Presto cards.

Five severe snow storms during the beginning of the year coupled with extreme cold kept people off transit. In addition, more frequent weekend subway closures “adversely impacted” weekend ridership – leading to overall lower numbers.

Ridership has also been impacted because more people have adopted Presto cards – from around 46 per cent in December 2018 to almost 81 per cent of riders in April 2019. That translates into more than 220,000 unique Presto cards using the system in the first quarter of 2019.

With more people making the switch, about 28 per cent of people who were buying monthly passes have now moved over to Presto’s pay-as-you-go option each month in 2019. The report suggests these customers likely ride the TTC less often than the monthly average of 71 rides per adult monthly pass.

The reduced purchase of monthly passes is being attributed to the new two-hour transfer and discounted TTC/GO co-fare. The report also says the TTC may have also experienced an increase in fare evasion while Presto was being rolled out.

On Time Performance

Percentage of time TTC modes of transit ran on time:

(Measured at the end of April 2019 with a target of 90 per cent)

Line 1: 91.9 per cent

Line 2: 92. 6 per cent

Line 3: 96 per cent

Line 4: 99.2 per cent

Streetcars: 55.1 per cent

Buses: 76.3 per cent

Wheel-Trans: 93.2 per cent

Customer Satisfaction

The report says about four out of five, or 78 per cent of customers reported high levels of overall satisfaction in the first quarter of 2019 which is on par with the same time last year.

However overall satisfaction for streetcar customers based on key factors like trip duration and wait times fell to 73 per cent, down from 82 per cent at the same time last year.

When it comes to TTC staff, the “perceived helpfulness” of those working on Line 2 jumped to 91 percent, compared to 81 per cent last year. The report says the shift in perception coincided with the rollout of new Customer Service Agents and more staff presence across the system.

Safety

According to the report, there was an increase in the number of thefts and sexual assaults on the TTC in the first quarter of 2019 compared to last year. The current rate is nine per cent higher than the previous quarter and four per cent higher than the same time last year, with a total number of 0.70 per one million vehicle boardings.

When it comes to employee safety, there was an increase in the number of assaults and threats compared to last quarter but other offences like mischief, harassment, indecent exposure, sexual assault and robbery were down. The current rate is 2.7 percent higher than last quarter and 9 per cent higher than last year, with 4.22 per 100 employees experiencing some type of offence.

Fitness for Duty – random drug testing

In the first quarter of 2019, random drug testing conducted on employees found the following substances in positive tests:

  • Cannabis – 63 per cent
  • Cocaine – 20 per cent
  • Alcohol – 8 per cent
  • Opioids – 7 per cent
  • Amphetamines – 2 per cent

The TTC began random drug testing of employees in May 2017.

See the full report below: