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Black and Indigenous riders 'grossly overrepresented' in latest TTC transit enforcement data

The TTC says its service will not be free this New Year's Eve due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Point Shoot

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) says a racial equity review has found both Black and Indigenous people were overrepresented in T-T-C enforcement incidents between 2008 and 2018.

The results of the first phase of a Racial Equity Impact Assessment found the groups were overrepresented in both TTC charges and cautions.

The report found that while Black people only make up 8.8 percent of the City’s population, they were involved in 19.2 percent of enforcement incidents during the study period.

Indigenous people, who make up 0.8 percent of Toronto’s population, accounted for 3 percent of incidents.

The report to the TTC Board is based on a review by two researchers into the collection of race-based data by Transit Special Constables and Fare Inspectors.

TTC Chair Jaye Robinson says all transit riders deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and the assessment provides a foundation for future policy improvements.

“Ensuring that all Torontonians feel safe and welcome on our transit system is a key priority for the TTC Board and Executive Team,” said Robinson.

“This Assessment forms an important part of the 10-point Action Plan for Diversity and Inclusion that was presented to the Board in December and provides a foundation for future policy improvements.”

The TTC says that over the last two years, it has begun “a significant organizational culture shift with respect to prioritizing diversity and inclusion.”

This includes working on culture change within the Fare Inspectors Department and the Special Constable Service Department through the TTCs Culture Change Program and completing an initial review of policies concerning the “Use of Discretion and the Collection of Disaggregated Race-Based Data.”

“I want to thank Drs. [Akwasi] Owusu-Bempah and [Scot] Wortley for their in-depth and honest assessment of how the TTC was collecting race-based data,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary.

“We know that there have been instances where people have not felt always safe or comfortable riding on the TTC – and that is simply not okay. The doctors’ insights are essential in helping us recognize where and how our past practices fell short and will help us make improvements across the TTC. Diversity and inclusion are areas where the TTC has made improvements, but ultimately we can and must do better.”

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