The City of Toronto and the TTC continue to prioritize community safety on Toronto’s transit system.
While there are many different and complex issues surrounding safety on the transit system, and in Toronto, as part of the medium- and longer-term strategy to prioritize these issues, the following services will go into effect immediately this week:
Access to more than 20 Community Safety Ambassadors (Community Safety Team)
Community Safety Ambassadors work directly with people experiencing homelessness and liaise with the City’s Streets to Homes workers to provide outreach services. The outreach efforts focus on engaging with individuals experiencing homelessness to build trusting relationships, help address immediate needs and ultimately support the individuals in finding permanent housing.
Access to more than 50 security guards
More than 50 security guards will be temporarily added across the system. The guards have daily experience dealing with underhoused people in crisis and have advanced training in areas including:
- Mental Health First Aid
- Overdose prevention, recognition, and response training
- Nonviolent crisis intervention
De-escalation training to support TTC staff
With support from the City, the TTC is in the process of ensuring that all its Chief and Mobile Supervisors are provided with de-escalation training to support station staff. The TTC has also updated its schedules to ensure an increased employee presence in hotspots in the system and during peak times.
These actions are in line with the Toronto City Council-approved SafeTO integrated approach to community safety. SafeTO provides a roadmap for how the City and social systems that serve Torontonians, such as community services, healthcare systems, education systems, justice systems, police and businesses, can work collaboratively across different sectors and across governments to support community safety and well-being.
The TTC – in cooperation with the City and other community partners – has already taken a number of significant steps to enhance safety:
- Dedicating an additional 80 Toronto Police Service officers across the system to ensure high visibility patrolling system wide.
- Increasing the presence of TTC Special Constables as well as hiring additional Special Constables. This effort by the TTC includes a class of 14 new Special Constables starting on February 27. The TTC is also committing to hiring up to 50 additional Special Constables in 2023.
- Increasing the number of Streets to Home workers in the system. The transit agency has committed to have 20 Streets to Home workers across its network in 2023. Streets to Homes workers will be focused on hotspots in the system to help individuals in need find supports.
- Increasing TTC transportation and maintenance managers in the network and continuing to work on a plan to ensure more visible TTC staff presence throughout the system.
- Adding more Station Supervisors, Chief and Mobile Supervisors as well as assistant managers in subway stations to audit station security on a regular basis.
- Deploying more uniformed TTC employees throughout the system who can contact Transit Control directly to assist customers.
- Improving and adding cameras in all stations and on all vehicles.
- Having Designated Waiting Areas on every subway platform, with recently-upgraded and easier-to-use two-way communications systems that link directly to TTC staff.
The City will be working closely with the TTC to support and assist vulnerable people on the transit system get connected to services. This may include finding shelter and permanent housing for people and providing mental health services.
Ongoing discussions are focused on further actions that could be taken to strengthen safety on the TTC over the long-term. This includes working with experts from other sectors such as the housing sector as well as the mental health and addictions sector.