Backed by Chow, Toronto transit safety plan proposes 178 new frontline staff

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow is backing a transit safety plan to hire 178 new frontline staff, mostly by adding more customer service agents at transit stations.

Chow says the extra 130 agents at stations along with an additional 30 field supervisors will help deter security incidents and improve response times.

She says the plan proposes using a projected $10.3 million in savings this year from the delayed opening of two LRT projects to help bridge a funding gap until council tackles the 2024 budget.

The newly unveiled safety plan set to go before a TTC board meeting next week also proposes extending contracts for security guards and outreach workers that had been previously approved.

Safety on the TTC became a flashpoint last winter after a number of high-profile violent attacks, including the fatal stabbings of a 31-year-old woman in December and a 16-year-old boy in March.

Along with more station staff, the plan proposes hiring six new bus drivers to help transport people to city shelters and six more dispatchers dedicated to safety communications.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press