It seems like never a week goes by that a TTC Shutdown doesn’t cause chaos in Toronto.This morning, for more than a full hour, the subway was at a standstill due to a “major communication issue.”
According to TTC Chief Executive Andy Byford, the entire subway system lost its much needed radio communication at approximately 6:30 am this morning. Normally, the backup system would kick in and commuters would be none the wiser, however, the backup system failed to initiate. The TTC had no choice but to suspend subway traffic.
CBC Producer Sarah Lawless, who was on the subway when it came to stop reported that there were no announcements made for about the first five minutes. Stating that these intermittent delays were typical of shift changes and rush hour traffic.
The TTC quickly closed the stations to prevent an accumulation of commuters on the platforms and waiting for shuttle buses that were in the process of being organized. As it turns out, there were no shuttle buses offered to commuters. TTC spokesperson Brad Ross stated that it simply wasn’t possible to accommodate this morning’s entire subway capacity with shuttle buses. Taxi companies, and private car services such as Uber took advantage of the situation sending out fleets of vehicles to subway terminals.
Lawless reported that her fellow commuters were pleasantly patient. Saying that most people waited about 40 minutes before exiting the station and arranging their own way to work.
The subway started back up again at about 7:40 am.
Line 3, also known as the Scarborough Rapid Transit line, which covers an above ground section in the east of the city was the first line to get back up again this morning. Line 1, Line 2, and the rest of Line 3 Sheppard followed shortly thereafter.
The TTC warns commuters though to expect “extensive delays” for most of the morning while trains attempt to get back to their schedules.
TTC Chief Executive, Andy Byford says the technicians do not know why both the primary communication system and the backup system failed simultaneously. However, overnight power surges may be the culprit. However, a “thorough investigation” is already in process to determine the cause and to prevent it in the future.
Commuters in Toronto are no stranger to TTC delays like this one. Even the Mayor, John Tory says that “these things are happening more often than they should in a sophisticated transit system in a big city.” Stress, and frustration which already run high on a 6:30 am Monday commute was compounded by a lack of communication from the TTC to the passengers during the delay.