July 4, 2014 5:45 pm

TTC vehicles involved in almost 18,000 collisions since 2009

Watch above: TTC buses, streetcars involved in nearly 18,000 collisions since 2009. Cindy Pom reports. 

TORONTO – Toronto Transit Commission CEO Andy Byford said most of the thousands of collisions transit vehicles encounter annually are “completely outside the TTC’s control.”

TTC vehicles – including buses and streetcars – have been involved in almost 18,000 collisions since 2009, according to the service.

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“So over that same period, that five years, our operators, surface operators, bus and streetcars travelled 750,000,000 kilometres,” Byford said in an interview Friday. “And even then, when you look at the number of accidents, 70 per cent were completely outside the TTC’s control. In other words, someone hit our vehicle rather than we hit them.”

TTC investigators said 5,000 of the 18,000 accidents were “preventable.”

Last year, Byford said, the TTC took “some form of action” regarding 16 operators “because we felt that there were accidents that they were involved in that we felt could have been avoidable.”

The TTC records every contact with another vehicle or object as an “accident.”

One particularly accident-prone driver was involved in 30 accidents over the five-year period. But Byford points out the majority of those incidents  weren’t his fault.

“Of those 30 incidents, 27 were deemed non-preventable – in other words, the operator really couldn’t have done anything to prevent that accident,” he said. “And of that 27, 21 the bus operator was actually stationary at a bus stop and another vehicle has clipped the mirror or hit the side of the bus.”

The bus driver is no longer working for the TTC but Byford said his departure was due to “personal reasons” and not a result of the accidents.

The TTC CEO wouldn’t say whether the 18,000 accidents was an acceptable number over the five year period but did say accidents will happen regardless.

“I don’t want to see any accidents, none of my operators want to see that either,” he said. “We are operating on very busy streets, we’ve got more construction than ever, a certain number of accidents is inevitable.”

READ MORE: Interactive: Why your subway train was late

Byford said internal investigations suggest the TTC “does comparatively well” when matched up to other transit services such as London, England. He didn’t have those internal investigations available.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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