TTC accused of secrecy over Scarborough RT derailment report

Click to play video: 'Scarborough RT derailment report spurs calls for accountability'
Scarborough RT derailment report spurs calls for accountability
WATCH: A report quietly posted online regarding last summer’s Scarborough RT derailment is renewing calls for transparency around the crash. Matthew Bingley reports – Feb 22, 2024

An independent report looking into last summer’s Scarborough RT (SRT) derailment is prompting criticism from transit advocates and board members, who are accusing the TTC of quietly posting the report to its website, rather than bringing it before the board.

Due to be decommissioned last November, the SRT was unceremoniously retired much earlier after a crash in the summer. While some passengers were injured, many said it was a miracle no one was killed after the transit line was pushed well beyond its service life.

Two months after the derailment, the TTC posted an overview of its own investigation which said weakened bolts were to blame.

But another independent report by Systra Canada, posted to the TTC’s website, suggests there may have been more at play, including reduced track maintenance due to the impending closure of the line.

Transit expert Steve Munro stumbled on the report while looking for more information on the Scarborough Busway.

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He said he was troubled by the TTC’s apparent lack of effort to call attention to the Systra report, saying a person would have to trip over the information on the difficult-to-navigate website.

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Coun. Josh Matlow, a TTC board member, said the TTC’s leadership had an obligation to bring the report to the board’s attention. Matlow said it was only after learning about it from Munro that he was able to ask TTC CEO Rick Leary about its details.

“It should have been brought to the board as an item agenda,” Matlow said.

The councillor said the report has raised several questions about the level of maintenance on the SRT that deserve to be discussed at the board, as well as other issues about the maintenance backlog of the transit system’s remaining lines.

“Clearly it wasn’t safe or else it wouldn’t have fallen off the tracks,” said Matlow. “A bigger question now, aside from the accountability on the SRT, is our subway system being maintained as well as it should be?”

Speaking to reporters, Leary denied burying the report, saying the TTC posted it online and was awaiting more information before bringing it before the board.

“When the report came out there were elements of the report we wanted to do more due diligence to and that’s what we’re doing now with the intent to come back in April,” he said.

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Leary said the TTC would never put the safety of riders at risk and that all of the lines are safe. But he added that the maintenance backlog needs to be addressed on the aging transit system to ensure future issues don’t arise.

“It’s getting old,” said Leary. “We need that funding from other levels of government.”

Leary said the transit agency needs $25 billion just to replace and fix what they have over the next 15 years.

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