TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling for an investigation into how the city’s transit agency handled a derailment that shut down a stretch of a major subway line.
The Toronto Transit Commission said a work car derailed around 5:30 a.m. at St. George station and stopped service between St. Clair West and Union stations.
Nobody was injured in the incident.
The aftermath of the derailment clogged much of the transit system during the morning rush, and Tory said a lack of communication may have added to that.
A TTC spokeswoman says shuttle buses were put in place, and the agency also added extra buses and streetcars on alternate routes.
But Tory says details of the delay weren’t shared with transit workers or members of the public quickly or effectively enough.
“Clearly there is an inadequacy, especially in the digital age, in the communication of that information the minute that those kinds of things happen,” the mayor told a news conference Thursday morning.
“There’s less and less excuse nowadays. In days gone by, you didn’t have this kind of digital communication and instantaneous information being conveyed. There really isn’t any reason anymore.”
Tory said he could see passengers getting off buses and heading for subway stations where service had already been cancelled at 6 a.m.
“Obviously that bus driver didn’t know, because had he or she known, they would’ve said ‘Please don’t get off the bus,’ or ‘Understand when you get off the bus, there’s no train running at the moment,”‘ he said.
He added that the TTC should look into refunding customers who used a Presto card to pay for access to the backed-up system.
“When it’s easy to see where people swiped and what time people swiped … it should be possible to do that,” Tory said.
TTC CEO Rick Leary called the subway network a “safe system” and said an investigation into the tracks, signal system, the vehicle and the actions taken by the operator is underway.
“Today was a tough day for our customers,” he told Global News in an interview Thursday afternoon, adding customer and employee communications need to improve.
“These small issues they mount up and we have to do better and get on top of them.”
— With files from Nick Westoll