City of Toronto continuing to focus on TTC community safety and security

Jennifer McKelvie

The City of Toronto, TTC, and Toronto Police are continuing to work together to ensure the transit system is safe for everyone – all transit riders and every transit worker.

Last Thursday, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie and TTC Chair Jon Burnside received an update on the initiatives underway to address societal challenges on the TTC.

TTC officials confirmed interventions approved by the TTC Board and City Council are working. They are having a positive impact on key metrics with offences against customers and employees decreasing in April. More people were referred to housing and other supports and Toronto Police have seen a reduction in calls for persons in crisis on the transit system. Officials also confirmed TTC ridership remains steady.

While these metrics are positive, we need to continue this work and further reduce the number of incidents on transit. The TTC is committed to having the right people in the right place throughout the system to respond to community safety concerns. The TTC is also committed to ensuring customers feel safe and the number of complaints/concerns about safety decrease.

“The TTC must be safe for everyone – safe for every rider at all times of day and night and safe for every employee who keeps the system running 24/7,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie. “We took action earlier this year to invest in safety and security on the TTC. The initiatives funded by these investments are making a positive difference and we will keep monitoring this work to ensure our progress continues.”

“The TTC has to be a safe and secure transit system. That is my focus and it is the focus of the women and men of the TTC,” said TTC Chair Jon Burnside. “I want to thank everyone – across our City government and including the Toronto Police – for working together to make sure the TTC is safe, that we enforce the rules meant to keep everyone safe, and we help vulnerable people on the transit system connect with resources and get the help they need.”

In April, more than 2,500 wellness checks were conducted in the transit system – the TTC now has 73 special constables, 50 security guards and 20 Community Safety Ambassadors. 

Additional Streets to Homes (S2H) workers, and partner outreach agencies, available to conduct outreach across the transit system are now in place. The City has been increasing the resources available for the TTC steadily since 2020 with more dedicated funding in the 2023 City budget. TTC site outreach visits increased significantly in April with 573 visits – more than 24 per cent of all S2H visits in the city.

The multi-disciplinary outreach team (M-DOT) is now in the system throughout the week doing mental health outreach. M-DOT provides services five days a week on the TTC specifically to those experiencing mental health challenges and supports them with getting access to the health services they require.

Toronto Police are continuing with increased patrols in the TTC. A total of 28,152 hours in the transit system have been logged by officers since increased patrols began in January. Police confirmed as a result of its ongoing partnership with the City, TTC and Streets to Homes, 316 referrals have been made to various community resources so far this year.

An update on TTC safety and security will be coming to the TTC Board in June. At the Deputy Mayor’s request, the City is working with all partners to publish a public dashboard with key TTC safety and security metrics so people can see the impact of these investments and initiatives underway and help guide future decision-making.