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Miscellaneous TTC Discussion & Questions

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12 hours ago, John Oke said:

There was this alarming post to reddit today from someone claiming to be a TTC employee that has inside knowledge on the future situation. I’ll let you read it

I believe the TTC service is about to get significantly worse.

I am a TTC employee and I believe we are about to see our transit system buckle under extreme financial pressure. I've seen posts about overcrowding on the TTC despite calls for social distancing. I get the feeling that it's about to get much worse.

The TTC is currently losing about $90M/month. In an effort to save money wherever possible, TTC is making some dramatic changes, both service-oriented and operationally. Salary increases have been paused for non-union staff, any business travel has been eliminated, overtime costs have been removed unless related to COVID-19, all contract/co-op positions are being removed, and any open positions are being removed.

On top of that, 1000 unionized employees are being laid-off, as well as 200 non-union staff. When all of this is done, it will save $25M of that $90M. We will still be losing $65M. More rounds of layoffs are likely to come, and service will get even more sparse.

The new service period starts May 10. On that date, all express routes are being pulled except the 900 and 927. All special service (high park, bluffers park, toronto zoo, etc.) are pulled. The 140's are pulled. A handful of the 300s are pulled. And of all the standard routes that are remaining, their service levels are dropping significantly (my colleague told me roughly 20-25% decrease for all routes).

A sad reality: There is no "bail-out" for TTC despite it being an essential service. With 27 employees testing positive for the virus, the Queensway Garage currently shutdown until May 1st due to managing a potential outbreak, and already several groups of employees walking out on the job, I think between now and September, transit within Toronto is going to continue to become worse.

This isn't intended to be a "boohoo, help me, I'll lose my job" post, because tons of companies are experiencing extreme financial hardship. Despite being an employee, I am one of the TTC's biggest critics, and there are a million things they could have done to be more resilient in the face of this. With that being said, we're about to see just how much Toronto truly relies their transit system.

Good luck, everyone!

Welp, there goes my shot for working at the TTC during one of my co ops. 

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11 minutes ago, Streety McCarface said:

Welp, there goes my shot for working at the TTC during one of my co ops. 

More concerning is any chances of a co op job this summer

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18 hours ago, John Oke said:

A sad reality: There is no "bail-out" for TTC despite it being an essential service.

There is no "bail out" yet.  

 

The TTC is not the only agency in this situation.  There will be some sort of financial aid down the road. Transit will be vital to rebuilding the economy in large centres like Toronto or Vancouver.  The costs of leaving a mass transit system crippled will be significantly higher than that of injecting Provincial/Federal aid.

Anyone who's been laid off will get their job back, its just a question of when.

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Slightly off topic, just curious but for those that are in High School, if the school year is canceled for the year does this mean you need to repeat the year over again or will you get credit and either graduate or go on to the next year?

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3 hours ago, MCIBUS said:

Slightly off topic, just curious but for those that are in High School, if the school year is canceled for the year does this mean you need to repeat the year over again or will you get credit and either graduate or go on to the next year?

Province has not said what will happen, yet.

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4 hours ago, 9924 said:

There is no "bail out" yet.  

 

The TTC is not the only agency in this situation.  There will be some sort of financial aid down the road. Transit will be vital to rebuilding the economy in large centres like Toronto or Vancouver.  The costs of leaving a mass transit system crippled will be significantly higher than that of injecting Provincial/Federal aid.

Anyone who's been laid off will get their job back, its just a question of when.

That assumes that the system fully recovers its ridership.

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16 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

That assumes that the system fully recovers its ridership.

Eventually, why wouldn't it?

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5 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

Eventually, why wouldn't it?

Eventually yes but might not be in the next year or two. A lot of small business will close down leading to lost of employment and lower ridership for a while. If the economy doesn't pick up in a year, those poor layoff folks wouldn't get back to work anytime soon

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8 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

Eventually yes but might not be in the next year or two. A lot of small business will close down leading to lost of employment and lower ridership for a while. If the economy doesn't pick up in a year, those poor layoff folks wouldn't get back to work anytime soon

Like I said, it’s a question of when, not if. Not sure what the collective agreement says about how long a recall is valid for but I wouldn’t be surprised if some are already called back by fall. 

The hospitality/tourism sector will be the hardest hit followed by the retail sector, but even the retail sector will bounce back relatively quickly.  After months of online shopping, people will yearn to get out into real stores to spend their money.

If things go OK, schools will be back in session come September, and for any mass transit system, thats one of the biggest ridership bases.  Depending on how deep the run cuts go through the summer, even if the schools come back at only 50% capacity, they'll have to add capacity by then.  If they plan on keeping seating restrictions through the fall, then they'll have to add even more capacity.

One thing you learn about seniority, is that you build it a lot quicker than you realize.  When I started at my first transit job, I was the most junior driver for 2 years.  Granted, it was a much smaller system, at the time we only had about 30 drivers, but that can make it even harder to build seniority.  After my 6th year, I was the most senior driver.  People get fired, they quit, they retire.  The same thing applies here, if the TTC laid off 1000 drivers and you're say number 697, people ahead of you won't go back when they're recalled.  People who are still there will retire, they'll quit, they'll get fired, etc.

Obviously, the circumstances with whats going on now is quite different and will make things more difficult, and even though none of us have a crystal ball, I'd remain positive and understand that these layoffs are only temporary.

As much as it hurts me to say this, the Government isn't that stupid to ignore the Country's biggest and most vital transit systems and realize how incredibly vital they are when it comes to rebuilding the economy as quickly as possible. 

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9 hours ago, 9924 said:

Like I said, it’s a question of when, not if. Not sure what the collective agreement says about how long a recall is valid for but I wouldn’t be surprised if some are already called back by fall. 

The hospitality/tourism sector will be the hardest hit followed by the retail sector, but even the retail sector will bounce back relatively quickly.  After months of online shopping, people will yearn to get out into real stores to spend their money.

If things go OK, schools will be back in session come September, and for any mass transit system, thats one of the biggest ridership bases.  Depending on how deep the run cuts go through the summer, even if the schools come back at only 50% capacity, they'll have to add capacity by then.  If they plan on keeping seating restrictions through the fall, then they'll have to add even more capacity.

One thing you learn about seniority, is that you build it a lot quicker than you realize.  When I started at my first transit job, I was the most junior driver for 2 years.  Granted, it was a much smaller system, at the time we only had about 30 drivers, but that can make it even harder to build seniority.  After my 6th year, I was the most senior driver.  People get fired, they quit, they retire.  The same thing applies here, if the TTC laid off 1000 drivers and you're say number 697, people ahead of you won't go back when they're recalled.  People who are still there will retire, they'll quit, they'll get fired, etc.

Obviously, the circumstances with whats going on now is quite different and will make things more difficult, and even though none of us have a crystal ball, I'd remain positive and understand that these layoffs are only temporary.

As much as it hurts me to say this, the Government isn't that stupid to ignore the Country's biggest and most vital transit systems and realize how incredibly vital they are when it comes to rebuilding the economy as quickly as possible. 

Not so fast on retail. If anything this will help people push to online shopping, retail was struggling with physical stores already. 

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17 hours ago, MCIBUS said:

Slightly off topic, just curious but for those that are in High School, if the school year is canceled for the year does this mean you need to repeat the year over again or will you get credit and either graduate or go on to the next year?

It will vary by province. There's no such thing as a single answer.

In any case, this information is clearly up, at, e.g., https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-extends-school-and-child-care-closures-to-fight-spread-of-covid-19.html

It's kind of pointless to ask off-topic questions, where the answers are avaiiable straight from the source. I mean, it's obvious that this question has been asked by lots of students and parents. You'd think the answers would be up for everyone to see, right?

12 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

Eventually yes but might not be in the next year or two. A lot of small business will close down leading to lost of employment and lower ridership for a while. If the economy doesn't pick up in a year, those poor layoff folks wouldn't get back to work anytime soon

On the flip side, people may not be able to afford that second car, or that tricked-out pickup. If the real estate market takes a tumble, the the financial impact on those who leveraged their property ownership and ran up debt could make for some wide-spread effects. Of course no one knows what will happen for the rest of 2020 and beyond. We can all hope, I guess.

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2 hours ago, TheAverageJoe said:

Not so fast on retail. If anything this will help people push to online shopping, retail was struggling with physical stores already. 

And how is that online  shopping delivery working out right now? I ordered 3 items on Amazon two weeks ago. Two of them haven't even shipped yet and are expected to come mid May. With these delays in delivery people will be going to physical stores to buy things as soon as they can. 

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25 minutes ago, Ultimate said:

And that relates to TTC how?

It was just mentioned a few posts above, regarding ridership drop because of school closures.

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7 hours ago, TheAverageJoe said:

Not so fast on retail. If anything this will help people push to online shopping, retail was struggling with physical stores already. 

People have been forced into online shopping, they want a choice even if it just means going out to browse.  Retail will pick up.

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On 4/25/2020 at 12:49 PM, Xtrazsteve said:

More concerning is any chances of a co op job this summer

It'd be for the Fall, but we're all extremely worried about the economy and how it will affect our degrees. 

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20 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Eventually, why wouldn't it?

Yes, that’s true, but it’s too early to know how long that eventual return could take.  The ridership lost in that brutal recession in the early 90s didn’t come back for 10 years or so, and service on the surface routes never recovered compared to what was being run before.

If social distancing becomes a permanent or even a long or medium term normal thing, it does raise questions about what do loading and crowding standards look like to accommodate less dense occupation of vehicles, how much transit service needs to be operated to accomplish that, and what the knock on effects for fare and subsidy policy is.

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53 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

Yes, that’s true, but it’s too early to know how long that eventual return could take.  The ridership lost in that brutal recession in the early 90s didn’t come back for 10 years or so, and service on the surface routes never recovered compared to what was being run before.

If social distancing becomes a permanent or even a long or medium term normal thing, it does raise questions about what do loading and crowding standards look like to accommodate less dense occupation of vehicles, how much transit service needs to be operated to accomplish that, and what the knock on effects for fare and subsidy policy is.

While a valid concern, I offer the Spanish flu as a counter-argument. Did the TTC see any long term service reductions after that was over and done? I've never seen any reference made to it in any literature on the history of the TTC, so I assume not.

It is difficult to imagine how long it will take for all the ridership to come back, but I'd expect at least a portion of it to bounce back relatively soon after the stay-at-home order is lifted, as people get fed up and start itching to go places again.

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7 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

While a valid concern, I offer the Spanish flu as a counter-argument. Did the TTC see any long term service reductions after that was over and done? I've never seen any reference made to it in any literature on the history of the TTC, so I assume not.

There also weren't any transportation alternatives to the streetcar after WWI. 

There also weren't alternatives methods of conducting work. 

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11 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

While a valid concern, I offer the Spanish flu as a counter-argument. Did the TTC see any long term service reductions after that was over and done? I've never seen any reference made to it in any literature on the history of the TTC, so I assume not.

It is difficult to imagine how long it will take for all the ridership to come back, but I'd expect at least a portion of it to bounce back relatively soon after the stay-at-home order is lifted, as people get fed up and start itching to go places again.

Unless I’m missing something, probably because the TTC wasn’t legislated into existence until 2 years into recovery, in 1921. 

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2 minutes ago, Bus_Medic said:

Unless I’m missing something, probably because the TTC wasn’t legislated into existence until 2 years into recovery, in 1921. 

Thanks for the correction, the timeline completely slipped my mind.

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There is also the fact that many riders especially those who have alternative options, may opt to not ride like sardines again, at least for a while.

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48 minutes ago, 63 Ossington said:

There is also the fact that many riders especially those who have alternative options, may opt to not ride like sardines again, at least for a while.

They aren't getting on the 29 Sufferin for sure. With oil prices being lower, I wouldn't be surprised people opt to drive more even if traffic is worse.

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