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Miscellaneous TTC Discussion & Questions


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19 hours ago, nfitz said:

Ouch. And although I've advocated against it, what you describe makes a good case for Metrolinx taking over local transit and/or contracting out TTC operations to private companies.

Most ppl that advocate against it is usually political driven. But I'm sure if there was a different party in power their tune would change. 

Maybe Metrolink needs to take over. Something entirely new, with a radical change. With the exception of existing workers losing their jobs, even if it were contracted out like YRT, in the eyes of the customer  that change wouldn't matter. There would be no real downside. 

If they go entirely private, profit driven, then customers would make a stink. But metrolinx taking over and operating like YRT, I don't see customers and ppl like yourself having a problem with it. 

But, if TTC mgmt is the same , even after operations contracted out and  being uploaded, I'm willing to bet every dollar I got, that things won't change. 

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1 hour ago, TransitMotorcoach said:

In regards to game playing, at YRT, it is very hard to actually do given the very padded and generous run schedules that actually give decent rest at the end point. At the TTC however, the abusive gladiator camp environment with such tight and unreasonable run schedules, and the pressure to keep moving, it is directly related to the games some of the operators play. It is really a TTC-specific issue that I have not seen with other transit agencies (unless anyone from Ottawa, Vancouver, or Montreal can chime in with input about what they have witnessed in those cities as well), and it is all rooted in the very toxic TTC culture that has existed for the longest time. 

Regarding Ottawa, most operators are required to do multiple routes in their shift or the proper term is interlining. During the peak periods, it is more noticeable especially for a Connexion route that starts off at Tunney's and finish in Barrhaven or Stittsville, then head back via highway to their next start point which could be across town. Putting at a higher risk of a chain break in case if a vehicle breaks down or tied up on traffic on the previous route, it starts late on the next route. Unless that trip gets cancelled and pushed onto the next route to start on-time. 

There are some crews that stick to one route for some or most of the working day of the crew, but those are usually taken pretty quickly by the senior operators. 

I know TTC does interline, but with very few routes usually at the subway station where the two routes connect. 

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13 hours ago, yrt1000 said:

Maybe like the 35 Jane and 20 Jane? But the frequency on the 20 Jane is like 15+ minutes for the most part- nowhere near the equivalent of the TTCs but most trips are quite busy when I ride it. 
 

From riding YRT for the past 13 years, operators don’t play the same “games” that some TTC operators do as referenced above. I’m not sure if it’s because of the culture there, but moreso because the frequencies are nowhere near the TTCs, so a driver won’t be able to wait to travel in a “pack”. It’s also probably partly because the YRT schedules are quite padded with lots of layover time, so drivers do often get a 5+ minute break at the end of a trip.
 

A lot of the times when a YRT bus is late, it’s honestly because of a skill gap. Don’t really know a better term to use than that, but it’s not really them doing it on purpose. Like drivers who drive slowly, accelerate slowly, turn painstakingly slow, slow to merge etc. causing them to fall behind in the schedules and not being as skilled drivers. I’m sure people here have encountered drivers like that. But with that being said you very rarely will see bunching on YRT routes, outside of maybe Viva Blue in rush hours because that’s the only route where it’s really possible. Elsewhere, a bus could be 10 minutes late but the one after it might still be 45 minutes behind it.

I guess my point of this is, it’s not the private contractor’s making YRT a great transit system that’s better than the TTC. I think in a way, you kinda get what you pay for. Less skilled drivers because they’re paid far less than a TTC driver would be. I also think you’ll find bad apples anywhere you go. The vast majority of people at my company, who I think is a good employer and compensate the average person well for the job they do (not transit related in any way) try to find ways to do as little work as possible, complain constantly etc. Kinda the equivalent to the TTC operator taking an extra 7 minute break at the end of the route

LOL The delusion is real with this post.

YRT a good system? Have you seen their frequencies on the majority of routes from a user perspective? They run on time on a lot of routes because they are scheduled to run 20km/h below the speed limit. Of course they stay on time.

As someone who drove and loved Route 20, I loved it because everyone got on at one stop and the majority got off at either Wonderland or Vaughan Mills. Lol and you sitting here trying to compare it to the zoo that is 35 Jane LMAO

How can drivers play games when the next bus is 45 minutes behind them

Though I will give kudos to YRT, they will not cancel service and screw over people. They just won't. If need be, supervisors or even trainers will be thrown into service before cancelling service. At the larger systems, they will cancel service without skipping a beat despite the wait being more than an hour for the next bus which really boggled my mind. YRT also inserts cover buses when trips are more than 20 minutes late so you don't notice delays when they do occur. It's just you're on a phantom bus while the actual bus for that trip is somewhere else deadheading.

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11 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

There are some crews that stick to one route for some or most of the working day of the crew, but those are usually taken pretty quickly by the senior operators. 

I know TTC does interline, but with very few routes usually at the subway station where the two routes connect. 

If an interline is planned properly, and during the right time of day too, I actually prefer that compared to driving a single route back-and-forth for the whole day. It provides some variety, keeps things a little more interesting, and keeps me focused. The 26 Dupont/55 Warren Park interline during weekday evenings is actually very decent. On the 110 Islington South, having trips alternate between the A and C was quite decent as well when I operated it on Saturdays. There are other interlines though that have been categorized as a nightmare. The 72 Pape/100 Flemington Park is particularly bad (primarily due to the congestion that affects the 72), in addition to the 8 Broadview/62 Mortimer interline when it first started. The amount of bunching I saw on the 62 at that time, it was just unbelievable. 

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1 hour ago, FlyerD901 said:

At TTC you will lose know matter what you do, it's about taking your losses strategically. I'd rather be disapline for being late, than for speeding and losing my license. At least if I get fired, I can get a job right away , instead of going to court and losing my license. But most of customers , ppl on this board even other departments within TTC will not understand that. 

TTC will set you up for failure and then have the nerve to audit you. 

It makes the Union useless, cause they should be fighting to help operators avoid negative encounters with customers, and being that liasion between the operators and mgmt. 

At this point, I have now mentally prepared myself for the possibility that any time I report for my shift, I will be told to go see the divisional manager, where something will be pinned on me for the purpose of showing me the door. It is a lose-lose environment, where an employee is presumed guilty until found innocent, and even then, the management will show their disdain and contempt by fighting from having to pay out any backpay. 

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3 hours ago, T3G said:

Don't get me wrong, the TTC is a profoundly sick organization. But so are many private sector firms, especially in today's age of profits over people.

Oh, absolutely. But we've been talking about fixing TTC for years, with little improvement. Meanwhile it seems that almost every nearby transit agency is dealing with things better. Sure, more traffic and other issues in Toronto. But it's not like the weekend and overnight services run like clockwork.

Comes a point when you need to blow it up, and start again. Like they did when they got rid of TSR and TRC.

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1 hour ago, York Transit said:

LOL The delusion is real with this post.

YRT a good system? Have you seen their frequencies on the majority of routes from a user perspective? They run on time on a lot of routes because they are scheduled to run 20km/h below the speed limit. Of course they stay on time.

As someone who drove and loved Route 20, I loved it because everyone got on at one stop and the majority got off at either Wonderland or Vaughan Mills. Lol and you sitting here trying to compare it to the zoo that is 35 Jane LMAO

How can drivers play games when the next bus is 45 minutes behind them

Though I will give kudos to YRT, they will not cancel service and screw over people. They just won't. If need be, supervisors or even trainers will be thrown into service before cancelling service. At the larger systems, they will cancel service without skipping a beat despite the wait being more than an hour for the next bus which really boggled my mind. YRT also inserts cover buses when trips are more than 20 minutes late so you don't notice delays when they do occur. It's just you're on a phantom bus while the actual bus for that trip is somewhere else deadheading.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to give the impression that YRT is a good system. It isn’t, at all. I know from a rider. I didn’t mean for my post to come off that way at all. I actually meant to say it is the opposite and completely garbage lol
 

All I wanted to highlight is that drivers there don’t play the “games” TTC drivers do. And even if they did it isn’t as noticeable, as you mentioned as well. The message or point I meant to outline is that if the TTC were to have a private contractor, you’d probably still see the same stuff there is today. And even if things are “fixed” in this hypothetical contracted TTC world, people in all places will find ways to cheat and do less work than they absolutely have to because that’s pretty much human nature  

also fair point, I misunderstood Nfitz’s post comparing two corridors between the TTC and YRT. I wasn’t trying to compare the two, I thought the comparison being made was two busy corridors on the same street, one in York and one in Toronto 

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31 minutes ago, nfitz said:

Oh, absolutely. But we've been talking about fixing TTC for years, with little improvement. Meanwhile it seems that almost every nearby transit agency is dealing with things better. Sure, more traffic and other issues in Toronto. But it's not like the weekend and overnight services run like clockwork.

Comes a point when you need to blow it up, and start again. Like they did when they got rid of TSR and TRC.

You'll get no disagreement from me there, though I'm not at all certain how they'd go about it. The only reason we got rid of those 2 is because their respective franchises were up. Were it not for that, who knows how much longer the city would have had to put up with the TRC.

Though, in fairness, the city must have had its share of the blame for writing a weak contract. "We're not going to build new lines to newly annexed parts of town because the contract didn't cover those" seems like something that the clowns running the city would have allowed to happen today.

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On 9/4/2023 at 1:58 PM, nfitz said:

On the other hand, skip stopping is the one advantage buses have in filling stops. The bus that overtook will then pick up future passengers, making the (now) second bus faster, and leading to a shorter gap.

Hard to say really without looking a the performance data on the day/time in question. Perhaps the bus that skipped the stop was already running late? Perhaps Transit Control were too busy having coffee.

I'm happy to pull the data out of Transsee if you give me the times.

But as I pointed out to TTCHelps the other day, 504 service on Roncesvalles is a failure when there's only a pair of streetcars running together, once an hour.

You quoted my post which has all the information you would need. It's hard to see overtaking as an advantage when the op skips the busiest stop on the line. I watched as they pulled into the oncoming westbound lane to pass the bus it was tailing out of the loop. It all looks incredibly suspect because it was their very last trip of the day as they headed straight back to Malvern after reaching Bingham.

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20 hours ago, FlyerD901 said:

Even basic communication where you have to rely on Steve Munro instead of your employer is a shame and disgrace. Especially regarding construction, detours, route information, planning, etc. 

I don't know how things are done at the division you work out of, but at my division all this information is always posted on a board. I haven't had a situation where something hasn't been posted. I have experienced not knowing about a detour but that was because I didn't check on the board. When I came back to the division that day, I checked and all info was posted there. Most times it's the operator who fails to look and then blames TTC for not providing this information. 

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1 hour ago, Someguy3071 said:

I don't know how things are done at the division you work out of, but at my division all this information is always posted on a board. I haven't had a situation where something hasn't been posted. I have experienced not knowing about a detour but that was because I didn't check on the board. When I came back to the division that day, I checked and all info was posted there. Most times it's the operator who fails to look and then blames TTC for not providing this information. 

Speaking of detours, there was an instance on the 900 this summer,  when despite a detour being posted, the dumbfuck route supervisors were still trying to push and bully the operators into driving the regular routing. I attached the photo of the detour posting too.

 

Despite the fact that there was construction on the 427 and it was already generally not the safest having to make 4 sudden left lane changes once on the 427 after departing T3 (especially when the right two lanes are a slow crawl entering the 401, while in the left two lanes everyone is doing 120 or 130 km/h), those clowns at control centre were inconvenienced by the extra time used and missed trips as a result of this detour. The divisional management ultimately bullied the JHSC and the shop steward (such a spineless and useless union in general) into notifying the ops to do the regular routing despite the issues going on at that location,  just telling us to "be careful when merging". Very clearly showing us yet another example of how the TTC management does not give one flying fuck about safety whatsoever. The alternative routing of that detour was actually very decent, and a lot safer too. But to the clowns in charge, service and "faster times" actually matter a lot more than safe operation that does not involve having a bus make 4 sudden left lane changes on the 427 in a rather hazardous location as well.

Screenshot_20230908_093930_Gallery.png

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4 hours ago, Someguy3071 said:

I don't know how things are done at the division you work out of, but at my division all this information is always posted on a board. I haven't had a situation where something hasn't been posted. I have experienced not knowing about a detour but that was because I didn't check on the board. When I came back to the division that day, I checked and all info was posted there. Most times it's the operator who fails to look and then blames TTC for not providing this information. 

Seems to me that they should be sending the information directly to the operator, rather than relying on the operator to have checked a board or a forum for the information - which seems like a systemic attempt at not communicating.

Tell me that at least the board functions on both Android and iOS. :)

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One of the other key comparison points between YRT and the TTC and how they differ in the way they do things, it is insurance. 

 

YRT is insured by an outside insurance provider, and in the interest of not paying increased insurance premiums due to preventable collisions and accidents, in addition to the Insurance Provider having certain expectations that have to be met, YRT tries to minimize and reduce such occurrences by padding the run schedules, giving generous layover times at the end points, plus having specific criteria in the operations contract for the contractor (Miller and TOK) in regards to how many preventable accidents can happen within a month and the penalties for going over the limit. In addition, I remember Miller having a safety bulletin board outside of the dispatch window at the South-East yard, where they kept a count of how many days the company went without a preventable accident, and when a preventable accident did occur, photos and details of the accident would be shown on that board as well, so other operators would learn from the mistakes that caused the particular event. 

 

The TTC on the other hand,  it is self-insured. There is no insurance company out there that wants to take a gamble of insuring the TTC, and it is apparent why. When an organization insures itself like this, on top of the culture that has been there for the longest, you see why it has the issues that it has. 

 

It goes to show that having some degree of outside oversight is a good thing. Us as individuals, if we operate a vehicle recklessly, get too many speeding tickets, or have an at-fault collision, the insurance company can easily cancel our policy if they feel like it or raise the insurance rate enough that it becomes too expensive to drive, which motivates us (not all, but a good portion of people) to actually drive as defensively as possible. 

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On 9/9/2023 at 2:57 AM, TransitMotorcoach said:

It goes to show that having some degree of outside oversight is a good thing. Us as individuals, if we operate a vehicle recklessly, get too many speeding tickets, or have an at-fault collision, the insurance company can easily cancel our policy if they feel like it or raise the insurance rate enough that it becomes too expensive to drive, which motivates us (not all, but a good portion of people) to actually drive as defensively as possible. 

Uh, there is a thing called a drivers license. You get 6 demerit points as a ttc bus op and you get downgraded from a C. and basically fired. If they like you, after a bunch of begging and bargaining, you get to be a CSA or work in the Greenwood detention centre. Who provides the insurance is irrelevant, when the final outcome of a few preventables is the same.

 

Noone wants their personal car insurance to increase, their conduct and performance operating a commercial vehicle at work will affect that. Yes, every speeding ticket or hta infraction while driving a bus or streetcar goes against their personal license. Also, every infraction while driving your personal car can effect your employment.  Saw a guy on probation get fired from the ttc for "street racing" his personal car on the way to work. He was late, he was doing 160km/h on the way from Oshawa to work, he no longer works there. Real nice guy, great customer service skills, made one bad decision and got caught. 

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1 hour ago, Turtle said:

Uh, there is a thing called a drivers license. You get 6 demerit points as a ttc bus op and you get downgraded from a C. and basically fired. If they like you, after a bunch of begging and bargaining, you get to be a CSA or work in the Greenwood detention centre. Who provides the insurance is irrelevant, when the final outcome of a few preventables is the same.

The thing is, the TTC culture itself does not value the license of an operator. OTC training the recruits one way, and the imbeciles monitoring the routes at Transit Control having nasty attitudes and angry hissy fits when an operator does as he or she was trained to do. To top it off, the management scum taking the supervisor's side and having an op fight tooth and nail to clear his or her name, even when the op is correct. It is an absolute kangaroo court if you really think about it.

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10 hours ago, TransitMotorcoach said:

The thing is, the TTC culture itself does not value the license of an operator. OTC training the recruits one way, and the imbeciles monitoring the routes at Transit Control having nasty attitudes and angry hissy fits when an operator does as he or she was trained to do. To top it off, the management scum taking the supervisor's side and having an op fight tooth and nail to clear his or her name, even when the op is correct. It is an absolute kangaroo court if you really think about it.

Feels like you are making more of it than you should be. If the speed limit is 50, don't do more than that. You are carrying a bunch of people who aren't seated, and a whole bunch of them have mobility/balance issues. Let them grab a bar or take a seat before you floor it. Watch out for those cars taking right turns in front of you from the second lane or from the non right turn lane (against the HTA btw) or those cars that absolutely need to get in front of you even though they are going to make a turn immediately after they cut you off, their self worth will be affected if they don't get in front of that bus with 50 ppl onboard.

 

They can't get you for slow/safe operation if you aren't much different from the average ops out there. They will send spies on your vehicle if you are out of the norm, but they still can't get you for safe operation when they do that. Who cares about their schedule, if you are bringing people to their destination safely and relatively efficiently.

 

But...recovery time is just that. It isn't layover time. If you are 10 minutes late to the end with a 7 minute recovery, it doesn't mean you have 7 minutes at the end. Recovery time is their time, not yours.

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1 hour ago, Turtle said:

Feels like you are making more of it than you should be. 

They can't get you for slow/safe operation if you aren't much different from the average ops out there. They will send spies on your vehicle if you are out of the norm, but they still can't get you for safe operation when they do that. Who cares about their schedule, if you are bringing people to their destination safely and relatively efficiently.

I am just being realistic based on what I have witnessed from others and also experienced myself. 

Given how the TTC is very eager to send spies out or do audits, while being very hesitant to implement changes that are beneficial to operators, it just goes to show that the organization itself is very broken, and needs a complete overhaul and rebuild. Even if it means Metrolinx taking over.

The way things are now, I am not even getting my hopes up. And as @FlyerD901 said, it is about taking a loss in the TTC kangaroo court wisely and strategically, as one will not win these days. If they show me the door , it will be for something service-related. My safety record will be kept clean and intact at all costs. I have way more fear of having a meeting with the MTO about my license, than I do about being in the TTC divisional manager's office. 

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TTC updated their main system map to Sept 2023 but it still kept the Line 3 blue line even though it shows the 903's new routing right beside it.

Why didn't they update and remove the Line 3 blue line since they clearly just updated the map?

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31 minutes ago, Cityflyer said:

TTC updated their main system map to Sept 2023 but it still kept the Line 3 blue line even though it shows the 903's new routing right beside it.

Why didn't they update and remove the Line 3 blue line since they clearly just updated the map?

Maybe because the map was drawn up and sent to printers/acrobaters before the RT was officially declared defunct?

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22 minutes ago, Ed T. said:

Maybe because the map was drawn up and sent to printers/acrobaters before the RT was officially declared defunct?

You realize that makes zero sense cause the 903 won't be running with the SRT in service.

Sent to the printers? Pretty sure they do these map in house. That's how they can update them monthly unlike back to 2000s where those more complicated outsourced maps are outdated yearly. There is no other copyrighted owner listed than the TTC themselves.

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1 hour ago, Xtrazsteve said:

You realize that makes zero sense cause the 903 won't be running with the SRT in service.

Sent to the printers? Pretty sure they do these map in house. That's how they can update them monthly unlike back to 2000s where those more complicated outsourced maps are outdated yearly. There is no other copyrighted owner listed than the TTC themselves.

I'd be stunned if they had their own printing shop that could handle maps. If they do, it should be closed and outsourced.

I'd assume if the transition was in a month or two, they'd show both. I'd think there'd be a note though. And why not fix the online version?

It does reflect other September 2023 changes - such as moving the terminus of route 31 to Coxwell and Queen.

Someone should tell the drivers about that change - they are still running to Kingston Road and Queen. :)

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2 hours ago, nfitz said:

I'd be stunned if they had their own printing shop that could handle maps. If they do, it should be closed and outsourced.

I'd assume if the transition was in a month or two, they'd show both. I'd think there'd be a note though. And why not fix the online version?

It does reflect other September 2023 changes - such as moving the terminus of route 31 to Coxwell and Queen.

Someone should tell the drivers about that change - they are still running to Kingston Road and Queen. :)

It only takes one person to update the map and create route maps and detour maps. I don’t see how it’s a difficult task.

There are still some errors on the map. The 960 west of Pioneer Village should just be listed as 960 not 960BD as there isn’t a 960 branch that ended there.

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28 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

It only takes one person to update the map and create route maps and detour maps. I don’t see how it’s a difficult task.

There are still some errors on the map. The 960 west of Pioneer Village should just be listed as 960 not 960BD as there isn’t a 960 branch that ended there.

Not sure what you mean?  TTC service summary shows 2 960 services 960B and 960D which are both reflected on the map.  The schedule on the website for some reason shows 2 branches but has the same schedule for both which is confusing (looks like they just forgot to include B/D designation beside departure times - on brand with the overall crappiness of the new website).    

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16 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

It only takes one person to update the map and create route maps and detour maps. I don’t see how it’s a difficult task.

There are still some errors on the map. The 960 west of Pioneer Village should just be listed as 960 not 960BD as there isn’t a 960 branch that ended there.

Have you ever worked for an enterprise as sprawling as the TTC? Where one department often has no idea what another department is doing (see Steve Munro on the "siloing" in the TTC).

 

 

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On 9/9/2023 at 2:57 AM, TransitMotorcoach said:

One of the other key comparison points between YRT and the TTC and how they differ in the way they do things, it is insurance. 

 

YRT is insured by an outside insurance provider, and in the interest of not paying increased insurance premiums due to preventable collisions and accidents, in addition to the Insurance Provider having certain expectations that have to be met, YRT tries to minimize and reduce such occurrences by padding the run schedules, giving generous layover times at the end points, plus having specific criteria in the operations contract for the contractor (Miller and TOK) in regards to how many preventable accidents can happen within a month and the penalties for going over the limit. In addition, I remember Miller having a safety bulletin board outside of the dispatch window at the South-East yard, where they kept a count of how many days the company went without a preventable accident, and when a preventable accident did occur, photos and details of the accident would be shown on that board as well, so other operators would learn from the mistakes that caused the particular event. 

 

The TTC on the other hand,  it is self-insured. There is no insurance company out there that wants to take a gamble of insuring the TTC, and it is apparent why. When an organization insures itself like this, on top of the culture that has been there for the longest, you see why it has the issues that it has. 

 

It goes to show that having some degree of outside oversight is a good thing. Us as individuals, if we operate a vehicle recklessly, get too many speeding tickets, or have an at-fault collision, the insurance company can easily cancel our policy if they feel like it or raise the insurance rate enough that it becomes too expensive to drive, which motivates us (not all, but a good portion of people) to actually drive as defensively as possible. 

I don’t think that’s the reason the TTC would self-insure itself. I truly don’t think theres not a single insurer out there who wouldn’t insure the TTC- at the end of the day, insurers in Ontario are private companies who are trying to turn a profit. I think every single one out there would gladly take what I would anticipate to be at least tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions in insurance premiums each and every year. They’d price it accordingly to the risk of 2000+ buses, 200+ streetcars, and 200+ subway trains, in anticipation for the number of claims to pay out plus a bit extra to make a profit, and probably have set limits each policy term. And if companies like Uber can get their entire fleet of drivers insured in Canada, where there is really no vetting of drivers, I’m sure the TTC could too. I’ve had far more close calls in an Uber than on a TTC vehicle to the point where I pretty much refuse to take Uber unless absolutely necessary.
YRT probably goes with a private insurer because theres a smaller fleet there- I’d assume each contractor has their own commercial insurance policy for their fleet of a couple hundred buses- and the contractors probably don’t have the same capital to pay any potential claims.
 

All this to say- in my opinion I’d say the TTC is self-insuring far more likely because they are able to, and to avoid the hassle of having to pay a private insurer each year and deal with whatever policy terms and limits they might have, they just pay out any claims themselves when they come up and it probably saves them money in the long run, rather than having to pay another company those insurance premiums. If the TTC has access to such capital, why wouldn’t they? I think most of us would self-insure ourselves if we really could and not pay for car insurance each year. The vast majority of us don’t get into accidents each year, so a lot of people feel they get nothing out of paying insurance (hence why you’ll hear a lot of people say “insurers are scammers!!! Why do I need insurance?”). The issue is 99.9999% of people wouldn’t be able to as they don’t have $50k offhand to get a new car if theirs is in a wreck, plus $2 million in a liability lawsuit. So instead we all just pay a couple thousand in insurance premiums each year for our cars.

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