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TTC recalls remaining 179 furloughed workers

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Oct 16th, 2020

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is now recalling its remaining 179 furloughed employees in the first week of November.

In April, 450 workers were laid off due to reduced ridership because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In August, 150 TTC employees returned to work and an additional 132 were recalled in September.

Previously, the TTC said the remaining workers would be recalled when ridership on all modes of transit reached 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The TTC says the move is now necessary to meet service demands and because a new set of high-school students will be returning to class in November, plus a major planned capital project is getting underway.

This last batch of furloughed workers include 97 bus drivers.

Ridership on buses has increased faster than other modes of transit as more schools and businesses reopened over the last two months and daily ridership on buses has reached the threshold of 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The TTC recently reiterated that social distancing may not always be possible on transit as more people return to work and about eight per cent of the city’s bus routes are seeing overcrowding issues.

The agency says it plans on “maintaining service flexibility and implementing demand-responsive bus service to supplement scheduled service,” as ridership continues to rise.

In addition to increased bus ridership, the TTC is hoping to move up a major asbestos removal program by an entire year. The project requires the closure of Line 1 between Finch and Sheppard stations for 10 days in December which will in turn require shuttle buses to run between the stations instead.

The transit agency will seek approval from its board to advance the project on Friday.

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