'These guys really don't care': TTC employee draws praise after blasting Toronto Mayor John Tory, chaotic system

Toronto, a world-class city, is 'frazzled and on edge' because of its underwhelming transit system, expert says

'These guys really don't care': TTC employee draws praise after blasting Toronto Mayor John Tory, chaotic system

Toronto’s Transit Commission, along with Mayor John Tory are facing a flood of backlash after a spate of violent attacks aboard various transport services over the last few months, as well as chaotic and severely delayed service during this week’s snow storm.

The pattern of lacking services, combined with violence the TTC has faced recently has made many people fed up and unsettled using public transit. The most recent attack on Wednesday involved the stabbing of a 16-year-old boy on a bus, which resulted in serious injuries. Earlier in the week, one person was arrested for allegedly chasing a pair of TTC workers with a syringe.

It appears even TTC drivers are fed up with the chaotic situation. Earlier this week, when Toronto was hit by a winter storm, a rider captured a subway announcement in which the TTC employee candidly relayed that there was no service between several stations, and to take up their displeasure with Toronto Mayor John Tory.

I do apologize for the lack of communications from transit control. These guys really don’t care what you guys are doing.TTC employee on speaker

The brave employee's actions were immediately praised by social media viewers who empathize with the staff struggle.

Many others took to social media to voice their concerns and frustrations with the delayed and cancelled services and crowded platforms that overwhelmed the system during Wednesday’s snow dump.

Toronto's transit system is 'microcosm' for wider society

Matti Siemiatycki is the director of the Infrastructure Institute and a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. He says the feeling that things are falling apart at the seams when it comes to public transit stem from larger issues in the city, like lack of mental health services and the need for more affordable housing.

“Transit is a microcosm of wider society,” he tells Yahoo Canada News. “Transit is the focus point right now because so many high profile events have happened on public transit.”

He says the issues with the TTC also fall against the backdrop of the city’s budget, which recently involved cutting transit services and raising fares.

There’s concern that transit is going to enter the death spiral of lower ridership, then service cutbacks, raising fares and the spiral continues. Issues around safety and personal security are really just amplifying it. The safety and reliability of a transit system are critical to the functioning of a big city like Toronto.Matti Siemiatycki, Director of the Infrastructure Institute, Geography and Planning professor, University of Toronto

He adds that a city’s success is undermined once people start looking into other ways to get around, in order to avoid taking public transit. Central issues like housing for those without it and services for people struggling with addiction and mental health challenges are critical to address in order for things to shift.

“It’s really imperative that solutions are found quickly,” Siemiatycki says. “We need to be thinking about the underlying causes here but there is an immediacy of a city that’s frazzled and on edge. “

In response to the recent TTC safety issues, Toronto police are increasing 'daily presence' of officers on the city's transit system starting this week. Upwards of 80 officers will be present on all lines, and are encouraged to chat with passengers and staff members to catch "crimes of opportunity."

Toronto Mayor John Tory also suggested a summit that would bring mayors, ministers, premiers and the PM together to discuss people living with mental health and addiction. He reassured the public that Toronto is doing everything it can.

"The TTC must be safe for everyone, without exception," he said.

—With files from CBC News