For many Torontonians, the TTC is their only, um, ‘reliable’ means of transportation.
Most of the time you can ride on a streetcar or bus in peace. Being left alone to read your paper, catch up on emails, or just relax for a few minutes before reaching your final destination.
But no matter how well TTC operations may appear, it always seems we’re exposed to horror stories from TTC passengers and drivers falling victim to harassment or assault while on a city streetcar or bus.
A Toronto Star report that analyzed more than 4,000 TTC crime trends between 2010 and 2015, has highlighted what passengers and TTC employees are susceptible on a daily basis, pointing out that transit safety is far from perfect.
The report found that metropass fraud was the most common offence, with 952 incidents in the past five years. This was followed by assault on bus drivers, with 869 incidents, while passengers suffered some 300 incidents.
The reported threats were not only high in number, but many of the reported cases were extremely troubling, including when a commuter punched a woman in the face along the 35 Jane Line because three baby strollers in the aisle were blocking his way. The report also revealed that the Finch West, Jane, Eglinton West, Keele, and Lawrence bus routes are the most dangerous in the city, some accounting for hundreds of crimes in recent year.
The 36 Finch West route tops the list with 322 incidents, followed by the 35 Jane with 260, and 32 Eglinton West with 164.
Luckily, it was reported that the total crime rate on Toronto buses has steadily declined over the past three years, which is most likely due to the recent implementation of safety measures that include: plexiglas shields to separate drivers from violent passengers on city busses and the installation of closed-circuit TV cameras, which can record video footage of incidents and can be replayed later during police investigations.
There’s also the new transit system’s court advocate program — which helps employees assaulted on the job navigate through the legal system.
In order to shed some light on the situation, the Toronto Star has shared the 15 most dangerous bus routes in the past five years, based on the highest rate of offences during 2010-2015.
1. 36 Finch West
322 total offences, 36 offences per 10,000 passengers, 48 assault(s)
2. 35 Jane
260 total offences, 40 offences per 10,000 passengers, 56 assault(s)
3. 89 Weston
115 total offences, 34 offences per 10,000 passengers, 24 assault(s)
4. 161 Rogers Rd
60 total offences, 41 offences per 10,000 passengers, 23 assault(s)
5. 320 Yonge (Blue Night)
54 total offences, 52 offences per 10,000 passengers, 20 assault(s)
6. 300 Bloor-Danforth
31 total offences, 37 offences per 10,000 passengers, 10 assault(s)
7. 352 Lawrence East (Blue Night)
9 total offences, 92 offences per 10,000 passengers, 2 assault(s)
8. 307 Eglinton (Blue Night)
8 total offences, 74 offences per 10,000 passengers, 1 assault(s)
9. 139 Finch-Don Mills
8 total offences, 40 offences per 10,000 passengers, 3 assault(s)
10. 316 Ossington (Blue Night)
5 total offences, 79 offences per 10,000 passengers, 2 assault(s)
11. 171 Mt Dennis
5 total offences, 44 offences per 10,000 passengers, 1 assault(s)
12. 329 Dufferin
5 total offences, 40 offences per 10,000 passengers, 2 assault(s)
13. 319 Wilson
3 total offences, 35 offences per 10,000 passengers, 1 assault(s)
14. 352 Lawrence West
2 total offences, 63 offences per 10,000 passengers, 0 assault(s)
15. 145 Downtown/Humber Bay
1 total offences, 40 offences per 10,000 passengers, 0 assault(s)
If you ever have to take one of these routes, just remember to stay alert and distance yourself from anyone making you feel uncomfortable.