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Little-known TTC service offers late notes for delayed commuters

Toronto commuters ride the subway at Yonge-Bloor station.

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Running late due to transit delays in Canada's most populous city? The Toronto Transit Commission can help explain your tardiness.

The transit agency offers a little-known service that provides late notes for commuters delayed by its subways, streetcars and buses.

The TTC highlighted the service on Twitter a few weeks ago after news circulated of a Japanese railway company apologizing when one of its trains departed 20 seconds early.

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The report prompted people around the world to tweet the story to their local train operators. The TTC responded with a tweet pointing to the late-note service designed to corroborate the stories of tardy commuters.

TTC spokesman Stuart Green says the service has been around for a long time, but could not say precisely how long.

The notes are not personalized, but will include the date, time, duration and location of an incident that caused a service disruption.

Green says commuters can request them online, by email or by calling TTC's customer service hotline, and says it could take between one to five days to receive the note.

"But, of course, Twitter is a newer version of that, where all the delays are documented," he said.

Green also says the TTC experienced longer commute times this week because new trains recently brought into service were causing schedule delays on one subway line.

But Green says those delays have mostly been resolved and the TTC didn't see an uptick in the number of people requesting the late-note service.

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