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Toronto’s manic morning: Subways back online after power outage


Toronto's manic morning: How the TTC's troubles unfolded Tuesday

Subway service is up and running again after a power failure Tuesday morning scuttled trains and streetcar routes across downtown Toronto, creating chaos, Oliver Moore reports

TTC power failure causes chaos


A power outage knocked out most of Toronto's downtown transit service for the Tuesday morning rush, leaving hundreds of thousands of people struggling to get to work.

Service was disrupted for nearly five hours on the Yonge subway, below Bloor, and out even longer on portions of the King, Queen, Spadina and Dundas streetcars. These are the most heavily used portions of the TTC and massive line-ups formed as shuttle buses struggled to make up for the lost capacity.

To help stranded commuters, Metrolinx said that that people could get on their GO Transit vehicles, as well as the Union Pearson Express, by paying only a normal TTC fare.

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The problems stemmed from a fire overnight in a TTC hydro vault around Yonge and Richmond. Without power there was no way to start subway service downtown, which would normally have begun at 6 in the morning.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross said shortly before 9 a.m. that the fire was out and that they were "hopeful" about getting subway service restored before too much longer. Just after 10:30, TTC Chair Josh Colle tweeted that subway service was back, as well as streetcar service on King, Queen and Dundas.

This is the second time in less than a year that a single point of failure at the TTC has sparked widespread problems. Last June a malfunctioning circuit board led to the complete loss of all TTC communications, forcing a 95-minute shutdown of the subway system.

In this case, the fire knocked out the only source of power for transit vehicles in much of the downtown. Asked about alternate power sources, Mr. Ross said that amount needed by subways and streetcars means it can't easily be brought in from elsewhere.

The struggle is real today #ttc #Toronto #yongeandbloor

A photo posted by Jason Nip & Ripley #ripleynip (@jasonnipdesign) on


The chaotic, constantly changing world of transit planning in Toronto


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