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TTC extends Request Stop service to everyone

TTC extends Request Stop service to everyone

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Any vulnerable person may use late-night safety service previously reserved for women
Amid a series of customer service improvements announced Oct 13, TTC chair Karen Stintz pledged that the transit system’s popular Request Stop service would be extended to all travelers riding on buses between 9pm and 5am.
 
The service, which was previously available only to women travelling alone, allows riders to ask bus drivers to stop the bus between stops to minimize the distance travellers must walk to their destinations. It was launched in the early 1990s as a way of improving rider safety.
 
Some groups have complained that the focus on women left other potentially vulnerable groups exposed to nighttime dangers, including the elderly, youths, the disabled, visible minorities and queer people. The focus on gender may also have marginalized trans people.
 
Chris Upfold, the TTC’s chief customer service officer, says that an queer group is one of many concerned groups and individuals who had requested the change. He declined to name the group.
 
“It’s clearly something we’ve been asked about quite a bit over the last few years,” Upfold says.
 
Upfold says the new initiative should have “no cost bearing” other than the need to replace signs on buses that specify that the program is for women only. He says those signs will be phased out over the next six months.
 
As the Request Stop service is available only on buses, not streetcars, this will primarily affect service outside of the downtown core, where bus stops are often farther apart.
 
Other customer service initiatives announced include the creation of a citizen-led customer liaison panel, the launch of regular town hall meetings, expanded hours at the TTC’s customer service centre and a “customer-focused” review of fares and ticketing.  
 
Citizens can request to join the customer liaison panel by submitting a resumé and 250-word essay on their customer service insights to the TTC by email at clp@ttc.ca. The first TTC town hall meeting will be held on Nov 24. Time and location are to be determined.
 
The fare and ticketing review will focus on reducing fares but is meant to review nuisance issues about fares, such as time limitations on transfers.
 
The customer service phone line will have its hours extended from the current 8am-5pm weekdays to 7am-10pm every day.
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Comments

Finally
@chris

Wow, I couldn't have said it better myself! Subways and buses packed at 2pm? Check, make that 1pm.
The undisclosed queer group.
The queer group that requested a change to the women-only designation of the TTC's Request Stop Program was Queer Ontario, which sent a letter to Councillor Karen Stintz on September 28, 2011 requesting that the TTC extend the Program to all individuals *regardless* of their gender identity or gender expression.

You can read Queer Ontario's letter here: http://queerontario.org/2011/09/28/request-stop/.

In fact, this letter would not have been possible were it not for the work of Andy Vatiliotou, a TTC customer who solicited Queer Ontario's support after experiencing a bureaucratic roadblock in his communication with the TTC's Human Rights Officer. According to the Human Rights Officer: the Program did not need to change because it had been sanctioned as a 'Special Program' under Section 14 of Ontario Human Rights Code -- by the Ontario Human Rights Commission itself. Moreover, the TTC had an alternate program that would effectively allow other-gendered individuals to be let off in between stops. Unfortunately for other-gendered customers, the details of this alternate program were never actively communicated to the public and were particularly difficult to find on the TTC website.

Vatiliotou's exchanges with the TTC can be read on his Facebook group, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/181231025259830/.

Indeed, Vatiliotou was by no means the first person to request that the TTC extend its Request Stop Program to other-gendered individuals, but he was definitely the first one to be taken seriously. And, as it has been expressed many times before: it was about time!
'Bout time!
High time. I'm glad to see the TTC stop the hysterical never-ending campaign that tells us only women are victims of violence, when in fact more than 80% of victims of violence are men. Violence affects women, but also men, trans-people and children. It isn't just about women any more. It never was.
So...
band aids. Great. ho hum. No cost bearing nothingness. Rob Ford supporter Karen Stinz is without any reasonable solutions. She lacks the ability to improve the service and I don't think has any real interest in doing so. There just isn't any evidence to support her good intentions. This request stop initiative shouldn't be THE action they are taking, it should be a small addendum of a wider improvement strategy not THE improvement strategy. How about increasing the number of all service vehicles and routes? To have the subways, buses and streetcars packed at 2 in the afternoon is stupid. There are too many people and not enough vehicles. It's filthy and disgusting. There should be non-stop cleaners working 24/7 on the TTC. The TTC is also notoriously top heavy with very expensive management, who as one can tell from just looking around, are not doing a very good job of managing anything.The TTC should also run 24/7 and all repairs would be done in the middle of the night. Get rid of whatever hurdles exist that prevents this. That's just a start. The utter refusal and resistance to do anything that can improve the service for the majority of riders is mind-boggling. As part of a larger commuter strategy bike lanes should be built all across the city in huge numbers and the TTC should be bike friendly. Also stop attacking the drivers and workers. In all my experience the drivers and workers have always been good at their job faced as they are with an increasingly hostile public of various tribal affiliations and cultural realities. Finally, if any staff see's someone clipping their finger or toe nails (or it's equivalent)on the vehicles they should be approached, removed from
the TTC and banned for life. That's disgusting. I'm just sayin is all.
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