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TTC: One-Person Train Operation

W. K. Lis

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Single operator subways another step in TTC modernization

We would not be doing this if we thought the safety of our passengers or our staff would be compromised

From this link.

For years, modern and mature public transit systems the world over have run their subways with one operator. From London to Lisbon, Bangkok to Berlin and Madrid to Mexico City, the single operator train is the new normal.

On Oct. 9, the Toronto Transit Commission will join those cities — and dozens more — as we begin the rollout of one person train operation, or OPTO.

Beginning with Line 4 Sheppard this fall and then moving to Line 1 Yonge-University once our new signalling system is in place, OPTO is going to allow us to run the system with improved safety and efficiency.

This is in keeping with our five-year corporate plan, launched in 2013, and which has modernization of all aspects of TTC operation at its core.

OPTO is hardly a revolutionary concept. It’s not even revolutionary within the TTC where we’ve been running the Scarborough RT with one operator since it opened in 1985.

In the past, Toronto’s current two-person crew model — one driver and one guard — were the standard for longer trains elsewhere in the world. The additional set of eyes allowed for things like monitoring of passenger flow. But as technology has improved and evolved, so too has the way systems operate.

One of the concerns we hear is that OPTO will somehow make our system less safe. We would not be doing this if we thought for even a second that the safety of our passengers or our staff would be compromised. Safety remains the bedrock of TTC operations.

The fact is that OPTO helps deliver a more structured and systematic approach to managing safety. For more than 30 years, the Scarborough RT has run with no safety issues related to one person operation.

Improved safety features associated with OPTO include:

  • Multi-camera views providing three different camera views will cover the entire platform with overlap to ensure duplicate coverage. These views are displayed on screens inside the driver’s cab and remain on as the train leaves the platform.
  • New technologies that significantly reduce the likelihood of the doors opening on the wrong side or off-platform.
  • A 25 per cent reduction in health and safety incidents for operators. Last year, there were 258 occupational incidents related to guard duties: opening/closing the window, assaults on the guard, and accidents where the guard was struck by debris or other objects while the window was open. Under OPTO, the operator remains inside the cab during subway operation.
Should operators have to leave the cab of the train for any reason, i.e. investigating an emergency alarm, hand-held radios will be provided to allow for communication with Transit Control. Station staff will also be on hand to assist.

To top it off, all of these benefits to passengers and operators come with no job losses. Cost savings will be about $18 million once implemented on both Line 1 and 4 and will be achieved through attrition.

I am proud of the work the TTC has already done to modernize our system and of what’s still to come through initiatives, such as our stations transformation project, new signalling and the move to new fare payment options. I am also proud of our train operators.

OPTO is the next step in the evolution of modernizing Toronto’s transit system to be on par with systems else in the world.

On Oct. 9, the Toronto Transit Commission will begin the rollout of one person train operation, or OPTO. Beginning with Line 4 Sheppard this fall.


BTW. Change the thread's name to Line 4 Sheppard Stubway.
 

drum118

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If anyone around the line at 10 am to 11 am on Monday, especially Don Mills at 9;45 am, you will see TTC doing a demonstration how the one man crew will work to the media It will include riding from end to end and back.
 
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coffey1

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Don't see the big deal. Id rather have another set of eyes or some to liase and direct around the station when there are issues. In any event start digging a tunnel for that one driver to come thru Scarborough
 

ssiguy2

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Automate all the trains so no drivers are needed. All this does is bring Toronto up to the 80s.
 

drum118

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If one visited Europe, you will see one person operating trains/subway. Some systems have cameras displaying both ends of the train next to the driver as well. Some only have mirrors.

Systems that are automatic, there still is a person on the train to deal with issues that may arise to allow them to take control of the train.

As someone said, this brings us up to the 80's and reinforce we are behind the world by 40 years, not the claim 25.

Union will see lost of members to pay the big payout after one retire as the numbers shrink to pay for it, but not lost of employment.
 

EnviroTO

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I definitely don't have an issue with one person operation, but they should definitely increase training to ensure operators are ready for any incidents that arise, and have more roaming security. Obviously an operator looking after the driving of the vehicle cannot spend time looking at a monitor to see if there is a roudy passenger that needs to be removed, and how does the passenger alert staff if a person should be removed but doesn't want to hit the alarm to delay service for 20 minutes. The TTC needs to figure out the details and communicate.
 

Palma

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I definitely don't have an issue with one person operation, but they should definitely increase training to ensure operators are ready for any incidents that arise, and have more roaming security. Obviously an operator looking after the driving of the vehicle cannot spend time looking at a monitor to see if there is a roudy passenger that needs to be removed, and how does the passenger alert staff if a person should be removed but doesn't want to hit the alarm to delay service for 20 minutes. The TTC needs to figure out the details and communicate.
why not leave 2. I mean TTC is safer when getting off a subway as you know there will be someone there when you come up the stairs. I can only imagine people hanging around when they know no TTC person is there. The money saved is peanuts
 

Steve X

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why not leave 2. I mean TTC is safer when getting off a subway as you know there will be someone there when you come up the stairs. I can only imagine people hanging around when they know no TTC person is there. The money saved is peanuts
There is a slight advantage with one person train. There is a higher chance that one of the two crews overextend their washroom break causing a delay. It happens all the time on lines 1 and 2 hence TTC moved to double step back to reduce the number of this type of incidents.

Considering the number of incidents the emergency alarm is activated, they would love to have two person on the train. Honestly the guard does nothing 80% of the time. Some of them ever sit there and read a book. One man operation would save tens of millions for line 1. Yes that's a lot of money, not peanuts.

I definitely don't have an issue with one person operation, but they should definitely increase training to ensure operators are ready for any incidents that arise, and have more roaming security. Obviously an operator looking after the driving of the vehicle cannot spend time looking at a monitor to see if there is a roudy passenger that needs to be removed, and how does the passenger alert staff if a person should be removed but doesn't want to hit the alarm to delay service for 20 minutes. The TTC needs to figure out the details and communicate.
Nobody has access to the monitors unless the emergency alarm is activated. This is done to prevent the guard having the monitors for their enjoyment. The guard can't anything except out the one way mirror. I doubt they are about to get into confronting rowdy passengers.
 

rbt

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One man operation would save tens of millions for line 1.

Source please. That sounds pretty damn high for 60 jobs; and some of that savings is clawed back through new maintenance work (cameras/tvs).

I would expect savings to be closer to $5M/year for Line 1 based on back of the napkin calculations. Maybe $10M/year system wide.
 

dowlingm

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Presumably with attrition there will be a surplus of operators for a while and thus less overtime? (except for operators having to stay on trains beyond their relief because of line disruption etc.)
 

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