Another week. Another TTC driver exposed on citizen camera for shirking his duties.
In a Toronto Star article this past week, TTC spokesman Brad Ross was quoted as saying: “We ask that people not do that. We don’t require photographic evidence to discipline drivers. Cameras in the face of operators can escalate a situation that doesn’t need to be escalated.”
While I do not know Mr. Ross and I can only imagine that citizen journalism has made an already difficult job even harder in recent months (Google: TTC Sleeper), attacking the public whether intended or simply perceived is never a good idea.
His alternative suggestion to report the bus and route number makes sense in a normal functioning setting; however, as we have learned in recent months, even video and photographic evidence is not enough when trying to prove your case against government institutions (Google: G20 Toronto). So is a reasonable taxpaying citizen in Toronto honestly able to believe that the TTC will handle his or her complaint with merit? Hardly.
Before the TTC Sleeper was exposed there was little motivation from the TTC or local politicians to change the culture in an organization that needs a complete overhaul. As more of these incidents are brought to light by motivated citizens, the higher the pressure is on leaders to make a change. The ball is now firmly in their court to make lives better for the 4+ million people living in and around Toronto.
Union president Bob Kinnear told the Toronto Star that: TTC drivers are “frustrated by the ‘gotcha’” practices of riders because it creates a wrong impression that most drivers are irresponsible. “These are isolated cases,” Kinnear pointed out.
The point that Kinnear appears to be missing is that the “good guys” on the front line are being lumped in with the texters and the sleepers and that isn’t fair to the hard working people who do an outstanding job each day. I have had more than my fair share of pleasant drivers on the TTC – I make a point to say thank you whenever I exit a bus from the front door – but once in a while you get the guy or gal who ruins your day and it sucks.
These are the people we need to cleanse from the current TTC culture. With the lack of motivation from the union and the politicians to make a difference, it is going to be up to the citizens of this city to make a change and that starts by exposing the rotten eggs. It is our city and our people are finally speaking up to take it back and put it back on track to become the world class place we desire it to be.
- Accept responsibility; don’t shift the blame to others
- Deal with the actual problem at hand instead of clouding it by focusing on other issues