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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.
UPDATE: Train service between Bloor and Union Stations have resumed. Trains turning back at Wilson Stn due to injury at Downsview Stn. #TTC— Official TTC Tweets (@TTCnotices) March 1, 2016
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.
Thank you @GOtransit for helping us this morning. TTC customers can use their fare at Kennedy, Danforth, Long Branch and Bloor GO stations.— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 1, 2016
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.
Remember that scene in Last Night with the TTC streetcar? This one lying dormant on King St. reminded me of that. pic.twitter.com/ikGw6aEfl2— Richard Eriksson (@sillygwailo) March 1, 2016
Uber surge pricing in effect due to #TTC outage. Fares currently at 2.3x normal rate— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) March 1, 2016
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