Toronto’s Board of Health recently conducted a study on air quality in the TTC. The report found that subway passengers would benefit greatly from the implementation of short-term and long-term measures to improve overall air quality that passengers are breathing in while on their commute. 

Toronto Public Health has recommended that the transit agency take immediate action to reduce exposure from poor air quality.

According to their release, the subway system's PM2.5 levels (fine particulate matter air pollution) should be addressed.

These PM2.5 levels refer to particles in the air that contribute to air pollution. They are unnoticeable to the human eye, as they are 30 times smaller than a strand of hair. 

Measures to improve the system’s air quality could include employee training, reviewing TTC operations to identify where PM2.5 exposure can be reduced, as well as ongoing air quality monitoring.

It’s worth noting that the study also outlines the health benefits of taking the TTC, including the reduction of outdoor air pollution and greenhouse gases.

"The TTC thanks Toronto Public Health for its review and concurs with the report’s recommendations for short and longer term measures to improve subway air quality for our employees and customers," reads a statement from the TTC.

"The health and safety of all who work on and ride the subway system are of paramount importance to the TTC. Over the past three decades, the TTC has addressed air quality levels with the introduction of new vehicles, improved ventilation and filtration systems.” 

 

Leary adds that the TTC team will continue to work towards creating better air quality in the subway system and ensure that "mitigation is factored into all aspects of our subway operations and procurement."

Toronto's Medical Officer of Health is scheduled to present a report of her findings at a January 13 board meeting.

The issue of air quality doesn’t appear to have hurt the TTC’s reputation too much though as Toronto was voted the best Canadian city for public transit back in 2019.


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