"It's insulting that the TTC expects our members to drive packed buses, yet it can't drive an operator who has just been assaulted back to their division due to COVID-19-related concerns," said Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 President Carlos Santos in a statement on Monday.
"The disturbing rise in assaults against transit workers throughout the pandemic is absolutely unacceptable and outrageous," Santos said. "The TTC can better protect workers by reimplementing rear-door boarding on buses, blocking the two seats behind bus operators, stopping cash payments and cease issuing paper transfers to bus riders immediately."
Stuart Green, a spokesperson for the TTC, called the assault "absolutely deplorable" and explained that COVID-19 restrictions meant they couldn't carpool the transit operator back to the division and instead had to order an out-of-service bus to transport her instead.
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It will be tested on over 60 buses throughout the coming months. Residents taking the 35 Jane route will be able to access free Wi-Fi starting at the end of May, while the 102 Markham Rd. route will launch the pilot in early June.
The buses will reportedly be "specially marked" to help commuters identify which ones offer internet services.
In a tweet, Toronto revealed that all of its city clinics are either "fully booked" or "close to" fully booked from today until June 2021 — a reality that Mayor John Tory says is solely down to supply.
While there is no set date on when students will be returning to in-person learning, Yaffe reassures that schools will be the first thing to open.
"Keeping in mind that schools would be the first to open among all the things because that is the most important aspect," Yaffe stated when talking about a reopening, "I can't tell you exactly when, but we want to be careful. We don't want to open too soon and close immediately after."