Many Little Fires on the TTC

Jack Lakey of the Toronto Star continues his week’s worth of columns on the shabby TTC. Today he went to pigeons’ paradise aka Kipling and Islington stations, called a war zone by one reader and, like a falling-down house, sported numerous buckets to catch the drips from the roof. The janitors are nothing if not ingenious when trying to do the work of twice their number:

“To deal with the water leaking above a staircase, a large sign was placed in a janitor’s garbage cart and ingeniously angled to funnel the water into the cart.”

IMHO the TTC ought to have one janitor per station, and I suspect that they used to because back in the shining TTC days, I remember seeing janitors far more often than now. And if there have always been only one for roughly every two stations, then they used to be far more efficient than today. Of course, it does help to have garbage cans, oh sorry, litter receptacles in the stations at platform level. Torontonians have a real aversion to carrying garbage for more than a centimeter. I saw a screwed-up napkin and empty pop bottle on a subway seat the other day. Ewwww. Is it really that difficult to carry such light items through a door, along the platform, up the steps, and to the “receptacle”? Obviously.

But who knew that the real problem of removing the garbage cans from subway platforms is fires? The cans were removed due to terrorist threat post 9/11 and because all subway systems were doing it.

But “the litter problem on platforms and the subway tracks has the TTC rethinking that policy. A transit employee told us several small fires are ignited each week when trash comes into contact with the electrified third rail.”

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