TTC advocacy group calls for auditor general to probe Line 3 Scarborough RT train derailment

 The TTC advocacy group TTCriders wants the auditor general to look into maintenance procedures leading up to July 2023 train derailment. [[{“value”:”

An advocacy group for TTC passengers is calling on the City of Toronto’s auditor general to investigate the derailment of a Line 3 Scarborough RT train in July, the circumstances leading up to it and the agency’s overall maintenance program.

The call for an investigation from TTCriders asked the auditor general to see if there was a “breach of public trust” amid questions about preventative maintenance, defects and reports commissioned after the July 24 incident.

“The Scarborough RT should never have derailed. We are asking the Auditor General to investigate to ensure that a TTC derailment never happens again,” August Puranauth, a coordinator with TTCriders, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“TTC management must answer for why the Scarborough RT’s closing date was pushed back, who decided to stop doing preventative maintenance, whether a defect at the site of the derailment was identified weeks before the accident, and whether the TTC listened to warnings it received in early 2023 about how it prioritizes track defects.”

TTCriders cited four reports prepared by consultants to take an expert examination of the issues, including what caused a rear train car to derail and cause minor injuries to five people. They said the reports weren’t formally presented at a public TTC board meeting.

The cause was ultimately found to be related to loose, “failed” power rail bolts.

The group said a probe is also warranted after the TTC subway system saw several slow-speed zones instituted this year after a geometry survey identified issues across the network and a cracked subway switch in March that briefly interrupted service.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said CEO Rick Leary ordered the external reports the night of the derailment to get answers on what happened while including links to the reports posted on the TTC website. He also said the matter was discussed at the Sept. 26 TTC board meeting.

“TTCriders was represented at this same meeting so presumably they heard the same information and are fully aware what the root cause was,” he wrote.

Green said if the auditor general launches an investigation, staff would “fully cooperate” with the probe.

“Maintenance and state of good repair are integral to ensuring safety of our system and are always kept current,” he said.

“Safety of our customers and our employees is the TTC’s paramount concern. We will only ever run service when it safe to do so.”

CityNews contacted the City of Toronto’s auditor general to ask about the request for an investigation, but a response wasn’t received by the time of publication.

The issue surrounding the reports is set to be discussed at the April 11 board meeting.

A statement issued by TTC chair Jamaal Myers on Wednesday said he supported a call back in January asking the consultants to speak publicly. He also touted investments made in the 2024 budget to address state-of-good-repair issues across the system.

“The TTC board is looking forward to discussing the reports, having the opportunity to ask questions of the consultants, and hearing from members of the public,” he wrote.

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