TTC bus driver charged after collision with streetcar injures 4

A TTC bus driver has been charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act after a head-on collision with a streetcar on the weekend.

Male driver charged with careless driving was one of the 4 injured

A TTC streetcar and a bus collided head-on at the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue on Saturday morning. The bus driver, among four injured, has now been charged with careless driving. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

A Toronto Transit Commission bus driver has been charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act after a weekend head-on collision with a streetcar.

The bus driver was among four people injured when the streetcar and bus met head-on at Main Street and Danforth Avenue on Saturday morning. 

Police have not revealed his name, and he has yet to appear in court.

WARNING: This video contains coarse language. A TTC bus and streetcar are pulled apart following a head-on collision. 0:25

But one union official said such collisions might be caused by pressure the TTC puts on its drivers to stay on schedule.  

"There's a very fine line between customer safety and customer service and the TTC is forcing our members to cross that line every day," said MannySforza, executive vice-president of the Amalgamated Transit Union 113. 

Sforza said drivers are sometimes even sent texts from supervisors looking to keep them on schedule. He said over the past two years the TTC has emphasized punctuality and customer service. 

TTC spokeswoman Milly Bernal said safety is the top priority. 

"Being on schedule is important too, but it does not trump safety," Bernal said in an email to CBC News. 

Speeding up review

The TTC is speeding up a review of its recruitment and training practices in light of criticisms it does not do enough to protect its passengers.

"I don't think there's any concern about getting on a bus, streetcar or subway train for that matter," the TTC's chief operating officer, Gary Shortt, said after the crash. "We've got an excellent record. It's unfortunate this happened, but I've got full confidence in our drivers and vehicles."

Eight days before the collision, a TTC bus struck and killed a 14-year-old girl, and then failed to remain at the scene.

"We pride ourselves on putting out a safe and reliable service," TTC CEO Andy Byford told CBC after the death of the girl.

The TTC would not comment specifically on the latest incident, saying only it is in the hands of the police.

"We are continuing with the plan to accelerate the review of driver training," said a spokesman.

"I’m sure Saturday’s incident will also be taken into account, but I can’t speculate as to how this will affect training."

There will be an internal investigation as well as the police investigation, the TTC said.