[BLOG] TTC to Roll Out Random Drug Testing in 2017

May 8, 2017

[Ayr, ON] – Toronto is one of the busiest cities in the world and it’s not surprising that the city needs an extensive transit system. In recent history, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) ridership has increased year over year and 2015 saw the transportation system provide a record 538 million rides. That’s a lot of people—and a lot of people’s safety to be responsible for.

The TTC doesn’t shy away from this responsibility, though. Safety is a key component of the way the TTC conducts its operations. Of its seven strategic objectives, safety sits at the top of the list.

“Toronto is one of the busiest cities in the world, and one that relies heavily on the transit system. It is of the utmost importance for the TTC to provide safety not only to the public, but also to all employees,” says Megan MacRae, Director of Employee Relations at TTC.

TTC to Implement Random Drug Testing

Because of a commitment to safety, TTC decided to implement a random alcohol and drug testing as a calculated method to provide safe and reliable transportation to so many millions of people.

While the TTC began its journey in 2011 towards implementing alcohol and drug testing, it has been a long road. Due to a variety of reasons, including ongoing arbitration proceedings, the TTC delayed until it felt it could no longer do so, in the interest of safety.

“It was time to move forward to implement a random alcohol and drug testing program,” says Ms. MacRae.

In 2016, TTC, with the approval of its Board decided to proceed with the initiative and budgeted $1.3 million to put this plan into action. While there is still opposition from the union, the need for oversight and accountability is a key component for maintaining safety on the road and rails.

The Right Choice isn’t Always the Easiest

Despite the pushback, the decision— in the long-term— will undoubtedly be the right one.

In a city like Toronto, there are countless protocols and systems in place that help make the city one of the safest in the world in which to work, live and play. While in an ideal world random alcohol and drug testing would be unnecessary, the real world requires constant vigilance to keep people safe. It’s impossible to reach perfection, but striving for it is the only way to reach excellence.

DriverCheck is proud to be a part of this program and helping TTC achieve their organizational goals of preserving the safety of every rider and worker that step onto each bus, train, or streetcar.