Even if you don't live in the city, you've probably heard about the recent spate of violence on Toronto's transit system. There have been some really ugly, seemingly random incidents. And while anecdotes may not be reliable, in this case the numbers back them up: Even with far fewer riders, there has been a sharp spike in the number of serious incidents on the system since the pandemic began.
The question is what happens now. When fear spreads, that keeps riders away. With fewer riders comes worse service and safety, which keeps the cycle going. Add in the failings of Toronto's shelter system and other public health initiatives to help care for the city's vulnerable population, and you have a collapsing transit system also taking on the weight of other services.
Are more cops the answer? What else could the city try? Will they tackle the root cause of the problems, rather than simply the problems themselves? And what happens if they don't?
GUEST: Lex Harvey, transportation reporter, Toronto Star