Saturday, July 20, 2013
70% of TTC subway passenger alarms misused last year
It turns out those delays can often be blamed on unnecessary use of the passenger assistance (PA) alarms.
In 2012, more than 6,000 passenger alarms were activated on the subway and roughly 70% of those were non-emergencies, resulting in 51 hours of delay of service, the TTC says.
Officials are urging riders to be more aware of what their options for assistance are in non-emergency situations.
“It’s not that we’re pointing blame at customers, we absolutely want them to use the PAs in an emergency,” TTC spokesman Brad Ross said Thursday.
“We’re asking customers to consider other options that might work better, such as the Designated Waiting Areas, to make sure trains are moving smoothly for the other 1.7 million riders.”
The Designated Waiting Areas at each stop are equipped with intercom access to the station collector, benches, railings, enhanced lighting, CCTV cameras and a payphone.
When a passenger alarm is activated, the train proceeds to the next station. In the meantime, transit control is made aware of the alarm and they notify 911. At the next stop, the train is delayed so police can investigate.
“There is a domino effect when an alarm is pulled,” Ross said. “It can cause other delays down the line. Avoiding this will free up valuable resources from our emergency responders such as police, fire and EMS.”
The alarms are small yellow bars on subway cars that can be pushed and an alarm will immediately sound. On the newer trains there are also emergency intercoms that allow the transit control centre to see and speak to the distressed rider.
The TTC has released a YouTube video explaining how and when to use the passenger alarms, like when another rider falls unconscious or being witness to or experiencing an assault.
Ross explained that feeling fatigued or faint is not a reason to pull the emergency alarm.
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