The TTC’s latest publicity problem? An employee urinating outside Runnymede station—or not

The TTC’s latest publicity problem? An employee urinating outside Runnymede station—or not

The entrance to Runnymede station

TTC workers behaving badly barely deserves to be news anymore, but the latest example to come to light is kind of hard to ignore: right outside Runnymede station last month, a TTC worker urinated in public. As is the pattern these days, TTC chair Karen Stintz has come out to apologize and say it won’t happen again.

According to the Toronto Sun:

The worker breached the TTC’s code of conduct and one of the transit agency’s bylaws that prohibit people from urinating on its property.

Stintz called the incident “completely unprofessional” and apologized to those who witnessed what happened.

“Given where we need to go with our customer service improvements, this is a setback,” she said.

Except that it might not have happened at all: according to a press release from the TTC union this afternoon, the worker in question was not urinating in public—he was just using his cellphone to check on something for work. This claim, the union says, has been confirmed by the TTC.

This, of course, is part of a trend that started last January with pictures of a sleeping TTC fare collector (who, it turned out, had a medical condition). Last week, the TTC had another snafu as a driver apparently tried to bully a passenger off a streetcar for complaining that it was late—an allegation that’s far more troubling than the potential public urination at Runnymede. Whether the events end up being contrived or genuine, the TTC is increasingly having to deal with the reality that, in the last year and a bit, all of its riders have decided they’re the auditors as well—and are willing to call the TTC on real or perceived failings.

The TTC got along just fine with a strong union to deflect rider complaints and a management that mostly treats riders as costs, not customers. But when everyone’s got a camera, and the TTC never knows if a rider’s going to snap a photo of something embarrassing, it becomes harder to get away with these behaviours.

• Report of TTC worker urinating in public is a “total fabrication” says union [Newswire]
TTC chair apologizes for worker’s public washroom break [Toronto Sun]
Bus rider ‘disgusted’ after TTC employee urinates on Runnymede station [Toronto Star]
Further action unlikely after ‘unfortunate incident’: TTC [National Post]

(Images: Runnymede station, Anthony Easton; urinal, redjar)