Toronto’s subway system is a lot of things (oft-delayed, comes to mind).
But as one of the city’s main forms of public transportation, and a place where strangers come together daily, publicly shaming other riders shouldn’t be part of anyone’s mission — especially if you work for the TTC.
However, that appears to be the case after a video surfaced on Twitter Thursday. In the video, a TTC operator can be heard publicly shaming a rider for smelling bad over the PA system for everyone to hear.
In the short video clip, you can hear the announcer say there is an “extremely foul-smelling” person on board the train who is refusing to leave the transit system.
“If you do not like that smell, please call the TTC and complain,” the operator can be heard saying over the announcement.
The operator can then be heard saying he can’t do anything about the situation because “the TTC keeps allowing them on the system, even though they don’t have the right to be there.” This is before the operator adds that people like this not only make other riders uncomfortable, it’s also a health and safety issue.
Shortly after the video was uploaded to Twitter, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green called the video “concerning” and confirmed that it is now being investigated.
“As a rule, we cannot and would not remove a customer from a train because of how they smell,” said Green, adding, “If operators suspect a person is in distress or if there is a risk to the public, they are directed to contact transit for instruction.:
Tonight on the #TTC a conductor made several announcements publicly shaming a passenger for how he SMELLED. Where is the humanity, respect, and basic decency that all passengers deserve?? There must be a better way. I’m appalled. @TTCnotices @TTChelps @kristynwongtam @JohnTory pic.twitter.com/wp0jic0TyQ
— Dylan Ungerman Sears (@ungermansears) January 31, 2020