GPS, dash cameras to better monitoring TTC buses

The death of a 14-year-old girl who was struck by a TTC bus last month has resulted in plans for adding dashboard cameras and GPS trackers on buses.

Following a board meeting on Wednesday, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) released a new charter for 2015, which includes emphasis on TTC bus safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

The new charter states, “Nothing is more important than your safety. We will make sure you feel safe and secure while riding on our vehicles or while you are in our stations or sharing the road.”

Amaria Diljohn, 14, died on Dec. 19 after she was struck by a turning TTC bus at the corner of Finch Ave. East and Neilson Rd. while on her way home from school. The driver fled the scene at the time but turned himself in later.

The Safe Service Action Plan, also known as the 12-Point Action Plan, was introduced at the board meeting on Wednesday. As a response to the tragedy, the plan expanded on the seventh point “investigate new technologies to mitigate and prevent accidents” to include forward-facing dashboard cameras and GPS technology.

The prototype installation of the camera began earlier this month and is designed to record activity about the vehicle and traffic conditions.

Computer-aided dispatch and automatic vehicle locating systems will also be introduced in the buses beginning 2016.

The CAD/AVL technologies are still under investigation but installation of a dash-cam prototype will continue until the end of February.