Sexual harassment is a problem on the TTC

Nov 18, 2014 | News

TTC Subway

A TTC subway station

 by Jacob Wilson-Hajdu

About a month ago, a Humber student posted a story on the “Spotted at Humber” Facebook page that explained how she was groped and followed onto the Highway 27 Express 191 bus.

In an unrelated incident, Keira Allan, a Seneca student, said she was waiting for a bus at Finch Station in September, when she confronted by a man who had his hands down his pants.

Sexual harassment on the TTC is more common than many might think.

Allan said the man approached her and told her they were on their way to the same place. She didn’t respond and tried to walk away.

But he followed her around until her bus came. He didn’t follow her onto the bus.

The incident, however, left her feeling scared.

“I was going over to a friend’s house and I think it was around 1 a.m.,” said Allan.

“I was waiting for the bus at Finch Station outside and this guy kept following me,” she said. “He asked me what my name was and said we were going to the same place. He had both hands in his pants while we were talking.”

Allan said that she doesn’t like to take the TTC by herself anymore and usually asks someone to go with her.

On Monday, Toronto Police announced that they were looking for a man that was wanted for three sexual assaults that took place in October and November on the Flemingdon Park bus route.

And just last week, a Brampton man was charged with four counts of sexual assault that also took place on TTC property.

“Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. We have safety procedures that we can offer a customer if they feel that they have been a victim of sexual harassment,” Jessica Martin, a TTC spokesperson told Humber News.

“That does include informing any TTC employee or if you’re on a bus or a train, you can push the emergency alarm and that’s what it is there for,” Martin said.

TTC also offers services such as the “request stops” between 9 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.

“It’s available to all our customers, male and female. Where you would be allowed to ask the driver to let you off between stops. They would let you out the front door and would not let anyone else off that vehicle at the same time as you,” Martin said.

If anyone feels threatened or is sexually harassed, they should contact the TTC attendant and Toronto Police immediately.