The TTC has launched an investigation after a picture of a collector sleeping on the job surfaced online this week.
So far, more than 10,000 people have viewed the image on Twitter and many have left scathing comments on Twitter and local blogs.
In an interview with Torontoist, the photographer claims he posted the image with the intention of sharing it with friends, but added he also had the recent fare hike in mind. He also told the local blog he never intended to get anyone in trouble.
Wieler claims he stood by for about five minutes as the TTC employee slept in his booth and some riders passed through the turnstiles without paying.
Hours after posting the picture, Wieler followed up with the facetious tweet “So much 4 keeping a low profile. I guess there’s no hope of me getting a free TTC Pass now.”
The transit commission says it’s taking this issue very seriously, but spokesperson Brad Ross is asking riders not to jump to conclusions.
Bob Kinnear, president of the union that represents TTC workers, weighed in on the controversial image Friday.
“Whatever the outcome of the enquiry, it is very discouraging that the picture taker and, apparently, other customers, made no attempt to determine if there was anything wrong with this TTC employee,” the head of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 said in a statement.
“A simple knock on the glass might have determined if the Collector was, in fact, asleep, or whether he was unconscious as a result of some medical problem. The reports that passengers were laughing at him as they passed by the booth makes this even more disturbing.”
This image surfaced just after the TTC announced it would be hiring private consultants to help improve customer service after the system logged more than 30,000 complaints last year. The commission said the 15 per cent increase in complaints stems from this month’s fare increase.