Three Toronto subway stations have mysteriously lost their platform screens – blogTO

A trip on the TTC subway is never complete without starring at a platform screen, counting down the minute until the train comes rolling in – probably not on time. 

But recently, three subway stations seem to be missing their screens, a mystery that I have decided to crack just for you. 

Thanks to a tip from a dear reader, the TTC’s King, Dundas and Eglinton stations are currently screenless, leaving commuters without grossly inaccurate train arrival times.

Many questions raced through my head when I first heard this, starting with “where in the world have these screens taken off to?” And ending with, “how much do you think someone could sell a screen for?”

Our tipster also had some very important questions including if: the TTC had plans to replace them, why is taking so long? And, why not keep the old screens installed until the new ones were ready?

If it’s been months since the screens were removed, what happened at that time to prompt their removal? Is it possible to steal a screen and would you need a drill? All very important questions here. 

Well, with one Toronto investigation under my belt, I hit the ground running, hoping for more of a quirky answer than screens needing patience.

First things first, I asked the TTC what in the world happened. And why.

A response from their media team confirmed our tipster’s suspicions, screens were removed, but not for what you think.

Their extremely enthusiastic media department responded that the screens were whisked away to “accommodate cameras used for one-person train operation.”

WTH is a one-person train operation (OPTO), you ask? Not to worry, I’ve read many documents and have a very easy answer for you.

Just like the name sounds, OPTO “allows the train operator to perform all duties within the train cab,” without the help for a second conductor, according to the TTC.

Documents also state that once OPTO was installed on Line 1, operators monitor the platform with a screen in the cab that connects to four cameras installed on the platform.

So when can you expect to see the screens back? A vague answer from the team states they will be “replaced and repositioned early net year.”

Another case closed. You’re welcome!