NEWSTALK 1010 POLL: 46% of transit riders worry about drugs & alcohol affecting operators

Since the TTC brought in random testing for its employees, a large chunk of regular users have begun to worry about their driver being affected by drugs or alcohol.

That is according to an exclusive NEWSTALK 1010 poll, conducted by DART Insight and veteran pollster John Wright.

In the survey of more than 800 Torontonians, 46 per cent of those who ride the TTC on a regular basis says the issue worries them.

Wright suggests the introduction of random testing might have planted a seed of doubt in riders' minds.

"Did anyone really worry about drugs and alcohol before there was a concerted communications campaign to tell everybody... that somebody was drunk and was kicked off the job?" Wright asks.

At the same time, though, 86 per cent of regular public transit users say they feel safe using the TTC.

The poll also asked respondents how they feel about the quality of the red rocket.

Forty-one per cent of regular riders said they don't love their public transit, implying that whenever they have to use it, it's not great.

"The problem is these people don't have another place to go, so this is bad news," Wright says. "Because you're dealing with people who are basically coping with an inadequate system... and it's not attracting other people to go on it."

Just under half of Torontonians said they regularly use the TTC, which is only three points higher than 1999.

Other highlights from "The Pulse of Toronto" from NEWSTALK 1010 and DART:

- 57 per cent of Torontonians don't believe city hall is spending their tax dollars wisely, compare that to 88 per cent during the final year of David Miller
- 60 per cent believe Toronto's government cares about their part of the city, led by downtown respondents at 73 per cent
- 52 per cent of those in Scarborough, meanwhile, believe the municipal government does not care about their part of the city

- 59 per cent believe the new bike lanes in the city are working really well, with young people and renters most likely to embrace that view
- 64 per cent believe immigration has had a positive impact on their community
- But 56 per cent say they believe immigration has placed too much pressure on their community's public services

- 60 per cent say overdoses are a public health priority, not a police or criminal court priority
- 68 per cent say when they hear someone has died from a drug overdose, they believe that person is an addict who made bad choices as opposed to an occasional user
- 41 per cent say that not enough is being done with the overdose situation and believe a public health emergency should be declared

DART Insight conducted an online survey of 814 Torontonians September 16-19, 2017. The poll is considered accurate +/- 3.9 percentage points 19 times out of 20. A full report with data tables can be found at