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OC Explained: Transit Operations Control Centre

Image - OC Explained: Transit Operations Control Centre

More than 200,000 customer trips are made on OC Transpo every weekday.

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely one of those customers who ride with us each day on our fleet of 52 trains, 738 buses, and 80 Para Transpo vehicles. While your operator plays a key role in getting you to your destination, keeping the entire system moving is a coordinated effort by many people who work behind the scenes in the Transit Operations Control Centre (TOCC).

The Next Stop Blog is here to take you behind the scenes at the TOCC to learn more about the brain of our transit system and how we keep our city moving 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What is the TOCC?

The TOCC is the multi-modal nerve centre of OC Transpo operations, including oversight of and communications between the following key areas of our transit system;

  • Rail Operations
  • Bus Operations
  • Para Transpo Operations
  • Special Constables Unit
  • Fleet, Facilities and Stations

The TOCC provides 24/7 monitoring of on-street service, including bus operations and O-Train Line 1, to optimize effective service delivery, including the following:

  • 340,000 daily customer trips per day on conventional transit and approximately
  • 300,000 average daily ridership on O-Train (excluding Covid-19 impact)
  • Monitoring of over 5,000 CCTV cameras located throughout transit network
  • Over 376,000 calls in and out of the TOCC per year and;
  • Over 900,000 Para Transpo trips per year.

Key roles and responsibilities

There are multiple staff who work collaboratively in the TOCC 24/7 that are essential to running our transit system.

Electric Rail Controllers constantly monitor rail service on O-Train Line 1 via live video feeds of the stations and tracks, and real time updates of train locations. They are ready to respond if something happens to help minimize impacts to your commute.

Learn more on Electric Rail Controllers

Transit Supervisors are constantly monitoring your trip and making adjustments to address various issues. Traffic, accidents, mechanical breakdowns, or inclement weather can change travel plans for all road users. This is when Transit Supervisors help our transit system best perform by making service adjustments such as implementing detours and working with our Customer Service team members to communicate service changes to the public promptly. If there is an issue with a bus, Transit Supervisors will work with our fleet management team to triage issues for the garage, dispatch service, and send replacement buses. In one month, Transit Supervisors will answer more than 35,000 calls from bus operators.

The Special Constable Unit has a dedicated command centre where they answer calls, dispatch Special Constables, and watch over 2,000 CCTV cameras to ensure you can travel safely.

Learn more on Special Constable

Customer Communications Officers (CCOs) work closely with everyone to ensure you have the information you need to travel on our system, providing updates to customers on social media, and other alert systems during planned and unplanned service disruptions.

Transit Superintendents are responsible for the supervision of all transit operations, ensuring the coordination of all rail, bus, and Para Transpo operations. Just like a quarterback leads a football team, Transit Superintendents are leading our team to ensure we can get you to your destination safely and on time.

Command Centre

During planned and unplanned events, the TOCC acts as OC Transpo’s command centre, coordinating transit services with members from all of the different departments such as Rail Operations, Bus Operations, Facility Maintenance, Scheduling, Fleet, Customer Communications, and more. Planned events range from Line 1 annual maintenance to large events such as Bluesfest or a Red Blacks game. Whereas unplanned events can be a motor vehicle accident, weather events or a medical emergency on a train.

Before large scale events, the TOCC will check in with all service areas to make sure everyone is aligned. Additional staff will be called in for major events such as Bluesfest, Canada Day, or Redblacks games.