|In this photo taken by a commuter, a TTC employee is seen snoozing at Summerhill station.
TORONTO - The TTC sleep patrol is on high alert.
Two years after photos of a sleeping fare collector made international headlines, transit riders keep snapping pictures of other collectors who appear to be napping.
The latest one was taken Wednesday around 9 p.m., at Summerhill station and depicts a collector, wearing glasses with thinning hair, slumped over in his chair in the booth.
“I needed change for the subway as I saw the TTC employee sleeping. I said, ‘Hello?’” said Earl Campbell, the commuter who took the photo.
“I knocked on the window and he moved — so I wasn’t worried about a medical emergency. I actually felt bad not paying, can you believe that?”
Campbell, who was on his way home that evening, said he was disappointed to see the booth collector appearing to be sleeping after all the public outcry over on-the-job discrepancies caught by passengers on their phones.
“I totally get that he was tired, but request to go home or be relieved,” he said. “What if there were an emergency or someone trying to vandalize TTC property? This wouldn’t fly in my work place or anyone else’s I know.”
TTC spokesman Brad Ross said he’s been notified of the incident and the commission is investigating.
“We have to speak with the employee to understand if there were any extenuating circumstances that led to this happening,” he said. “We do have 12,000 men and women who work for the TTC and the expectation is our employees be alert when they’re on the job.”
Ross said the TTC is moving towards a fare card system, which will phase out collectors in booths. Instead, a supervisor will be roaming around in the stations for customer service and look for deficiencies.
“Anyone who sees a situation that doesn’t appear to be right, contact us. We do take these things very seriously,” he said. “I’m not saying don’t go to the media, people have a right to do that. But I can assure you don’t have to go public to get resolution from the TTC.”
A collector at Summerhill station Thursday said he didn’t recognize the man in the picture.
George Robitaille, the collector caught sleeping while on heart medication in McCowan station in Jan. 2010, subsequently died of a stroke later that year. Ross wants to remind people they shouldn’t assume what’s going on in the pictures they take.
“If anybody sees an employee who appears to simply be asleep, do us a favour and make sure he’s okay,” Ross said. “Especially in a quiet station in the evening like Summerhill. We don’t know.”