07/27/2012 03:01 EDT | Updated 09/26/2012 05:12 EDT

TTC on track to hire 500 operators

The Toronto Transit Commission unveiled plans Friday to hire 500 subway, streetcar and bus drivers.

The new operators will start this fall.

Most of the new hires will fill positions left vacant by retiring workers, although 115 new jobs will also be created, TTC spokesman Brad Ross said.

The hiring blitz stems from booming TTC ridership, Ross said.

Ridership is increasing across the board and at all times of the day, Ross said.

More riders mean more revenues and a need for the city to act, he said..

"We ask that the city apply that revenue surplus to increase service this fall —and to do that we need to hire operators to run the vehicles," Ross said.

The new hires will cost between $2 million and $3 million, he said.

Last winter in the face of a 10 per cent budget cut, the TTC laid off 200 workers and slashed service some routes. There's no word yet if the new hires will mean restoring service to some of those routes.

The new operators will start this fall.