(CNN) — Toronto’s newest campaign for its Champs — the area’s fleet of electric-hybrid minibuses — is notable for something you won’t find on their rides.
The Champs and the Ciot-19 minibus aren’t available to the public. They’re owned by a public agency called the Toronto Transit Commission, and they’re also immune to terrorist attacks.
“There’s some heroic work going on here,” Joel Deschamps, TTC’s chief operating officer, told CNN. “We’re not just selling electric vehicles.”
TTC officials said they’ve chosen to highlight the Champs and Ciot-19 because it aligns with a similar effort launched in last year’s Super Bowl.
The agency teamed up with NFL star Tom Brady — the face of the Super Bowl campaign — to ensure the Champs and Ciot-19 were the best when it came to safety, according to the agency.
The agency drew on its expertise in transporting people to train its own drivers how to use the Champs and Ciot-19 to protect children from the potentially deadly metal ball.
“We want to educate and empower our drivers to act on instinct and apply other safety tactics,” TTC General Manager Andy Byford said.
The agency spent the last year testing various safety techniques before putting them into play in the Champs and Ciot-19.
One technique involved people running into the vehicles, which was similar to the principle used in auto seat belts. TTC staff said that if a self-proclaimed terrorist were to throw a crescent-shaped ball down and try to swing it at the front of the vehicle, they’d recognize the rubber ring instead of a crescent moon.
“We put them through a training course and drilled on the choreography of running,” Byford said. “We keep trying to find ways to make vehicles safer.”
The TTC is still working on versions of the Champs and Ciot-19 to serve the public. The transit agency is buying 250 new fleet vehicles to replace the ones it’s using, as well as 250 electric-hybrid versions of the Champs and Ciot-19.