Metrolinx presentation

The TTC Board heard a presentation from Metrolinx Chair J. Robert S. Prichard and President & CEO Bruce McCuaig. Metrolinx is the regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Metrolinx plans regional transportation, builds large capital projects with the assistance of Infrastructure Ontario and operates GO Transit, Union-Pearson Express and PRESTO.

The presentation addressed areas of partnership and collaboration with the TTC, including: Eglinton Crosstown, Finch and Sheppard LRTs, PRESTO technology, Triplinx trip planning system, Union Station revitalization, GO Transit, Regional Express Rail and SmartTrack initiatives, and the Yonge Relief Network Study.

PRESTO on TTC

The TTC Board received a presentation from Deputy CEO/Chief Customer Officer Chris Upfold on the TTC/PRESTO farecard project. The TTC has 26 subway stations enabled with PRESTO devices – ahead of its July 2015 commitment. Two PRESTO add-value machines will be introduced at Union Station by July, with implementation at the other 26 stations starting in September.

The TTC is now testing PRESTO card readers on two legacy streetcars, while new streetcars enter service already equipped with farecard readers. The TTC is scheduled to have all streetcars equipped by the end of this year, when all-door boarding on all streetcars routes is set to begin.

By the end of 2016, TTC and Wheel-Trans buses are scheduled to be PRESTO-fitted, and all subway stations will be PRESTO-enabled.

The TTC’s current plan is to stop selling tickets by the end of 2016, and stop accepting old fare media by mid-2017. The presentation also addressed modernizing faregates and farelines at subway stations, and transitioning fare collectors to mobile customer agents.

CEO presentation

Board Members received a presentation from CEO Andy Byford marking the halfway point in the TTC’s Five-Year Corporate Plan.

Byford reported that Union Station will be formally re-opened at the beginning of July, ahead of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Overall subway service has been performing well under new timetables and with additional trains running. Delays of five minutes or more are trending downwards on all lines, while unnecessary Emergency Alarm activations have also declined.

The performance of bus and streetcar routes, where schedules are modified and on-street supervision is enhanced, showed sustained improvement and a reduction in short turns. The TTC is also experiencing a downward trend in lost-time injury rates in the workplace, as well as customer injury rates per one million boardings.

Byford also declared that the TTC is ready for the Games and will have 1,600 employees volunteering as transit ambassadors positioned at key points across the system.

ACAT presentation

Board Members received an overview presentation from Mazin Aribi, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT). ACAT is made up of Toronto citizens who advise the TTC on issues faced by people with disabilities and seniors, and recommends the elimination of barriers to accessible public transit.

The committee meets in public on the last Thursday of every month at TTC Head Office, 1900 Yonge St. (above Davisville Station). The next annual Public Forum on Accessible Transit will be held on Wed., Sept. 16 at the Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place.

Green light for 10 minutes or better service

The TTC Board approved the Ten-Minute-or-Better Service Network, the city-wide grid of 52 routes that will operate every 10 minutes or better all day, every day. The service enhancements are funded under the almost $100-million investment in transit that was approved in the 2015 City Budget.

Concord bus garage

In a separate meeting called immediately following this one, Board Members endorsed TTC staff’s recommendation for pre-approval of an offer to lease an interim bus storage and maintenance facility (Concord bus garage) at 8301 Keele St. in Vaughan. The garage will permit the storage and maintenance of 50 TTC buses needed to improve express bus service during peak service periods in 2016.

Upcoming Board meeting

The next scheduled regular TTC Board meeting will be on Wed., July 29 at Toronto City Hall.