January 2009

The TTC’s electronic customer service enhancements took off in 2008 with the launch of the next train arrival (nta) and next vehicle arrival (nva) systems.

TTC Chair Adam Giambrone officially launched the nva from the streetcar platform at Spadina Station on Dec. 15, 2008. The system allows riders to know exactly how many minutes they need to wait until the next TTC vehicle arrives at their station or stop.

The nva pilot involves the 510 Spadina route with screens at Spadina and Union Stations.

“Additional screens will be installed at select streetcar on-street stops and subway stations,” says Project Manager Bob Miller. “A pilot for buses will commence in 2009.”

The nta, which provides train arrival information on platform video screens, was introduced as a pilot at Dundas Station last September.

“The results of the pilot were very positive, as were the comments received through the customer consultation survey,” says Program Management Director Allan Foster. “We’ve developed a plan to address some anomalies, and further roll-out work begins at Bloor-Yonge, Queen, King, St. Andrew and Keele Stations in the first quarter of 2009.”

All subway stations are scheduled to have nta screens in place by the end of the year. A system for the Scarborough RT is still under review.

Last August, the TTC launched its redesigned website, www.ttc.ca. The new site is designed to be accessible and more user friendly. Enhancements to the website began with the introduction of subway service disruption notices in November 2007.

While content and new sections continue to be added, the site is set up for future applications, such as self-serve trip planning and the purchasing of passes using debit or credit cards.

One of the most anticipated features in the works is the web-based trip planning application. Scheduled to be online this summer, it will give TTC users a self-serve means of planning their transit trips using routing information, timing points and walking distances, available 24/7.

The TTC’s website gets more than 12 million visits annually – about half of those are to the TTC schedules directory.