Editorial Archive

CEO’s Report - October commentary

Commission seal 10/17/19 10:34 PM

I would like to start this month’s commentary with a salute to our nation’s armed forces.

On October 25, the TTC and the Toronto Royal Canadian Legion will join forces on a long-standing tradition between our organizations. We are honoured and privileged to help the Toronto Legion kick off its annual city-wide poppy campaign at North York Centre Station. There, we will be joined by veterans from Sunnybrook Hospital’s K Wing as well as a group of TTC vets.

TTC employees have a long and rich history of military service. Many have answered the call to serve. During World War II, more than 600 of our workers enlisted. Their names are remembered on our Honour Rolls – including a dozen killed in action.

We are proud of both those who served overseas, and of those who helped the war effort at home. The TTC was busy during the war and the demand for service could not have been met if women did not step forward to drive buses and work in our maintenance shops.

Today, TTC staff and families continue to support the Canadian Forces at home and abroad through Regular and Reserve Force service.

On Remembrance Day, November 11, all service will pause for a two-minute wave of silence. Every Remembrance Day, all current members of the Canadian Armed Forces in uniform, war and peacekeeping veterans, and one companion, ride free of charge.

I am especially honoured to take part in the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph at Old City Hall where, along with Phil Horgan, ATU Local 113 Executive Board Member for Maintenance, we will lay a wreath on behalf of all TTC employees and pensioners. The TTC encourages all customers to wear a poppy, make a contribution, take a moment to thank the veterans and current serving members you see on the system and never forget the sacrifices they’ve made for our freedom. And if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to vote on Election Day (October 21)!

In my commentary last month, I mentioned the use of restricted (or reduced) speed zones in the subway system in order to slow train speed while travelling through a construction zone. Reduced speeds are mandatory as we undertake essential state-of-good-repair work.

The stretch of track between Eglinton and Lawrence stations on Line 1 will be of particular importance. In November and December, crews will be replacing special track that will optimize the performance of the new Automatic Train Control signalling system once installed along the line. Train speeds will average between 15 and 25 kilometres per hour.

Reduced train speeds will also be necessary starting in late October on Line 2, between Victoria Park and Kennedy stations, while crews replace rail and rail ties.

While our Infrastructure and Engineering group continues to develop more precise work schedules, our priority is to minimize the inconvenience for our customers while at the same time ensuring the safest conditions for track crews working during non-revenue service.

Chief Infrastructure and Engineering Officer Fort Monaco will make a detailed presentation on our track rehabilitation plans for Line 1 at the October Board meeting.

As reported in last month’s commentary, Bombardier continues to deliver on our order of accessible streetcars. In Q3 2019, 21 of the 23 streetcars planned for final acceptance were approved for revenue service. As of October 9, the TTC had received a total of 179 of the 204 streetcars expected by December 31, 2019.

Campaigns implemented by Bombardier to improve vehicle reliability are beginning to prove successful. In August 2019, reliability of the new streetcar fleet continued to trend positive with over 51,000 km Mean Distance Between Failures (MDBF), surpassing the 35,000 km MDBF target contractually imposed on Bombardier.

The TTC has several methods of measuring reliability.

As noted in the August 2019 CEO’s Report, the contractual requirements for reliability of the new streetcars is measured using the criteria in the table below.

In order to meet the stringent safety assurance and reliability requirements of the TTC’s contract, these vehicles were designed with redundant systems that prevent any single failure from causing service disruptions to our customers. For example, the new LFLRV was designed with individual motors for each axle. This allows for continued operation with up to two of six motors bypassed in the case of failure without causing any significant delay to service or degradation of performance. The contractual measure, published in the CEO’s Report historically, is a measure of vehicle failures for which Bombardier is directly accountable.

With an exponential increase in deliveries over the past two and half years, and close to 90% of the new fleet now on property, there is an aggressive focus by the TTC’s streetcar transportation and maintenance teams to implement improvements in our operations focused on maximizing service availably and reliability for our customers.

In July 2019, the traditional operations method of measuring reliability, which is used to report reliability of the legacy fleet of CLRVs and ALRVs, was applied for the first time to the new LFLRVs. To track all-round streetcar vehicle performance and drive continuous improvement, this operational metric not only includes failures of the vehicle that Bombardier is accountable for, but also delay incidents that are caused by failures of equipment from other vendors and delays caused by TTC operations. For example, the on- board communications system is installed by TTC employees after final acceptance of the vehicle from Bombardier. If this system fails, corrective action is the responsibility of the communications vendor, not Bombardier. Similarly, due to the steep learning curve for our operations, both maintenance and transportation, there are delays caused by TTC employees for which Bombardier is not accountable.

As deliveries come to an end and the fleet of new streetcars grows, the operational method of measuring reliability of the LFLRV fleet becomes a better reflection of the customer experience than the contractual method. Staff is preparing to initiate reporting of the operational method through the CEO’s Report starting in November 2019. This augmented reporting will provide clear accounting for which vehicle failures were caused by Bombardier, other vendors, and TTC operations along with action plans for each.

Commissioners received the final report on subway air quality as it relates to TTC employees at the July 10 Board Meeting. As promised, the report was forwarded to the Toronto Board of Health (TPH) for further analysis.

We continue to work with the TPH on its review. But even before we receive the report, we are working internally to determine ways to reduce particulate matter across our operations. The TTC remains committed to ensuring a safe transit system for its customers and employees.

And finally, I am pleased to advise Commissioners that the TTC is participating in an information sharing exercise with a handful of major transit properties in the U.S. Led by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston, the task group will focus on reporting methodologies and key performance indicators used by each organization that track preventative maintenance programs in areas such as track, power and signals. Best practices that are identified through the two-month study will be shared among the participants to help identify performance improvements.

We have already shared our Capital Investment Plan and Line 1 Capacity Report, and are looking forward to receiving the final results of the MBTA’s analysis.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
October 2019

LFLRV reliability criteria

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