At the TTC we have defined our principles as follows:

1. We sweat the small stuff.

The everyday principles of good service apply to the TTC just as they do to any other business. If we are unable to deliver on the issues that upset and delight our customers, such as the punctuality and reliability of our services, the cleanliness of our vehicles and stations, the appearance of our stations and staff, and the ease with which customers buy their fares and move through our stations, then it is understandable that customers and other stakeholders will be unable to accept that we have the ability to deliver on bigger and broader challenges.

2. We will improve the way we manage the existing service.

Every day the TTC leaves customers waiting on the street and on platforms. The perception, and reality, is that we have been unable to manage our service and our business to the best of our abilities. Every day, customers are frustrated because of short-turns they believe are unnecessary or waits that are longer than expected. Even when perceptions are unfounded, we must use every one of our assets to its utmost to ensure every bit of our existing service is delivered as efficiently as possible. With the aid of our new and evolving key performance indicators, we will hold the organization, individual managers and their teams accountable for their performance.

3. We will focus on our core business and ensure that everything we do adds value to our customers and other stakeholders.

The TTC must constantly and consistently focus on our core business – moving people efficiently and effectively around Toronto in the easiest and most comfortable manner possible.

We don’t doubt we can do things more efficiently, and we have already begun to do that.

Our processes and practices, for example, have been developed to avoid risk, but don’t take into account the level of risk that is being avoided. We need to make decisions within a process that not only identifies risks but also evaluates the benefits of what we do and the costs we pay to avoid all risk.

If there are aspects of our business that can be done more effectively and efficiently by another part of the City of Toronto, by an outside agency or a third party, then we must make that change to ensure we deliver our core business.

We need to measure every aspect of our business and get the greatest value possible from the assets we have now. On the streets and on the rails, our service must be utilized to its absolute optimum efficiency.

4. We will reinvest any savings, in dollars and in people, in improving the service for our customers.

The TTC has already embarked on a top-to-bottom review of what we do now, and what we should do in the future. We have announced the outsourcing of garbage collection, bus service lines and the cleaning of public washrooms. This review of what we make vs. what we buy will continue and extend into every aspect of our business; from savings that can be achieved through fare changes, to changes in the way we operate vehicles, such as one-person train operation.

It will not stop at big visible items but instead become a principal part of the way we do business.

We will move to influence City of Toronto policy, to allow us to progressively reinvest savings into further improvement to the system and the service we offer.

5. We will actively manage our employees and ensure they have the tools to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Achieving our vision will rely on the efforts, commitment and passion of our high quality TTC staff.

Management style influences the way staff behaves. We must develop managers who have the skills to praise when warranted and take action when necessary; managers who have the tools and accountability to do the job that we rightly expect of them.

We must also make sure that all of our staff understand our vision and know what role they play in making it happen. We will manage fairly and effectively, and make a clear difference between an honest mistake and unacceptable behaviour.

We must explore innovative and timely ways of communicating directly with employees across the organization so they understand the direction we are taking, why and how.

Our stations must be customer-focused so Group Station Managers have been given both the mandate and power to make decisions, fix problems locally and get things done. Vehicle operators need to know when it is appropriate to make an exception and when it is necessary to adhere to strict rules and standards.

6. We will focus on customer self-service and ensure they are provided the tools they need to be masters of their own travel needs.

From planning a trip to buying a fare, we need to give our customers information and services when and where they need it.

Most transit operators around the world have already implemented forms of self-service. Each customer has individual needs and wants and ways of doing things; self-service allows them to fulfill those needs. Providing discretionary services via self-service options also allows us to free up resources so that customers who are unwilling, or unable, to use self-service options will get a higher level of support than they otherwise would.

7. We will deliver our projects and programs on time and on budget.

Our reputation will be formed as much by how well we deliver as what we deliver. To gain the trust of our customers and our stakeholders we must deliver on items both small and large, on time and to budget. We expect to be held accountable and, if projects demand greater input, we must communicate the cost and impact in a way that is clearly understood.

8. We will relentlessly, and efficiently, close the gap between expectations and reality, and we will be transparent and accountable in all we do.

Our customers have ever-increasing demands and expectations, and rightly so. Our job is to measure those expectations and ensure that every step we take closes the gap between expectations and reality. We will ensure the money we have and our staff is employed to their full capacity. We will seek to make our customers, employees and other stakeholders our biggest advocates for investment in the transit the City of Toronto deserves.

We will be open and transparent about our success and our failures. Customers and stakeholders must understand our goals and objectives and be able to hold us accountable.