Editorial Archive

Getting the basics right – all day, every day

12/14/12 6:00 AM

Over the past several weeks, I have outlined nine of the 10 steps that we are taking to transform and modernize the TTC. We are introducing new vehicles and processes; becoming more transparent, customer-focused and accountable in the way we do business; and we are taking action to develop capable management and motivated, empowered staff.

But I am crystal clear, that, above all, we have to get the basics right – all day, every day.

Our service at present is all too often interrupted by infrastructure or vehicle failures; by people not being in the right place at the right time; and by delays both of and outside of our own making. We pride ourselves on a good safety record. While that will continue to be our prime focus – the quality and consistency of our service is just not good enough, and I have challenged everyone at the TTC to do better.

The evening rush hour a week ago today is a case in point. A series of switch and rolling stock incidents occurred just as the subway service was building to get everyone home, leading to protracted delays and a frustrating journey for thousands of riders. On an older system like ours problems will occur, but we must reduce the potential for such delays – and get better at dealing with them when they happen.

On our surface routes (bus, Wheel-Trans and streetcar) we need to do more to stop bunching, improve punctuality and to reduce the number of short turns. Specific action is being taken on short turns and this is described in a YouTube video that will be on our website shortly.

So what else are we doing to improve things? A back-to-basics approach is being taken to identify, track and drive down every cause of delay, including close management of suppliers, increased focus on active route supervision and holding managers to account for their areas of responsibility. In parallel, much greater attention is being given to the planning of events (such as closures for maintenance and construction) to make sure we get the detail right and restore regular service on time.

There is a lot more to do. But I am determined to drive up standards and performance across the Commission to give you better, more reliable service.

And if you were delayed last Friday – I am sorry.

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