Editorial Archive

Looking back on a very busy year at the TTC

12/21/12 6:00 AM

It is the end of a busy 12 months at the TTC and time to look back at the big stories, as well as the progress that we have made.

The year began with continued debate about transit in Toronto, in particular the type of vehicles and mode to be used to expand our system and add capacity.

This debate led to a sudden change at the top of the TTC, an event that shook the organization to its core. In assuming the role of Acting Chief General Manager and subsequently CEO, my first priorities were to stabilize the company and to provide strong leadership and a vision for the way forward.

This direction included the need for a five-year plan to modernize the TTC and to transform customer satisfaction, a challenge that I have described in recent weeks.

We immediately set about delivery of quick, low-cost improvements to demonstrate our intent to do better. Public washrooms were refurbished by summer in response to customer feedback. As well, end-of-line train cleaning was introduced throughout the day at Kennedy and Finch subway stations. We extended the hours of our Customer Service Centre to better meet customer needs and we increased service on our busiest bus routes in September, with a further increase in October. By the time you read this, you will be able to use a debit or credit card to purchase a Metropass at all Collector Booths, a basic customer service that was well overdue.

Work progressed on the Spadina Subway Extension to York Region, and we are now about 50 per cent complete in terms of construction. St Andrew Station became accessible and we signed an agreement with Metrolinx that will see the introduction of the Presto smart-card system over the next few years. We also secured agreement with Metrolinx for the TTC to be the operator of the future LRT lines: Finch West, Eglinton Crosstown, Sheppard East and the converted and extended Scarborough RT. 

In September, we took delivery of the first test vehicle of our future, low-floor streetcar fleet. In parallel, the number of Toronto Rocket trains continued to increase, and a decision was taken to reintroduce articulated buses on our busiest bus routes, starting in 2013.

We also took steps to make the TTC more transparent and accountable to taxpayers and riders. Key Performance Indicators were developed and our daily performance against each measure is now posted on the web.

Next week, I will look ahead to 2013 and outline further improvements that we will deliver.

In closing, I would like to thank you for your patronage this year. It has been an honour to lead the TTC. On behalf of the Commission, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous 2013!

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