Editorial Archive

Upgrades to an aging transit system requires good planning, consultation

4/26/13 6:00 AM

A big challenge over the coming years is the need to upgrade key elements of the TTC’s infrastructure, while continuing to provide service to its 1.7 million daily riders.

No one likes to have their service disrupted, and the TTC certainly doesn’t like to inconvenience its customers. To that end, there are a number of projects underway to improve system reliability and add capacity for a growing ridership.

Examples include the need to upgrade signalling and sections of track on the subway, both of which are very near the end of their asset life. None of this work is simple and I am looking for innovative ways to minimize inconvenience while upgrades take place, including carrying out work when ridership is lightest, such as on weekends and during the summer months.

Tough choices will have to be made for some of these projects. There are major civic or community events virtually every weekend throughout the summer. Inevitably, work will impact on one or more of these events.

What becomes important, therefore, is to consult with stakeholders and communities before undertaking this work, something we haven’t always done well at in the past.

I am taking steps to improve consultation and to radically improve the way we co-ordinate activity with the City and our sister agencies. We must co-ordinate our thinking to allow us all to get the work done that we need to at one time.

At a minimum, communities need to know what we are doing, why we’re doing it and what alternative transit will be provided. We will let customers know well in advance if their trip on the TTC will be affected, and we will consult with local Councillors and other stakeholders to achieve the best options for everyone.

It’s all part of making the TTC more transparent and a better neighbour.

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