Editorial Archive

Service reliability a key element in TTC Corporate Plan

6/14/13 6:00 AM

The recently released TTC Five-Year Corporate Plan contains a number of initiatives that will improve service reliability on our subway, buses and streetcars.

These include infrastructure changes, right through to better real-time management by staff out on the ground.

Our investment plans include upgrades to our fleet to provide more modern, reliable vehicles, plus less visible, but equally important work to renew subway track, pumps and drains – all of which need to work reliably to avoid delay. We are also working with the City of Toronto to identify changes to traffic signals and road capacity to keep our bus and streetcar routes moving effectively.

On a daily basis, we review the previous day’s performance on each of our modes to drill down into the root cause of every delay incident. This data is then used to build business cases for infrastructure renewal, but to also identify things that we need to do better in terms of staff performance, attention to detail and how we deliver basic operations. Every four weeks, we review performance trends to see if our plans are working or if more needs to be done.

Riders can do their part to help keep the service running smoothly as well. Compared to other subway systems, the TTC witnesses a disproportionately high number of Passenger Assistance Alarm activations. In 2012, there were 2,474 alarms activated on the subway system, resulting in 6,245 minutes of delay. Many of these incidents are entirely justified, due to customer illness or other emergency. But a good number of the activations are deemed non-emergency (1,768 of 2,474 or 71 per cent). A better option in some cases would be to exit the train during a non-emergency and seek assistance from the Station Collector.

With a holistic approach, we can make fundamental improvement to service reliability to everyone’s benefit.

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