Editorial Archive

Customer and service improvements are taking shape at the TTC

8/22/14 6:00 AM

This week saw us reach a major milestone in our mission to modernize the TTC.

The second platform at Union Station opened to much fanfare and acclaim from customers who appreciate the additional space and vastly improved environment at our third busiest subway station, after Bloor-Yonge and St George stations.

Our project team will now refurbish the original platform and the concourse area to deliver a world-class facility in time for next summer’s Pan Am Games.

Next up is the introduction of our new streetcar on Aug. 31 on the 510 Spadina. Final preparations are well in hand to ensure all goes smoothly that day.

Modernization of the TTC will deliver more than new vehicles and stations. Our Five-Year Corporate Plan includes a comprehensive review of processes to make them customer-led – and an all-out push to transform the prevailing culture at the TTC so that you feel valued on your trip.

A lot of work to date has been behind the scenes to improve the efficient management of the TTC and to adopt modern business practices. Our initial focus has been to drive up underlying performance and to deliver quick wins while we work on the big-ticket items that require time and funding to achieve.

Last week, the joint TTC/City Task Force to secure long-term, sustainable funding from the province and Ottawa began its work. Along with the City Manager, I pitched the TTC’s case for a return to 50-50 funding to senior Queen’s Park staff in a forerunner to similar sessions with politicians and senior public servants in Ottawa. With competing pressures on funding, it won’t be an easy task, but it’s an argument that we must win. Union Station is an excellent example of where all orders of government have come together, this time through Waterfront Toronto, to pay for key transit projects.

My strong view is that TTC riders should not have to wait for major projects such as new transit lines to come on-stream, important though they are. Action to improve transit in Toronto is needed right now. To that end, we have identified nine opportunities to deliver short- to medium-term service improvements for debate at the TTC Board and City Council. If the required funding can be found, our proposals will reduce crowding, add more express bus services and improve the underlying reliability of our service.

Through delivery of major projects, by overhauling the management of the TTC and by delivering tangible improvements now, we can make a real difference to our customer service and deliver a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

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