Editorial Archive

Taking action to improve reliability at the TTC

7/25/14 6:00 AM

If we are to deliver on our vision of a transit system that makes Toronto proud, then we need to provide service that is highly reliable, punctual and safe.

I exchanged correspondence with a customer recently, who, while crediting us with recent improvements around cleanliness and information, urged the TTC to continue to focus on service reliability as that is what matters most to customers.

I replied that my team is very clear on that point. Our core service is to provide safe public transit, punctually and reliably. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes at the TTC to make that a reality.

New managers have been brought in to drive up service reliability on the subway and on our buses and streetcars. These are people with international expertise in their field. Our new Chief Service Officer has been tasked to deliver a suite of actions to address and eliminate the long-standing problem of bunching and gapping on our bus and streetcar routes. This will require efforts by the City to tackle the congested streets that are one factor in the reliability of our service. But there are actions that we can take on our own, such as the return of on-street route supervisors to actively manage service.

On the subway, we are hampered by a legacy of worn-out infrastructure that is becoming increasingly unreliable. Track and signal systems need to be replaced, and we are doing just that. Last weekend, our track, electrical and signals crews replaced a key set of switches between Kipling and Islington stations. The work was delivered on time, but we also took the opportunity to proactively replace other critical assets in the area.

This is a good news story. With both time-expired assets replaced, and work performed to mitigate future problems, this area of the subway will become more reliable. And by adopting a more proactive approach to maintenance and service, our service reliability will improve.

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