Editorial Archive

TTC renaissance rolling right along

6/19/15 6:00 AM

Modernization of the TTC has taken several major steps forward in recent days as we embark upon the second half of our Five-Year Corporate Plan to transform your service.

As described in previous columns, a lot of has been done to lay foundations for a better TTC, working behind the scenes on projects and processes that, once rolled out, will significantly improve service. This hard work is now beginning to bear fruit.

Earlier this week, TTC Chair Josh Colle announced details of improvements to 52 bus and streetcar routes and subway/rt lines across the city to provide 10-minutes-or-better service. This is one of the many opportunities for service improvements identified by the TTC last fall. With much-needed funding now secured, these service enhancements can proceed.

On Wednesday (June 17), our Deputy CEO Chris Upfold joined the Mayor and the Chair at an event to announce the launch of cellular service on TTC platforms at St George, Bay and Bloor-Yonge stations – with additional connectivity on the downtown “U” and Spadina stations going live later this summer. Provision of cellular service on platforms is something that our customers have long sought and it has been made possible by our partnership with WIND Mobile and BAI Canada, the latter with whom we launched Wi-Fi service in 2013.

The rollout of the PRESTO smartcard has reached King and Museum stations, with Davisville ramping up as I write. We remain on track to have 26 stations (more than one third of the total) PRESTO-equipped by the Pan Am Games. Meanwhile, two of our legacy streetcars have been fitted with smartcard readers as a test in advance of fleet-wide rollout on the streetcar network by the end of this year.

Finally, underlying performance on the subway and our surface network continues to improve, notwithstanding recent regrettable big incidents. At next week’s TTC Board meeting, I will present a series of charts that objectively demonstrate real progress on cutting delays, reducing the number of short-turned trips and on improving punctuality across much of the network. More remains to be done, of course, but the renaissance of the TTC is well underway.

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