Editorial Archive

TTC midway in five-year mission

6/5/15 6:00 AM

This month marks the exact half-way point in our five-year journey to modernize the TTC – infrastructure, process and culture – from top to bottom.

While there have been a few setbacks and adverse headlines, I am confident that, overall, we are making good progress. The acid test for me is what customers think, and feedback has been pretty positive in that regard.

Here’s a quick progress report for each modernization theme.

Infrastructure renewal is dominated by major projects, such as the PRESTO smartcard, which will be implemented across TTC by the end of 2016 – a year earlier than originally planned. Before this summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, 26 stations will have been fitted with PRESTO equipment, and all streetcars will be similarly equipped by the end of this year.

We continue the painstaking work of renewing the signalling system on Line 1 Yonge-University to enable automatic train operation, due by the end of 2019. Meanwhile, good progress is being made on the delayed Spadina Subway Extension of Line 1 into York Region, now that we have private partners on board to help us complete the project.

Rollout of our new streetcar fleet remains frustratingly slow due to production difficulties at Bombardier, but delivery will accelerate from the fall to enable further conversion of routes to these beautiful new vehicles, while their new home, Leslie Barns, is nearing completion.

Processes are being modernized across the company to make them more efficient, customer-focused and fit for purpose. This includes a review of all surface route schedules to improve service reliability and an all-out focus on getting basic operating disciplines right on the subway to cut the number of delays. Our new timetable on the subway is already delivering a big improvement in punctuality.

Finally, we continue to work on the prevailing culture within the company to make every interaction with the TTC consistently excellent and to make you feel valued as a customer. While there remains a lot of room for improvement, I feel we are making progress as evidenced by an increasing number of customer compliments about our employees.

The next two-and-a-half years will see the rollout of new service, thanks to the increased budget that we were able to secure this year. With this additional service, and with the foundations that we have already laid, the TTC is on course to getting back to being the best transit service in North America and one that is worthy of your loyal patronage.

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