Editorial Archive

A salute to TTC Operators from one of our own

TTC supervisor/author Richard Lee with his mom, Judy, and CEO Andy Byford. 10/23/15 6:00 AM

Last weekend, I was honoured to attend an event at Spadina Station to mark the launch of a book by a TTC Route Supervisor, Richard Lee.

Richard wrote a book that describes, first-hand, the challenges faced by Operators in what can be a challenging environment: operating a bus or streetcar in a busy urban environment. Drawing on his own experiences and those of his many TTC colleagues, Richard’s story reflects the less well-documented side of transit operations, including the risk of assault, the pressures Operators face in ever-worsening traffic, and the underlying professionalism of TTC employees who work hard to do a good job.

It is a sad fact that almost every day, a TTC employee is assaulted in the course of their duties. TTC employees get spat upon, punched and threatened while merely doing their jobs of safely getting customers A to B. The TTC takes a hard line on such incidents, working with the courts to seek stiff penalties against anyone convicted of assaulting a TTC employee.

We are putting huge efforts into improving every aspect of what we do, including focusing on such basics as punctuality, cleanliness, and the provision of useful and timely information. We are also working hard on changing the culture at the TTC so that you feel valued as a customer and so that every interaction with the TTC is consistently excellent. But there is no excuse for assaulting or threatening anyone, anywhere.

Our most recent customer satisfaction survey scores indicate that you are beginning to notice a difference in how we are delivering transit services to you. We are asking our frontline employees to up their game just as I expect my management and supervisory team to do better.

As we work to transform the TTC, our relationship with our customers grows ever more important. When you next ride the TTC, please thank the Operator for good service. It means so much to our employees to know that they are appreciated and it motivates us all to accelerate our efforts to excel.

Photo: Proud to be with TTC supervisor/author Richard Lee and his mom, Judy, at his book launch at Spadina Station on Oct. 18.

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