Editorial Archive

CEO’s Report – April Commentary

Commission seal 4/5/19 2:46 PM

I would like to welcome citizen Commissioner Julie Osborne to the TTC Board. Ms. Osborne’s appointment was confirmed by City Council on March 28 and she is scheduled to attend her first meeting on April 11. I also want to welcome back Vice-Chair Alan Heisey. Both their terms run until March 2023. The TTC is governed by a 10-member Board consisting of both City Councillors and members of the general public.

Building on the TTC’s Corporate Plan 2018-2022, our Chief Customer Officer has initiated a Five-Year Service Plan and 10-Year Outlook, which will be undertaken in co-ordination with the City’s Mobility Lead Committee whose mandate is to strengthen Toronto’s mobility network. We have also started work on a Fare Strategy – a holistic and integrated approach that will guide fare policy, structure and collection for the next five years. A report on these initiatives is scheduled to be before the Board in June.

The Plan and Outlook will identify strategies and actions that the TTC will take to improve mobility so that residents from Toronto and outlying areas can access the many employment, educational and cultural opportunities our great city has to offer.

We will undertake extensive communication and consultation involving our customers and stakeholders throughout the planning process. Between now and the end of 2019, we will work transparently and collaboratively to set a vision and identify opportunities to enhance mobility in Toronto – making the TTC more attractive for those who take the 1.7 million daily trips on the system. More details on the phases of work and deliverables will follow in the coming months.

New fare rates took effect on April 1. Last January, the TTC Board approved the 2019 Operating Budget, including a fare increase, to protect and build on the service improvements that we’ve made over the last several years, which are having real benefits for our customers.

The TTC hasn’t increased fares since January 2017. Although it’s never a popular option, the average increase over the last two years was kept in line with the rate of inflation. The cash fare remains unchanged.

A new art installation was completed at Woodbine Station last month. Called Directions- Intersections-Connections, the artwork by artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins now brightens the north-facing wall at bus platform level. The large-scale mural represents movement through the use of fins and vertical stripes of various colours. Customers can spot the mural from inside the station, from the bus platform stairwell or from buses entering the station. Check it out next time you are passing through Woodbine.

In last month’s report we addressed a decrease in the reliability levels with our new accessible streetcars from Bombardier due to issues related to subsystems on the
vehicle. At that time, we reported that various system modification programs by Bombardier and its subcontractors were being implemented to improve vehicle
reliability, and that TTC staff was assisting Bombardier in finding solutions.

On March 19, I met with the new president of Bombardier Transportation at TTC Head Office to discuss the reliability issues and he committed to come back in approximately one month with an expedited plan to address all outstanding items.

Last month, media reported about the TTC’s use of written cautions in lieu of tickets when discovering bylaw offences on the system. Given the level of concern surrounding collection of data, and the possibility of disproportionate representation of racialized communities, I directed that we suspend use of the existing form, and expedite our ongoing efforts to revise and re-think the use of these forms.

Warnings, and the discretion to issue such warnings in lieu of a ticket still exists for the benefit of our customers, but documentation of the encounter, along with retention policies governing that documentation will be the subject of our review.

The April meeting agenda will include for Commissioners a report on the status of the transit realignment discussions with the Province.

Recognizing the importance of the public’s engagement on this issue, City Council in late March directed the City Manager, in consultation with me, to create and implement a public information campaign regarding its position on a transit upload.

City Council directed public consultations deal with the following objectives:
> The accelerated implementation of priority projects.
> The integration of transit services across modes and agencies, such as the TTC, Metrolinx and other suburban 905 agencies.
> The modernization and enhancement of the existing subway system, while ensuring
> the system is maintained in a state of good repair.
> The continuity of safe, reliable service to all residents who depend on it for mobility and long-term sustainable, predictable funding model for the existing transit system and future transit needs.

Council also passed a motion requesting the Province, as part of ongoing discussions on transit in Toronto, publicly disclose a value-for-money assessment of the projects outlined in the March 22, 2019 letter from the Special Advisor and Deputy Minister of Transportation to myself and the City Manager.

Sunday, April 28 is National Day of Mourning. Companies and organizations across Canada, the TTC included, will remember our co-workers who were killed or injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness. We also hold in our hearts the families of our colleagues who have suffered by tragedies in the workplace.

Across the TTC on Sunday the 28th, we will lower flags to halfmast as a tribute to those in our workforce who have perished or suffered serious injury. This is a day, also, to take a personal moment to reflect on the importance of safety at the TTC. Running a 24-hour transit system that carries the third largest ridership in North America requires a dedicated, committed and safety-first workforce.

On behalf of the TTC Executive, I would like to thank all the members of our joint management-union Health and Safety Committees. This group of committed workers plays a crucial role in our internal responsibility system, allowing workers and managers to equally participate in resolving health and safety concerns, and to enhance workplace safety on a continual basis. Our most important job at the TTC is to ensure the safety and security of our customers, employees and everyone around us.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
April 2019

Published in the CEO’s Report presented at the April 11, 2019 TTC Board meeting. The full report can be found on the TTC intranet and ttc.ca.

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