Editorial Archive

Office of the Chief Executive

CEO Andy Byford 12/18/12 5:10 AM

Year-end message from the CEO

Dear Colleagues,

This year was one of the most dramatic and challenging for our company in recent times as we found ourselves front and centre in the ongoing debate about the future of public transit.

At the same time, customer and stakeholder expectations of our service have never been higher and we safely carried ever-increasing numbers of riders while still receiving one of the lowest subsidies-per-rider of any property in the western world.

It has been a year in which our previous CGM, Gary Webster, departed in controversial and dramatic circumstances, and which saw a number of other long-serving staff leave. We have dealt with floods at Union Station, one of our Collectors being shot and a major change in the make-up of our Commission, including four citizens now sitting as board members, with Maureen Adamson as Vice-Chair.

It was a year where we experienced tragedy with the dreadful accident north of Yorkdale Station and where the TTC family pulled together to provide Peter Pavlovski with a magnificent and fitting send-off. We will never forget Peter or his family and we will use that tragedy to redouble our efforts to improve safety.

On a happier note, it was a year that saw huge steps forward in the standard of our customer service. We refurbished public washrooms, improved the cleanliness of our subway cars, introduced debit and credit facilities at all stations and increased service on our busiest surface routes. We made our operation more business-like with the introduction of Key Performance Indicators and we made ourselves more transparent and accountable by publishing our daily results on the web.

The hours of the Customer Service Centre were extended to serve customers better, and the TTC Executive began bi-weekly Meet the Exec sessions around the property to meet staff and promote improved management/staff relations.

Other highlights saw us introduce more Toronto Rocket trains, successfully deliver transit to the Ontario Summer Game and reach the half-way point of construction on the Toronto York-Spadina Subway Extension project. We coped with a record amount of construction work over the summer and signed a contract with Metrolinx that makes the TTC the operator of the new LRT lines when they come on stream around 2020.

None of this could have been achieved without the hard work, professionalism and dedication to service of 12,500 TTC employees. In this, my first full year at the company, I have been struck by how lucky we are to have such committed and loyal people. It’s why I take every opportunity with the media to stick up for the TTC and why I point out just how good our staff are, in spite of the odd set back.

I know that contracting out has unsettled people. I reiterate that we are looking only at non-core activities and that everyone still has a job in line with our Collective Bargaining Agreements. There is a lot of misinformation and a few myths about contracting out. Let me be very clear: I came to the TTC because I believe in public transit (I actually rely on it, personally) and in the need to maintain a unified system. But I equally have to run this business efficiently and with a focus on customer service for us to succeed.

In closing, I would like to thank you for your service and your dedication this year and wish you and your families a very healthy and fulfilling 2013. I am proud of you and I am convinced that, if we all pull together, we can silence our critics and once again make the TTC the jewel in the crown of North American transit – a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

Andy Byford
Chief Executive Officer
December 17, 2012

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