Editorial Archive

CEO’s Report – April commentary

TTC subway train 4/8/21 6:00 PM

Welcome to the new and improved CEO’s Report.

After consultation with TTC staff, my Executive Team and the Board, as well as a review of performance reporting best practices from peer transit agencies, we’ve developed a streamlined report with content that better represents the TTC and is closely aligned with our strategic objectives.

This is the first iteration of the new report. It will evolve as we continue to work towards our vision of a transit system that makes Toronto proud. We welcome any feedback from Commissioners and the public. This report is for you and we want to ensure it meets your needs.

Here’s what you’ll find in the pages that follow:
> CEO’s commentary: I will continue to bring you newsworthy updates and forward-looking information on all things TTC.
> Core metrics: Full results and analysis on key measures aligned with the critical paths set out in our Corporate Plan. Look out for metrics from the People Group and the Diversity and Culture Group coming this summer.
> Hot topic metrics: Metrics that are currently top-of-mind, such as customer mask use and bus occupancy levels. As different issues arise, new metrics will be rotated in for full analysis.
> Appendix: Non-core metrics reported for easy monitoring. When a significant and sustained shift occurs in an appendix metric, it will be brought forward to the Hot topic section for in-depth analysis and commentary.

The Province is moving forward with its vaccine rollout and the TTC is playing an active part in supporting these efforts in Toronto. As part of the City of Toronto’s Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan, the City is distributing 15,000 TTC ride vouchers through its network of partner community agencies to assist people who can’t afford a transit fare. The objective of this Plan is to ensure we provide no-cost rides to and from vaccination sites beginning this month.

Since March 29, 2021 we have been operating a shuttle bus service from Finch Station to the City-run clinic at Mitchell Field Arena. Shuttle buses have been running every 15 to 30 minutes. The shuttle service was successful in supporting seniors in getting vaccinated, and is scheduled to end April 11.

We’re also supporting the City of Toronto with its vaccination efforts by reaching out to all Wheel-Trans customers – many of whom are seniors – to ensure they have the information they need to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. We’re committed to ensuring that our roughly 26,000 customers can get to and from their appointments.

While we have been living with the pandemic for over a year now, we still need remain vigilant and continue to follow safety protocols and procedures. As I’ve said many times before, the safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority and we continue to take steps to keep it that way until COVID-19 is truly behind us.

People Group

Executive Team changes
We’ve recently made some exciting additions to our Executive Team. I’d like to welcome Mary Madigan-Lee and Keisha Campbell who joined the TTC as Chief People Officer and Chief Diversity and Culture Officer, respectively.

Mary joined us in March. She will lead the continued modernization of the TTC’s People Group. Mary is a senior Human Resources Executive with extensive experience working in both unionized and non-unionized environments in Canada as well as in the United States. Most recently, Mary was the Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Corporate Services with the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. Prior to that, she held a similar role with Unity Health Toronto where she led the integration of a network of hospitals with more than 11,000 employees.

Mary is responsible for all aspects of the People Group’s management and planning functions as well as being accountable for providing high-quality strategic and operational direction with respect to the services provided by the various departments reporting to her. Those are: Human Resources, Operations Training Centre, Employee Services and Systems, Policy Development and Investigative Services.

At the beginning of April, Keisha became the  TTC’s first Chief Diversity and Culture Officer. Keisha joined us from the TD Bank where she held the position of Head of Diversity and Inclusion. At TD, Keisha led, developed, implemented and influenced a diversity and inclusion strategy for 26,000 employees across seven regions in Canada, with 25 million customers in multiple communities.

Diversity and inclusion are key priorities for our company, and for me as TTC CEO. The creation of this Chief Officer position is critical to moving these priorities forward. In this role, Keisha will strategically align the critical functions of Diversity, Talent Management and Human Rights and Investigations. The new Diversity and Culture Group will retain end-to-end accountability and will develop, lead, review, implement and manage all policy, programs and practices addressing anti-Black racism, diversity and inclusion, as well as recruitment and outreach.

My commentary this month wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t recognize our General Counsel and Head of Legal, Brian Leck, who will be retiring at the end of the month. Brian has served with the TTC for more than 31 years, first joining as a litigation lawyer.

Prior to joining the TTC in 1989, Brian worked in private practice where he successfully handled numerous trials and arbitrations on the TTC’s behalf.

Brian also serves as President of Toronto Coach Terminal Inc. and is Honourary Counsel for the Canadian Urban Transit Association and Director and General Counsel of the TTC Pension Fund Society and TTC Insurance Company Ltd.

Brian has taught various courses with the Advocate Society, American Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, Department of Justice (Canada), Canadian Urban Transit Association, Federated Press, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, Rotman School of Management and various other organizations.

On behalf of the TTC Executive and all employees, I’d like to publicly congratulate Brian on his exemplary service and wish him a long, happy and well-deserved retirement!

Diversity and Culture Group

To recognize International Women’s Day, the Toronto and Region Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials hosted two virtual events showcasing women of colour who were senior leaders at several transportation agencies in North America.

The first event was billed, Choose to Challenge: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes in the Transportation Sector, and featured Shirley DeLibero. Ms. DeLibero started her career in operations and rose through the ranks to become a General Manager at several transportation systems throughout the United States, and President and CEO of Houston Metro. She spoke candidly about starting her career and often being the only woman and the only Person of Colour. We know these are challenges that continue to exist in our sector. Ms. DeLibero’s advice about how she persevered, set clear goals for herself and made strategic choices to reach those objectives was truly inspirational.

Dr. Beverly Scott spoke at a second event later in the month, Charting Your Own Course, about her experience leading several transit systems, including Boston, Atlanta, Sacramento and Rhode Island. Dr. Scott was candid in her advice to audience members, encouraging them to think about the jobs they want and then build the skill sets they need to get there.

She also discussed the importance of mentorship and creating opportunities for those who are in earlier stages of their careers.

Strategy and Customer Experience Group

Bus passenger occupancy information coming in April
This month, the TTC will introduce new real-time bus passenger occupancy information to help customers better plan their trips. Riders will be able to access the information using the Rocketman and Transit mobile apps.

Working in partnership with those app developers, the TTC will provide them with secure data streams that will then be translated into an easy-to-read, three-tier notification system using one, two or three ‘person’ icons.

The notifications will be based on actual passenger volume as a percentage of vehicle capacity as follows:
> Not Busy: One icon, zero-to-30 per cent of capacity (up to 15 people on a standard bus, 23 on an articulated bus);
> Busy: Two icons, 30-to-80 per cent of capacity (15 to 40 customers on a standard bus, 23 to 54 on an articulated bus); and
> Very Busy: Three icons, greater than 80 per cent of capacity (more than 40 customers on a standard bus, more than 54 on an articulated bus).

For the time being, the feature will only be available for TTC buses. We know our bus network is unique in the challenges it faces at this time – in particular, serving high-density parts of the city where many people are working in essential frontline jobs. These apps are one more way the TTC is giving customers valuable information as they plan and take their trips.

Free Wi-Fi pilot on buses on the way
Later this spring, the TTC will introduce free public Wi-Fi on buses along some routes as part of a proof-of-concept trial. This pilot will provide the TTC with the opportunity to evaluate the performance of the equipment on the vehicles and gather customer feedback, ahead of a larger rollout plan targeted for later this year.

This initiative is also part of a City of Toronto program (ConnectTO) aimed at providing Wi-Fi access to support residents in high-priority communities across the city. More information will be available in May.

Engineering, Construction and Expansion Group

ATC update
We continue to move forward with a number of projects. During the final weekend in February, the ATC Construction team working in the York Mills Station area installed the last scheduled cable for the Line 1 ATC project – that’s a total of 575 kilometres of cable installed between Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and Finch stations as part of this ambitious project.

This is an outstanding accomplishment and major milestone in the heavy construction work for ATC resignalling. Installation of a signalling system in a brownfield is extremely challenging and completing this is something that we can all be proud of.

Work continues as crews splice together previously installed fibre optic cable and install remaining final components of the new signalling system.

Second 10-day closure accomplished
From March 15 to 24, the portion of Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations was closed to allow crews to continue important tunnel improvements. Last month’s extended closure allowed the TTC to capitalize on reduced ridership during the pandemic and carry out vital state-of- good-repair work with minimal inconvenience to customers.

The work, which included tunnel lining repairs, asbestos removal, station cleaning and electrical work, is part of a larger project to eliminate several years’ worth of early access, weekend and platform closures. Last December, we successfully completed a similar closure that allowed us to accomplish more than two years’ worth of work in 10 consecutive days.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the activity achieved in March:
> Completed 65 per cent of electrical traction power cable installations between St George and Museum stations.
> Completed 30 per cent of electrical installation of five new feeds for traction power upgrades at Osgoode Station.
> Achieved planned asbestos removal at St Patrick northbound platform.
> Completed wall panel removal at Queen’s Park northbound platform.
> Completed terrazzo flooring repairs at Osgoode, Queen’s Park and Museum mezzanine levels.

A big thank-you to our employees and contractors who turned this 10-day closure into another success.

Due to the impressive progress made during the two 10-day closures in December and March, we’ll be running another 10-day closure to accelerate much-needed state-of-good-repair and asbestos abatement work. This closure will impact subway service from St George to St Andrew stations from April 12 to 21. As with the previous closures of this scale, there is a robust communication and outreach plan in place to support these efforts.

Operations Group

New McNicoll complex now operating
On Sunday, March 28, buses began rolling out of the TTC’s new McNicoll division and garage in north Scarborough. McNicoll is now home to nearly 600 Operators and transportation staff and about 90 maintenance workers. It’s ideally situated to increase efficiency and better serve customers in Scarborough.

This beautifully designed complex is built to Toronto Green Standard and has the capacity for up to 250 accessible buses, both standard and articulated lengths. In addition to providing much-needed space for our growing fleet, this facility near Kennedy Road and McNicoll Avenue means service in this area will have smoother rollouts, allowing us to deliver even better service to our customers and, in particular, to the people of Scarborough.

My thanks to Mayor John Tory and Scarborough-Agincourt Councillor Nick Mantas for helping us officially celebrate the TTC’s newest facility with a modest ribbon-cutting ceremony and plaque unveiling last month.

Safety and the Environment Group

National Day of Mourning
Wednesday, April 28 is the National Day of Mourning. Each year on this day, the TTC lowers flags to half-mast as a tribute to those in our workplace who lost their life or suffered a serious injury. This is a day we ask our employees to take a personal moment to reflect on the importance of safety at the TTC.

While the National Day of Mourning is meant for incidents that happen in the workplace, this year is obviously unique because of the impact COVID-19 has had on our workforce. At the beginning of the year we lost one employee to COVID-19. At the TTC to date, approximately 640 employees have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. Over 560 have returned to work and we wish those workers currently self-isolating a full and speedy recovery.

The TTC Executive and I are truly appreciative for the important work performed by our joint management-union Health and Safety Committees. They perform a vital role by allowing workers and managers to equally participate in resolving health and safety matters, as well as promote 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 the communities we serve.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
April 2021

Commission seal

Published in the CEO’s Report, which can be found on the TTC intranet and ttc.ca.

Latest News

 New Corporate Plan cover

TTC Corporate Plan 2018-2022

Advancing to the next level.

Corporate Notice

COVID-19 positive tests update.

From the CSO/CPO

Important message about vaccinations for frontline transit workers.

In Memoriam

Bradley, Dempster, Holden, Salahudeen, Zahorbynsky.

The Coupler wants to keep you connected

The Coupler invites all employees and pensioners to sign up for TTC news and headlines via our mailbox at coupler@ttc.ca. Simply send us an e-mail request from your personal e-mail address and include your full name, badge number or pensioner number and work location or home address. Note: personal information is for verification purposes only. Please call Senior Communications Advisor/Editor Mike DeToma at 416-393-3793, or e-mail mike.detoma@ttc.ca, for more information.

Editorial