Editorial Archive

TTC’s first Customer Charter

Streetcar swoosh 3/13/13 1:54 PM

31 time-bound commitments to customer service excellence

The TTC introduced its inaugural Customer Charter at Bloor-Yonge Station on Feb. 28.

The Customer Charter commits the TTC to completing key improvements by specific dates within the course of a year.

Ranging from Wi-Fi testing at subway stations to quicker call backs in the Customer Centre, the first Charter unveiled by TTC Chair Karen Stintz, CEO Andy Byford and Acting Chief Service Officer Chris Upfold commits the TTC to 31 promises in 2013, all of which revolve around building a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

“The Charter is further evidence that, as management of the TTC, we expect to be held accountable and we intend to deliver on our promises,” Byford said. “It’s also important because it’s a statement of intent that says were not going to accept second best, we’re going to challenge mediocrity and we’re determined  to deliver better customer service.”

The promises made in the first Charter focus on five core actions: cleanliness, informative, responsiveness, renewal, and accessibility and modernization. The Charter will evolve each year with new, time-bound commitments.

“Our customers can find our Charter on the TTC website, and we’ll report on it every quarter,” Upfold said. “If we achieve something we’ll tell you what we’ve achieved. If we don’t achieve something then we’ll tell you why we didn’t achieve it.”

The Customer Charter is posted on the TTC website.

A customer charter was one of 78 recommendations made by the Customer Service Advisory Panel, led by the general manager of One King West Hotel and Residence, Steve O’Brien in 2010.

Route Supervisor Jamie Simpson

 Station Manager Jamie Simpson helps launch Charter at Bloor-Yonge.


Here are the 31 time-bound promises in the inaugural Customer Charter:

Our Overall Charter Commitment

> We will deliver a reliable and punctual streetcar, bus and subway service. Our success will be measured through our daily and monthly scorecards, and our overall performance will be better in 2013 than in 2012.

> On occasion things will not go as well as we would like. We will be clear and transparent in our communications as to what went wrong, and what we are doing to try and make sure it does not happen again.

> When you contact us with a compliment or complaint we will answer our phones in under 90 seconds and get back to more than 95 per cent of you within five days or less.

> The accessibility of our service is the difference between being able to travel or not for many of our customers. We will ensure that the ramps and stop announcements on our vehicles are functional, accurate and fit for purpose.

> When we have to close or change our services for planned maintenance or upgrades, we will ensure that we communicate clearly with our customers in advance and provide the support you need on the ground and on the day.

> We will ensure that you feel safe and secure at our stations and on our vehicles, and that your safety is always a key factor in every decision we make.


> In the first quarter, the newly designed bus stop poles and shelter maps will be installed on the 94 Wellesley bus route as part of a pilot program. The stop poles and shelter maps will provide more information and will be easier to read.

> In the third quarter, we will implement an Emergency Customer Service Assistance Plan. During an emergency where a subway disruption will last a significant time, this plan will reposition office staff to our stations to provide customer assistance.

> In the fourth quarter, we will design and implement a new TTC system map that will be easier to read and provide better and clearer information.

> In the fourth quarter, two subway stations will be Wi-Fi and cellular capable as prototype locations.

> By year end, we will have installed another 21 next vehicle screens, bringing the total to 43 in 22 stations.

> By year end, we will have installed another 33 Station Information Screens, bringing the total to 42 in 30 stations.


> In the first quarter, buses on the 192 Airport Rocket bus route will be equipped with luggage racks, so that travelling to and from the airport is more comfortable.

> In the first quarter, six new Group Station Managers will be named. These managers will be working to create a new standard to improve customer service at our subway stations and interchanges.

> In the second quarter, the employee uniform redesign process will begin. We are creating a new uniform to modernize our image and help our staff and customers feel proud of the TTC.

> In the second quarter, we will reinvigorate the security model so that we can provide a safer working environment for our employees, and a safer travelling environment for you.

> In the fourth quarter, we will introduce a new and more accurate way to reflect the experience of our customers and the reliability of service, and we will continue to report on performance against our 25 Key Performance Indicators outlined in the monthly CEO Report.

> In each quarter, we will list on our website the performance of each individual bus and streetcar route, so that you know how your route is performing.

> We will conduct five Meet the Managers in each quarter, giving you the opportunity to speak with TTC managers in a more personal way. These events will take place at subway stations and surface interchanges throughout the system. We will list the locations and times on the TTC website. We will conduct another four Town Hall meetings by the end of the year, so that you have an opportunity to let us know how we’re doing.


> In the first quarter, we will be testing exterior door chimes and low-ceiling hand holds on the Toronto Rocket trains to improve safety and, pending budget, will roll them out across the fleet.

> Delivery of five new Toronto Rocket trains is expected in each quarter, improving our ability to carry more customers.

> In the first quarter, we will begin testing the new streetcar to ensure optimal performance. The testing is extensive, ranging from handles to brakes to the electrical system.

> By the third quarter, we will receive another two prototype low-floor streetcars, which will help expedite the testing process so that we can have the new streetcar in service by 2014.

> In the third quarter, we will receive a prototype model of a new, and larger bendy bus for testing purposes. We expect to receive 26 new-model, articulated buses in the fourth quarter or the first quarter of next year. These articulated buses will help us meet ridership demand on some of our busiest bus routes.

Accessible and Modern

> By the second quarter, the construction phase of the Lawrence West Station Easier Access Project will begin. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the station will include one elevator and will be accessible.

> In the fourth quarter, the Pape Station Modernization Project is scheduled for completion. The station will be fully accessible with new elevators, sliding doors, tactile surfaces and granite-edged stairs. It will also have second exits from the station platforms to street level, an expanded enclosed bus waiting area, new lighting, improved station identification and wayfinding signs, new wall finishes, bicycle parking, public art integrated into finishes and improved streetscaping and landscaping.

> By the fourth quarter, the Dufferin Station Modernization Project will have made noticeable improvements, including new second exits from the eastbound and westbound platform levels at Russett Avenue, new wall finishes on both eastbound and westbound platforms, progressive improvements to station finishes at concourse level, installation of one of two new fare lines and Collector booths and the re-opening of the west southbound traffic lane at Russett Avenue and Bloor Street. The completion of the project is scheduled for 2014.

> By the third quarter, the construction phase of the Coxwell Station Easier Access Project will begin. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the station will include two new elevators and will be accessible.


> In the second, third and fourth quarters, a maintenance blitz will target every station in our system. This new program will include pressure washing of walls, floors and pillars at all bus bays, passenger pick-up locations and station entrances. Attention will also be given to gum removal, graffiti, station signage, telephones, benches, trash containers, elevators and stairs.

> By the fourth quarter, a third of our stations will have had the terrazzo floor reconditioned to a like-new finish. We will be using a more advanced process to recondition the floors, which will result in the floors shining for a longer period of time.

> We will be washing light fixtures at all of our subway stations and replacing lights, as necessary. We anticipate 16 stations to be complete in the first quarter, 22 stations in the second quarter, 16 stations in the third quarter and 18 stations in the fourth quarter. The cleaning and replacing of the lights will enhance the look of our station by making them brighter.

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