Editorial Archive

CEO Update for the week of August 27, 2012

8/31/12 4:10 PM

Andy’s TTCast – August 31, 2012

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Hi everyone, this is Andy Byford with a reflection on recent events and issues here at the TTC.

It’s been another very busy period for me personally, and for the Exec Team, as we continue work on our company vision to make the TTC a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

Earlier this week, we received a visit from the Chairman, CEO and Executive Director of the Montreal Metro who had come to Toronto to talk to us and Metrolinx about items of current interest. We gave our colleagues a comprehensive briefing on our plans to transform the TTC over the next five years, including how we are tackling ridership growth, introduction of the PRESTO smartcard and rollout of our new, low-floor streetcar fleet. Our guests were also taken on a tour of the system to look at how we do things on the ground. The event went very well and we undertook to have even closer relations with our nearest neighbours as there is a lot that we can learn from each other. In particular, Montreal learnt a lot during introduction of its smartcard system, and although PRESTO is slightly different, I feel we should learn from the Montreal experience so that we are properly prepared when the time comes for us to go live.

It was good to meet with our United Way Co-ordinators on Monday. Our Co-Chairs, Kathy Wyeth and Nancy Whitford, along with Manny Sforza of the ATU, were present as I committed my full support to this year’s campaign. Although it is necessary to tightly control the associated budget, we are determined to raise as much money as possible for United Way this year through pledges, events and volunteer-led pizza days. The Executive is going to run a number of these pizza days, and in addition, I have said I will do the CN Tower Climb so expect to see me practicing on the McBrien Building stairs in coming weeks! Next week, we will be holding the formal launch of this year’s campaign to the wider management team where I will be asking my managers to support their team co-ordinators and to visibly lead our push to raise money for those less fortunate than ourselves.

On Thursday, the Executive visited Duncan Warehouse in our latest Meet the Exec event. It was fantastic to meet Jim Lee and his team and to see for ourselves what an incredible logistical effort is involved in handling 38,000 different line items to keep our system running. We were fascinated to see the carousel systems that are used to store smaller parts and to witness the professional way that the operational staff buzz about the warehouse, moving parts around on a variety of specialty vehicles. At the end of the visit, everyone gathered for a small ceremony to mark Jim’s 25 years at the TTC, a magnificent achievement.

In similar vein, it was great to be invited to a retirement event at Danforth Division to celebrate the careers of four Operators who have given more than 120 years of service between them. Bill Murray, Bruce Pellowe and Bill and Laura Lang epitomize the loyalty and professionalism shown by so many TTC staff so it was a pleasure to go over to Coxwell to say thank you and to wish them a well-deserved retirement.

With the fall now upon us, City Council and Commission meetings will resume shortly. It will be a very interesting period, not least because we should soon have four, new private-citizen Commissioners on board. I want us to push on with development of our five-year plan and associated business goals, a Customer Charter and with improvement to the way we manage our stations. Watch this space as this work progresses.

Finally, September 1 sees the TTC celebrate its 91st birthday. As we edge ever closer to our century of operations, we can all be proud of this company and what it does day in, day out to serve Toronto.

Enjoy the long weekend and thanks for all your hard work.

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