Editorial Archive

CEO Update for the week of March 11, 2013

3/19/13 12:16 PM

Andy’s TTCast – March 15, 2013

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Hi everyone. This is Andy Byford with an update for you at the end of an exciting couple of weeks for our company.

This week saw the start of testing of our new low-floor, next-generation streetcar. Since the first test vehicle arrived at Hillcrest from Bombardier’s plant at Thunder Bay, it has been pored over by our technical and maintenance teams to ensure that everything was ready for its debut on the streets of Toronto.

A major milestone was reached when it emerged from Harvey Shop on Wednesday night for a test run down to Bathurst Station, round the loop and back. We conducted the test at night so as not to interfere with regular traffic, and this first run was conducted without fanfare as we wanted to make sure everything went smoothly.

In the event, the initial run went very well and I was thrilled to join the second run on Thursday night when we tested braking, propulsion and general street running in an extended trip down to Exhibition Loop and back.

Under the guidance of Vehicle Engineer Kevin Seto, a joint team of TTC and Bombardier test crew conducted a series of tests that put the new vehicle through its paces. Along the way, various media and streetcar enthusiasts were taking pictures, and it was great to see the reaction of regular Torontonians who were amazed to see such a state-of-the-art vehicle moving quietly through the night.

There is a lot more testing to do, but I would like to record my thanks to the test crew and OTC Instructors for an immaculately managed event.

Another milestone was reached this week when tunnel boring machines Yorkie and Torkie reached the York Region boundary on the drive to build the Spadina Subway Extension. The Premier was present, along with two ministerial colleagues, and the Mayors of Toronto and Vaughan so it was an important event to get right. As ever, our Special Events team did us proud and much positive publicity was generated for the TTC and the Spadina Extension project.

The Exec visited Russell Carhouse and Division recently in our latest Meet the Exec event. It was good to be able to thank both maintenance and operating staff for the great work they did in keeping the streetcar service going during the recent snow storms. We now only have one more area to visit before we’ve been round the whole company, after which we will start again.

In my latest Back-to-the-Floor visit, in which I spend time with frontline staff to learn more about their roles, I spent a morning on the SRT with Collectors, Supervisors and Operators. It was quite an eventful morning as there were various incidents to be dealt with, but I was impressed with the commitment and professionalism of all involved on a small, but very busy part of our network.

It’s been a good two weeks in terms of performance, and therefore customer service. Hopefully, you have noticed an increasing number of green checks on our Daily Performance Scorecard. Good performance doesn’t happen by accident. It takes attention to detail, dedication and a desire to do better for our customers – plus, of course, a bit of luck. I’m about to issue stretched targets for those areas where we regularly beat the scores that we signed up to a year ago. This is a positive step as it shows that our renewed focus on getting the basics right is working and that little by little, the TTC is becoming what we aspire to – namely a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

So more than ever, thanks everyone for your great work over recent weeks.

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