With Compliments Archive

Rewards & Recognition Spring 2017

6/23/17 7:05 AM

Customer Service Awards


Michael Bilyk
Escalator Mechanic
> Called over to Gateway Newsstand while doing repairs at Kipling Station to assist with distraught customer who did not speak English.
> Through hand gestures, assertained the customer had left his passport, airline tickets, hotel reservations and luggage keys on the Airport Express bus.
> Called Transit Control and waited with the customer, who was on vacation from another country, until the lost items were found and returned safely.


Kostakis Costa
Eglinton Division
> Stopped the 34 Eglinton bus when the front tire of a customer’s wheelchair was punctured while boarding the bus ramp.
> Helped pull the man up the ramp to board the bus, got permission to transfer all other passengers to another bus and drove the disabled man all the way home.
> Quick thinking, compassion and genuine empathy for customers provided a safe and dignified solution. He consistently provides customers with professional, courteous and safe service.

Da Ponte

Helder Da Ponte
Mount Dennis Division
> Many commendations have shown that you always ensure your passengers leave the bus with a positive experience.
> One recent incident involved him stopping his bus to assist a woman who was beaten on the street.
> He called for emergency personel and made sure she was safe and out of harms way, all while ensuring his passengers were able to transfer to the bus behind them in order to avoid any delays.


Christian Gendron
Arrow Road Division
> Since beginning his employment with the TTC in January 2016, he has already received an incredible 13 commendations.
> One incident involved him assisting a suicidal customer by calling Transit Control and ensuring medical assistance for the individual.
> Promotes an exceptional quality of customer service by greeting each and every customer with a smile.


Douglas Ireland-Fenton
Arrow Road Division
> Picked up an 85-year-old woman suffering from dementia after 10 p.m. on a cold night in late January.
> Provided his own jacket to the customer to stay warm on the bus and upon arrival at Downsview Station, Transit Enforcement and Toronto Police were called.
Ensured the woman was reunited with her family; the family was extremely grateful for the helping of their relative.


Derek Jordan
Carhouse Helper
Rail Cars and Shops
> Witnessed a mother become separated from her three children while boarding a train at Kennedy.
> Carefully and calmly approached the distraught children and guided them to safety at the End Terminal Supervisor’s office. Then reunited the mother with her children when she returned to the scene in a state of panic.
> Has gone above and beyond in various challenging situations, including escalator falls and engaging the emergency stop butting to communicate with personnel.


Brandy McKinnon
Wilson Division
> Always accommodates customers’ questions and answers with courtesy and respect.
> Spotted a distraught elderly woman walking into oncoming bus traffic at Downsview Station and assisted the woman by staying with her for three hours until Toronto Police arrived.
> Was innovative by using resources, including TTC transfers to attempt to piece together her possible address when even Toronto Police was puzzled.


Josephine Muringer
Station Collector
> While working in the collector booth at Kennedy station, Josephine was approached by two young men who had been robbed of personal belongings and assaulted off TTC property by five-to-seven males.
> Advised Transit Control and assisted by providing first-aid supplies and a safe refuge until the arrival of Toronto Police.
> Purchased TTC tickets with her own money for the two men and ensured they had a safe passage home.


Tony Palermo
General Day Clerk
Bus Transportation
> Went above and beyond to transition 20 new Operators to a new work location in a timely manner.
> His actions in scheduling the route familiarization for new Operators helped them know their routes, in turn leading to minimal schedule disruptions to passengers.
> Performed this job task even though it wasn’t his responsibility in order to help another division that was short staffed and is always professional and pleasant to deal with.


Jenny Singh
Queensway Division
> While operating the 29 Dufferin bus, she noticed one of her passengers appeared to be in distress.
> Upon approaching the female customer, she learned the woman had been in a fight with her boyfriend and had no place to go.
> Concerned for her safety, Jennifer contacted a Toronto Police Officer and made arrangements for the customer to be brought to a safe place.


Gail Smith
Customer Information Representative
Customer Service Centre
> Friendly voice who answers hundreds of calls presented to TTC Switchboard daily.
> Greets every caller with enthusiasm, a warm greeting, and ensures calls are directed to the proper area.
> Excellent troubleshooter and very calm during difficult situations, including a caller in distress after witnessing an assault. Gail has helped to rebuild customers’ opinion of the TTC by showing we are an organization that cares about our customers.


Derek Stryland
Senior Photographer
Customer Communications
> Demonstrates absolute care for his photo subjects and guarantees the perfect shot is captured while ensuring that even the most apprehensive subjects feel comfortable.
> Worked on the Streetcar management photo updates and Birchmount Division organization chart and ensured appropriate scheduling and perfection of finished product.
> Brings life to his photographic work, is the utmost professional at capturing moments that reflect the diversity and modernization of the TTC, and is always positive, pleasant, calm and concise.


George Thanagan
Route Supervisor
Roncesvalles Division
> A hearing-impaired and mute couple got on the 514 Cherry streetcar at 2 a.m. with a note saying, “I turn right down Sumach!”
> As streetcars aren’t allowed down Cherry Street at this time, George was called as he was supervising, and he had a shuttle bus take them to their destination.
> He showed initiative, made sure the couple got to their destination safely and showed professionalism and customer service.

This award recognizes TTC employees who consistently demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the TTC’s goal of delivering excellent customer service. These individuals display that they clearly understand the diverse customer groups that the TTC serves, and how to most effectively meet their needs. Adjudication Committee: Deputy CEO/Chief Customer Officer Chris Upfold, Chief People Officer Gemma Piemontese and Corporate Communications Executive Director Brad Ross.

Safety Awards

Paul Balen and Thomas Moore
General Maintenance Carpenters
Plant Maintenance
> Visually impaired customer fell from subway platform to track level at Bloor-Yonge station.
> Reported incident to Station Supervisor, activated emergency alarm, cut the power and lifted the customer from track level back to platform.
> He maintained his composure and competence during a stressful situation and his commitment to helping the public.


Carmelo Biase
Engineering Technologist
Bus Maintenance and Shops
> While training Coach Technicians on braking systems, he observed one of the employees was not well and then collapsed a few moments later.
> Carmelo took immediate action, instructed nearby employees to contact emergency, then performed First Aid/CPR until Paramedics arrived on scene.
> His quick response and actions to help his colleague were potentially life saving.


Everald Bennett
Birchmount Division
> After arriving at the scene of a serious collision with personal injuries, he called to report the accident then used the bus fire extinguisher to put out a fire that had started.
> He then attempted to pull the semi-conscious motorist out from the vehicle, putting his own safety at risk to help the victim.
> His actions likely saved the life of the motorist.


William MacKinnon
Lakeshare Division
> The engine compartment of his Wheel-Trans bus suddenly erupted in flames, which ultimately moved into the driver’s area. After finding the flames restricted his access to the radio to make a priority call, he immediately evacuated all customers onboard and notified dispatch.
> His quick response and attention to training in this type of situation embodies the TTC’s core value of safety.
> His calm, confident demeanor demonstrated sensitivity and reassurance to his customers.


Seane Madge
Russell Division
> Was travelling along Queen Street, approaching the Don Valley overpass when he noticed a pedestrian standing on the opposite side of the railing trying to turn around.
> Immediately stopped his streetcar, informed CIS and exited the vehicle to help the pedestrian come down from the railing.
> Quick actions and awareness potentially saved the life of the pedestrian and helped to avoid trauma to the passengers and other pedestrians.


Andrew Marsh
Facilities Manager
Plant Maintenance
> Successfully manages stressful projects under tight timelines, including a project to complete street grating and concrete remediation in downtown Toronto, where he ensured his workers stayed focused and undistracted by external pressures.
> Committed to open lines of communication with all stakeholders throughout the ups and downs of the project, while maintaining a steady and positive atmosphere for the project team.
> Exercises excellent insight when responding to issues. For example, he participated in a significant safety incident investigation, and attended meetings outside of work hours.


Vincenzo Meffe
Queensway Division
> Received a text message about a wanted robbery suspect and picked up a passenger two hours later who fit the description.
> Contacted Transit Control and was advised to pull over at the next stop to stall for time until Toronto Police arrived on scene.
> Pretended to be experiencing mechanical problems until 32 Division police arrived seven minutes later, who removed the suspect from the bus and arrested and charged him with theft and failing to comply.


Rabih Melki
Design Engineer - Communications
Plant Maintenance
> Has done the engineering design for the permanently installed Work Area Warning System (WAW) from Kipling to Islington, and Kennedy to Warden.
> WAW makes it safer for workers at track level, improves track level access, improves track level efficiency, and allows workers safer access to track level during non-revenue hours.
> Has committed significant time, both personal and professional, to ensure the success of this project.


Filip Milosevic
Birchmount Division
> Was servicing a temporary stop on Woodbine when a customer boarded the bus and threatened to shoot the Operator and passengers.
> Operator remained calm and followed training and policies by taking action and reporting the incident to Transit Control on a yellow emergency communication.
> Toronto Police attended within minutes and the suspect was apprehended, all thanks to the help of Filip.


Mustaq Mohammed
Station Collector
> While working as the crash gate Collector on a Friday afternoon at St Patrick station, a customer pointed out smoke coming from an electrical wall outlet.
> His quick response and effective decision making prevented harm to customers and TTC employees, and delays due to subway turnbacks.
> Risked his own safety in order to help others, demonstrating character and bravery.


David Ramjattan
Route Supervisor
Queensway Division
> Has been organized and able to respond quickly to all concerns brought to his attention in the Joint Healthy and Safety Committee.
> Had a safety barrier installed at Kipling to stop students from running across the street in front of traffic and has delivered on his promise to Operators to have Islington Station cleaned of bird droppings, reducing customer exposure to possible bacteria and disease.
> Actions demonstrate that he promotes a culture of health and safety, and continuously works to resolve any ongoing issues promptly.


Jeff Ward
Station Supervisor
University Spadina Zone
> Was on board supervising a run from St Clair West Station when he heard a loud bang and witnessed a large spark at track level and the train came to a complete stop.
> He investigated, then noticed the lead car filling with smoke and immediately called Transit Control and moved the customers to safety at the rear of the train.
> When the situation escalated and flames over three feet high started shooting out of the cover board, he evacuated the train, informed Transit Control and advised the Guard to deploy the end detrainment device in order to ensure the safety of all passengers.


Sheldon Worrell
Construction Engineer
> Observed a construction trade worker in distress and clutching his chest.
> Personally assisted the worker down from the scaffolding and after making sure he was safe, and used the pax phone to call in the emergency.
> The construction worker suffered a ruptured artery and needed immediate surgery. Had it not been for Sheldon’s quick actions, along with EMS and the surgical staff at Sunnybrook hospital, the situation may have been fatal.

ETVM Group

Emergency Tunnel Ventilation System Group

Ali Al Baalawy, SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Gjore Apostolov, SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Amrik Bir, Foreperson - Wiring and Service
Plant Maintenance
Wook Hyun Cho, Apprentice - SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Vito Cosentino, Foreperson - Communications
Plant Maintenance
John Currie, Electrician Wiring and Service
Subway Infrastructure
Jody Dickerson, Foreperson - Carpentry
Plant Maintenance
Petrut Dumitriu, Senior Construction Service Contract Inspector
Plant Maintenance
Daniel Emoff, Foreperson - Communications
Plant Maintenance
Carey Gosden, Lead Hand - SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Yohannes Kassa, Leadhand - SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Norbert Koot, Senior Design Engineer - Communication
Plant Maintenance
Theoharis Mantalvanos, Senior Design Engineer - Communication
Plant Maintenance
Andrew Marsh, Manager - Facilities
Plant Maintenance
Bill Pappas, Electrician Wiring and Service
Subway Infrastructure
Zdravko Sko Pavlovic, Manager - Building Equipment
Plant Maintenance
Dave Ramnarine, SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Sarangan Srikanthan, Designer Engineer - Communications
Plant Maintenance
John Sullivan, Supervisor - Equipment Trades
Plant Maintenance
Cesar Ver, SCADA Technician
Plant Maintenance
Marlon Whittick, Foreperson - Communications
Plant Maintenance

> The team developed an action plan to solve the negative impairment of the emergency tunnel ventilation along the Line 4 Sheppard, as well as Downsview, Finch, York Mills and Spadina stations.
> This allowed for the reinstatement of Power Control’s ability to remotely operate the sliding subway doors.
> By working as a team, in both the office and the field, they were able to determine the root cause and then come up with a remedial action plan to address the deficiencies found.

This award recognizes employees who consistently exemplify an extraordinary commitment to the TTC’s goal of delivering a safe, public transit service to its customers, while maintaining a safe work environment for its employees. Adjudication Committee: Chief Safety Officer John O’Grady, Chief Capital Officer Susan Reed Tanaka and Chief Operating Officer Mike Palmer

Innovation & Creativity Awards


Michael McCracken
Designer Engineer - Signals
Subway Infrastructure
> Created a novel method for measuring vehicle-to-structure clearance in subway tunnels.
> Adapted the tool to meet TTC’s requirements; this process included lots of procedures and calculations.
> Allowed for various uses within TTC engineering sections and is relatively inexpensive.


Rameez Nauthali
Revenue Equipment Analyzer
Revenue Operations
> Was actively involved in the testing and reviewing of the new Schiedt and Bachman faregates.
> Helped identify and resolve a number of obstacles with the development of our existing Mag Strip Reader for PRESTO.
> Designed a new cable and prototyped it to evaluate the signal outputs for TTC management.

This award recognizes TTC employees who have demonstrated an innovative and creative mindset and as a result have brought forward ideas that improve the TTC’s internal systems and processes, operations, team culture, and/or delivery of customer service. Adjudication Committee: Chief Capital Officer Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Operating Officer Mike Palmer and Corporate Communications Executive Director Brad Ross.

Leadership Awards


Garifalia Akouros
Birchmount Division
> Raises money for various charities by cutting hair for Operators in the driver’s room at Birchmount Division on her off days.
> She raised approximately $900 in 2016 for Camp Quality (camp for kids with cancer), Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and the TTC Stuff-the-Bus campaign.
> Other employees look up to her as a leader for her selfless desire to give her own time to raise money for the community and to promote awareness of these charities. She inspires others to get involved and promotes team building and mutual respect amongst TTC employees.


Hani Chahine
Divisional Assistant Manager (NW)
Streetcar Transportation
> Involved in various TTC groups, including the Work Safe-Home Safe program, the Rail Transportation CARE Team at Roncesvalles, central co-ordinator for Streetcar during Pan Am and CNE operations. Always going above and beyond his work duties to ensure world-class service.
> As a Supervisor during Pan Am and Streetcar Improvement projects, he led his peers to successfully achieve their goals. As Assistant Manager for Route Management at Streetcar Transportation, he leads, coaches, mentors and co-ordinates the largest supervisory group in the TTC’s transportation sections.
> Co-ordinated and aligned efforts to reduce streetcar short turns by 50 per cent in 2016 and is a well-known leader and resource to multiple locations who is always committed to finishing tasks and unplanned events regardless of work hours.

Yvonne D’Ettore
Area Supervisor - Distributed Inventory Control
Materials and Procurement
> Works tirelessly, puts in long hours without complaint, and helps her team when they are overwhelmed with work.
> Thought of highly by her peers and management and motivates others by keeping everyone focused. Finds ways to improve how activities are performed, and communicates her appreciation for her employees.
> Approachable, professional, organized, and excels at implementing change and inspiring employees to go above and beyond.


Andrew Dixon
Manager - Rail Transportation Training
Training and Development
> Sets a good example for leadership, professionalism, work ethic, dedication and treating others with fairness, respect and dignity.
> Always has time for his team, whether during or off work hours, and his dedication to the TTC is admirable and inspiring to all.
> Open-door, open-minded approach to managing ensures his team is comfortable approaching him and allows for innovation and change as suggestions are received and acted on.


Dwayne Geddes
Manager - Bus Transportation
Bus Transportation
> Goes above and beyond to demonstrate leadership skills on a daily basis and inspires his team and all staff members to lead by example by supporting employees at all levels, ultimately improving the overall work environment.
> Is available to assist on-site with difficult situations at any time of the day. For example, he arrived after 2:30 a.m. to assist and provide support for a bus/auto collision involving an Operator at Wilson and Albion.
> Dedicated to the TTC with excellent work ethics, motivating everyone around him to perform at the same level.


Michael Roche
Head - Finance and Treasurer
> Positive disposition coupled with his professionalism, confidence, dedication, strong work ethics, knowledge and insight demonstrates his leadership skills.
> Strives to provide guidance and direction to ensure success of his department and balances authority with encouraging his staff to maximize their abilities by listening to suggestions with an open mind.
> Exceptional communicator, cares deeply about his colleagues, is sensitive to how matters are carried out, and is respected among staff within the TTC, the City and both federal and provincial governments.


Charles Spiteri
Garage Foreperson
Arrow Road Garage
Bus Maintenance and Shops
> Takes the initiative to bring improvement to the workplace, encourages staff to work safely, supports staff by implementing improvements, and communicates with an open, straightforward and calm manner.
> Demonstrates professionalism, compassion, understanding, excellent work ethics and integrity. For example, he took the initiative to familarize himself with hoist safety literature and did additional research to inform his team on additional training and safety information.
> Motivates and inspires others to excel in their career goals, encourages staff to challenge themselves in their career development, and overall has helped the team be more confident.


Matt Turner
Divisional Assistant Manager
Birchmount Division
> While on his way home with his family from a private function, he observed a bus on the road sitting out of service. Concerned for the Operator, he approached the vehicle to find the Operator had been dealing with an incident where a customer was causing a disturbance.
> Sent his family home and stayed with the Operator until a Supervisor and Toronto Police arrived on scene. His actions demonstrated his willingness to go above and beyond, along with his compassion for fellow employees.
> His behaviour continuously inspires others on a daily basis.


Joanne Vlahopoulos
General Divisional Clerk
Bus Transportation
> Regularly goes above and beyond and readily assumes a variety of roles outside of her regular duties at a moment’s notice.
> Leads by example, often teaching and training her peers and is flexible with assuming a variety of responsibilities and work hours with a high level of professionalism and integrity.
> Remains calm under pressure, is always willing to help her colleagues and encourages and supports fellow employees.


Erin Wemyss
Divisional Manager
Russell Division
> Goes above and beyond in her involvement with a variety of committees, some include: The Signal Priority Initiative, City’s King Street Modelling Study, GOAL (the North American Light Rail benchmarking group used to set KPIs and standards), and has assisted in the co-ordination of the EnterpriseMicro Strategies to develop a model to track the On Time Performance Project.
> Inspires others around her through open communication, leading trust within her team and demonstrates a strong commitment to positive change.
> Motivates and inspires others to excel in their career goals and is committed to representing the TTC internally and externally. Particularly, her participation in the Streetcar Route Improvement Strategy Team has resulted in improvements in the performance of streetcars, reductions in short turns, switch incidents and preventable accidents and increases in time performance.

This award recognizes TTC employees who model and exhibit outstanding leadership qualities and behaviours. Adjudication Committee: Chief People Officer Gemma Piemontese, Chief Financial and Administration Officer Vince Rodo and Chief of Staff Joan Taylor.

Teamwork Awards

Raggiunti and Vagdatis

Lou Raggiunti
Instructor - Bus and Maintenance
Training and Development

Aristidis Vagdatis
Electrical Equipment Mechanic
Plant Maintenance

> Lou and Artistidis recognized the potentially hazardous malfunction of an SRT Bonding Assembly due to poor design which had resulted in numerous failures while applying this equipment in the field during training exercises.
> On their personal time, this team worked together to develop a prototype of a newly modified SRT Bonding Assembly and produced a short video to demonstrate the severity and modification benefits.
> The team did not simply report the issue, but took it in their own hands to search for and develop a solution that is now standard practice within the TTC and ensures the safety of all workers involved.

This award recognizes groups or teams of employees who demonstrate the key elements of successful project work that advances departmental goals or the TTC mission. Teamwork may take place within groups, across groups, or within a department or section. Adjudication Committee: Chief of Staff Joan Taylor, Chief Service Officer Rick Leary and Acting Chief Customer Officer Kirsten Watson.

Latest News

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TTC Corporate Plan 2018-2022

Advancing to the next level.

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New Director – Procurement, Operating.

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Safety Notice #14: New Coronavirus Outbreak.

In Memoriam

Austin, Beecroft, Brennan, Caldi, Clydesdale, DeCarvalho, Hurley, Kawala, McKinney, McMillan, Navarra, Ospalak, Shepherd, Stokell, Vella, Wood, Young.

Sending commendations

TTC employees are commended daily by customers – by phone, mail/e-mail, online on in person. All commendations that are received from customers should be forwarded to the Customer Service Section in the Customer Service Centre. This will generate a Customer Service Report (CSR), which is redirected to the employee’s work location to confirm his or her name and to obtain permission to publish it in The Coupler. The work location must forward a copy of the CSR to The Coupler in order to have an individual recognized in Commendations Corner. An employee being commended by another employee should be notified in writing, with a copy to The Coupler and to the employee’s work location or manager, to obtain permission to publish it in The Coupler. These commendations can be forwarded via internal mail to The Coupler Office in the McBrien Building, or by e-mail to mike.detoma@ttc.ca.

With Compliments