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When I last spoke at the Board of Trade, my theme was “Renewing people’s faith in the TTC. In that speech, back in March of 2012, I described what I saw as my immediate priorities on assuming the role of CEO of North America’s third largest transit network. I described the impressive organization that I had inherited, talked about a number of “Quick Wins” to show customers I was serious about improvement and described the need for a top-to-bottom modernization of the TTC to show that I was serious about change.
In particular, I described 10 steps that we would take to transform our company and the service we deliver to our customers. We weren't talking about a few tweaks here and there, we needed fundamental, sustained change, What was required was a comprehensive Corporate Plan: better management; customer
led processes; and an acceptance at all levels of the company that things had to change.
But if I thought I had a big challenge then, 22 months' experience has revealed the sheer size of the job. While we have made progress on many fronts, a huge amount remains to be done. We have enjoyed some successes and we have suffered some setbacks. We have coped with floods, ice and controversy, We launched a Customer Charter, we reorganized, brought people in, let people go, celebrated success, and, on occasions, said sorry. There has even been the odd political distraction along the way.
So where are we now, one year on?
For starters, we now have a 5 year Corporate Plan to drive our renaissance. Based around 7 strategic objectives, our plan
And we have begun down the long road of staff engagement. each of which I will touch on shortly. Five new business groups have been set up. to drive and monitor delivery of our game-changing mega projects. but also to coordinate activity between those five groups. 3 . its processes and its culture. one that puts the customer at the centre of everything we do. Our plan is anchored around a new organisational model.000 staff on our plan. A new role of Chief of Staff has been introduced to help me professionalise our relations with government. accountable to me for their elements of our plan. why it matters and what we need from them. finally tackling the silo mentalities that have dogged the TTC for years. each headed by a Chief Officer. A program management office has been established under that same Chief of Staff.describes how we are will modernize the TTC from top to bottom: its equipment. initially through a series of employee town halls to brief all 13.
They need to have the opportunity to challenge me and I get to challenge them – for all of us to up our game. It isn’t easy and it does not deliver immediate results.This type of change does not happen overnight. the jewel in the crown of North American transit. customers report that the subway is cleaner. one that has a renewed selfconfidence and pride. staff at all levels need to hear about it from their CEO. if we are to embed true change. and one that can. Staff buy-in is essential and for that reason I have personally led over 50 of the afore-mentioned employee town halls with a similar number left to do. 4 . They can be robust. once again be. But I am convinced that. I believe we are starting to turn the corner. Under Chair Karen Stintz' leadership. they are held all over the property and at all times of the day and yes. night. But we are laying the foundations for the new TTC.
Our 2013 Customer Charter delivered on all but one target in its inaugural year. an all-out focus on what I call the “basics”.that information is getting better and that staff seem more engaged. professionals chosen to excel at people management and to spread a passion for customer service. as are indices for punctuality for the majority of our modes. Our customer satisfaction scores are edging upwards. This ranges from comprehensive event planning and better 5 . We are better organized with the establishment of our program office. and sustained. with the introduction of challenge meetings to hold managers to account and with closer. We have begun. our stations are now overseen by 6 high quality Group Station Managers. mundane activities that must be got right if service is to improve. representing time-bound promises kept that improved the service that we offer. On the subway. more integrated interworking with colleagues at the city.
management of disruption through to an obsession about the minutiae of running the service where every second counts and where root causes of delay are relentlessly eliminated. Furthermore. our signalling. communications equipment and the SRT are. delays are far too frequent and our capability both in terms of equipment and people performance has a long way to go. The last few days have starkly demonstrated the fragility of our existing network as we have struggled to keep 30 year old streetcars going in arctic temperatures. stretches of track. quite simply. This is all good stuff but I am under no illusions whatsoever that we are still nowhere near good enough. worn out. Consistency of our service is still patchy. 6 .
Every additional 7 . 2014 is a very big year for the TTC. The TTC is in the final stages of successfully securing an increase in its budgets.So. up to a record 540 million rides. Will we continue to progress or will our renaissance stall before it has really begun? The first of these moments is happening right now. we simply must add service and that means more cost and more subsidy. But. for a number of reasons. we have accepted and lived with a freeze in our operating subsidy. this isn’t a freeze. it’s a cut in subsidy in real terms.3% this year. with customer numbers forecast to rise another 2. funding that is critical to delivery of our Corporate Plan. We have done our bit. For two years. With ever-rising customer numbers. we have tightened our belt and we have driven down costs in our organization to reflect these tough times. We are faced with three defining moments that will determine our future.
because TTC is one of only two subways outside of Asia and South America that covers its own operating costs. According to Imperial College London. and due to its exceptionally high labour productivity and high level of service capacity and frequency throughout the day. That’s an actual quote. The TTC has the lowest operating subsidy of any major transit system in North America and. the cost of additional operators. Don’t take my word for that. While we have managed to live within our subsidy for the past two years. for that matter.ride we carry costs the TTC a dollar. vehicle maintenance and fuel simply cannot be absorbed by an organization that is already remarkably efficient by international standards. the difference between the cost of a ride and the average fare that it generates. “when compared with other metros in the world. Toronto’s Subway offers excellent value for money”. any I can think of 8 .
Even with a modest increase in subsidy. loyal TTC riders for an inflationary fare increase. 9 .03/rider. the TTC has seen a substantial improvement in labour productivity as evidenced by the fact that workforce has only increased by 18% while service levels have increased about 27% in order to carry an additional 32% in riders. Chicago ($1. At a mere 79 cents per rider. consider that in 2010. though. Even the massive New York City transit needs $1.16/rider). From a longer term perspective. the TTC carried around 462 million rides for an operating subsidy of $430m. Boston ($1. If you need further convincing of the TTC’s efforts to be frugal. over the past two decades. Four years later. the TTC runs service 24 hours a day.53/rider). we will carry 80 million more rides for a subsidy lower than that awarded in 2010.93/rider).68/rider). and Los Angeles ($2.in Western Europe. We are not out of the woods. we have had no choice but to ask hardpressed. Contrast that with Montreal ($1.
the TTC and. the picture is somewhat bleak. The TTC needs $9b over the next ten years to fund its state of good repair and to meet a provincial legislative requirement to make the TTC network fully accessible by 2025. On the capital side. So we are forming a task force to go to Ottawa and Queen’s Park to make the case for the TTC and for Toronto. All relate to the TTC’s state of good repair backlog – which must be addressed – and critical expansion projects. We are currently short on that figure by $2.3b. none of which is for “nice to have projects”. The harsh reality is that I have pushed the city as far as I can and the remaining gap in our budget to provide additional service has to be closed.something that is hard to justify when service is more crowded than ever and a policy that strikes me as counter-intuitive when we are trying to win back our reputation. I propose. a task force made up of the city. actual TTC 10 .
of course grateful for the contributions that the province and Ottawa already make with some capital projects and gas tax. ultimately. It would be wrong of me to comment on this. both municipally and provincially. and we cannot keep asking our customers to pay more and more. as discussion should only happen around the negotiating table. Do we grasp the nettle of new technology? Do 11 . Something has to give. In an election year. Canada. But I see this contract as a watershed for the TTC and its staff. But a successful Toronto enabled by a modernized TTC is good for Ontario and. The city cannot continue to bear the burden of operating the TTC alone. We are.customers. the time is right for us to make our case. The second defining moment for the TTC comes in the spring when we meet with our unions to agree a new contract to take us through the next few years.
with the Bloor-Danforth line to follow. A lot of this change involves the mega projects to which I referred earlier. gets under way in earnest this year. It is these programs that will truly see the TTC transformed and this is the year that change will begin to become apparent. The roll-out of our smartcard system. roles and mindsets? Or do we continue to do things the way we've always done them? To me. We have already begun the painstaking task of upgrading our 60 year old signaling system. and is itself coupled to more tangible evidence of modernization as it coincides with delivery of our new streetcar fleet. maintaining the status quo is not an option. Presto. an upgrade that will see the introduction of automatic train control throughout the extended Yonge-University –Spadina line by 2018.we embrace new customer-led processes. the first vehicle of which will appear on the 510 Spadina route at the end 12 .
High capacity.of August. Sooner than that. articulated buses are now being deployed on our busiest routes. two operational problems that must be cracked. we will unveil a second platform at Union. Introduction of new streetcars and articulated buses will prompt more change. 13 . later this year in fact. Our budget submission contains provision to bring back roadside supervisors to actively manage routes prone to bunching. For decades. we have completed tunneling on the Spadina line extension to Vaughan and remain on target for opening in late 2016. Meanwhile. while the YUS line will become fully operated by Rocket trains. part of the transformation of our major transit hub and one that will showcase Toronto. TTC customers have rightly complained about vehicle bunching and short-turning.
with another 30 or so time-bound customer service improvements.As new streetcars arrive. we are committed to changing the underlying culture of the TTC. the most important project of all. part of a big push to stem the loss of revenue caused by those who cheat the system at the expense of their fellow riders and taxpayers. This is good news for customers with faster boarding and alighting. pay-back in part for the extra fares we are asking customers to pay. And we will launch a new Customer Charter later this month. but the risk of fare evasion becomes a greater risk. staff have complained of being treated like a number 14 . all door boarding. the routes to which they are deployed will convert to proof of payment. For too long. In addition to all these game-changers comes something more intangible but arguably. So we will also recruit revenue teams to board vehicles at random.
of being considered guilty unless proven innocent. the efforts of the overwhelming good have often gone unacknowledged while the errant few have remained unchallenged. people performance at the TTC so that this becomes the place everyone aspires to work and where customers feel universally valued. There is a massive prize at stake here. Discipline -even the word sounds antiquated . In tackling management culture first. yet ineffectively applied. I am asking everyone at the TTC to up their game and such change has to be personified at the top. we are looking to transform morale and. 15 . hence my personal attendance at a grueling but rewarding series of town halls.has been liberally. ultimately. develops and supports excellent staff. Worst of all. The result will be a rejuvenated TTC that delivers our vision and that actively cherishes.by their managers.
and. that it is a real challenge to pull it all together.The risk is. unlike the other two. We have also raised stakeholder and customer expectations and I worry that people don’t understand that our transformation will take time. The municipal and. will have a major impact on our future direction depending on candidate and party views on the importance of adequate funding for transit. that there is so much to do and so many critical dependencies. Will the new Mayor and City Council and potentially. possibly provincial election. The third and final defining moment also falls this year. provincial government. it is one that is completely outside our control. be pro-transit and support us in delivery of our 16 .
we need to have an infrastructure to match. We need visionaries in key office that recognize the need for long-term sustained. but I know where I stand. I know that these are tough times but what could be more important than tackling congestion. We need our political leaders to understand the value of transit. for Toronto to be truly world class. as well as its cost.plan? Or will a view prevail that we’re getting by today so why can’t we continue like this for a few more years? I don’t have a vote. predictable funding so that transit can be improved and modernized so that we may expand our network to meet current and future needs. Toronto Regional Board of Trade understands this and its election campaign reinforces that point. thereby maintaining our 17 . and to recognize that.
this costs money.competitive edge. streetcars and buses to routes reduces the time scheduled between vehicles. our quality of life and the economic resurgence of our city in recent years? Adding service to crowded routes is crucial to ensuring that the TTC meets its goals of providing attractive and reliable service. Crowding levels on board the vehicles are reduced. The reliability of the service is improved. Adding more trains. and this provides a more comfortable and attractive environment for customers. as the higher capacity allows the route to operate more robustly. and speeding up their trip. limiting the need for those dreaded short turns! Yes. but isn’t it a good thing to get people onto transit and to free up space for those that want or need to use their cars? 18 . thus shortening waiting times for customers.
This. I am calling for sustainable funding and a fair deal for riders. My role is to advocate for my customers. The budget settlement. It’s great that the TYSSE is being built and that further expansion is under way with my friend Bruce McCuaig and our colleagues at Metrolinx. I maintain that we urgently need to settle 19 . and I am largely agnostic about these. our contract negotiations and the future political environment will define our future.Longer term. I am looking to add service and yes. Regardless of the revenue tools. So yes. I'm clear on what I need to do. we need to continue to fund the TTC and its transit partners to expand our network to meet demand. we must keep investing to maintain and grow the TTC and to better integrate GTHA systems. then. yes. will indeed be a a big year for the TTC.
In this big year for the TTC. You can hold me fully accountable for that. we will continue to respect taxpayers' dollars and we will strive ever harder to deliver a transit system that makes Toronto proud. critical projects like a relief line and higher order transit on the East Bayfront. day out. I make no apology for being a squeaky wheel until transit riders get a fairer deal. As such. 20 . day in. My role is to also stick up for the TTC and its staff. and we will deliver a 5 year plan that will transform the transit experience in this city. Thank you. the vast majority of whom do a fantastic job. and build. Give us the political and financial support. we will continue to improve customer service.on.
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