Message from the Executives
CEO's Report: February Commentary
The TTC is proud to recognize two significant cultural events in February – Lunar New Year and Black History Month. Both events are being celebrated with public campaigns that feature vibrant bus and streetcar wraps.
For the first time, the TTC will recognize Lunar New Year organization-wide. In honour of this celebration, for the duration of Lunar New Year celebrations, we’ve wrapped one streetcar and four buses in spectacular themed vehicle wraps. I’d like to thank Brenda Tong from Marketing’s Design and Wayfinding Section for her tremendous work in designing the vehicle wrap for Lunar New Year. These vehicles share our message of happiness and good fortune for 2022 – the Year of the Tiger – and are translated in multiple languages, including: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Tibetan, Tagalog, Malay, Indonesian and Mongolian.
As part of Black History Month this year, we’ve partnered with the City of Toronto’s StARToronto Program to showcase 16 unique art pieces and share the stories of eight artists representing our Black communities in Toronto. Posters of their work, designed by the TTC’s very own creative team, appear in our vehicles and stations, as well as on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). We’ve wrapped a pair of streetcars and four buses showcasing the artists and their works. Customers can also download a Ride and Find Guide from the TTC website to get the locations of all the art pieces, and use the guide to plan their trip to visit the exhibits.
Similar to last year, this campaign is featured in our workplaces alongside posters of some of our employees who speak about the significance that Black History Month has for them.
Recognizing Lunar New Year and Black History Month are important parts of our broader commitment to build a more inclusive transit system for everyone. And I can tell you, this commitment extends beyond February. Throughout the year, we’re working hard on diversity programs to strengthen relationships with our employees and the communities we serve.
Together, we’re building a more inclusive TTC for everyone.
Corporate Services Group
Corporate Plan 2018-2022
This year will mark the final year of our current Corporate Plan. The current plan was developed with input from hundreds of stakeholders, including customers, employees, as well as our government and regional transit partners. I couldn’t be more proud of how the TTC has performed. This is particularly evident when we think about all that we were able to achieve while managing the global COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that accompanied it, such as fluctuations in our ridership and the ongoing work we’ve been doing to welcome back customers.
As we turn our attention toward working on our new Corporate Plan, it’s a good time to reflect on some of our key accomplishments. This includes the introduction of key corporate strategies, such as the TTC’s 5 Year Service Plan, the TTC’s Capital Investment Plan and the Real Estate Investment Plan. The development of the TTC’s first Fare Policy and Fare Collection Strategy, including opportunities to advance service integration with our regional transit partners, reflect the future focused thinking of the TTC, and are the subject of key reports before the Board this month.
The TTC has also been successful in securing intergovernmental partnership funding by demonstrating leadership in modernizing how the TTC conducts business and identifying efficiency savings. This includes securing operating funding under the provincial and federal Safe Restart Agreement; $4.7 billion in new City Building Funding to address state of good repair; tri-partite commitments to the $1.5 billion Bloor-Yonge Capacity Improvement Project; and provincial and federal funding for 60 new streetcars and upgrades to the Hillcrest facility. These investments have enabled us to sustain critical transit services through the pandemic, and make necessary improvements to TTC infrastructure for years to come.
Improving the customer experience and ensuring transit continues to be an attractive and preferred mode of travel is at the core of the TTC’s work.
We’ll be sharing more with you about the TTC’s new corporate planning process in the coming months, including a full update on the TTC’s accomplishments to date under the current Corporate Plan at the April meeting of the Board.
Strategy and Customer Experience Group
TTC supports provincial campaign to promote accessibility
The TTC has been collaborating with the Ontario Public Transit Association on an awareness campaign to promote accessibility on our public transit systems.
The EnAbling Change program, administered by the Ontario Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility, is designed to raise awareness of the various barriers faced by seniors and people with disabilities in our communities. Its ultimate goal is to promote courtesy and understanding for our fellow customers when taking transit.
The digital phase of the campaign was launched on January 24 through our social media channels and platform video screens. Messages and illustrations emphasize priority seating and vehicle loading etiquette, plus a reminder to riders that not all disabilities are always visible. The second phase of the EnAbling Change campaign kicks off this month with vehicle and station posters, and runs until the end of the month.
Introducing TTC MagnusCards
Another important initiative to help make the TTC more accessible for customers of all abilities is our new partnership with Magnusmode’s MagnusCards. This is a digital life skills app to help individuals with autism and other cognitive disabilities use the transit network.
TTC MagnusCards provide step-by-step visual, audio and text-based guidance on various aspects of riding the TTC. TTC MagnusCards also help with fares and passes, trip planning and contacting the TTC Customer Service Centre.
The app is a free download in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Please visit ttc.ca for more information.
Updating the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS)
Beginning this year, the TTC is updating its long running Customer Satisfaction Survey to include questions on customer perceptions of diversity and inclusion at the TTC. More specifically, the questions will be examining customer awareness of the TTC’s efforts to build a more inclusive transit system. This will help the TTC track its progress and identify areas for further improvement. The CSS is released on a quarterly basis.
Further, the TTC is working hard to understand how perceptions can differ among different customer segments by better understanding respondent demographics, including gender, race and income level. This will allow us to be more targeted in our efforts.
Advancing analytics in the CEO’s Report
Employees from our Advancing Analytics working group have been studying data innovation and technology for the last several months to determine how to best to use the data collected by the TTC. Starting in Q2, the CEO’s Report will feature an ongoing data innovation section. We look forward to sharing how we’re using data and analytics in April to improve our operations and customer experience.
Restoring service across the city
Starting on Sunday, February 13, the TTC will begin restoring service levels on the following routes that experienced temporary reductions last November: 20 Cliffside, 50 Burnhamthorpe, 56 Leaside, 57 Midland, 61 Avenue Rd North, 78 St Andrews, 161 Rogers Rd, 168 Symington and 925 Don Mills Express.
We’re also introducing service increases and reliability improvements on the following routes: 8 Broadview, 22 Coxwell, 45 Kipling, 50 Burnhamthorpe, 501L/H Queen (bus), 9 Bellamy, 12 Kingston Rd, 42 Cummer, and 300 Bloor-Danforth.
With the scheduled completion of overhead upgrades on Queen Street East and Queen Street West, between Parliament Street and Bathurst Street, we’re also planning to return streetcar service on the 501 Queen route to Wolseley Loop, via Queen Street. Streetcar service will no longer divert via Parliament Street, King Street East, King Street West and Bathurst Street to Wolseley Loop.
Safety and Environment Group
Vaccination clinics update
The TTC started hosting the first round of vaccine booster clinics last month and is continuing this month. Clinics are available to employees and family members who are age 18 or older, as well as TTC consultants and contract workers. Appointments are available for booking online to make things as easy as possible.
We all know getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect ourselves and our communities against the Omicron variant and the TTC is proud to play its part.
And finally, as mentioned last month’s commentary, the schedule of regular Board meetings this year is condensed as a result of the municipal election on October 24. Following the meeting on February 10, the next public meetings will take place on April 14, May 19, June 23 and July 14.
I’m looking forward to connecting with our Commissioners and the public at our first virtual meeting of 2022 this month. As always, the public meeting will be streamed live on the Official TTC YouTube Channel starting at 10 a.m.
Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
This commentary is published in the CEO’s Report, which can be found on the TTC Intranet and ttc.ca.