“This is not a mom-and-pop outfit, this is a 12,000-strong, very complex company managing five different modes (of transportation), running complex workshops with a billion-dollar budget.” – Toronto Transit Commission CEO ANDY BYFORD
Toronto Transit Commission Chief Executive Officer, ANDY BYFORD, has only been on the job for 3 months, but already things are looking up underground. Unless my eyes are deceiving me, subway trains and stations look cleaner and brighter. The public address system has been overhauled, and announcements are now polite and ungarbled. Air-conditioned trains arrive every 3-5 minutes. Rush hours are still jampacked, but that’s a dilemma worldwide, and will always be with us. <PHOTOS BELOW – Queen, St. George, Sherbourne, Museum stations, July 16/2012>
ANDY BYFORD, who has never owned a car and rides public transit daily, knows about customer service and safety. Formerly Chief Operating Officer for Australia’s giant Railcorp train network, he also spent 15 years working for London’s Underground (world’s finest). <PHOTOS BELOW – lower Yonge/Bloor station; upper Yonge/Bloor station>
A lot of work still needs to be done, including the total rebuilding of UNION STATION. In time for the Pan-American Games in 2015, the subway and GO Transit will be linked by rail with Pearson International Airport.
TTC workers now board subway trains, clearing them of litter before they head back into service. After the morning rush hour at terminal stations (KENNEDY and FINCH), crews go through each car and remove newspapers, coffee cups and other litter left behind. Additionally, they do spot mopping where needed.
Between rush hours, cleaning crews now walk through trains while in service between COLLEGE and OSGOODE stations, where ridership is highest, to collect litter.
BYFORD has ordered daily postings on the TTC’s website to show how reliable or unreliable the subway has been day by day. He’s begun releasing a monthly report on TTC reliability.
A daily scorecard also shows how many stations’ elevators and escalators were accessible at 9:30 a.m. each day.
The Commission has also renovated all 10 of its public washrooms to make them cleaner and more inviting.