Loading articles...

TTC unveils first-ever customer charter

A TTC subway train. Courtesy of Nile Livesey.

The TTC unveiled its first-ever customer charter on Thursday — a so-called rider’s bill of rights — that outlined the commission’s dedication to five key areas, including cleanliness and better information.

The commission said it would also focus on improved responsiveness, being more accessible and modern and the renewal of vehicles in 2013.

“Fundamental change is required in the way we interact with customers, including the consistency and quality of our service,” TTC CEO Andy Byford said Thursday.

“As an organization, the TTC must change the processes and underlying culture that will get us to where we need to be. A Customer Charter binds us to a culture of improvement. I look forward to hearing from our customers on this document.”

Click here to read the charter.

Byford is also promising an “all-out assault” to ensure subway stations are spotless by the second quarter of this year.

Customer charters are common at transit organizations around the world and have been discussed in Toronto since at least 2010, when then-TTC chair Adam Giambrone pushed for a customers’ “bill of rights.”

The TTC said they are cleaning the washrooms more often, and by the end of the fourth quarter, each station in the system will have been targeted with a maintenance “blitz.”

The TTC has already rolled out several technological initiatives over the past few years to give better information to riders. They include the online and mobile Trip Planner, next vehicle reminder screens in subway stations and text messaging at bus and streetcar stops for next vehicle times.

When it comes to responsiveness, the charter will guarantee that when customers contact the commission with a compliment or complaint, the TTC will answer their phones in less than 90 seconds and get back to more than 95 per cent of riders within five days or less.

The commission also will post the performance of streetcar and bus routes on its website. It will improve communication with customers when delays occur and increase staff to aide in crowd control when service is halted.

Two new elevators and an accessible fare gate were added at St. Andrew’s station last year and changes are coming to make Lawrence West station more accessible, the TTC said.

The TTC said they are already retiring old subway cars and replacing them with new Bombardier trains and five new Toronto Rocket trains are expected to arrive in each quarter of 2013.

The TTC is also experimenting with low-floor streetcars and articulated buses, which will renew the aging fleet.