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TTC promises improvement with new Customer Charter

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At the crowded intersection of Bloor-Yonge southbound mezzanine, a new addition to the TTC was unleashed.

As the minutes passed by, Torontoians gathered around to hear about the first ever Customer Charter that focuses on five themes: cleanliness, accessibility, response time, informative, renewal, and the strive to be more modern.

“The most important thing is moving people,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford. “Some of these things are going to take time to fix but I passionatly believe we should be making other changes to show that we are serious about customer service, and to show we must do better.”

The Charter can be found on the TTC website and will updated regularly as the commitments are completed and new ones are assigned. They will also be listing the performance of each bus and streetcar route so that the community can find out how their route is performing.

Some targets on the list include Pape Station, which has been on construction since 2008, and the Lawrence West Station Easier Access Project, which will make the station handicap accessible, will be completed by 2014.

Other key points mentioned in the Charter include:

  • When you contact them with a compliment or complaint, they will answer their phones in under 90 seconds and get back “more than 95 per cent of you within five days or less”.
  • Customer service hours have been extended from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
  • In the fourth quarter of the plan they will “design and implement a new TTC map that will be easier to read and provide better and clearer information”.
  • In order to modernize the TTC, the employee uniform redesign process will begin, and they will be renovating all 10 public washrooms.
  • To carry more customers, delivery of five new Toronto Rocket trains is expected in each quarter.

“This Charter is a promise to commuters; we are transforming our system. We want transit that makes Toronto proud,” said TTC Chair Karen Stintz.



  1. Kayla,

    Thanks for this.

    I am puzzled by the TTC being so proud of their Customer Service Charter. I can’t think of anyone bragging about how they are getting better at the little things while their core business gets worse. The TTC exists to provide transit service. It’s nice that they want to do better at telling us when the streetcars and buses are due to arrive, and that they will return telephone calls quickly, But their JOB is to provide transit service.

    I mention this because the TTC plans to cut the frequency of streetcar service. Steve Munro explains it nicely here: and summarizes the likely future for streetcars in these charts: The last two columns of the second chart are especially useful.

    In a few years, when I call to complain that the Dundas car is taking 50% longer to show up the TTC will call me back faster.

    Does this strike anyone else as crazy?

    Gord Perks
    Councillor Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park

  2. Steve Munro’s article is very long, and the average person will have trouble understanding all the technical terms. Same goes for the PDF.

    However, I’m pretty sure the reduced streetcar frequency will be achieved by operating the new, larger streetcars. At least that’s what the TTC’s logic is – haven’t seen the math.

    I actually think the TTC charter is a step in the right direction. The TTC is attempting to show that they respect riders and will at least try to assume a level of accountability and openness to what they are trying to achieve.

    I think Andy Byford is doing a good job so far, given the financial and other constraints of the TTC. I don’t see the connection between creating a Customer Service Charter and reduced level of service. If anything, the charter is tracking service (which was never done publicly pre-Byford) and holding the TTC more accountable. This should only benefit riders (in theory).

    I ride the TTC every day and it is in my opinion the number one issue in the city. I think I speak for a lot of residents that is very frustrating to read about the topics of debate in city council. People (for the most part) don’t care about shark fin bans, or plastic bags. The focus in city council should be on improving transit. I wouldn’t attack this charter so quickly –Mr. Byford is attempting to improve the situation with the cards he’s been dealt.

    By the way, how exactly is the core business getting worse? (Aside from the YUS line which is overcapacity – until a DRL is built can’t do much about that).