I'd immediately prioritize the following:
1 - Create fare zones. New fares: To downtown: $3 from the outskirts of the city, $2 from West and East of the downtown core, $1 for riding within downtown or inside any of the 3 fare zones. This would require the adoption of PRESTO.
2 - Make customer service a requirement of any job where in contact with the public. Bus drivers, booth attendants, etc.
There are many great drivers who greet you, stop for you if they see you running, call out all the stops and local attractions.... but there are also many who never make eye contact, many don't even look at your metropass or transfer, are rude to you if you ask for directions and so on.
If you work with the public, you must be hired and trained to adequately and courteously deal with them. These workers represent the face of the TTC and their attitude and level of customer service should reflect that.
3 - End the practice of transferring "incapacitated" drivers to booth collectors at the same salary. Buy insurance to cover drivers' compensation for loss of wages when given a lesser paying desk job and allow the private insurance company to assess if a driver is fit to continue his or her job.
4 - Remove rude, lazy booth attendants and replace them with smartly uniformed Customer Service Reps.
i.e. Porter's flight attendants (both female and male):
They would be placed at subway stations helping riders with directions or any other inquiries and verifying transfers and they'd be inside the booths selling tokens, cash fares and metro passes.
They'd be paid commensurate with their job (customer service/cashier: $15-$19 p/hr).
Now imagine the TTC's aging, and rude public workers replaced by a team of youthful, friendly and knowledgeable (well trained) Customer Service reps dressed in a smart red uniform all over the city.
I'd go on a maintenance binge.
I'd fix the washrooms. Repair tham and put in better lighting and fixtures. Clean them every hour, if necessary. As it is, I only go to a TTC washroom if it's the direst necessity.
I'd clean the platforms and trains every day. Clear the rubbish away after the morning and evening rush on top of that.
I'd fix and tidy the stations! Everything from the crumbling tiles at Islington to the holes in the slats above the stairs at Yonge and Bloor.
I'd fix the in-vehicle signs when they give that 32K RAM error.
I'd provide a way for station personnel to easily and quickly make professional-appearing signs to guide customers when those little incidents like stuck doors happen, instead of hoping that they put up something ad-hoc and then getting nasty hand-lettered ones. Whether that's pre-printing a bunch of signs for expected occurrences and stocking the booths with them, or maintaining a cheap computer and a printer in every break room, or what, I don't know.
I'd go through the whole system and make sure that the signage all matches. We've got something like six different design philosophies mixed up through the system, and it looks like crap.
I'd reinstate the Timeline service. Number on every stop, call and get schedule info. It's embarassing that we haven't got that anymore.
I'd also make and publish an official API for schedule and update information, and provide an official information feed, so that anyone could create a iPhone/Blackberry/Android/web page/etc app to display TTC info. Perhaps they can be tested and approved for data integrity by the TTC. But data integrity only--I don't want any of the nonsense that Apple pulled when it refused to sell an app that duplicated some of its iTunes functionality.
I'd copy the displays on the Vivastations for bus-stop schedule info. This needs to be visible from inside the buses.
I'd end the foot-dragging on implementing Presto. We need an integrated ticketing/fare system throughout the GTA. And for Ghod's sake why can't we buy fare media at the airport?
Last edited by Komiksulo; 2009-Nov-11 at 16:17.
MetroMan: You brought up having stewardess-type reps working for the TTC:
They had them back in the 80s working busy stations like Union I recall.
The ladies wore stylish-for the time uniforms with the TTC colors-they assisted riders with information on the TTC Subway. I now wonder if the TTC actually did away with these jobs...Perhaps someone here at UT also remembers and can post more on this...LI MIKE
Seniors have a lock at Walmart. A high paced job dealing with lots of people need workers who are cheery and have some energy.
The TTC should be managing their image better. From that standpoint, an army of young, energetic and charismatic customer service reps would improve the image of the TTC dramatically.
I have nothing against seniors but certain jobs require certain characteristics. You hire a model to sell a product. If you want your company's image to be that of a youthful, friendly work force, that's who you hire.
Working in the nightlife entertainment industry, I can give you a first hand example of when image is everything. Our promotional street teams are hired based on their looks and charisma. You won't see Gramps handing out flyers for the hottest new club would you?
Last edited by MetroMan; 2009-Nov-11 at 17:42.
Financially: I'd hire whoever whoever brought Air Canada back from the dead. An aggressive union was the problem there too.
The TTC union is the cancer that is killing the patient. With the patient, the cancer will die too.
There needs to be a compromise. Phasing out sick pay was a good first step. Buying insurance to privately and independently assess and manage incapacitated drivers is a next step.
A private insurance co. wouldn't be so lenient with alleged sick drivers. If they make a legitimate claim, allow them the opportunity to interview for a booth/collector job with the standards being higher in terms of their ability to interact adequately with the public.
If they don't qualify, then give them a desk job. Pay them commensurate with their new job and the insurance covers the difference in lost income.
I didn't find any images of past "TTC stewardesses" so I put one together quickly:
Tadaa! Instant image remake.
Friendly TTC staff = Riders in good mood = more inter-rider courtesy and cleaner stations and vehicles as a result.
Follow my train of thought for a minute here... Can we even imagine the psychological effect a grumpy driver can have on an entire city? If you start your day and the first person you come in contact with is a grumpy driver, how will that effect the rest of your day and the subsequent interactions with other people throughout the rest of your day?
If you stub your foot getting out of bed or have a bad hair day, we all know how the rest of the day often goes downhill. The same applies here.
Following Chaos Theory a little here, imagine how an entire city could be re-energized and changed if only the people Torontonians come in contact with are friendly and courteous. The TTC plays a big part in that.
I'd outsource 75% of the jobs to Italy. I know many jobless young attractive Italians out of work.
Canadian architecture I like: https://twitter.com/renderpornstar
my god, you people are amazing, now I really know the TTC is a hopeless organization when a bunch of people (that probably know each other just from this board) can come up with better ideas in a matter of days than the dimwits at the TTC have come up with in 20 years.
Thinking about that just depresses me further that we will never have any forward thinking ideas except for more streetcars, fare hikes and unmotivated unionized workers.
Toronto is starting to resemble the UK in the 70's where the unions are concerned.