April 10, 2015
The first few days of this revised schedule proved extremely successful as measured by an increase in service punctuality and in the smooth running of the subway.
However, this good work was undone when, on Tuesday morning (April 7) , a track fire near Summerhill Station caused subway riders huge disruption and inconvenience while we worked with Toronto Fire crews to allow safe resumption of service. Overnight rail grinding, something we do to make your ride quieter and to maintain rails in good condition, caused a small piece of wood within the tunnel to smoulder then gradually ignite, even though the area was checked and flushed with water after grinding had finished, per our procedures.
I have said before that I know that in addition to safe service, reliable service is what you also rightly expect. I accept that we have failed to provide this in recent weeks for a variety of reasons.
Be assured that all of our efforts are focused on reversing this adverse trend. The revised subway timetable, plus the additional bus and streetcar services that we are beginning to introduce as a result of the increase in our budget, will see things materially improve.
This focus includes a review of how we handle disruption. Shuttle buses can never replicate the capacity of the subway and a shuttle takes time to mobilize, especially during the rush hour. But after events such as Tuesday, a lot of effort goes into reviewing customer feedback and the effectiveness (or not) of our contingency plans so that we can learn for the future.
We will use this incident to steel our resolve to get exponentially better.
On behalf of my colleagues on the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT), I would like to say how much we miss our former leader and Chair, Susan Davidson, who died suddenly on February 12. Susan served as ACAT's Chair in 2014, and was an active member for several years. Susan was a strong personality on accessibility issues for people with disabilities, and fought tenaciously in support of seniors and people with invisible and physical disabilities.
As a long-time advocate for accessible transit in Toronto, I am honoured to be ACAT's Chair for the remainder of 2015. Since my first three-year term in 1998, I have worked tirelessly with my fellow ACAT members to paint the road map for successful accessible transit services that many of us enjoy today and will in the future. Some recent improvements include seven day advance booking on Wheel-Trans, online booking, and providing a list of frequently used addresses to make travel easier. We continue to encourage Wheel-Trans customers to try using the conventional transit system for all or part of their trips and to take advantage of accessible travel training.
On the conventional side, we are working harder to make the system fully accessible. We were very excited when the first accessible low-floor streetcar launched on the 510 Spadina in August, and we are eager to see more streetcars on more routes, this year and beyond. We are also delighted to report that 34 of 69 subway stations are now accessible; Dufferin and Lawrence West stations are the two most recent to become accessible.
At ACAT, we are working with TTC management and staff in integrating accessibility into TTC policy & operating procedures. "Advocate Accessibility" is one of the strategic objectives in the TTC's 5-Year Corporate Plan and ACAT members continue to monitor and implement the Impact of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA) and its regulations.
We encourage customers to share issues or improvement ideas by email at email@example.com, or in person at monthly meetings or at the TTC’s Annual Public Forum for Accessible Transit.
Mazin Aribi (ACAT Chair)
Nicole Cormier and Angela Rebeiro (Vice Chairs)
Name: Gerry Capozzi
Years of Service: 18
My favourite aspect of being a TTC employee is not only helping the public, but also having the opportunity to try different jobs within the TTC. Each job provides a new learning experience, which has helped me grow as a person and employee. I’m also proud to work for such a compassionate company. I’d personally like to thank staff for the support that I received when I lost two family members in late 2014.
Weekly Service Summary
Free Wifi now available at all downtown TTC stations
The TTC and BAI Canada have completed installation for free Wi-Fi service at all subway stations in the downtown "U" of Line 1 - from Bloor to Union to St George - and on Line 2 at Bay and Spadina stations, meeting a 2015 Customer Charter commitment. To connect, select TConnect. Details are available at www.ttc.ca.
Weekend Line 1 closure – Union to St Andrew
This weekend, on Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, Line 1 will be closed between Union and St Andrew stations. For more information, visit www.ttc.ca.
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