The TTC revealed details of its first Customer Service Charter yesterday. Here are five reasons why you should be happy about this.
Andy Byford has been many things since he joined the TTC: successor to ousted Chief General Manager Gary Webster, customer-service maven, and doppleganger to local food writer Corey Mintz. You can add Trudeau-like charter builder to the list, as the TTC presented their first Customer Service Charter Thursday afternoon at Bloor Station.
The idea stems from when the TTC formed the Customer Service Advisory Panel in 2010, an initiative included a customer-service charter among its 78 recommendations.
Such customer bills of rights are common in transit systems around the world, and the TTC’s was born of long-standing frustrations with the transit service. After all, no one likes to pay three dollars for a dirty bus that’s running late.
The seven-page charter focuses on five themes: cleanliness, better information, improved responsiveness, being more accessible and modern, and the renewal of vehicles.
It includes specific targets for the transit commission to hit, including station renovations and improving customer-service response times, all common beefs among transit riders and talk-radio callers.
The Grid looked to the charter for some specific improvements you can check out over the next year that will make your commute the better way, if not perfect:
Smartphone junkies rejoice! By the fourth quarter of 2013, the TTC aims to have Bloor/Yonge and St. George stations enabled for Wi-Fi and cellular access. Just don’t make obnoxious calls on a crowded platform, lest you make our list of bad transit behaviours.
Do you get really anxious about when that next bus is going to come but don’t have the Rocket Man app? Well, the TTC acknowledges that the uncertainty is the worst part of community, and is installing 21 more “next vehicle” screens, bringing the total to 43 across 22 stations.
Do you like winning the subway lottery when one of the shiny new Toronto Rockets rolls up on the Yonge-University-Spadina line? Well your odds will keep getting better. The TTC is adding five more Rockets each quarter until the end of 2014, at which point the entire line will feature that model. Sheppard and Bloor-Danforth will have to settle for the 15-year-old T1s.
If you hold it in because you’re afraid of the TTC washrooms (a legit fear), then your bladder will be relieved. The TTC has renovated all 10 washrooms and they are being cleaned more frequently. Mind you, there are still only 10 washrooms.
And if you’re a frustrated commuter on a busy bus route, which is a lot of you, then there’s good news coming your way. The TTC is scheduled to test a new (and larger!) “bendybus” in the third quarter, with 26 of the articulated models coming out between the fourth quarter of this year and next year’s first quarter. Bonus: You can fit lots of strollers on these buses.