Recently I’ve sensed a very subtle shift in the TTC. Perhaps it’s because I have more time to make these sorts of observations, but I have the impression that the TTC has been working to improve its communication with riders.
Here are the observations that led me to that conclusion: uniformed information agents in Union station (directing people and answering questions), more staff presence in subway stations during peak hours, clearer and more informative announcements about delays, useful customer and service information on their web, mobile and social media channels, friendly greetings by streetcar drivers, real-time arrival information, and of course, the visible presence of Andy Byford when things go wrong.
Out of curiosity, I searched online for the phase TTC communications. What did I find? A page clearly describing the process for handling complaints and feedback – and links to more content describing the TTC’s feedback channels and plans to improve information flow.
Now, the TTC (or rather Toronto) still has a ways to go to achieve a truly world-class, modern transportation system. The changes I’ve noticed are small, simple and meaningful ways to pay attention to public perceptions and earn respect.
To see transit communication in action on a much larger scale, try and see the BBC documentary The Tube. It’s a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look into how London Underground (where Byford once worked) operates during a major system upgrade project.
Meanwhile, keep it up, TTC.