TTC Customer Service Liaison Panel

TTC hopes to engage customers with new initiatives

The TTC want to engage its customers in a more meaningful way in the hopes of improving its service. Following up on some of the recommendations made by its first ever customer service panel, TTC Chair Karen Stintz announced this morning that the Commission will introduce a Customer Liaison Panel composed of TTC staff and customers. The focus of the panel will be on fostering a dialogue between passengers and employees on TTC customer service rather than, say, service levels themselves, the latter of which are ultimately tied to budgetary issues.

Customers interested becoming a member of the panel can send the TTC a resume and a maximum 250-word essay that outlines why they'd like to participate and what they think they can offer to the process. There will be a total of eight customers selected for the the panel, applications for which are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 25th (for more info, check here)

Also of note is that the TTC is set to begin a series of customer service town hall meetings, the first of which will take place November 24th at City Hall. The Commission's Chief Customer Service Officer, Chris Upfold, joked that these types of meetings are quite rare for transit providers as "it can be dangerous to meet customers en masse." One wonders if there isn't, however, a bit of truth to that statement. Torontonians tend to be quite, er, passionate about their experiences riding the TTC.

TTC Customer Service Liaison Panel

Although not headlined in the press release, Upfold also announced a few other customer service initiatives that seem like steps in the right direction:

  • The TTC's Request Stop program, formerly available to female passengers only, will now be made available to all.
  • The TTC's customer service centre, currently open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., will soon extend its hours from 7:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. when the majority of passengers are using the system.
  • A review of TTC Fares (not the cost, but the method of implementation, transfer policies, etc.)

These initiatives certainly won't get you on the bus or streetcar any faster, or ensure that you don't suffer through a ride on a packed vehicle, but they do represent the first signs of shift towards a more service-oriented system in general. According to Upfold, of the 78 recommendations initially made by the Customer Service Panel, he hopes that 20 will be in place by the end of this year and additional 20-25 more by the end of 2012. "A change in culture doesn't happen overnight," Stintz explained. "But it will happen."

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