Toronto, June 26 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) CEO Andy Byford on June 26 at a press conference at Union Station that TTC had been selected for the annual award -- for being the best public transit agency in North America -- by American Public Transportation Association (APTA), media reports said.
APTA had given this award to TTC for the first time since 1986.
APTA -- a Washington, D.C.-based industry organization -- will officially award TTC at APTA’s annual conference in the fall.
“I am immensely proud of this award and accept it on behalf of the 14,000 people...led by our belief that it is through a transit system’s people and their embrace of a common goal, that sustainable improvement is achieved. We set out to deliver a transit system that makes Toronto proud. This honour reflects the hard work we’ve done for our customers and the people of Toronto,” said Byford.
TTC had been recognized for its five-year modernization plan -- to consider the customer as the most important asset in all its performances including service planning, service delivery, a new station management model, customer charter, fleet and infrastructure renewal -- that it entered on in 2013 an year after Byford joined as CEO.
“Since then a huge amount of effort has been expended and a huge amount has been achieved,” Byford said, asserting that the TTC is now “cleaner, friendlier, more punctual, and more reliable” than it was five years ago.
Congratulating Byford, TTC Chair Josh Colle said, “It has been my pleasure as Chair, to announce record increases in operating subsidy and in capital investment, thereby enabling the TTC to add service and to build on the successes to date. I look forward to the next five years where our next plan - which is well advanced - will build on the great news that we have heard about today.”
APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White said the 2017 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award is a very prestigious honour.
“The TTC’s successful implementation of a five-year modernization program demonstrates that it is a leader in the public transportation industry and a role model for other public transit systems,” said Richard A. White.
Toronto Mayor John Tory in a statement, “Getting around the city remains the number one priority for Toronto residents and that’s why it remains my number one priority as Mayor. Year over year, for the last three years, we have been investing in the TTC to improve service.”
An investment of $90 million in the TTC -- that had previously been cut in 2011 -- was announced in 2015 by Colle and Tory to restore bus routes.
Last year again TTC received additional funds, added Tory, to open the subway earlier on Sundays and to improve reliability of the streetcars.
TTC received an additional $80 million this year from the City Budget, to support rotation of PRESTO across the system, open the York-Spadina subway extension by the end of the year, installation of a new subway signaling, adoption of a new streetcar fleet, buy 783 new buses and to promote Transit Enforcement Officers to help keep traffic moving.
“I am proud of the TTC for all it has accomplished over the last few years,” said Tory. “We will continue to make smart investments in transit in Toronto to make our transit system faster, stronger, safer and more accessible for every resident in every part of this great city.”
TTC had completed over 31 billion trips since its beginning almost 100 years ago.
TTC had been declared, by Transit agency, as North America’s third largest transit system, by passenger volume, after only New York and Mexico cities.
Byford said that the TTC’s performance can still improve.
“We know that there is still more to do to improve service reliability, to drive down costs, and to reduce crowding,” he said.