A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “TTC on verge of being top in North America, Byford says”

The Toronto Star‘s Ben Spurr writes about the claim by TTC chief Andy Byford that the TTC is set to become a top transit system in North America. This claim–also shared by blogTO–is not intrinsically implausible, although I have to say that much depends on Byford’s frame of reference. Mass transit in North America is not mass transit in Europe, for instance.

Andy Byford is counting down the days until the end of 2017. That’s when he believes Toronto transit riders will be able to enjoy what he calls the “utopian journey of the future on the TTC.”

The upcoming year is a pivotal one for the TTC CEO and the organization he oversees. It’s the final chapter of the five-year plan that Byford launched to completely modernize an agency he says was “stuck in the 70s” when he took over in 2012.

He paints a rosypicture of the experience of riding the transit system once the plan is complete. He vows that by year’s end the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, the first addition to the city’s subway network in over a decade, will be open.

Customers will be able to access each of its six “stunning” stations with the tap of a Presto fare card, and inside they will be greeted by a roving TTC employee — no longer confined to a collection booth — who will offer directions and schedule information at the touch of a tablet computer.

Taking the fully accessible station’s elevator down to the platform, customers will be able to browse the internet on a wifi network that extends across the subway system, as they wait for a train that will be faster and more efficient thanks to the implementation of the automatic train control (ATC) system on a portion of Line 1.

“That ladies and gentleman, that sounds like utopia,” Byford said during the TTC’s annual customer town hall in November.

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Written by Randy McDonald

January 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm

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