Technology recommendations from Toronto Transit Commission


At the end of last month the Toronto Transit Commission’s Customer Service Advisory Panel released a 50 page set of recommendations designed to improve the customer service experience on the country’s largest municipal transit service.

Included in this report were a number of technology-based recommendations.

We have taken the time to go through this report to dig out these tech-focused points to share with you here today:

  1. Platform Screens: Subway platform screens need to be able to be flexible not just to announce the next scheduled subway.  TTC staff should be able to override this system to announce delays and potential route options.
  2. Screens at Station Entrances: Have you ever paid and entered a station to then find out that your subway is delayed?  The Panel recommended that all stations be equipped with electronic signage outside so that there are no surprises.
  3. Screens at Collector Booths:  In keeping with this spirit of screens and communicating, the Panel also suggested that all collector booths be equipped with screens detailing any general and specific transit and route information.
  4. Communication of System Delays:  This recommendation suggests that all transit staff be notified of any system-wide delay or information which should then be communicated to the customers and riders via any and all technological  means necessary.
  5. Replace Collector Booth Microphones:  Why do these and the microphones at the local drive-thru pick-up window sound the same. Please replace them. Thank you.
  6. Improve Public Address System:  See above.  Riders have a hard time understanding anything that is communicated through the current TTC PA system.
  7. Adoption of New Communications Technologies:  The Panel recommended that the TTC should create a new unit within the current IT department to focus on how new technologies can be used to increase and facilitate communications between the Commission and the riders. A new communications strategy was also recommended here to include social media as an important component of this strategy
  8. Touch-Screen Information Kiosks in Stations: Available in multiple languages to ensure barrier-free access to the TTC.
  9. Providing Real-Time updates on the Website: Self-explanatory and long overdue.
  10. Add an In-Depth FAQ Section to the Website:  This should include everything someone needs to know to effectively use the entire transit system.
  11. Marketing Campaign: “Connect With Us”: Use SMS, e-alerts and social media to communicate information and transit initiatives to increase awareness and customer interest in the TTC.

The TTC has already started to use technology to improve its service and communication with riders.  @TTCNotices updates riders on delays on streetcars, bus routes and subways.  The TTC’s public relations officer, @bradttc can also be found communicating with riders and other transit customers on a variety of issues.

If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to visit