A lot of transit riders like to complain about the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), such as its operators, the service and fare hikes. But a new survey suggests that TTC patrons are generally pleased with the city's public transit agency.
The TTC is in the midst of its overhaul of customer service. Chair Karen Stintz said late last year that the commission only focused on service, but now it is putting an emphasis on customer service. Since her remarks, many changes have been implemented to not only improve customer service, but also engage in feedback with its patrons.
On Monday, the TTC released the results of its customer satisfaction survey. This survey will be repeated frequently in order to find out what is improving and which set of revisions are most important to its riders.
With crammed subway cars on the Yonge-University-Spadina line, buses packed to the limit and numerous scandals that put the TTC operators in a negative light, it would appear that users of the TTC are not pleased with the transit agency. The results show quite the opposite.
TTC Chief Customer Service Officer Chris Upfold and TTC Chair Karen Stintz.
The telephone survey of 550 regular TTC riders found that the TTC was given a rating of 76 out of 100 with 18 percent giving the commission a 10-point very satisfied rating and 28 percent awarding it with an eight.
More than half (52 percent) rated the fare purchase for the subway, whether it is from a fare collector or ticket agent, as very easy. 81 percent rated as excellent or good in terms of purchasing tickets or tokens, while eight percent rated it as poor.
When it comes to the smoothness of a train ride, 71 percent gave it an excellent or good. Majority of transit riders said the appearance of collector booths (65 percent), the helpfulness of station staff (67 percent) and the availability of staff to help (52 percent) were excellent or a good.
Even crowding was rated pretty well as nearly two-thirds said crowding on train platforms were either good or excellent. The TTC fared the worst when respondents were asked about inside of a subway train. 21 percent rated crowding inside the vehicle as poor and 11 percent rated the cleanliness of the train as poor. 93 percent rated the safety as excellent or good.
The announcements have been an issue for a number of years, but the TTC stressed that they were working on the matter. It seems more customers are satisfied with the announcements at train stations.
85 percent rated the quality of announcements at each stop as excellent or good, 58 percent rated the clarity as excellent or good, 70 percent rated the frequency of announcements about delays as excellent or good and close to two-thirds said the helpfulness of announcements about service delays was excellent or good.
Bus & Streetcar Service
Bus riders gave the TTC top marks for the ease of hearing announcements, helpfulness of announcements, helpfulness of the operator, appearance of the operator and length of time of the trip. Its lowest grade was the smoothness of the ride, which 67 percent said was either excellent or good.
File Photo: TTC bus
However, passengers were not pleased with the length of time or crowding inside the bus. 19 percent rated the time wait as poor and 17 percent said the crowding level was also poor. A quarter said both were in the middle.
The same numbers were applied to the streetcar. The lowest marks the TTC received for streetcar service were related to length of wait time and level of crowding; 20 percent rated the wait time as poor and 21 percent rated the crowding as poor.
Overall, a clear majority (60 percent) said the value for money was either excellent or good.
TTC management is planning a survey every quarter with 1,100 respondents.