2016 CAE Recipient Profile - Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

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Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) 

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is North America’s third largest transit system, providing 1.86 million rides every workday - around 538 million rides per year.  Operating five different modes of transportation, the TTC has developed a reputation for excellence in the integration of those modes through well-proven design, and has established a proud record for providing safe, reliable transit. 

The TTC is not only a large customer service organization with 538 million annual customer rides, it is also one of the least subsidized transit systems in North America with a $0.84 per customer subsidy versus Montreal at $1.28 per rider and Chicago at $2.64.  The TTC operates eight bus garages across the city, housing 1861 buses and more than 5,000 operators and mechanics. TTC has five rail car houses which are home to 824 subway cars, 249 Streetcars and state of the art Light Rail Vehicles (LRV). 

The Information Technology (IT) Services department is located at the TTC head office in Toronto and supports TTC’s mission, vision, values, and priorities by utilising people, processes, and technologies for the successful day-to-day operations of the system.  IT Services supports and enables the reliable, efficient and integrated operation of the TTC business departments by maintaining standards-driven solutions that support business operations.



In 2000, IT Services began addressing several important issues within the department such as unhappy customers, application reliability issues, low morale and high turnover of our employees. In an effort to change the culture of the department and change the way we conducted our business, we chose to follow the Excellence Canada (formerly the National Quality Institute) Business Framework. 

In 2007, the department was awarded the Canada Award of Excellence for Quality. As a result, we were able to noticeably improve our business processes and increased our customers’ satisfaction.  IT Services observed a marked improvement in business processes, increased customer satisfaction, improved employee focus and better financial, contractual and technical environment control.  The development of an IT Services Strategic Plan during this time was also a significant indicator of improvements in the planning area. 

Over the next few years, IT Services, and the TTC as a whole, continued to improve. This is reflected in various modernization changes undertaken throughout the organization and the development of TTC’s Corporate Plan.  Along with modernization, IT Services renewed its Strategic Plan to align with the Corporate Plan as a part of its continuous improvement strategy. It also chose to embark on an Excellence Canada award journey approximately two years ago with the preparation for the Canada Order of Excellence (COE) 2016 Quality Award application. 

IT Services’ Order of Excellence – 2016 submission features many achievements from our Excellence Journey, a few of which are: 

         Leadership continued to communicate and cascade TTC and IT Services vision/mission/values.  A top-down and bottom-up communication strategy ensures Leadership direction is clearly understood by the workforce and workforce feedback is heard by the Leadership.

         IT Services strategic planning process has improved integration of this new communication strategy: employees at all levels are able to provide their feedback through their respective supervisors.

         Planned goals & objectives are systematically tracked using project management software for progress and achievements.

         The Employee Engagement Survey is a very strong initiative and artifact showing a significant investment in determining the Voice of the Employee and Business Partner (VoC).  In the last Employee Engagement Survey, the overall employee satisfaction was rated as 8.1 out of 10.

         IT Services key processes are now monitored using scientific methodologies such as Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Process Capability studies. 

The current focus of IT Services is around utilizing Excellence Canada as a practical business framework geared to a continuous improvement journey, a renewed focus on frontline customer service, increases in productivity of our organization and with valuable metrics that continue to evolve, an engraining of improvement philosophy in the team through Excellence Canada practices, a way to have our progress evaluated by a professional, experienced real world team, and an opportunity to learn from the evaluation results. The Excellence Journey has a real positive impact and has paved the path for a stronger continuous improvement strategy for IT Services.