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One of the most popular excuses for employees who arrive late to work is “the bus was running late”. And while no employer likes to ever hear an excuse, this one seems to be among the most legitimate reasons people show up at their jobs behind schedule. At least that is the case according to numerous frustrated TTC riders in Toronto.
The Toronto Star‘s Transportation Reporter, Tess Kalinowski reported earlier today that for the first time ever, TTC riders were given the opportunity to vent their frustrations about the services provided by “The Better Way” directly to the customer service advisory panel, face-to-face.
According to Kalinowski, the most popular complaints that riders aired out today at Bloor subway station were “dirty washrooms, drivers who take breaks while riders cool their heels, bunching on bus routes and drivers who fail to open the door at some stops.”
Among the seven panelists was Steve O’Brien, a hotelier and chair of the volunteer committee for TTC. Facing angered customers who have yet to forget about such incidents as the sleeping subway collector that made headlines not long ago, O’Brien summarized that communication is the largest issue in improving the transit experience on the TTC.
Said O’Brien: “Some of the systems the TTC has to communicate with are somewhat antiquated, and I know the TTC is working on upgrading systems. But it’s communication all the way around, and if you want to change the culture you’ve got to improve the communication.”
Kalinowski notes that the findings of today’s in-person panelist dicussion will be revealed in June. There were many constructive ideas presented at this unique meeting. One suggestion was for the TTC to place signs on buses when they are too full to carry more passengers. Many a rider have experienced very tiresome and agitating rides to work in the morning due to the many jam-packed buses that have surprisingly passed them by.
Another major complaint was aimed at bus drivers who pretend to not notice customers who are running to catch their ride. This is especially annoying during the winter season or periods of the year when there is bad weather. It is not uncommon to see some would-be passengers slip and fall on their hurried way to the bus, only to have it indifferently drive off without them on board.
As well, many riders are angered at the idea of a bus driver taking a break while riders are forced to sit and wait for the ride to continue at the driver’s convenience. Dufferin bus rider, Sharon Susin voiced her frustration with this situation.
Said Susin: “I’m sitting in the bus and I’ve got to get to work and another bus passes us while we’re still waiting for the bus driver to come from getting his coffee. That makes us passengers angry — rightly so. I do understand they need their coffee breaks but it should be done in a way that’s not inconveniencing passengers.”
The hope, of course, is that the Toronto Transit Commission will improve their services by addressing the many concerns brought up by the public at today’s meeting. After all, employers all over the city would love nothing more than to never again hear the “bus was running late” excuse.