Friday, January 21, 2011

TTC: Toronto's Clogged Arteries

I almost didn't believe when I read this on the post:
 Toronto's public transit workers are being warned not to sleep on the job and to "be alert" in anticipation of a possible tour of the system by Mayor Rob Ford. The warning sent out to ticket collectors in a telephone message Monday night says the Mayor's office has received a report about employees sleeping on the job. "It was a reminder to everyone to do their jobs, to be courteous and professional," said TTC spokesman Brad Ross. "The intent of the message was generic.... It's really that simple." In January 2010, a TTC ticket collector became the subject of an internal investigation after a rider snapped a photo of him sleeping on the job. The photo went viral when posted to the Internet and prompted a string of bad publicity for the commission.
It seemed too much like a joke... But no! The TTC has to remind a labor body of public servants that they should not sleep on the job.
When some big shot comes to inspect his workers quite often their immediate supervisors will remind them to be on their best behavior, look busier than usual, etc. For the TTC the standards are not as high. Simply being minimally conscious is enough. But we shouldn't be pushing them too hard... they might strike again! 
Premier McGuinty has indicated that he is willing to work with Toronto mayor, Rob Ford on declaring the TTC an essential service, and thus taking away employees' right to strike.  Meanwhile, the new city administration is reminding the union thug in chief of his true size. Additionally, a fare hike (seems to be the only thing the TTC can do predictably is to increase fares ) was averted.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical Rob Ford can bring much change. I am quite impressed so far, as he was able to deliver on a few key promises. While his attempts to declare the TTC an essential service are a much needed breath of fresh air for the city, this is not a viable long term solution. The long term solution is first of all to make the TTC an independent entity responsible entirely for its funding (will prevent them from bogging down the rest of the city's budget and forcing them to cut inefficiency), and ultimately, put it in capable private hands. Hey! I am OK with someone making a profit off of me if I am getting a good service in return.


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