Not all systems in the Greater Toronto Area are onboard yet. It is a migration path started a short time ago and they are all moving toward integration. “It allows someone to go from the York region to Brampton and down to Toronto on the commuter rail and we allow transfer timeframes, things that never occurred before,” Leary says. “It’s really putting seamless travel throughout the GTA.
“We are all independent when it comes to determining our fare structure and yet we all now have one shared media that permits the customers to go from one fare structure to another. “It’s about working together and collaborating to ensure it’s suitable for everyone and right now, I think if you ask anyone in the GTA, they’re relatively pleased with it.”
Reliability and Partners
Leary says with a farebox recovery rate of about 40 percent, the customers are willing to pay for the quality of service they’re given. “Quality is all about reliability.
“We spend a lot of time at public meetings and doing outreach for customers to find out what their needs are and to ensure that we provide transit that they’re asking for.”
On-time performance right now for start time is in the 93/94 range with a goal of 95, he says. When it comes to reliability, if you’re on the bus, you have the ability to go around any unexpected circumstance, he says. “If there’s an accident or flood or medical emergency or breakdown or adverse weather conditions — there are so many of them — you have the ability [to go around them if] you properly monitor the system from the control center.
“You can prepare for and establish policies for deviations in service and again, the customer is expecting it because they hear on the news there’s been an accident … but they know they can depend on us to get them around and still get there. It may cost a little more time, but it’s doable.”
It’s the technology that helps them maintain reliability. “A lot of technology, like Init, Trapeze, the chief part is knowing how to use the software to your betterment: taking it and making your organization better because of it,” Leary states. “It allows you to do things that were very labor intensive previously.
“Information’s about what happened a minute ago, not two days ago.”