TTC CEO Andy Byford was hired by former chief Gary Webster to modernize management practices and provide focus to an organization that had lost its way. Thanks to Webster’s ousting at the hands of the subway-loving, LRT-hating Mayor Ford, Byford unexpectedly found himself top dog. After a year in Toronto, Byford released his five year corporate plan on May 29, 2013.
Those of use who follow the TTC closely have heard a lot about this plan as a centrepiece for the future of our transit system. Byford’s talks at meetings around the city, most recently a Town Hall presented by Councillor Josh Matlow on the eve of the plan’s release, raised expectations for a major document, a fundamental shift in how the TTC would operate. If this were a summer movie release, Byford’s appearances would be the equivalent of ever more tantalizing trailers and “sneak peeks” at what would come.
The plan’s release was something of an anti-climax — a press release via web and email, no additional information, no political feedback to indicate support. The TTC board discussed the plan in its private session at their May 24 meeting, but made no public comment. Internally, the plan was launched at staff meetings that will continue over coming weeks to reach throughout the 12,000-strong company.
Media attention is, to be generous, muted with the story completely submerged under the Ford follies at City Hall and the Metrolinx Investment Strategy.