TTC management contradicts TTC staff

TTC staff know perfectly well there’s a problem with signage. If nothing else, they know that because I’ve proven it. They admitted the problem to my face in a meeting on 2007.04.03. Present were Susan Reed Tanaka, manager of engineering; Alice Smith and Carla Basso from marketing; and Brian O’Neill, also from engineering. We talked for well over an hour about signage. I ran through another presentation on the topic. Alice Smith agreed to receive a proposal on the topic, though she complained it would have to go through the purchasing department. (As the cost is below the signing limit, it doesn’t have to.)

The riding public knows there’s a problem. So does every commentator online. So do attendees at TransitCamp. So do the reporters covering the TTC for the mainstream media. So does a former TTC manager who oversaw the development of the failed Sheppard-style signs. So do supervisors in the field whom I’ve asked.

That means everybody’s onside, right?

Gary Webster, member, Flat Earth Society

At the TTC meeting on 2007.06.13, after specific questioning from TTC commissioner Bill Saundercook, acting general manager Gary Webster stated that the current sign “standard” is solid and perfectly all right. TTC has confidence in it, he said.

So: We now have a classic example of the head of an organization contradicting his staff, the commissioners who hold control over his organization, all his knowledgeable riders, every transit fan, and everyone else in the city. Gary Webster has stated, in a public forum and with a straight face, that current TTC signage forms are perfectly all right.

He’s the only one in the city who believes that, but he wasn’t venturing his own opinion. He stated that the entire TTC is confident in the sign design, a fact I know to be false from direct statements made by senior staff.

It gets worse: In late June 2007, Gary Webster ceased being “acting” general manager and got the job full-time. We now face the prospect of the head of the TTC spending the rest of his tenure contradicting his own staff, his riders, and everyone else about the quality of signage on the TTC. The only good news is that TTC staff take orders from the elected Commission, whom you may contact to call for action.