TTC names Customer Liaison Panel

The Toronto Transit Commission today announced the makeup of its first Customer Liaison Panel (CLP). Eleven TTC customers were selected from more than 250 applications. The panel members will sit on the CLP for two years, and be chaired by the Chair of the TTC. The terms of reference for the CLP are below.

The formation of a customer advisory group was one of 78 recommendations of the Customer Service Advisory Panel in its August 2010 report, chaired by Steve O’Brien, General Manager of One King West Hotel and Residence. Mr. O’Brien has agreed to sit on the CLP has an advisor. The TTC’s Chief Customer Service Officer, Chris Upfold, and TTC CEO Andy Byford will also sit on the CLP, in addition to Mazin Aribi from the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit. Its first public meeting will be scheduled in the coming weeks. Members have been invited to attend the TTC’s next town hall on March 29 at York University and the next Commission meeting on March 30.


Media contact: Chris Upfold, Chief Customer Service Officer, 416-981-1826

Panel Members

Peter Ashton
Peter is a graduate student at York University, a university of 51,000 students and a key destination for TTC customers.  The Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension, due to open in 2015, will dramatically transform transit to York University.  Peter’s background makes him passionate about using evidence based and responsive processes to help improve the TTC experience.

Eric Augustin
Eric is a daily commuter from Scarborough to Toronto’s financial district.  His work in both information analysis and sales and customer support will bring valuable technical and analytical skills to the Panel.  His time as a summer student at the TTC (2000/2001) means that Eric has experienced the TTC both as a customer and as an employee. 

Luis Calhau
Luis is the Senior Manager, Customer Experience for a transportation company where he is responsible for on all onboard activities to ensure customer service is consistently delivered to the highest standard.  His background in operations at a variety of Toronto hotels, and his experiences as a LEAN Six Sigma Coach, make him an ideal candidate to reflect the voice of the customer within the TTC.

Justin Kozuch
Justin is a passionate advocate for public transit with strong skills in digital marketing and social media.  He is passionate about customers and is well regarded and active member in Toronto’s technology community.   He is interested in helping the TTC use technology and social media to improve its community outreach.

Niru Kumar
A resident of Toronto and graduate of McGill University, Niru is a lawyer and mother of two. Niru brings her critical thinking skills and professional drive together with the profound understanding of the important role that the TTC plays in the lives of Toronto.

Eric Martin
Eric has a passion for customers and has worked a variety of jobs that involved the delivery of front line customer service.  He has a passion for social engagement and the desire and drive to work with the TTC on improving customer service now and in the future.

Wayne McEachern
In 2010 Wayne retired from the City of Vaughan Policy Planning and Urban Design Department where he was the manager.  Close to 40 years experience in transportation planning and land use policy makes Wayne a valuable technical addition to the Customer Panel.  Wayne is a life long resident of the city of Toronto and his transit pedigree is impeccable with his grandfather a former long time TTC employee.

Kathleen McGinnis
Kathleen is a market relations consultant with the Independent Electricity System Operator.  She and her family rely on public transit on a daily basis from getting to work, running errands to leisure activities and enjoyment. As a former journalist and public affairs consultant, Kathleen's experience in communications and stakeholder relations and her busy working mom's perspective, make her a valuable member of the Panel.

Howard Muchnick
Howard is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.  In addition to his extensive experience in the theory and practice of customer service excellence, he was formerly the President of the CN Tower and the General Manager of Casa Loma.  Howard’s further insights as a small business owner who owned and operated 14 bakery cafes across Southern Ontario will be an additional benefit to the TTC.

Adrian Ryans
Originally an Engineer Adrian has spent his career as a professor of strategy at leading business schools in the United States (Stanford), Canada (Ivey) and Switzerland (IMD).  Adrian offers both impeccable academic credentials and wide ranging experience as a customer on a wide variety of international transit systems.  Adrian’s passion to help improve the TTC and his personal background make him an important part of bring the voice of the customer closer to the TTC’s decision points.

Linda Wild
Linda’s speciality is in customer segmentation and positioning of products to ensure they meet the customer’s requirements.  She considers herself the customers advocate in all she does.  Linda has served on community service boards in the past and has the skills and passion to make a valuable contribution to the Panel.

Customer Liaison Panel - Terms of Reference
The Customer Liaison Panel shall be established as an advisory panel of the Toronto Transit Commission to provide a mechanism for ongoing customer participation in transit in the city of Toronto.

1. Panel Role
1.1  Assist in developing and delivering the TTC’s strategic aims on customer service.
1.2  Assist in understanding customer priorities.
1.3  Promote dialogue between customers and the TTC.
2.  Membership
2.1 Membership shall be open to interested residents of the city of Toronto who use Commission services (occasional, frequent, or regular customers).
2.2 The CLP shall be composed of no less than 6 and no more than 12 members exclusive of the TTC members identified in 2.4
2.3 The number of members will be determined by the number and quality of applications received
2.4 The TTC members of the CLP are as follows:
a. The Chair of the TTC and one additional Commissioner, or their designates
b. The Chief General Manager and Chief Customer Service Officer of the TTC, or their designates.
c.  A member from the TTC’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation
d. For the first two year term, the Chair of the TTC’s Customer Service Advisory Panel.
2.5 Members shall be appointed for a two year term, with half of the panel members retired and replaced each year.
2.6  Panel members to retire after the first year term will be chosen at random.  These members are eligible to reapply immediately and this first term will not count with respect to item 2.7
2.7 Members may serve only two terms in sequence but are not restricted from applying after a two year absence or to fill a vacancy between terms.
2.8 A vacancy may be declared at such time that:
a. A member submits a letter of resignation or is otherwise unable to complete his/her term, and/or
b. A member has been removed for missing more than two meetings within a year without providing reasonable cause acceptable to TTC staff. Reasonable cause will include but not be limited to; illness or injury for which regards are extended, specialist appointments that cannot be rescheduled, deaths in the family.
If the member wishes to appeal their removal, a meeting will be arranged between the member and the TTC Chair, CGM and CCSO (or their designates) prior to the next general meeting. A decision will be made to;
• Reinstate the member. Any subsequent missed meetings without reasonable cause will result in the permanent removal of the member.
• Uphold the decision to remove the member.
c. A member is found to be in violation with the terms of reference and/or protocols of the CLP
d. A member is removed by unanimous decision of the TTC Commissioners members and CGM and CCSO.
e. Any such vacancies shall be filled as soon as possible. The new member shall serve for the balance of the term of the member replaced.

3. Selection Process
3.1 The membership selection process shall be undertaken with a membership solicitation through the TTC’s website and/or advertisements placed by the TTC.
For appointments to the CLP, applications shall be reviewed and be evaluated by a three member selection panel composed of TTC representatives or their designates who shall make the final decisions on all appointments.
3.2  Appointment to CLP requires the following:
1. A resume
2. A written submission of no more than 250 words on why they want to sit on the CLP and what insight they will bring to the TTC regarding customers and assisting in the development of a customer-centric organization.
a. On confirmation of appointment to the CLP, the member agrees to the following:
i. adhere to the policies and regulations of the Toronto Transit Commission
ii. adhere to the Terms of Reference and meeting procedures of the CLP
iii. acknowledge and commitment of time requirements to be a member of CLP
iv. participate in an orientation/training session.
4. Quorum and Voting
4.1 Voting

For the most part it is not expected that formal votes will be required.  Should the chair, however, move for vote, it will be decided by the following parameters.
a.  50 per cent of the eligible panel members, plus one, constitutes a quorum for the meetings.
b.   Each member is entitled to one vote on issues identified for a vote by the Commission Chair or their designate.
4.2 Meetings
a. General panel meetings will be held bimonthly or at the call of the Chair.

5. Commission Staffing
5.1 Commission staff shall act as a liaison and resource to the CLP, as mutually agreed upon by the panel and staff to ensure expedient responses to recommendations and areas of concern.
5.2 Clerical support shall be assigned for the purpose of recording and distributing minutes, meeting notices, correspondence, etc.
6. Amendments
Recommendations for amending the Terms of Reference may be made by submission in writing to the Chair by any member of the CLP.  Only recommendations approved by a majority vote of the CLP shall be considered by the Chief Customer Service Officer for adoption.

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