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Masters make TTC a little friendlier

Ed Zahara, 46, is a TTC company man with a bent for the kind of customer contact many riders feel has been lost on Toronto transit in recent years.

Ed Zahara, 46, is a TTC company man with a bent for the kind of customer contact many riders feel has been lost on Toronto transit in recent years.

That’s why he is one of nine new station masters on the south end of the Yonge-University subway line. The uniformed managers will carry radios and be responsible for everything from wayfinding to station maintenance.

They will be available seven days a week in three zones: The King and Queen stations, Union Station, and St. Andrew to Museum. They’ll be on duty 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.

The Toronto Star caught up with Zahara on Monday, the first day of his new job, to ask about his expectations.

Q: What exactly is the station master’s job?

A: My job is accountability. I’m obviously a representative of the TTC — anything and everything that goes on in the stations that I’ve been allocated to, King and Queen — customer concerns, any deficiencies as to the stations themselves, any customer-related incidents — whether it’s a medical or emergency situation, it’s a quicker response.

Q: How will you do your job? Will you just roam the platforms?

A: As supervisors we know what to look for, anything that may potentially be a problem. If it’s a broken tile, there’s a process that we’re going to do — submit the report so we can get these things corrected, so someone doesn’t trip. We can assist customers, tourists, get to know the community a little better.

Q: How have you felt about the public’s attitude to the TTC in the last six months?

A: We’re all human, some people make mistakes and there has to be a corrective measure in place. If it means a station manager is going to be there to account for everyone’s actions, then so be it. I don’t think the public is mean; they’re just addressing issues.

Q. How will you know you’ve done a good job?

I believe people will bring that to my attention. If I have a customer come to me with a concern, I look at that as an opportunity to either address or resolve a deficiency.

 
 
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