Apologizing for “the missteps of the last couple of months,” the TTC’s top brass has announced a series of customer service improvements they promise will finally make transit the better way in Toronto.

“We owe our riders an apology for customer service that does not live up to their expectations,” said TTC chair Adam Giambrone, who is expected to announce his bid to be mayor in the next few days.

The mea culpa, along with promises of better communication and courtesy — including screening new hires for “customer service aptitude” and evaluating all 12,000 employees on their performance in that area — capped a disastrous two months for the TTC.

The last straw came last week, when photos of a sleeping fare collector hit the Internet and promptly went viral. That embarrassment followed a significant fare increase, a subway shutdown that stranded thousands at rush hour and token shortages that had commuters spending the run-up to the holidays in subway station queues.

Calling the past couple of months “a wake-up call,” Giambrone said he expects “TTC staff will act quickly to restore the customers’ confidence.”

“We have to set very clear expectations of ourselves around customer service. The most important customer service we can do is changing the attitude across the organization,” the city councillor for Davenport told reporters at city hall yesterday.

Gary Webster, the TTC’s chief general manager, called the recent poor press a “crisis” and “feeding frenzy.” But he acknowledged that customer service had languished while the TTC was coping with budget issues and service expansions.