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A Goodbye Note from Gary Webster

...and a hello from interim manager Andy Byford.

Yesterday, amidst great controversy, the Toronto Transit Commission decided to fire Gary Webster, effective immediately and with no just cause. Today, Webster said goodbye to the transit service where he spent his career, with the following note:

NOTICE TO ALL TTC EMPLOYEES
Keep up the good work—and thank you

As many of you will now know, the Commission has decided to replace me as the TTC’s Chief General Manager.

I am proud to have been part of the TTC for almost 37 years, most recently as its CGM. Each day you and your colleagues provide excellent, safe and courteous service to our 1.6 million daily customers. People are passionate about public transit in Toronto; that healthy passion will continue as the TTC improves and expands. Toronto is blessed with an excellent transit system and I thank you for your hard work.

There are times when situations arise that are outside of our control. But the one thing we always have control over is how we respond to those situations. I ask that you respond to all of this by doing what you all do so well – by continuing your professionalism and delivering the safe, courteous service that our customers expect and deserve.

The Commission has asked Andy Byford to continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer, which includes the role of deputy CGM, while a search for a permanent Chief General Manager is undertaken. Please show Andy the same support you have shown me as he continues his excellent work around strengthening the TTC.

Thank you again for all of your support and the kind words so many of you have shared with me.

Gary Webster

UPDATE, 1:47 PM: A few minutes ago Webster’s interim replacement, Chief Operating Officer Andy Byford, sent out a note of his own…

NOTICE TO ALL TTC EMPLOYEES

Dear TTC Colleagues,

As you are aware, the Commission voted to terminate the services of Gary Webster yesterday with immediate effect. I would like to place on record my respect for Gary’s outstanding 37 year career at the TTC and my gratitude to him for giving me the opportunity to join this great company.

I have been asked to cover the responsibilities of Chief General Manager until further notice, while a search is undertaken to appoint a permanent CGM. As I said publicly yesterday, my immediate focus is on the delivery of the day to day service to the 1.6 million riders that depend on the TTC every day. As such, our priorities remain focused on safety, performance and customer service.

In my time at the TTC so far, I have spent a lot of time on the system, meeting staff and understanding the challenges that you face. I continue to be incredibly impressed by the professionalism, dedication and passion of TTC staff at all levels and to me, you are our greatest asset.

I really believe that the future is bright for the TTC with new streetcars and trains, ticketing systems and subway extensions coming on stream. If we continue to drive up performance and staff morale, customer satisfaction and our reputation will improve and we will get the TTC back to where it belongs as a leader in world transit systems.

I am honoured to be asked to lead the TTC if only temporarily and I look forward to working with everyone as one team to take the TTC forward.

Best wishes,

Andy Byford
COO/Deputy Chief General Manager

Comments

  • Kate

    What a class act.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513128009 Gordon Yarley

    Very well said. He will be missed.

  • Hollow Island

    Remove Councillors Minnan-Wong, Di Giorgio, Kelly, Palacio, and Crisanti from the TTC board.

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ttcboard/

  • Anonymous

    A bland and generic statement… can’t wait for the ‘tell all’ book on Dumb, Dumber and the other Council nothing-burgers.

  • NC

    The new TTC chair to focus on “business as usual” strategy. So … um … why’d we fire the last guy?

    • NC

      Interim leader … I just don’t like this. Hahahaha!

  • Bo Ngan

    The transpired event is another example of our loss under this inept mayor and those counsillors who sided with him. these should be cleaned of their offices in the next election. keep watch on them and we will gather enough for a negative campaign add to wisk them out of office and get our Toronto back (if Ford has not destroyed toronto by then).

  • Jim

    $1,000,000 serverance.

  • Mark

    I think Gary should run for Mayor in the next election, just for some sweet irony should he win and topple this exceptionally inept administration. :)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QZCIHEUANCC7HX6DNSVXOXZZQE James

      There is a lot of garbage in city council and it would take a big broom to clear it all out but more than likely many of the same old dead heads will be re-elected so it is wishful thinking. Seems the tossing away of 500,000 for absolutely nothing , when another year and Webster would have retired anyway does not seem to bother most folks.

  • Jeff

    “… what you all do so well – by continuing your professionalism and delivering the safe, courteous service …” He may be a nice guy, but this line shows he is out of touch with what happens on the TTC. The TTC may be good in many ways, but the people who work there can not be described as “courteous”. How many times have bus drivers stayed on the bus when it rains and had their smoke break on the bus, then pulled up to the stop and have you go into a smoke filled bus? How many times does the subway driver pump on the breaks in what seems like a concerted attempt to knock over the people standing? If you didn’t answer often enough to bug you, you haven’t been riding the TTC very long. Ford may be an idiot, but that doesn’t mean the TTC doesn’t need to improve and lifers like Webster sure weren’t improving things.

    • Anonymous

      “How many times have bus drivers stayed on the bus when it rains and had their smoke break on the bus, then pulled up to the stop and have you go into a smoke filled bus?”

      Never.

      “How many times does the subway driver pump on the breaks [sic] in what seems like a concerted attempt to knock over the people standing?”

      I have experienced some hard braking that caused some people to lose their balance (including me), but I never had any reason to suspect it was being done for that purpose.

      The TTC has been chronically underfunded for decades. A lot of the rolling stock (and other infrastructure) is obviously old, worn out and breaks down frequently. The system is badly overcrowded.

      Is that the fault of operators?

      Sure, I’ve seen some TTC employees who could use lessons in customer service. I’ve also seen many, many more passengers who could use lessons in how to behave like civilized human beings. On the whole, I think TTC employees generally are doing a heroic job, under very trying circumstances (in particular bus drivers).

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QZCIHEUANCC7HX6DNSVXOXZZQE James

        In to days Toronto these transit operators are not as safe as they once were when people respected one another and themselves.
        So many attacks on the drivers that was unheard of when I lived in Toronto as a teen.

        Harris dumped the transit cost on Toronto along with the public housing witch are the responsibility of the Provincial Government to fund , not the municipality.
        Ford took a tantrum and gathered his little cronies to boot out Gary Webster for disagreeing with Fords plan for a subway , rather than the L.R.T.
        Meanwhile city council voted to go with the original plan of the L.R.T.
        At the end of the day Mr. Webster is going to get a golden handshake for leaving a year ahead of his contract ending and with 37 years service he retires anyway with a truck load of money.

        For a man who is supposed to respect taxpayers money Ford sure is giving a lot of it away.
        Police paid duty gravy train is still on the rails along with so many overpaid managers all over the city , what a joke this administration is.

        • Anonymous

          And what a sad joke it is, too. When this is over, Rob and Doug will go back to counting paperclips and ordering party supplies, or whatever it is they “do” at Decco, and you and me will be left holding the bag.