Staff Report #2
May 31, 2023
To All Commissioners
Re: Commission Business Plan Update
That the Commission:
- APPROVE extending the term of the 2019-2022 Business Plan to cover the period 2019-2023; and
- DIRECT administration to begin work on the 2024-2027 Business Planning process
The London Transit Commission (LTC) Business Plan sets the direction respecting the development of LTC as an organization and the services it delivers. The Business Plan process, as depicted below serves as the basis for accountability and transparency.
London Transit Business Planning Process
Since first developed in the mid-1990’s, the Business Plan (Plan) and related planning process have provided the crucial direction in the rebuilding of London Transit as an organization and a transportation service. The Plan, which is updated every four years, serves:
- as a reflection of today, and as a starting point for the future;
- to focus resources on prioritized challenges and expectations;
- as a communication tool, supporting the development of informed relationships; and
- to promote accountability, transparency and continuous improvement
London Transit’s Business Plan is largely viewed as an internal document. The Plan and related planning process are directional in nature, focusing resources on a shared vision and outcomes. The Plan serves as a critical communication tool supporting informed relationships, accountability and transparency.
The Plan is reviewed and updated every four years, reflecting the term of the Commission and links other critical corporate strategic plans including:
- Technology Plan
- Financial Plan
- Asset Management Plan
- Ridership Growth Plan
- Five Year Service Plans (Conventional and Specialized)
London Transit Business Plans have traditionally spanned the same term of the Commission, with the outgoing Commission providing input into a draft plan that is subsequently approved by the incoming Commission. While this approach has worked well, the transition to multi-year budgeting, with the 4-year budget period being offset by one year from the term of the Commission, has resulted in the need for adjustments to programs and metrics in the final year of the Plan given budget realities.
Additionally, the Strategic Planning exercise of the City of London is undertaken by Municipal Council at the beginning of their term, and not finalized until early in the second quarter of the year. In order to ensure the London Transit Business Plan aligns with the City’s Strategic Plan, and the related priorities of Municipal Council, the LTC process is delayed.
The report recommendation calls for Commission approval to alter the period of the Business Plan to begin one year after the new Municipal Council and Commission are in place, which will directly align with the multi-year budget period, and ensure that the initiatives set out in the adopted City of London Strategic Plan are incorporated into the LTC Business Plan where applicable. The Strategic Plan adopted by Municipal Council has, for the first time, a strategic area of focus specifically dedicated to mobility and transportation with improvements in London’s public transit services being identified as strategies to achieve five of the seven expected results in this area. With this increased focus on mobility and transportation in the City’s Strategic Plan, the need to ensure the LTC Business Plan is directly aligned and responsive to these expected results and strategies has never been more critical.
The organizational impacts from the global pandemic resulted in the need to place many of the initiatives included in the 2019-2022 Business Plan on hold and focus instead on responding to the new and unforeseen challenges of operating public transit services during a pandemic. In addition, the progress on a number of other initiatives was slowed given global supply chain issues. Many of these outstanding initiatives have started or resumed at a greater pace in late 2022/2023 as labour market and global supply chain issues have improved. From a service improvement perspective, there is no service growth included in the 2023 budget as the focus is on implementing the service improvements that were planned, but not implemented in 2021 and 2022 as the result on the ongoing pandemic. The status of these initiatives and approach with respect to service improvements for 2023 provides an ideal opportunity to extend the current Business Plan by one year which will allow for the transition to the new timeframe going forward with no negative impact on initiatives included in the 2019-2022 Business Plan.
The Vision and Mission statements guiding in the 2019-2022 remain relevant as do the Guiding Principles and Strategic Objectives, all of which are set out below.
2019-2022 Business Plan Excerpts
The valued and trusted mobility choice for Londoners
Moving Londoners – progressively, reliably and affordably
Fiscal Accountability – ensuring efficient and effective use of investment – supporting sustainable growth while promoting positive social, economic and environmental benefits
Valued and Respected Community Partner – being a valued and trusted partner, working collaboratively on shared vision, effort and success
Open and Transparent – participating in open and honest communication with all stakeholders in a clear and timely manner
Engaged and Diverse Workplace – attracting, developing, supporting and retaining exceptional individuals resulting in a dynamic and diverse workplace
Innovative – fostering a culture of continuous improvement, including the effective use of resources and technology
Customer Focused – striving every day to improve the customer experience
Reliable Infrastructure – acquiring and effectively maintaining environmentally friendly infrastructure in support of the consistent delivery of a quality service
An Integrated, affordable and valued mobility choice
Engaged, diverse and respectful workplace
Demonstrated fiscal accountability
Being open, transparent and understood
Effective utilization of infrastructure
Should the Commission approve the report recommendation to extend the current Business Plan by one year, the first step in the creation of the 2024-2027 Business Plan will be the creation and approval of the multi-year budget. Further discussion with respect to this process and direction from the Commission is set out in Staff Report #3, dated May 31, 2023.
While the City’s Strategic Plan and supporting strategic areas of focus were based in part on feedback from the public at large through public engagement as well as discussions held with the public and members of Municipal Council while campaigning during the recent election, it is also important to ensure that input from London Transit riders and employees is considered in the development of the LTC Business Plan. The planned re-introduction of the Voice of the Customer surveys in 2023 will provide for the insight and perspectives of transit riders to be included as input into the process. Additionally, surveys will be conducted with LTC employees to provide them with the opportunity to share their perspectives.
As has been discussed in previous reports to the Commission, the global pandemic has altered transit ridership patterns, and as such, an in-depth analysis of current patterns and projected trends needs to be undertaken in order to advise the next 5 year service plan. Administration will be issuing a request for proposal for the completion of a 5 year service plan for conventional and specialized services covering the period of 2025 through 2029 in the coming months, with the process anticipated to begin later this year. The 5 year service plan would be finalized in mid-2024 in order to allow for recommendations relating to 2025 service improvements to be incorporated into the annual service planning process.
The draft 2024-2027 Business Plan will be tabled with the Commission in the fourth quarter of 2023 for additional feedback with the final plan being confirmed in early 2024 once the multi-year budget has been confirmed and any related adjustments to the plan have been incorporated.
Mike Gregor, Director of Finance
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Craig Morneau, Director of Fleet & Facilities
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager