This would benefit the TTC as well. And if their union perceives their members are at risk we may see improved security for both employees and passengers.
Station clerks started a new role on Thursday that requires them to walk around and assist the public instead of being closed off in booths.www.nytimes.com
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This move is a legacy of the Byford Era; and the TTC for that very reason, already has the same plans.
Its not popular w/staff.
I don't think its an inherently bad idea; but the TTC's implementation of it may be very problematic.
The current plan is to remove most/all collector booths over time.
The first to go will be St. Andrew this year, being removed in favour of additional fare gates.
This has prompted several questions. Right now, if there's a security incident ongoing in a station, employees are advised to lock themselves in the booth. No booth? What's the new plan? Does every station get a break room?
Second, the collector position has historically been used to address the needs of operators (drivers) who required modified duty due to age/infirmity; but is the new plan to have staff on their feet all day, non-stop? Some staff currently wheel their chair out of the booth to sit on it by the gates, but if there's no booth, presumably there's no chair.
A related issue in terms of security is that collector/CSR staff currently have no security related training, aren't issued vests etc.; and many are women, and work alone, sometimes quite late at night. Does that sound reasonable, when most chain retailers who open late specifically require 2 employees at all times just for safety reasons.
Also, asked, "How will the operators contact 'control' when they lose their phone from the booth; are they all being issued cell phones?
Lots of questions, too few answers.
My instinct is that the current booths are unattractive, make talking to staff difficult and don't give off a 'customer service' vibe. But I would re-imagine them. Remove the roof/ceiling, lower the glass (but keep it as a mid-height barrier) change out the stainless steel for something warmer or trim it with something warmer; de-clutter all the blasted signs off of the thing and put in a digital sign board off to the side if needed. This would still allow employees to sit, and to be semi-protected late at night or problematic circumstances.
I would encourage staff to leave the booth during daytime/early evening hours, and empower them to fix minor things themselves and/or get an on-shift janitor as required. I would hire someone with a good reputation in retail customer service to improve staff training in this regard.
In my model and/or the booth-less one, you have the issue of climate control. The booths have heating and some also have a/c. Of course riders manage w/o this, but 10-20M exposure to a very cold/warm environment is entirely different from an 8+ hour shift.
Which will return us to the question of appropriate climate-control measures in stations over time.