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September Brings Major Service Improvements



Starting in September, Toronto commuters will have many more reasons to take the TTC, including new service, and new fare options.

Effective September 1st, new monthly Metropasses and weekly passes go on sale. These passes will now be fully transferable, meaning that adult passengers will not have to show photo ID in order to use the passes. You can lend out your pass to a friend or a family member, so long as you complete your trip on the TTC first. Student and senior Metropass users will still have to show ID in order to use their discounted, non-transferable passes.

Also, starting September 4, a number of service improvements come into effect. Over and above the usual service increases to handle additional school crowds, the TTC’s Ridership Growth Program kicks in, adding numerous streetcars and buses to busy routes between the rush-hours, during evenings and on weekends. Frequencies will increase, and crowds on streetcars and buses will decrease. This page on the TTC website has more information.

Finally, starting September 4, new night buses start rolling throughout Toronto, as service begins on new Lawrence East, Lawrence West, Sheppard East and Steeles East services. The 329 Dufferin Night bus will also be extended north of Lawrence Avenue to loop in Wilson station.


York Region Says VIVA!

Effective September 4, VIVA express services will start operation in York Region along Yonge Street and Highway 7. The service boasts high-tech shelters where fares can be purchased and passengers are notified by electronic screen when the next bus is due. Special buses will hold traffic lights and use queue jump lanes to bypass cars to serve the special stops, decreasing travel times north of Toronto. Please note that you must validate your York Region Transit fare at the shelters, before you board the bus, as this is one measure to speed up service.

The system is still a work in progress. York Region Transit and VIVA are looking forward to installing dedicated bus lanes to further separate the buses from traffic. More details can be found at VIVA’s official website.


TTC Looks to Finish Private Right-of-Way on Fleet

The Toronto Star reports that TTC Commissioners will debate tomorrow a $3 million proposal to install private right-of-way on Fleet Street. Although traffic restrictions exist on the street to encourage the flow of 511 Bathurst and 509 Harbourfront streetcars, these streetcars still travel in mixed traffic between Bathurst and Strachan Avenues, reducing the reliability of both services. The TTC argues that Fleet Street is a missing link in a proposed private right-of-way line that will eventually stretch from Union Station to southern Etobicoke via the Queensway.

The TTC was given permission to install private right-of-way in this area, but only under a City of Toronto proposal to combine Lakeshore Boulevard and Fleet Street into a single roadway. As the plan is now dead, the TTC hopes the city will turn over two of Fleet Street’s four lanes to the streetcars when roadwork begins on this stretch in 2006. It is not expected that the proposal would be nearly as controversial as the St. Clair private right-of-way project now underway, but the project will require the permission of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment before it can go forward.

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