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More frequent "off-peak" service,
shorter wait times for 33 TTC routes

Mayor John Tory and the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, Councillor Josh Colle, showed up at the bus terminal in Finch Station yesterday, Monday, July 27 to announce that the TTC would improve service “on 33 of the city’s busiest bus and streetcar routes” starting in September.

This results, Tory and Colle said, in “more frequent, less crowded and more comfortable service” along the routes during ‘off-peak’ hours”, meaning at all times of the week, except during rush hours.

But, wait… didn’t Tory and Colle already announce they were improving off-peak service to 61 routes? This announcement actually bolsters off-peak service even more and largely re-establishes services that the TTC cut in February 2012 to meet City of Toronto targets for all City agencies to reduce their budgets.

Yesterday’s event to announce these changes was latest in a series by the mayor and chair about how the TTC would improve service this fall, including:

All these improvements stem from City Council investing more than $95 million in transit services, when it approved the 2015 budget. TTC staff had proposed many of these improvements in August 2014.

According to the mayor and TTC chair, by improving these 26 bus and seven streetcar routes across the city, the TTC can provide better “service quality, resulting in shorter wait times, less crowding and a better chance for customers to get a seat.”

Passengers enjoy 55 million trips on transit vehicles serving these 33 routes each year. Staff expect these improvements to attract another 1.8 million new customer-trips each year. They’ll present a report outlining the improvements, “Improvements to Off-Peak Services - More Frequent and Less-Crowded” to the Toronto Transit Commission at its meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29. The board will likely approve the report’s recommendations.

In 2012, the TTC responded to the City’s demand for service cuts by revising its crowding standards. These standards help staff determine acceptable levels for the numbers of passengers that each transit vehicle can carry. They also help staff figure out when they need to schedule more or fewer vehicles to meet the needs of passengers using services along each route.

As a result of the 2012 budget cuts, the TTC established two categories of vehicle crowding standards for off-peak service, depending on the frequency of the route:

  • routes which operate less than once every ten minutes at off-peak times have a crowding standard that all passengers will get a seat.
  • routes which operate more frequently than once every ten minutes at off-peak times have a crowding standard that not all passengers on board will get a seat.

Staff are now recommending that the new off-peak crowding standards will be the same for all routes - including ones with frequent service - so that all passengers riding buses and streetcars along these 33 routes can expect to find a seat on all transit vehicles during off-peak hours.

In September, the TTC is implementing these better crowding standards, improving off-peak service along these routes

  • 7 Bathurst
  • 22 Coxwell
  • 24 Victoria Park
  • 25 Don Mills
  • 34 Eglinton East
  • 35 Jane
  • 36 Finch West
  • 38 Highland Creek
  • 39 Finch East
  • 42 Cummer
  • 44 Kipling South
  • 52 Lawrence West
  • 53 Steeles East
  • 54 Lawrence East
  • 60 Steeles West
  • 63 Ossington
  • 84 Sheppard West
  • 89 Weston
  • 95 York Mills
  • 100 Flemingdon Park
  • 106 York University
  • 133 Neilson
  • 191 Highway 27 Rocket
  • 192 Airport Rocket
  • 198 U of T Scarborough Rocket
  • 199 Finch Rocket
  • 501 Queen
  • 504 King
  • 505 Dundas
  • 506 Carlton
  • 509 Harbourfront
  • 511 Bathurst
  • 512 St Clair
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