TTC increases service across Toronto starting September

31 August 2023 / by Met Radio

Following the decision to decommission line three early, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will be increasing service as more riders return to the TTC.

Mayor Olivia Chow and TTC CEO Rick Leary announced at Scarborough Town Centre station that starting Sept. 3, the TTC service would return to 93 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The service change comes in two days before school starts up again for many in order to accommodate the increase of students using the service. Increasing service on the TTC means that they are aiming to decrease wait times for certain buses and streetcars as well as increasing the reliability of certain routes. This will be applied to both regular and express routes.

“People rely on TTC and they deserve to have reliable, fast public transit system that works for them,” says Chow. “We have a plan that would have services increase right across the city, especially here in Scarborough. It means that students heading back to elementary and secondary school, they are going to get more frequent bus services. Then those that are going to university and colleges for those post secondary education students nine extra bus routes that would serve Centennial College, Scarborough campus and downtown [University of Toronto], [Toronto Metropolitan University] and Humber [College].”

There are 28 bus and streetcar routes that will be affected by the service increases on both sides of the city. These include the 506, 511, 927, 96 and the 67.

The TTC has been facing a $125 million shortfall with a projected $366 million for the year due to the pandemic. Chow says they have gotten the money to fund the service increase from the Eglinton RT project.

“More TTC service means more room on board, shorter wait times, and better reliability for all transit users,” says Chow. “By reinvesting some of the $60 million originally budgeted to operate Line 5, there will be 280,000 weekly customer trips with scheduled service improvements by November, with service almost back to pre-pandemic levels. Most of this investment will be in the bus network, where we know demand is greatest.”

The second half of restoring the TTC to pre-pandemic levels also includes school field trips. The TTC plans on restoring 126 school field trips for primary and secondary schools in Toronto.

With all of these changes coming to the TTC they say they are aiming to have most of the bus service returned to pre-pandemic levels. The TTC says that by November bus routes will be at 99 per cent of what once was and the total service to 95 per cent.

“Safe, reliable and frequent transit is vitally important to the success of a vibrant city. It’s considered every decision that we make, and every discussion that we have,” says Leary.

Listen below for the audio story: