New, expanded bus routes to provide ‘reliable’ overnight, weekend service
Mayor John Tory announced changes to 61 TTC bus routes, aimed at moving residents working and studying during off-peak hours
May 24, 2015
By Jennifer Pagliaro
Changes to 61 TTC bus routes aim to give those travelling outside of rush hour more reliable service both downtown and across the suburbs.
Those changes, detailed for the first time on Sunday as part of the $90-million investment already announced and budgeted earlier this year, could start rolling out as early as Sept. 6, said TTC CEO Andy Byford.
The recommendations must first be approved at a TTC board meeting on Wednesday.
“For there to be that true connection, that true sense of one Toronto, we need a reliable transit system so people can get to work on time, get home faster, spend more time with their families,” Mayor John Tory said Sunday, next to a Scarborough bus stop on Kennedy Rd. to announce the improvements.
“This will benefit an increasing number of people who are working in different kinds of shifts, who depend on the TTC for overnight travel - the majority of whom are shift workers and people working non-traditional hours.”
Those changes would largely restore the 2011 service cuts to 41 routes under the Rob Ford administration - something Tory promised to rectify in his state of the city address back in November.
The large majority of those routes, 43 in all from Etobicoke to Scarborough, would see increased all-day, every-day service. Five routes would also see expanded service that never existed before.
The improvements also include seven new overnight Blue Night routes in Scarborough, North York, downtown and Etobicoke while extending or changing 11 others - what Tory said was recognition of the changing work lives of many Torontonians.
The TTC says the expansion would put 99 per cent of Toronto residents within a 15 minute walk of overnight bus or streetcar service.
TTC Chair Councillor Josh Colle called it part of a “historic” investment that is not months or years off, but “coming now.”
The recommendations follow those earlier put forward by the TTC in August - though it would cost less to operate the newly tabled changes at almost $8 million annually. The TTC’s original routing put forward last summer would have cost $9.5 million.
What’s changed is the threshold applied by the TTC, Byford said, at nine boardings per hour.
“It’s very similar to what was originally proposed,” he said. “For those services that just didn’t warrant it - and there aren’t very many of them - those have not got the additional service.”
Tory added the next step is to make improvements to rush-hour service, something that has to wait until 50 newly ordered buses arrive later this year.
“We’ll be in a position to then move to fill in some of these other holes,” Tory said.
TTC board member Alan Heisey said he was thrilled about the recommendations.
“I’d be shocked if there’s any resistance at all,” he said about this weeks vote.
Byford said a specific schedule for the rollout, to begin this fall if approved, is still being worked out. If all goes to plan, it will cost $2.5 million to run the expanded services from September until the end of the year.
Expanded all-day every-day service routes:
5 Avenue Rd.
28 Bayview South (new)
32D Eglinton West
33 Forest Hill
59 Maple Leaf
61 Avenue Rd. North
73B Royal York
74 Mt. Pleasant
98 Willowdale Senlac
100 Flemingdon Park (new)
101 Downsview Park
103 Mt. Pleasant North
105 Dufferin North
115 Silver Hills
172 Cherry Street
Expanded service routes:
39B Finch East; 42A Cummer; 43B Kennedy; 76B Royal York South; 79B Scarlett Rd.; 112C West Mall; 167 Pharmacy North.
New and expanded overnight (Blue Night) routes:
300 Bloor-Danforth extended from Warden Ave. to Kennedy Station
325 Don Mills changed to serve both Pape and Carlaw avenues instead of Broadview Ave.
329 Dufferin extended north from Wilson Ave. to Steeles Ave.
334 Eglinton East changed to run from Eglinton Station to Finch Ave. via Neilson Rd.
315 Evans-Brown’s Line is a new route from Royal York Station to Long Branch via Royal York Rd., Evans, Sherway and Browns Line
335 Jane extended north to York University and south to Jane Station
341 Keele is a new route from Keele Station to York University and Steeles Ave.
343 Kennedy is a new route from Kennedy Station to Steeles Ave.
304 King is a new route from Dundas West Station to Broadview Station
302 Kingston Rd.-McCowan changed to run from Kingston Rd. to Steeles Ave. via Kingston Rd.
354 Lawrence East changed to run from Eglinton Station to Starspray
352 Lawrence West extended to Pearson Airport and Sunnybrook Hospital
365 Parliament is a new route from Castle Frank Station to the Esplanade
312 St. Clair-Junction changed to run to Dundas West Station via Dundas
384 Sheppard West is a new route from Sheppard-Yonge Station to Weston Rd.
317 Spadina is a new route from Spadina Station to Union Station
353 Steeles extended from Yonge St. to York University and from Markham Rd. to Staines Rd. and Finch Ave.
395 York Mills changed to run from York Mills Station to Meadowvale Rd.