TTC announces 10-minute-or-better service network
TTC Chair Josh Colle announces 47 route improvements across the cityBoost to off-peak bus and streetcar service means riders can turn up any time and expect only a brief wait.
June 15, 2015
By Tess Kalinowski
The TTC is boosting service on 47 bus and streetcar routes around the entire city to 10-minute-or-better frequencies - up from 20 minutes in many cases.
"It gives customers the surety they don't have to plan. It really is a turn-up-and-go service," TTC deputy CEO Chris Upfold said at Bathurst station on Monday.
"This creates a good grid of high frequency service across the network," he said.
The TTC's four subway routes are also considered a key part of that frequent service grid.
While the new off-peak frequencies are already evident on some routes, particularly streetcars, and most will be in place by the end of the year, a few won't be complete until 2016.
Most of the routes already offer 10-minute service or better during the rush hours, but much of the TTC's growth is happening in the off-peak, according to transit officials.
The frequency enhancements were part of a package of service improvements announced earlier this year as part of a $95-million boost to the TTC, including free rides for children 12 and younger, and more express bus routes.
The improvements came with a 10-cent increase in the price of tokens. Cash fares weren't increased.
The enhanced frequency will cost about $11 million annually, which the TTC expects will be offset by $4 million in new fare revenue.
Councillor Josh Colle , who chairs the TTC board, stressed that the improved frequencies are an immediate win for "our loyal and patient riders," who spend a lot of time listening to transit plans far into the future.
The higher frequencies will reduce crowding on key routes from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. six days a week (9 a.m. Sundays).
That "means TTC riders will have shorter waits at transit stops. It will provide a more comfortable, convenient, but most importantly, reliable service for our users. It also makes it a more attractive option for people to maybe opt out of their cars," said Colle.
The 10-minute grid is an enhancement to the TTC's service rather than a restoration of surface service cuts in 2012, he stressed.
The TTC is projecting 545 million rides this year, up from 534 million last year, when it fell short of its original expectation of 540 million rides.
But ridership continues to grow, stressed TTC officials. The transit agency is still tracking to provide 20 million more rides this year than it did in 2013.
"Offering a frequent service network is a best practice found in other transit agencies such as Montreal, Boston and Portland," says a report going to the TTC board next Monday.
The TTC runs 160 routes altogether and is in a major hiring push to employ new drivers to provide the more frequent service.
TOP 10 BUSY ROUTES TO GET 10-MINUTE PLEDGE
504 King streetcar: 64,600 riders (a day)
32 Eglinton West bus: 48,700 riders
35 Jane bus: 45,700 riders
36 Finch West: 44,000 riders
52 Lawrence West bus: 43,900 riders
510 Spadina streetcar: 43,800 riders
501 Queen streetcar: 43,500 riders
29 Dufferin bus: 39,700 riders
506 Carlton streetcar: 39,600 riders
25 Don Mills bus: 39,100 riders