Opportunities to Improve Transit Service in Toronto

The TTC Board unanimously approved in principle a transit service improvement report entitled, Opportunities to Improve Transit Service in Toronto. The report outlines nine bus and streetcar service initiatives that can be implemented in the short- to medium-term and would improve the quality, reliability, comfort and convenience of transit service in Toronto. Those initiatives are:

  • Implement all-door boarding and proof-of-payment on all streetcar routes.
  • Reduce wait times and crowding on bus and streetcar routes.
  • Establish a city-wide network of 10-minute-or-better bus and streetcar services.
  • Expand the Express route network with new and improved express bus routes.
  • Implement more transit priority measures.
  • Add resources to improve service reliability and route performance.
  • Operate all routes all day, every day across the city.
  • Change the one-trip-per-fare to a two-hour-travel-privilege-per-fare (time-based transfer).
  • Expand the overnight bus and streetcar network.
    Board Members also approved a motion by TTC Chair Maria Augimeri requesting the TTC CEO to include the proposed service improvements within the TTC’s forthcoming 2015 Operating Budget and 2015-2024 Capital Budget for consideration during the 2015 budget process, and that TTC management report back on the following:
  • A review of the bus fleet and the issues related to life extension of vehicles to provide a pool for service improvements in 2015-2016.
  • A projection of the requirements for bus service to handle both the normal ridership growth and the additional service needed to improve reliability and reduce crowding during peak periods in 2015 and beyond.
  • An estimate of the cost, timing and operational issues related to leasing and operating bus storage areas on an interim basis.
  • An estimate of the earliest date at which new buses could be procured to replace the life-extended fleet and to continue expansion of peak service.
  • A review of needs for maintenance and storage facilities to accommodate growth from Items 1-4 taking into account future reductions in bus requirements due to the opening of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, the Crosstown LRT and other planned rapid transit lines.
  • A review of the streetcar fleet and the issues related to retention of enough vehicles to provide for peak-period improvement of service on routes where new streetcars are not planned to operate until 2016 or later (King, Queen, Carlton and St Clair).

The report will be forwarded to the City of Toronto, Metrolinx, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the regions of York and Durham, and the cities of Mississauga and Brampton.

TTC's next-generation Streetcars

Board Members received a presentation from TTC staff on the introduction of the next-generation streetcars to the 510 Spadina route. On Aug. 31, the first, new accessible streetcar will begin service along Spadina Avenue, providing customers with greater comfort and capacity and a transformational new ride in Toronto.

A total of 204 new vehicles will be rolled out over the next five years:

  • 2014: 510 Spadina.
  • 2015: 511 Bathurst and 509 Harbourfront.
  • 2015-16: 505 Dundas.
  • 2016-17: 501 Queen, 508 Lakeshore and 504 King.
  • 2018-19: 512 St Clair, 502 Downtowner, 503 Kingston Road and 506 Carlton.

Subway closures schedule

The TTC Board received for information a report detailing the reasons for ongoing subway closures and a schedule of planned closures for the remainder of 2014:

  • September 6-7: Bloor to Lawrence; for track, signalling, CCTV work.
  • October 11-13: St George to Union to Bloor; for signalling work.
  • October 18-19: Bloor to Eglinton; for track and signalling work.
  • November 1-2: Bloor to Eglinton; for track and signalling work.
  • November 8-9: Bloor to Eglinton; for signalling work.
  • November 15: Bloor to Eglinton; for track work.
  • November 15: Warden to Kennedy; for track work.
  • December 6-7: Bloor to Union; for signalling work.

Presto update

Board Members received a presentation from TTC staff on the status of Presto on the TTC. The Presto fare-payment system will roll out in two waves. Wave 1 will see Presto payment on the first 50 new streetcars on the Spadina, Bathurst Harbourfront and Dundas routes, and at a total of 26 subway stations, by mid 2015. Wave 2 will see the balance of the streetcar fleet, all TTC and Wheel-Trans buses and the remaining subway stations equipped with Presto devices. Presto payment on the new streetcars will be launched in November 2014. Interim fare-payment equipment will be installed for new streetcars going into service prior to the November launch of Presto.

Underground Freedom Train

On behalf of the TTC Board, Commissioner Josh Colle thanked TTC staff for their efforts to make the second annual Underground Freedom Train ride on Aug. 1, Emancipation Day, a memorable event for the thousands of people that participated in the midnight ride from Union to Downsview stations.

Next Board Meeting: Tuesday, December 9

The next scheduled TTC Board Meeting at City Hall is on Tuesday, December 9.