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Commission seal 7/8/20 8:34 PM

Accelerating Eglinton East corridor bus priority lanes

Earlier today, I joined Mayor John Tory in Scarborough to highlight ongoing efforts to accelerate priority lanes for TTC buses along the Eglinton East corridor.

Subject to TTC Board and City Council approval, 11 kilometres of dedicated lanes could be quickly installed by this fall along Eglinton Avenue East-Kingston Road-Morningside Avenue, from Kennedy Station to the University of Toronto Scarborough and Centennial College’s Morningside campus at Ellesmere and Military Trail.

Bus priority lanes are an important step in the City of Toronto’s recovery efforts, and for ensuring our surface network remains a fast, safe and attractive option for customers as ridership returns. We’re excited to see people coming back to the TTC, and we want to stay ahead of that ridership curve.

At next week’s Board meeting, Commissioners will be voting on the accelerated Bus Lane Implementation Plan. Last month, Commissioners approved a motion to fast track bus priority transit lanes on five critical suburban corridors. Those corridors – Eglinton East, Jane, Dufferin, Finch East and Steeles West – are in communities that are home to essential frontline workers and where dedicated bus lanes would improve the speed and reliability of our service.

Bus-only lanes along Eglinton East would have an immediate benefit for the 56,000 customers who used this corridor daily before the pandemic, many of whom continue to use the TTC today.

There are 10 bus routes that will benefit from priority lanes, including: 905 Eglinton East Express, 116 Morningside, 86 Scarborough and 986 Scarborough Express.

Extensive public consultation conducted along the corridor for the Eglinton East LRT showed support for the need to improve transit services. Bus lanes would help build ridership for a future LRT alignment.

The TTC is the primary mode of travel for many people in Toronto. We have an important role in the economic restart and recovery from COVID-19. Since the city has started to reopen, we’ve seen ridership increase – primarily in our bus ridership to this point.

For the week ending July 4, the TTC was averaging 555,000 bus boardings every weekday (40 per cent of normal) compared to an average of 330,000 boardings on subways per weekday (22 per cent of normal).

While the subway remains the backbone of the system, our bus fleet has shown during this pandemic, what we’ve always known to be true, that it’s the real workhorse in our city’s public transit network. Of the 525 million riders we carried in 2019, 60 per cent of those took bus trips – the largest total by vehicle mode.

We’re determined on getting priority bus lanes on Eglinton East and keeping our riders in the fast lane.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
July 8, 2020

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