Editorial Archive

TTC keeping close eye on ridership, service levels

7/15/16 6:00 AM

Earlier this week (July 11), the TTC Board considered a staff report that analyzed ridership levels on the TTC.

While ridership continues to rise, this increase has been at a slower rate than was forecast when the budget was set last year. This phenomenon is not unique to the TTC; our analysis shows that most Canadian and U.S. transit properties have experienced similar ridership trends.

We believe that there are a number of factors in play. There is a very close correlation between TTC ridership and the city economy. While our city is still in good economic shape, employment and GDP growth have slowed and this has acted as the primary brake on TTC ridership.

It is incumbent on TTC management to carefully match service levels to ridership and to only add new service – and spend your money – where and when it is warranted. Service levels are not going down and we are not removing service from any route. Rather, we are holding off on adding increases in service until ridership demands it.

The good news is that the TTC is able to dynamically adjust service every six weeks to react to changing ridership levels down to individual routes. This means that as ridership grows, we will resume our program of increasing service to match demand.

In parallel, a lot of work continues to improve existing service. This includes the introduction of larger vehicles, the replacement of signalling on Line 1 Yonge-University and the progressive rollout of PRESTO to make using the TTC quicker and more efficient.

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