RapidTO: Priority bus lane implementation

In our 5-Year Service Plan & 10-Year Outlook released in December 2019, TTC outlined a proposal to explore priority bus-only lanes and other service-enhancing measures on five of its busiest corridors.

Our partners at The City of Toronto are hosting consultations on the program starting October 18, 2021. Please visit their page for updates.

In our 5-Year Service Plan & 10-Year Outlook released in December 2019, TTC outlined a proposal to explore priority bus-only lanes and other service-enhancing measures on five of its busiest corridors. The five corridors, which had a combined, pre-COVID ridership of approximately 220,000 passengers per weekday, include:

  • Eglinton Avenue East/Kingston Road/Morningside Avenue from Kennedy Subway Station to the University of Toronto, Scarborough.
  • Jane Street from Eglinton Avenue to Steeles Avenue.
  • Dufferin Street from Dufferin Gate to Wilson Avenue.
  • Steeles Avenue West from Yonge Street to Pioneer Village Subway Station.
  • Finch Avenue East from Yonge Street to McCowan Road.

The TTC has worked with partner divisions at the City to develop a prioritization and implementation plan for the five corridors identified in the 5-Year Service Plan & 10-Year Outlook. At the December 2019 and June 2020 Board meetings, motions were approved to include Lawrence East as a priority corridor. The review of Lawrence East is progressing and will be included in the City’s Surface Transit Network Improvement Study that will be presented to Council in Q4 2020.

The recommended prioritization plan is:

  • Priority A: Eglinton East
    • July to October 2020: evaluation, design, data collection
    • October 2020: Implementation, monitoring and reporting
  • Priority B: Jane Street
  • Priority C: Steeles Avenue West, Finch Avenue East, Dufferin Street and Lawrence East
    • Timing to be determined through the City’s Surface Transit Network Improvement Study

Implementation of bus lanes is about moving people more efficiently on transit by improving reliability, speed and capacity on the busiest surface transit routes in the city. This will ensure that resources are being used more efficiently to provide the same level of service or better.

More information on the RapidTO program including the prioritization of the corridors, ridership data, graphics and maps can be found in the Bus Lane Implementation Plan report or the Eglinton East Corridor - Priority Bus Lanes report.

Priority A: Eglinton Avenue East/Kingston Road/Morningside Avenue from Kennedy Subway Station to the University of Toronto, Scarborough

Eglinton East is the first proposed priority corridor based on ridership and ease of implementation. The Eglinton East bus corridor is among TTC’s most heavily used and, even during COVID-19, continues to play a significant role in moving people around the City.

The 10.9-kilometer Eglinton East corridor runs from Kennedy Station to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. The existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Eglinton Avenue East would be converted to priority bus-only lanes, while curbside general-purpose lanes on Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue would be converted to priority bus-only lanes. The priority bus lanes would be identified using paint and signage, and reserved as bus-only lanes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Note, that at this time, bus lanes will only be implemented from Brimley Road to Ellesmere Road. Construction of the Scarborough Subway Extension by Metrolinx is expected to start in spring 2021, which will require lane closures from Kennedy Station to Brimley Road. Once construction is complete, it is anticipated that bus lanes will be extended west to Kennedy Station. During the Scarborough Subway Extension construction works, traffic impacts will be monitored so that the priority bus lanes could be recommended for implementation earlier, if conditions allow.

Additional Materials:


The stops on the Eglinton East Priority Bus Lanes have been revised to temporarily maintain the Torrance Road, Beachell Street and Cedar Drive stop locations. Ridership at these stops will be monitored and reviewed in the future.

Bus stops for Eglinton East Priority Bus Lanes

Priority B: Jane Street from Eglinton Avenue to Steeles Avenue

Jane Street is the second proposed priority corridor based on ridership and slow transit speeds. The Jane Street bus corridor is also among TTC’s most heavily used and, even during COVID-19, continues to play a significant role in moving people around the City.

The 10.3-kilometre Jane corridor runs from Steeles Avenue West to Eglinton Avenue West. The project team will seek feedback from the public and stakeholders on the proposed design, please stay tuned for more details.

In addition to the proposed priority bus lane, the City of Toronto is currently undertaking planning studies that impact the Jane and Finch area. More information on this work can be found at Jane-Finch Initiative and Finch West Goods Movement Plan.  

Questions or Comments?

We invite you to learn more and share your feedback with us.

The online consultation is now closed. Feedback summaries will be posted here once available.

For more information:

Email: buslanes@ttc.ca

Call: 416-393-3030 or 311

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Priority bus lane implementation

    Where will the priority bus lanes be located (corridor)?

    The westerly limit will begin at Brimley Road and continue easterly along Eglinton to Kingston Road. The lanes will continue north east along Kingston Road to Morningside Avenue, then north on Morningside Avenue terminating at Ellesmere Road (near U of T Scarborough Campus). A future extension of the lanes from Brimley Road to Kennedy Station will occur once construction for the Scarborough Subway Extension is complete.

    Will the existing bus routes still operate along this corridor?

    Yes. Local routes will continue to operate, however, stop consolidation to mimic the proposed LRT will occur to speed up travel on the corridor.

    Why are we implementing priority bus lanes?

    Priority bus lanes move people more efficiently on transit by improving reliability, speed and capacity. This will lead to improved service for customers and makes transit in these areas more attractive which can lead to increased ridership and fewer cars on the road (less congestion and pollution).

    Although ridership has dropped considerably during COVID-19, transit has proved vital for our society. This is particularly evident for the city's most vulnerable communities, serving essential workers in health care, emergency services, food services, and other sectors. Post COVID-19, a strong recovery plan will be needed to build back transit ridership.

    Why was Eglinton East selected first of the five corridors?

    The corridors were assessed based on the following criteria:

    Transit characteristics;

    • Policy framework;
    • Equity;
    • Ease of implementation;
    • Existing traffic conditions and network impact of a bus lane;
    • Safety impacts; and
    • Existing capital projects

    Eglinton East was prioritized first because it is the easiest to implement with minimal impacts on other lanes of traffic. The corridor travels through seven of eight Neighbourhood Improvement Areas in Scarborough. There has already been extensive consultation and support for improving transit along this corridor.

    Jane was prioritized second because it has one of the slowest operating speeds, it provides an important north-south connection between Line 1 Yonge-University and future Line 5 Eglinton and Line 6 Finch West. The corridor travels through many Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and there are no adverse impacts to on-street parking.

    When will the service begin?

    The priority bus lanes on Eglinton East will be implemented in late October/early November of 2020.

    How will this initiative improve transit service?

    The priority bus lanes will reduce transit travel times, improve reliability and increase capacity for a better customer experience.

    Estimated travel time savings

    It is estimated that there will be a 16.5% travel time savings on local services and 6.5% travel time savings on express services.

    • Example: Kennedy Station to Eglinton and Markham (one way) - local service is anticipated to save between 2-3 minutes throughout the day.
    • Example: Kennedy Station to University of Toronto Scarborough (one way) - express service is anticipated to save between 4-5 minutes throughout the day. 

    Is this a pilot project?

    No. This is a permanent installation.

    How will vehicular traffic be impacted along this route?

    Average daily traffic counts along arterials in the area, along with the fact that for some of the length there is an HOV lane that would be converted to a bus lane, suggest that conversion of a lane to a dedicated bus lane would have minimal impact on traffic flow.

    The City's regional travel demand model supports these findings. Preliminary analysis has indicated that there could be some increase to motor vehicle traffic delay on Morningside Avenue, and further analysis will be undertaken during the detailed design process.

    Will this priority bus lane prevent the future LRT?

    No, the priority bus lane would help build ridership for a future LRT alignment. This is an interim solution to getting faster, more reliable transit now.

    How were stop locations determined?

    A number of factors were considered including;

    • A review of planned stops for the Eglinton East LRT
    • A review of the boardings and alightings at all existing stops along the corridor
    • A review of signalized intersections and crosswalks
    • Connectivity to other agencies
    • A review of stop spacing to ensure stops are not too far apart

    Parking impacts

    There is no curbside parking along this corridor.

    Will taxis be allowed to use the lane / how will this impact taxis?

    Taxis, private and ride-sharing vehicles will not be allowed to travel in the priority bus lane. Taxis, like private and ride-sharing vehicles, will be able to get into designated sections of the curb lane to access driveways or turn right at intersections.

    Can cyclists use the priority bus lane?


    Will the bus lanes be in effect 24/7?


  • Delivery

    Description of elements – what can people expect?

    Design details are currently being developed however, we anticipate that red surface treatment would be applied to the pavement along the curb lane. Bus lane signs, line markings, "BUS ONLY" pavement text and diamond symbols would also be provided to complete the bus lane design elements.

    Timing of delivery

    • The painting, signage and pavement markings are anticipated to occur in mid-late October
    • TTC will adjust all route schedules and stops for October 11th
    • TTC will continue to monitor service and make changes as needed to route schedules
    • Due to the accelerated timeline of the Eglinton East corridor, public realm improvements will not be made until after implementation
  • Consultation

    How has TTC consulted with the community?

    There has been extensive consultation on the corridor for the future Eglinton East LRT which indicated support for improving transit services along this stretch. A priority bus lane would help build ridership for a future LRT alignment.

    Consultation was also conducted during TTC’s 5-Year Service Plan, this included public and stakeholder consultation on exploring a priority bus lane on Eglinton East. Further consultation on the service concept for both the Eglinton East corridor and Jane corridor will be conducted in August and September as part of the TTC’s 2021 Annual Service Plan process.

    Public consultation will also influence which public realm improvements are implemented and at which locations.

    The community will be able to send comments through an online consultation in August and September.

    How will TTC gauge the success of this initiative?

    The City and TTC are developing a monitoring plan to collect, assemble, and analyze traffic and transit data after installation of the priority bus lane on the Eglinton East corridor. Examples of these metrics are listed below. The City and TTC will report back at the end of 2021.

    • Transit Travel Time
    • Wait Time Reliability
    • Wait Time Coefficient of Variation
    • Observed Busiest Hour Demand
    • Observed Ridership
    • Capacity Delivered
    • Motor Vehicle Travel Times
    • Motor Vehicle Volumes
    • Pedestrian and Cyclist Volumes
    • Total Person Throughput

    Will there be any improvements to Public Realm?

    A variety of public realm improvements are being considered to improve the attractiveness and comfort of stop areas. Measures to improve the convenience and safety for pedestrians and cyclists accessing transit in the corridor are also being considered. Implementation is planned in 2021.

  • COVID-19

    How will this benefit TTC’s COVID-19 initiatives to protect customers?

    Many of the communities along these two corridors are home to essential frontline workers with no option to work from home. Furthermore, these corridors have experienced more acute overcrowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The project reduces the risk of exposure for people who have the fewest travel choices and ensures there is enough capacity on board, especially for lower-income people of color.

    Can TTC expedite implementation?

    Staff are working to implement this as quickly and safely as possible. Before painting the priority bus lanes, we must ensure the paint and pavement markings will result in a safe use of the road. In order to do this, we must complete a detailed design of the street.

    Detailed design work for both Eglinton East and Jane will be completed soon, focussing on Eglinton East first.

  • Costing

    What will it cost to implement the priority bus lane?

    Approximately $7.8 million has been allocated within the TTC’s 2020-2029 capital and 2020 operating budgets.

    How will the savings be realized?

    The travel time improvements will reduce operational costs by allowing the same amount of service to be provided using fewer vehicles. The TTC could reinvest in this corridor as demand increases or reinvest in other areas of the city where we know there is crowding.

    How can you justify spending more money when TTC ridership is down?

    Although ridership has dropped considerably during COVID-19, transit has proved vital for our society. This is particularly evident for the city's most vulnerable communities, serving essential workers in health care, emergency services, food services, and other sectors. Post COVID-19, a strong recovery plan will be needed to build back transit ridership.

    Further, current capacity restrictions on TTC vehicles have made it even more important to optimize on-time performance of transit vehicles, so that passengers are not waiting too long for transit, overcrowding transit stops, and then crowding onto transit vehicles. With priority in place, passengers will see improved reliability (on-time performance), reduced crowding, along with faster travel times, making transit a more attractive option.

  • Construction Notices

    Issued on September 14, 2020

    Eglinton East Priority Bus Lanes - installation and bus stop placement

    What we are doing and why

    On July 28, 2020, City Council unanimously approved Priority Bus Lanes along sections of Eglinton Avenue East, Kingston Road and north on Morningside Avenue to Ellesmere Road. This will be the first priority corridor to help improve transit reliability in one of the most heavily used corridors in the city. The priority bus lanes will be reserved for TTC buses, Wheel-Trans and bicycles. This initiative will involve some changes to bus stop locations to improve the speed and reliability of service. Please see the map on the reverse page of the stops. A survey is now available on the project website to give input into project: www.ttc.ca/rapidto.

    What to expect

    As part of implementing the Priority Bus Lanes on Eglinton Avenue East, construction crews and vehicles will be active along the corridor during the above-noted dates.

    • Pavement Resurfacing (completed by September 18)
    • Segments of the eastbound and westbound curb lane will be resurfaced on Eglinton Avenue East between Brimley Road and Cedar Drive. Pavement Marking & Sign installation (completed by November 30)
    • Work will begin at Morningside Avenue, continue to Kingston Road and finish at Eglinton Avenue East
    • The curb lane along the route will be closed and access to private driveways will be maintained as best as possible. Bus Stop Consolidation and Placement (Estimated: October 15 – December 31)
    • 22 Bus Stops located on Eglinton Ave E between Kennedy Ave and Kingston Rd, on Kingston Rd between Eglinton Ave E and Morningside Ave, and on Morningside Ave between Lawrence Ave E and Ellesmere Rd.
    • Crews will be removing sod from some boulevards to construct new concrete pads or upgrade existing stops.
    • Some re-sodding may have to be completed in the spring of 2021 as work is weather dependent.
    • The majority of work will take place on the City right-of-way.
    • Private driveways will be maintained as best as possible.
    • Temporary lane reductions may be required during the work.

    Work hours

    Work will take place Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., however there may be occasions where crews must work on the weekend. From September to the end of November, there will also be overnight work to install pavement markings.

    TTC Service

    Regular service along the route will be maintained, except for night service.


    All stops will be accessible once this work is completed.

    Bus stops for Eglinton East Priority Bus Lanes

    Bus stops for Eglinton East Priority Bus Lanes

    For further information, please contact:

    Lito Romano, TTC, 416-397-8699, lito.romano@ttc.ca

    Alexa Aiken, City of Toronto,416-338-2859, alexa.aiken@toronto.ca

  • Red Paint

    Why is the road painted red?

    The colour red is recommended in the Transportation Association of Canada guidelines for use in bus lanes. In addition, research from other municipalities indicated that red paint tends to improve driver compliance.

    The material used for colored surface treatment on the Priority Bus Lanes meets provincial specifications for durable pavement markings (Ontario Provincial Standards & Specifications).

    How will drivers see the red paint in the winter?

    The Priority Bus Lanes will undergo salting and snow removal like other traffic lanes throughout the winter. In addition to the coloured treatment, the City will install regulatory bus and bike only signs along the corridor.

    How long does the paint last?

    The maintenance cycle of the paint is dependent on traffic volumes, pavement condition, weather and others. Since the curb lanes are reserved for buses, bikes and a few vehicles (to allow for right turns), the amount of vehicle passes (which is a factor in wear) would be less than a normal traffic lane. We are initially anticipating a maintenance cycle of every 3 years. As an example of the durability, the painted pavement at Queens Quay has retained its color for about 2 years without repainting.

  • Driving on roads with Priority Bus Lanes

    For information on how to use the Priority Bus Lanes as a driver or information on enforcement/violation, please visit the following webpage:  https://www.toronto.ca/rapidto/
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