Toronto Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle today announced service improvements to 61 bus and streetcar routes that will make it convenient and viable for all Torontonians to count on transit at any time of the day or night for their travel. These improvements, which will be recommended to the TTC Board at its May 27 meeting, are funded under the $90-million investment in transit that was approved in the 2015 City Budget.
The TTC Board will be presented with recommendations for new and restored off-peak bus services and new and expanded overnight bus and streetcar routes starting in September 2015. These improvements to service make the TTC a more available, predictable and consistent travel option for a great number of Torontonians, in particular shift workers and people working non-traditional hours. The expanded coverage of the overnight network will result in 99 per cent of Toronto residents living within a 15-minute walk of overnight bus and streetcar service.
“These service improvements are the type of sensible and caring investments expected by Toronto residents. We need a reliable transit system so people can get to work on time and get home faster to spend more time with their families,” said Mayor John Tory. “The ability to move in this city is fundamental to economic opportunity, to an active family and personal life and to uniting a city.”
The recommended changes to off-peak services, where 57 per cent of TTC trips are made, are expected to attract 1.3 million additional riders a year. The enhancements to the Blue Night Network would increase annual overnight ridership to approximately 5.2 million from 4.7 million riders.
“With the funding commitment made by City Council, the TTC is busy making historic levels of investments to public transit in the city,” said TTC Chair Josh Colle. “Those are real and tangible investments that are right around the corner.”
Highlights: More Off-Peak Service - Expansion of All-Day, Every-Day Network
- Additional off-peak periods of operation would be introduced during 122 operating periods on 43 bus routes. Most of the service improvements are the restoration of periods of service that were cut in May 2011. Twenty of the 122 service improvements, on five routes, are new periods of operation that have never been operated before. With these changes, 133 of the TTC’s 144 regular will operate all day, every day.
- If approved by the TTC Board, the service changes would start on September 6, 2015. The cost to run the service from September to December is $1.7 million. The annual cost is $5.5 million.
- The TTC estimates that approximately 1.3-million customer-trips would be made each year on the recommended new services. Many of these trips would be made by new riders attracted by the new service.
- All-day-every-day means that service is provided from approximately 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., from Monday to Saturday, and from approximately 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays.
Highlights: Improvements to Overnight Service (Blue Night Network)
- Seven new overnight services would be introduced, along with route changes or extensions to 11 existing overnight services. The newly expanded overnight network will consist of 31 routes (currently 24 routes), running every 30 minutes or better. The proposed changes to the overnight network will expand and improve overnight transit throughout Toronto.
- The TTC estimates approximately 5.2 million customer-trips would be made each year on the expanded overnight network, up from 4.7 million trips.
- The Blue Night Network is the TTC’s overnight bus and streetcar service that operates between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., after the regular daytime and evening services have ended. This service is an important part of the TTC's commitment to maximizing the mobility of people in the city of Toronto and meeting all of their diverse travel needs.
- Ridership on the overnight network has increased steadily. Over the last decade, annual ridership on the overnight network has increased by 68 per cent, from 2.8 million in 2005 to 4.7 million in 2015. Routine service improvements have been made to the overnight network over the years, but the coverage of this network has remained largely the same over the last decade.
- If approved by the TTC Board, the service changes would start on September 6, 2015.
- The cost to run the service from September to December is $800,000. The annual cost is $2.4 million.
- These service proposals will expand the coverage of the overnight network so that 99 per cent of Toronto residents will be within a 15-minute walk of overnight service.