Advertisement

Increased TTC service is coming this fall. Here's what you need to know:

On Monday, Mayor Olivia Chow said TTC service will be back to 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by November. The biggest changes are happening on bus routes, which will be at 99 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.  (Alex Lupul/CBC - image credit)
On Monday, Mayor Olivia Chow said TTC service will be back to 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by November. The biggest changes are happening on bus routes, which will be at 99 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. (Alex Lupul/CBC - image credit)

Toronto Transit Commission service will be back to near pre-pandemic levels this fall, Mayor Olivia Chow announced Monday.

Starting in early September, a number of changes are coming to the city's public transit system that Chow said will result in shorter wait times and more reliability for commuters — something she vowed to do during her victory speech earlier this summer.

When the TTC made service cuts in May, spokesperson Stuart Green said it was operating at 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels before those further reductions were brought in.

On Monday, Chow said TTC service will be back to 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by November. The biggest changes are happening on bus routes, which will be at 99 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Chow promised to improve TTC service during her campaign for mayor earlier this summer.
Chow promised to improve TTC service during her campaign for mayor earlier this summer.

Chow promised to improve TTC service during her campaign for mayor earlier this summer. (Alex Lupul/CBC)

"A lot of people are now planning: How long would it take for me to take my kids to school? How long would it take for me to get back to work?" Chow said. "People rely on the TTC and they deserve to have a reliable, fast public transit system that works for them."

The money to fund the changes is coming from some of the $60 million originally budgeted for Line 5, according to Chow, the much-delayed Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Coun. Jamaal Myers, chair of the TTC, said much of the changes will benefit Scarborough, which recently saw the Scarborough LRT shut down months ahead of schedule after a derailment.

What's happening?

The changes will start on Sept. 3 and continue throughout the fall, according to a TTC news release.

Here's what they'll include:

  • More frequent bus service on 126 routes that serve schools.

  • Increased service on the following nine bus routes that serve post-secondary institutions:

    • 65 Parliament

    • 95 Sherbourne

    • 102 Markham Road

    • 134 Progress

    • 913 Progress Express

    • 902 Markham

    • 905 Eglinton East Express

    • 927 Highway 27 Express

    • 938 Highland Creek Express

  • Increased service on routes that are over capacity. Chow said this will help alleviate some of the "packed like sardine feelings" riders currently experience.

    • Routes 41 Keele and 939 Finch Express will get this treatment in September, with more to follow in October.

  • There will be reduced wait times during 41 periods across the day, with 27 of those time periods returning to at least pre-pandemic wait times.

  • Improved reliability with more "unscheduled, demand responsive service."

TTC derailed car
TTC derailed car

A rear car of a train on Scarborough RT separated from the rest of the train and derailed on July 24. (CBC)

Which routes will have shorter wait times in October? 

According to a TTC graphic shared Monday, the following bus and streetcar lines will have more room and shorter wait times in October:

  • 29 Dufferin

  • 39 Finch East

  • 41 Keele

  • 52 Lawrence West

  • 54 Lawrence East

  • 59 Maple Leaf

  • 68 Warden

  • 80 Queensway

  • 96 Wilson

  • 102 Markham Road

  • 116 Morningside

  • 165 Weston Road North

  • 506 Carlton

  • 511 Bathurst

  • 927 Highway 27 Express

  • 929 Dufferin Express

  • 952 Lawrence West Express

Changes coming to Scarborough

In November, the TTC will implement the final phase of the temporary bus replacement service for the defunct LRT, Myers said.

"That's when more Scarborough transit riders will have a direct bus route to the subway without needing to transfer," he said.

As an example, he said this means residents in Malvern or Morningside Heights will be able to take the 133 Neilson to Kennedy Station without having to transfer at Scarborough Town Centre.

Myers, who became chair of the TTC earlier this month, said he's asked to the commission to immediately work on adding enforced bus-only lanes and priority transit signals to improve the replacement bus service.

"So buses can depart every 80 seconds during morning rush hour, and run at least every three minutes all day, every day," he said.

"We are making great progress. But there is, of course, much more to be done."