Toronto Transit Commission Transit City Bus Plan
The Toronto Transit Commission Transit City Bus Plan was a plan to implement enhanced bus service and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on 21 key routes across Toronto. Transit City was a joint effort by the TTC, the City of Toronto, and Metrolinx. The plan was unveiled at TTC headquarters on August 21, 2009. Service on these 21 routes would have been every 10 minutes or less during the day and evening. New or enhanced off-peak express service would have been implemented on 15 of the 21 routes.
BRT was planned for six corridors in the city: Connecting Downsview Station with York University, connecting Victoria Park Station to Eglinton Avenue via Kingston Road, Yonge Street between Steeles and Finch Station, connecting Scarborough Centre Station and Durham Region via Ellesmere Road, Wilson Avenue between Keele and Wilson Station, and connecting Kipling Station and Mississauga via Dundas Street. The line along Dundas would have provide serviced into Mississauga, and the line on Ellesmere would have connected to Durham Region and DRT's proposed BRT (now DRT Pulse).
10 Minute or Better Service
21 main routes were part of the Transit City Bus Plan for 10 minute or better service: 7 Bathurst, 22 Coxwell, 24 Victoria Park, 29 Dufferin, 39 Finch East, 43 Kennedy, 44 Kipling South, 45 Kipling, 52 Lawrence West, 53 Steeles East, 54 Lawrence East, 58 Malton, 60 Steeles West, 72 Pape, 76 Royal York South, 84 Sheppard West, 89 Weston, 94 Wellesley, 95 York Mills, 96 Wilson, 102 Markham Rd, and 129 McCowan North.
New and Improved Express Service
15 main routes were part of the Transit City Bus Plan for new and improved express service: 7 Bathurst, 24 Victoria Park, 29 Dufferin, 39 Finch East, 43 Kennedy, 45 Kipling, 52 Lawrence West, 53 Steeles East, 54 Lawrence East, 58 Malton, 84 Sheppard West, 95 York Mills, 96 Wilson, and 102 Markham Rd.
Other Transit City Bus Plan initiatives included minimum service levels on routes for the rest of the system of every 20 minutes or better, enhanced express bus service on future Transit City LRT lines, more bus shelters, improved accessibility, improved customer amenities and service information, more route supervision for better service, technology to help improve bus service such as transit signal priority and queue jump lanes, and improvements at subway stations for better customer service.
Funding cuts and death of Transit City
Early in 2010, Premier Dalton McGuinty cut $4 billion from the funding for Transit City out of the provincial budget. While the LRT lines were at a further risk than the bus plan, several of the initiatives were put aside, such as 20 minute or better service on all routes and expanding express service.
On December 1, 2010, newly elected mayor Rob Ford, announced that he was going ahead with his plan to scrap the Transit City project. He stated, "On Dec. 8, our new transit commission members will be appointed. Their first task will be to formally stop spending on a project we do not need anymore." Cancellation of the project needed City Council support (although Ford initially managed to escape consultation with City Council). However, Rob Ford mainly focused on the LRT proposals, and various elements of the Transit City Bus Plan were still implemented.
Transit City Bus Plan Today
While the bus plan itself is dead, various elements of it were implemented, some coincidentally.
- Several routes already fall under the "10 Minute or Better Service" category. These include the 7 Bathurst, 29 Dufferin, 39 Finch East, 52 Lawrence West, 53 Steeles East, 54 Lawrence East, 60 Steeles West, and 95 York Mills.
- The York University Busway opened in its entirety on November 20, 2009, connecting Downsview Station and York University. Service on the 196 York University Rocket has steadily improved since.
- The 195 Jane Rocket was introduced as an express supplement to the 35 Jane, which was originally proposed to be a LRT route. It operates daily.
- The 199 Finch Rocket was introduced as an express supplement to the 39 Finch East. It originally operated Mondays to Saturdays and has since been expanded to daily operation.
- With the retirement of the GM New Looks, all TTC buses are now wheelchair accessible.
- All TTC routes are now made bike-rack equipped.
- Most subway stations have the Next Vehicle Arrival System installed for trains, and several subway stations have it installed at fare entrances and at bus terminals.
- The TTC website now has a trip planner function where you can plan a trip, and the website would show the suggested route(s) to take from starting point to destination.
- Rob Ford: 'Transit City is over', cbc.ca, retreived on 2010-12-01