Private bus service looking to expand across Toronto
TORONTO – The organization that launched a charter bus taking commuters to Union Station from Liberty Village is close to launching another route – this time, from the Beaches – a route that could directly compete with the TTC.
But TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said the public transit agency isn’t taking any action – yet.
“It’s a private charter service as we understand it. We’re not taking any action with respect to this service from a legal perspective,” Ross said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re continuing to monitor the situation and if there’s something that we need to do or look more closely at, we’ll do that.”
The TTC was given the legal authority to monopolize public transit within the city through the City of Toronto Act.
Ross wouldn’t say what, if anything, would motivate the TTC to take action.
But does Line Six, the group behind the private charter service, run a competing agency? The company allows users to choose their own route and crowdfund to generate the money needed to pay for the bus and driver.
Brett Chang, the co-founder of Line Six, said his company is no different than any other charter bus service.
“We don’t see ourselves as any different from a school group or a church group who are chartering a bus to Niagara Falls or to a Jays game at the Rogers Centre,” he said.
Sixty people signed up for the Liberty Village bus for $25 each, which got them a one-way trip to Union Station for a week.
The bus is no longer running though Chang said it was a huge success.
“We had a great response from riders moving about 60 people everyday consistently at rush hour and riders were supper happy with the service we delivered. The service was on time, so it went really well,” he said.
Line Six is hoping to expand the charter service to any community in Toronto that can crowdfund enough money.
Chang said the service will help make more room on streetcars and on the road.
“We’re hoping that people in different communities, which are underserved by the TTC and which are looking for a new alternative transit method, will vote for their community, will boost their community and if we see there is demand there then we will run the bus if it gets to 500 votes,” he said.