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Toronto Transit service to improve, increase on 17 routes

A TTC bus driver wearing a face mask is seen on a bus in Toronto on Sept. 17, 2020. Zou Zheng/Xinhua via ZUMA Press

Just a month shy of the two-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic declaration, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said it will “improve and increase service” on several of its routes beginning Sunday.

In a press release issued Wednesday, TTC said 17 routes would be improved “as the agency starts restoring service across the network to pre-pandemic levels.”

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“Throughout the pandemic, the TTC has prioritized service delivery where it is needed the most, protecting service on the busiest routes at the busiest times of day,” the release reads. “Last November, overall service had to be adjusted based on reduced staff availability.”

The TTC said it is planning to restore 100 per cent of pre-pandemic service hours over the coming months as ridership increases.

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“Schedules and service will continue to be based on demand,” the release said.

Click to play video: 'The future of the TTC: Can Toronto transit survive the pandemic?' The future of the TTC: Can Toronto transit survive the pandemic?
The future of the TTC: Can Toronto transit survive the pandemic? – Jan 24, 2022

According to the TTC, on Feb. 13, 17 routes will see either “increased service” or “improved reliability.”

The following routes will be improved:

  • 8 Broadview
  • 9 Bellamy
  • 12 Kingston Road
  • 20 Cliffside
  • 22 Coxwell
  • 42 Cummer
  • 45 Kipling
  • 50 Burnhamthorpe
  • 56 Leaside
  • 57 Midland
  • 61 Avenue Road North
  • 78 St Andrews
  • 161 Rogers Road
  • 168 Symington
  • 300 Bloor-Danforth overnight bus
  • 501L/H Queen (replacement bus)
  • 925 Don Mills Express

In a statement, TTC CEO Rick Leary said the TTC has “been there for those who needed us most during the pandemic.”

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“We learned a lot about our customers’ transit needs and we will continue to use those learnings as we start to restore service, ensuring we are putting service where and when it is most needed,” he said. “I want to thank our employees and customers for their patience during these challenging times, but now it’s time to start restoring our service for the good of the City and the entire Greater Toronto Area.”

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TTC Chair Jaye Robinson said going forward, the TTC will “continue to respond to the needs of our riders by increasing service levels in line with demand, while prioritizing our busiest routes across the network.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory said revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19 were “met with unprecedented financial support from the federal and provincial governments in 2020 and 2021.”

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“Toronto – and many other municipalities — are working hard right now to secure continued support for the TTC for this year from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario since ridership levels are still well below normal,” he said in a statement.

Tory said while the city has “not yet received the committed support we need in 2022, we are proceeding with these transit service increases now because we are confident that the other governments share our commitment to a strong and robust TTC and providing robust and reliable transit for our residents as part of a strong economic recovery.”

According to the release, the TTC will restore overall service hours “in line with the lifting of public health restrictions and the re-opening of workplaces.”

“Individual route schedules and service levels will be determined by demand, taking into account overall system needs,” the company said.

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