Cutting TTC late night service 'last resort'

TTC chair Karen Stintz says cutting late night bus service on Yonge Street is unlikely to happen.

Riders 'don't have any other option' says TTC chair

Toronto Transit Commission chair Karen Stintz says cutting late night bus service on Yonge Street would be "a last resort" to help balance next year's budget.

A consultants report commissioned by the city offered the discontinuation of the bus route as one of its many suggestions for saving money.

But Stintz says that's all it is — a suggestion — and the Blue Night route which is used by thousands of shift workers every night while the subway is closed, is not going to be cancelled.

"We know we've been tasked by the mayor to find a 10 per cent cut in [the TTC] budget," said Stintz. "We're undertaking that work now, but I don't believe a place we want to start is on a service for people who don't have any other option to get home."

Tory Miles is one of those people. 

"The bus I get on at Yonge [Street] is packed and everyone is going to work," said Miles who catches the bus at 4 a.m. to get to her job.

"Basically I would have to quit my job and find something closer," she said. 

Finding a solution to the city's $774 million 2012 budget shortfall on the backs of people who have no choice but to take the late night bus, doesn't appeal to Stintz.

"This would be considered a last resort from my perspective," she said.

Stintz says before cutting the route the TTC will look at other cost-saving measures highlighted in the report, such as contracting out cleaning and some maintenance services. 

The city's executive committee will review the consultant's report next week.