Crammed on the TTC? Transit agency's board OKs plan to help

The TTC board approved a multi-million dollar plan Tuesday to reduce overcrowding on its subway and bus systems — although commuters won't see changes until September.

TTC aiming to improve subway reliability while reducing crowding on buses this fall

After several days of crippling delays for Toronto's subway earlier this year, the TTC is pushing forward with a plan to improve service reliability. (Tariq Fancy/Twitter.)

The TTC board approved a multi-million dollar plan Tuesday to reduce overcrowding on its subway and bus systems — although commuters won't see changes until September.

The transit agency says the improvements are necessary as record numbers of people are taking Line 1 on the subway, with up to 30,000 passengers per hour going south from Bloor-Yonge, and a number of bus routes are exceeding the TTC's crowding standard by 30 per cent.

TTC Chair Josh Colle says for anyone who rides the Dufferin bus, for example, the improvements are "so long overdue."

The TTC is aiming to make four major improvements later this year, including:

  • Improving reliability on Line 1 and 2 of the subway
  • Relieving crowding on bus routes during the peak period
  • Relieving off-peak crowding on buses
  • Rolling out new express buses

Colle says he's hoping the express buses will work well enough to keep some people from taking the subway, which could alleviate some of the crowding on those lines. 

The improvements will require $5 million in operating costs in 2018, the TTC says, and $15.5 million in 2019.

The TTC is also hoping the move will attract more riders, something it has been struggling with. It estimates the changes will bring in 848,000 more riders, which it estimates would bring in $2 million.