'Long overdue' Dufferin Street bus improvements expected this fall, including express service
TTC says changes coming as population along corridor expected to grow 17% by 2031
Long-awaited improvements are coming to the Dufferin Street corridor — one of the busiest bus routes in the city and an area where population growth is expected to spike in the years ahead.
A new report heading to the TTC board on Tuesday recommends approving full service on the 29 Dufferin route starting in October, which would include the elimination of the 29B Dufferin peak-period service in several areas to provide more service north of Tycos Drive.
An express bus route is also coming to that stretch, according to the report from Kirsten Watson, the TTC's chief customer officer.
"That's an enhanced service that will only stop at major intersections," explained spokesperson Stuart Green.
The TTC also plans to add high-capacity buses on Sundays to help carry more riders, the report notes.
The TTC board approved funding for the express service on Dufferin back in May, and the total net annual operating cost for all the changes is roughly $770,000.
At the time, TTC chair Josh Colle said the improvements along the Dufferin route were "so long overdue."
Dufferin bus 'well-hated'
The upcoming changes are also welcome news to Liza Lukashevsky, chair of the Bloordale BIA, who says the Dufferin bus is "well-hated" by people in the neighbourhood.
In particular, she says the express route will be a boon for riders who are often stuck waiting for crowded buses.
"However, there are a lot of developments happening on Dufferin," she added. "So, there's going to be a huge influx of residents in the next five to 10 years — we're talking thousands and thousands of people."
Indeed, the population along the corridor is expected to grow by 17 per cent by 2031, notes the report, which stresses the need for the TTC and city to work together to build transit infrastructure that matches the future demand.
Currently, roughly 43,000 people ride the Dufferin bus route every weekday.