TTC route changes take effect
The Toronto Transit Commission begins implementing new services on many of its routes starting this weekend. For some riders it means more service, for some it means less.
"Is it going to be inconvenient for some people? Absolutely, we acknowledge that," said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.
The TTC's seasonal service takes effect on May 8, meaning an increase in buses and streetcars on routes to tourist destinations — but a decrease on other routes that serve colleges and universities.
For York University student Christian Surdivall the service change won't mean too much. "Well I'm not going to York this summer, so I don't see it as a problem," he said. But the weekend also marks the start of more permanent changes - the cuts to 40 bus routes that were announced earlier this year.
"I'd like [Toronto Mayor] Rob Ford to be riding these buses at rush hour and later," said Paul Burkholder, who rides the crowded Eglinton 32 bus during rush hour every day.
The cuts affect weekend and late-night service on routes the TTC considers underused. But for riders who use those routes, it's an unwelcome change. Many expect they'll be getting less frequent service with longer wait times.
The TTC board voted in February to reduce service on those routes, despite pleas from commuters who attended community meetings and spoke out against the changes.
But the TTC holds out the promise of a silver lining, saying cuts now could mean extra service added to busier routes in the fall.
"I can't be specific [about the increased service] because I don't know right now," said the TTC's Ross. "We're doing that analysis through the summer."
The shuffle is a cost-cutting measure for the cash-strapped system. The TTC says this will be enough to avoid a fare increase while saving $4 million.