June 8, 2017

The TTC is recommending enhancing its express bus routes to improve transit service to customers in all parts of Toronto.

At its June 15 meeting, the TTC Board will consider recommendations flowing from a 2014 motion moved by Chair Josh Colle to find ways to provide more rapid, reliable, and reasonably priced transit options.

"Given increasing wait times and crowding on many regular TTC bus routes, the implementation of new express routes along major arterial roads during the peak periods could provide an excellent option for riders at a fraction of the cost of building new transit infrastructure," said Chair Colle. “The more rapid and reliable service offered by an express route could also address our City's congestion issues, attract more riders to the system and act as a bridge solution while other rapid transit solutions are developed."

The TTC operates peak period express bus service on 24 bus routes from Monday to Friday, and 10 routes at off-peak times. These express bus services have proven popular with customers because of reduced travel times.

In a new report, TTC staff is recommending a 10-year, three-phase approach to enhancing express service.

  • First phase (Beginning in 2018): Re-deploying existing articulated buses on certain express bus routes as vehicles become available, implementing all-door boarding on 192 Airport Rocket on a trial basis and continuing to work with City departments to install transit priority measures such as transit signal priority and queue jump lanes.
  • Second phase (2019 to 2021): New and enhanced express bus routes from 24 to as many as 28 routes by the end of 2021.

Overall, service improvements will be made on five new and eight existing routes.

New Express Routes Enhanced Express Routes
Lawrence West
Islington
Weston Road
Dufferin
Markham Road
Keele
Steeles West
Steeles East
Sheppard West, west of Sheppard West Stn
Sheppard East, east of Midland Avenue
University of Toronto Scarborough Rocket
Wilson
York Mills

  • Third phase (2022 to 2026): An additional eight routes would be added pending further review of the first two phases.

Once completely rolled out and ridership fully matures, the annual net operating cost for the enhanced and expanded express bus network, which will benefit nearly 70 million customer trips annually, will be approximately $13.1 million by 2023.

It is estimated that one in every six bus customers would use the expanded express bus network. The 2018 capital budget would call for the purchase of 38 articulated buses (17 buses in 2020 and 21 buses in 2021) costing $34.2 million in the 2018-2027 TTC Bus Fleet Plan.

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