Ray Kennedy writes:
Why doesn’t the TTC take advantage of the current bus substitution to extend service west to Jane Street? This would allow a chance to judge demand for extending the tracks westward.
During a previous substitution I waited on a Saturday afternoon nearly half an hour at Gunn’s Loop for a 71 Runnymede bus to go west to Runnymede to transfer again. 3 buses accumulated in the loop before finally making their way eastward one at a time. Then, 2 more showed up and sat waiting time. Finally, a Runnymede bus showed up. It would have been quite possible for one or two of the five buses to run west rather than sit in the loop. It’s called service.
Bus substitutions are always tricky things to schedule and often have a lot of padding in the running time. Right now, there really isn’t much going on on St. Clair, and they will always be early. In some cases, they will run more or less as the operators feel like it because leaving on time just means a dreary, slow ride across the line.
The TTC’s attitude to this part of the world (the old stockyards) is a good example of how they don’t actively promote ridership. If St. Clair from Keele to Jane is a potential streetcar line, then there should be a lot more riders than the level of service on the 71 suggests. Indeed, that service (really a short turn of the longer route), does little to encourage transit use in an area where the land use is changing a lot.
We hear a lot about a “Transit First” policy, but even without recent budget woes, it’s the small neighbourhoods like this that are overlooked.