TTC Service Changes Effective October 10, 2010

The TTC will implement various service changes next week.  Changes in headways and trip times are detailed in a spreadsheet in the usual format.

2010.10.10 Service Changes

Eglinton West Airport Corporate Centre Service Discontinued

Mississauga Transit has discontinued the TTC’s contract service to the Airport Corporate Centre, route 32B.  The 32 and 32A branches remain.

This change does not affect the 307 night bus service to Pearson Airport.

Finch East Service Reorganization

Service will be provided by three routes:

  • 39 Finch East will provide local service on Finch
  • 139 Finch — Don Mills will operate via Don Mills Road rather than via Highway 404 to reach Don Mills Station
  • 199 Finch Rocket will operate from Finch Station to Scarborough Town Centre via McCowan weekdays except for late evenings, and during the daytime only on Saturdays

This change eliminates scheduled short turns at Warden (39B) and at McCowan (39A/C).

For headway details, please refer to the spreadsheet.

Vital Signs 2010

Today the Toronto Community Foundation released its “Vital Signs” report for 2010.

The report reviews many aspects of Toronto’s economy using that word broadly — hard services like transportation, the benefits of environmental and cultural initiatives, the challenges faced by a community diverse in origins and income.  This report will be the framework for a Mayoral candidates’ debate tonight (October 5) at the Glenn Gould Studio in the CBC Broadcasting Centre on Front Street.  This will go live-to-air on Radio 1 at 7:30 pm.

The debate will have three major themes: incorporating newcomers to the city, a vision for transit and the need for a Mayor with a global view.

Vital Signs includes observations about transit and transportation:

  • Weekday vehicle traffic entering Toronto has grown by 56% from 1985 to 2006.  This is measured at the city boundary (the outer edge of the 416).  However, from similar sources we know that there has been almost no change in the number of vehicles entering the core area.  All of the growth is in the suburbs where land use favours car trips and transit has not kept up with the growth in demand.  This is precisely the area where a substantial number of lower-paid jobs are located and where poorer families live.
  • Toronto “ranks last” in congestion with the longest average commute time of major cities.  This statement has been challenged before on the grounds that the methodology and information are inconsistent from city to city, but without question Toronto’s sprawl and low transit share (on a regional level) are major problems.
  • Although several revenue sources have been proposed to generate the billions of dollars needed annually to construct and operate an extensive transit network, the commitment from Queen’s Park is lukewarm.  “… the current level of funding requires postponing (perhaps indefinitely) a planned 22.5 km of track and 25 stations that would serve some of Toronto’s poorest neighbourhoods, and delays construction of four other major projects by several years.”
  • Transit fares are very high in Toronto relative to other cities because of the comparatively low rate of subsidy.
  • Growth in the transit system has been almost nil while population and potential demand for transit soared.

Vital Signs contains much other information reported previously, but consolidated here in one document.  Whether our mayors-to-be will address the information, or simply trot out their tired campaign speeches remains to be seen.

TTC 2011 Budget Preview — Part I: Operating

At its recent meeting, the TTC considered a staff report on the 2011 budget including Operating (the so-called conventional system’s day-to-day costs and revenues), Wheel-Trans and Capital (major repairs and expansion).  The material in this report is only an overview of the full budgets to be presented at the Commission in January 2011.  Many details remain to be seen, not the least of which will be the TTC’s reaction to the prevailing political mood after the October 25 election.

In this article, I will deal only with the Operating Budget, and will turn to the others in future posts. Continue reading

TIFF 2010 Part I

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, when Steve disappeared into many theatres for 10 days and the unwary thought they could get away with transit announcements while he’s wasn’t looking.

Reviewed here:

  • Cirkus Columbia
  • Shi (Poetry)
  • The King’s Speech
  • How To Build Your Own Country
  • Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)
  • The Conspirator
  • Beginners
  • Tabloid

In each review, the film title is linked to the corresponding page on the TIFF site which contains credits, stills and, in some cases, trailers.  Where titles are shown in their original language, note that the English version is the one assigned by the production, not necessarily a literal translation.  The reviews appear in the order that I saw the films.

My rankings are:

  • ***** Personal favourite
  • **** Excellent
  • *** Good
  • ** Worth One Viewing
  • * Don’t Bother

Due to circumstances, these articles have sat half-finished for the past few weeks, and work on them will be further interrupted by a busy agenda at a recent TTC meeting.  In any event, I hope to finish them before (Canadian) Thanksgiving.

Continue reading