TTC Meeting December 14, 2011 (Updated)

This TTC meeting proved something of a surprise considering what was on the table:  a fare hike of at least a dime, maybe more, as well as widespread cuts to service on the network.  What actually happened was that Chair Karen Stintz proposed an alternative position based on the discovery of some wiggle room in the 2011 and 2012 budgets.

  • The rise in diesel fuel costs was originally projected at a higher level, $5-million worth, than what the TTC actually expects to pay based on current market trends.  Part of this money will be used to put off any service cuts to the schedule period that begins in mid-February, and the rest will be used to preserve existing service on a few “busy” routes through 2012.
  • The projected “surplus” of $12-million on the 2011 operating budget may be directed to pay, in part, for an order of new buses so that service can be maintained.  About $45m is needed both for the bus order and for yard space in which to store the vehicles.
  • Cancellation of Wheel-Trans service for dialysis patients has been put off to June 30, 2012 to give more time for development of an alternative service and/or funding sources.

The Commission also approved a 10-cent fare increase for January 1, 2012 and, in principle, similar increases at the beginning of years 2013 through 2015.

TTC Announcement

The deferral of service cuts to February will allow the whole matter to be debated at Council (where it should have been in the first place) so that a decision can be made there on any possible increase to the TTC’s operating subsidy and the broader questions of future service quality.  Meanwhile, TTC staff will put together a proposal for which routes are busy enough to warrant continuing service at 2011 levels through 2012.

This is a strange turn of events.  Quite recently, staff proposed cuts based on loading standards that, if they were already being observed, would mean that buses had room for more riders.  In practice, service on the street is not as good as staff claims, especially when allowance is made for the gap between the advertised frequency and reliability on the schedule and real life operation.  Between the riding counts used to justify cuts in May 2011 and the tacit admission that plans for 2012 service cuts were ill-considered, the credibility of TTC Service Planning in reporting actual conditions leaves much to be desired.

If we cannot count on staff information to be accurate, how can anyone make intelligent policy decisions?  This is a problem throughout the City’s 2012 budget process where information comes out only because Councillors who are not in the Ford camp pursue the details.

Commissioner Maria Augimeri screened a video of conditions on the Finch West bus.  The first bus coming by does not even stop because the operator doesn’t think he can fit any more people on.  If you pause the video, you will see that there appears to be space on board, but the bus is crowded at the front, and that’s what the operator bases his opinion on.  So much for “room at the back”.  This type of pass-up is reportedly quite common.  The next bus is very crowded, and we view the ride from the front vestibule where, strictly speaking, there should be no passengers.

Many people representing a wide variety of communities and backgrounds urged that the TTC not raise fares and cut service.

One speaker challenged the TTC and members of Council to “walk in their shoes” and take the TTC for a week.  Several Commissioners declined, while a few noted that they are already on the TTC.  Oddly enough, Commissioner Crisanti, a Ford loyalist from Rexdale who is normally rather out of touch on TTC matters, took an interest in this deputation, probably because the group behind the video is from his ward.

There was a bit, but not much, open harrassment of public speakers by members of the Commission unlike the way the Budget Committee treated the hundreds who spoke there over two days.  That’s just as well.  Insulting the public would only further undermine the dwindling credibility of the commissioners.

Transit City came up frequently in the deputations.  Unlike previous occasions, speakers were not stopped from addressing this topic because the Chair cannot claim that cancellation of the LRT network and the overall quality of the TTC are not linked.  We have billions for Eglinton and Sheppard tunneling, little of which will co me from the private sector, but we don’t have money to operate the basic transit services.  Hoped-for improvements, notably on Finch West, won’t happen because the LRT line was cancelled, and the TTC has no buses or budget headroom for service improvements, let along the capital cost of any transit priority scheme.

Councillor Joe Mihevc, former Vice-Chair of the TTC in the Miller administration, proposed that Council should vote for the original Transit City plan with Eglinton underground only from Black Creek to Brentcliffe, and that all work on the Sheppard subway scheme should stop.  This was, of course, ignored by the Commission, but the idea shows where Council’s left is headed going into 2012.

Word on the street has Queen’s Park just waiting for Council to actually take a position on Toronto’s transit plans, a vote that has never been held even though the Mayor committed to getting Council approval for his agreement with Premier McGuinty.  The open statement from Ford’s consultant, Gordon Chong, that the Sheppard line will attract at best 30% private sector financing, leaves the Sheppard proposal in ruins.  If such a vote reaches the floor of Council, will enough of the “mushy middle” tell Rob Ford to take his plans and get lost, and affirm Council’s commitment to proposals much closer to Transit City?

In other news, the Humber Bay bus issue was put over to February’s meeting so that consultations with the neighbourhood can take place.

There was no supplementary agenda, and the issue of TTC relations with Metrolinx and the status of the Eglinton-Crosstown line was put off to January’s meeting.

The original post previewing the meeting from December 11 follows below.

The Toronto Transit Commission meeting on December 14 promises to be a lively one including debates on a fare increase and on the possibility of rolling back the proposed service cuts for January 2012.

I have already commented on a pair of items, the Chief General Manager’s Report and the final version of the budget in a previous article.  There are two related events since that was written:

  • As reported by the Star, TTC Vice-Chair Peter Milczyn requested a report on the option of a 15-cent fare increase to generate more revenue covering the cost of retaining existing (2011) service standards.
  • A notice has appeared at TTC division offices advising operators that if a fare increase to retain service is passed, the sign-up for January work will be redone.

It is clear that the way is open for the service cuts to be cancelled, but the political situation requires that this decision be taken by the Ford-dominated Commission on December 14.  Council does not have a chance to amend the 2012 City budget until mid-January.

Such a decision also has implications for the Capital Budget because a bus order, cancelled in light of the planned reduction in service standards, must be reinstated along with provision for space to store the vehicles.  This would be a temporary bulge in the fleet size pending opening of new rapid transit lines, although the bulge will last longer than originally planned.  Thanks to the deferral and cancellation of Transit City projects, the bus fleet must continue to provide service and deal with growth on many routes that were expected to convert to rail service over the coming decade.

145 Humber Bay Downtown Express Bus

TTC staff recommend that the Humber Bay bus be discontinued because, even as a premium fare service, it is not meeting the performance criteria expected of routes.  Will this route be saved again by friends at court, Commissioners who apply different standards to the service most of us use?  Will it be saved by arguments that growing development in the area will improve riding on the 145?  Will anyone talk about the erratic and unattractive service on the 501 that created the demand for a separate express bus in the first place?

In the wider context of a possible rollback of the planned January cuts, the 145 may also be reprieved.  This will keep the Humber Bay folks happy, but will avoid a larger issue.

When will we have riding and financial information on all of these premium routes just as we now see the operating results on regular bus services?  If they are pulling their weight financially or if they are a drain on the system, we need to know this as part of the wider debate on service quality.

There is a place for express runs as part of the regular fare network on the TTC, although a network of such routes, the Transit City Bus Plan, was shot down in budget discussions a few years ago.  Should resources be broadly focussed on improving the bus network as a whole rather than dealing with the squeaky wheels in the few Toronto locations where a premium fare service might be viable?

Wireless Networking in the Subway

Staff recommend that the Commission approve proceeding with Request for Proposals (RFPs) from three potential providers of wireless service in the subway network.  This will lead, eventually, to the provision of service at no cost to the TTC.

No date is mentioned for eventual activation of a service.

Appointment on non-Council Members to the TTC Board

During its review of city agencies, Council adopted a proposal that the composition of various boards be changed to provide, among other things, a broader background in business and industry practices.  The TTC board concurred (unsurprising given that it is controlled by the same politicians who, in early 2011, held sway at Council), and TTC staff are now reporting with proposed requirements for “citizen” members of the board.

Among the talents sought are backgrounds in law, finance, corporate governance, customer service, engineering, industrial safety and public transit.  Experience on other boards of directors and certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors are also preferred.

If the makeup of the TTC board is to change, any new appointments must go through City Council, although the debate will occur in private session.  It is unclear when or if the general public will have a chance to comment on the specifics or on any recruitment and short-listing of candidates.  None of them will run for office as would a Councillor.

The premise of having members with an outside business background is that Councillors don’t know how to make decisions, and that somehow the organization will run better, more efficiently, with apolitical eyes minding the store.  The problem, of course, is that appointment to an important board like the TTC is a very political process.  It will be amusing to see how far the qualifications of proposed directors will be stretched to match their actual background with the lofty goals in the selection criteria.

Council needs to ask a basic question:  if all of the really important decisions are made at Council, why do we need an “independent” board?  We need only look at current debates about budgets, service levels, fares and capital project planning to see that the real decisions are made at Council or, in some cases, at Queen’s Park.

The TTC is a committee of Council in everything but name, although it has in theory the power to operate independently.  However, a 2010 bylaw requires that the TTC observe rules for its budget process, and this reined in the TTC chair’s ability to freelance with projects that had not been vetted at Council.

With the shifting balance of power at Council, any new appointments or replacements on the TTC’s board may be less of a “done deal” for the Ford administration than might have been thought when the change in policy was proposed.  We shall see.

[As an aside:  I am regularly asked whether, if there were “citizen” members of the TTC board, I would be willing to take on such a role.  My answer was and is “no” for two reasons.  First, I believe that the TTC should be fully publicly accountable through politician members whose constituents will hold their feet to the fire.  No such mechanism exists for citizen members.  Second, I believe that my advocacy and advice can do more good outside of the formal constraints of a TTC board where I would be bound by rules of confidentiality and could not engage, as an individual, in the detailed public discussions of policy we see here on this blog.

[I have no problem with the concept of an advisory body, a set of people with diverse experiences providing commentary on the transit system.  To the degree that such advice does not bear on truly confidential matters, this body should operate and report in public.  What good is “informed debate” if the information is secret?  However, the decisions must rest with Council together with the political responsibility for whatever is done, or not done.]

Coming Soon

The Supplementary Agenda for December 14 has not yet been posted.

One highly-anticipated report will address the question of the TTC’s relationship with Metrolinx and the matter of project delivery.  Chair Karen Stintz will speak at the Board of Trade on Monday, December 12 on “The TTC, Metrolinx and GTA Transit: Moving From Symbiotic Relationships to True Integration”.

32 thoughts on “TTC Meeting December 14, 2011 (Updated)

  1. I think that Rob Ford wants to be able to stack the board with people who will do his bidding, instead of a few of the councillors who have always have the fear of their constituents on their minds. While the new appointees would need approval of city council, I can see more yes-men and yes-women come to the board.


  2. I am for the 15 cent increase, as more harm would be caused to ridership if raised only 10 cents. Also, I want the new buses and LRT cars now, as it will be a saving to us all for the long term. The ATU should go easy on what they ask for also, as that would ensure jobs for them for the future.


  3. I’m wondering what would get hizzoner Rob Ford to be interested in investing in some version of the Transit City Bus Plan … obviously under another name … that might involve buying articulated buses and putting them in place on routes like Finch West.

    After all, there is a need to “sell” buses over streetcars, and articulated buses might just be exciting enough to “compare” against streetcars.

    In other words, the bus supporters would be satisfied and at the same time, Toronto sees a slight improvement to bus services on major routes as 12m buses are replaced by 18m buses (ideally on a 1:1 basis so there is actually an improvement).

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: With the deferral of the next bus order thanks to service cuts, artics will be a long time coming to Toronto.


  4. I was told that MiWay / Mississauga Transit is buying a new set of Artic buses and will be retiring their 2001 fleet soon.

    I know I’m reaching here, but I wonder if some kind of miraculous lease-back scheme could be worked out … TTC pays to lease the buses MiWay/MT is retiring for a “short term test” while MiWay/MT could provide maintenance and garage space (maybe at their Malton facility?) …

    I’m sure that if the TTC can work those surplus miracles, they can find a way to get 10-year old artic buses operating in Toronto.

    Cheers, Moaz


  5. There is a leadership problem at TTC, and it comes from the very nature of the Commission itself. The city councillors who govern the TTC were elected to represent their wards, and get re-elected based on how well their constituents perceive them. With all due respect to Howard Moscoe, Adam Giambrone and Karen Stintz, they were never elected to run a 15,000 person organization that moves 500 million riders annually. Their role should be to set public policy, but not to run the show. That job is too big for part timers.

    The TTC is now integral to transportation across the GTA. The decisions made should reflect the needs of the GTA, and not just the priorities of the City of Toronto, or certain wards in Toronto.

    The TTC Chief General Managers seem to be hiding from public view in order that the TTC Chairs get the press coverage. The last TTC CGM to stand up as leader was David Gunn, and that seemed to cause friction with Howard Moscoe.

    The problem is that 15,000 workers need to have solid leadership, and the leadership needs to stand up for the organization, get the job done well, and champion the organization to the world. The TTC does an excellent job in moving as many people as it does for the price it charges and in the traffic chaos it faces. Ridership increases would not happen otherwise. But the press and the TTC public meetings continually profile complaints only. The press has three standard lines – union-management bickering, angry riders venting fury over mismanaged fare increases, and some gaffe by some TTC employee. No one puts out the positive stories.

    Organizations are about three things – technology, money and people. It is the way that people are led that makes the difference between excellence and mediocrity. TTC badly needs to change its structure of leadership at the top, and an appointed board that can give non-political direction to a strong leader would be a good start.


  6. Doesn’t appear to a Supplementary Agenda for tomorrow.

    Unless there’s a hidden agenda somewhere I can’t see it …

    Steve: As of 7 am on the day of the meeting, it’s still not there although the Star has reported on a proposed adjustment to the budgeted service cuts.


  7. Hmmm…..a wireless monopoly underground purchasable from the city? Not sure I like the idea of such a thing as it will give a competitive advantage to one party, likely to be one of the big three who can afford to overpay just to ensure market share.

    I wonder what the CRTC would say about that if approached? They don’t like such monopolies, preferring the Robelus oligopoly if anything. Are there reasons why all wireless companies can not be allowed to install equipment, to serve all the available frequencies? I would have thought that would make more money for the TTC, not only in being able to charge 6 different companies fees, but in being able to increase riders by not restricting internet/phone usage to one group.

    As for getting free service out of it for the TTC, you’d think the TTC could negotiate that as part of contracts with all providers.

    Sounds like somebody is trying to make money here when the city could be making even more.


  8. Re 145 Humber Bay: As I’ve said before, there needs to be a GO station on the Lakeshore West line at the Humber Loop streetcar loop. The 501 streetcar isn’t going to get any better – the biggest problem is not just unreliable service, but the fact that it has a zillion stops and so it takes almost an hour to get downtown. The current express bus does not work very well in rush hour because of heavy traffic congestion on Lake Shore, and is thus pointless without dedicated bus lanes.

    Re articulated buses: Can’t the city borrow for capital purchases? Since buying articulated buses will reduce operating costs, it should save the city money.

    Steve: The City borrows already for capital purchases, net of whatever funding they receive from other sources and the amount of capital financed from current revenues to keep borrowing costs down. If the TTC buys buses it does not need because of service cuts, that’s capital borrowing that could be directed to other projects. Not pursuing those projects may have a cost too, and this must be balanced against whatever saving purchasing buses we don’t “need” (because of service cuts) might generate.


  9. Rob Ford’s gravy has been found in the money being wasted on Ford’s attempts to cancel Transit City, when we already had plans for a better transit network (not just a line). In addition, with the extra $10 million needed for creating the Sheppard Subway plans, that makes it $75 million in gravy money being wasted by Ford, when we could be already constructing a Finch West LRT this year.


  10. It is highly unlikely that GO will put a new station at Humber loop because they’ve recently installed a new set of higher-speed crossovers at that location. I wouldn’t put it past them to try given that there is room for at least one or two new tracks or realignments for platform space in the nearby bridge and underpass and even a lot of potential land for parking. I don’t see this as very likely though, especially considering that the TTC has seriously considered abandoning the Humber Loop lands entirely.

    Steve: An even more important consideration is that stations need to have room for platforms and access routes, it should be on more-or-less straight track, and it should be easy to reach from surrounding streets. If the platform started at Humber Loop, it would end roughly at the point where the Gardiner passes over the rail corridor, and the station would be landlocked. If the platform were at Park Lawn, the station would be slightly more accessible to walk-in trade, but not exactly close to the Queen car.


  11. Declining of ‘Walk in their shoes’ challenge is very disappointing, the commissioner and members of council wouldn’t have the slight clue about what the city needs. Show some respect to the taxpayers.


  12. It’s been around a year now since Ford axed Transit City and got that memorandum of understanding from Queen’s Park, right?

    I think Queen’s Park needs to issue a deadline to Ford for that vote to happen by because it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. There are other places in this province that need improved public transportation and Dalton McGuinty should get that council vote to either happen by a deadline or, if it doesn’t, have Eglinton go ahead according to the original, less expensive plan since it’s already underway and divert the balance of the Transit City money and car order to LRT lines elsewhere. It isn’t fair to places like Mississauga or Hamilton etc. that need LRT lines to have to sit out and wait even longer because Queen’s Park is flushing a fortune down the toilet to make the mayor of Toronto happy by burying the whole Eglinton line at enormous pointless cost and throwing whatever money’s left over at the foolish Sheppard subway extension while every other transit system in the province goes wanting.


  13. What was telling was when Norm Kelly was complaining to the chair – cutting off the deputant – over the show of hands challenges. Seems the deputant really struck a nerve.


  14. Steve, good point you raised re; overcrowding and buses passing up people.

    This really is a “passenger” problem. For most, and I say most of the crowded buses I ride people do not want to sit on the back balcony, let alone stand on it. The front of the bus ends up crammed with lots of space at the rear. The driver cannot be faulted because all he sees is people jammed beside him at the white line. Unlike the New Looks where it was easy to go to the back, these new buses have a couple of terrible midget seats up back where you legs have to be about max of foot and and a half long – no one wants to go there. I know they try the old move to the back announcements and I know this is a decades old problem but how can they encourage people to move to the back? (On the new buses it gets even worse when you have a tank, I mean huge baby stroller blocking up front or the wheeled shopping carts – I think they try to discourage this during rush hours but i don’t know)


  15. @P Coulman

    I agree with you about moving to the back on buses and streetcars – this was something that bothered me about the TTC when I first moved to Toronto although I’ve resigned myself to it now. In Hamilton where I’m originally from and many other cities I’ve visited people move all the way to the back. But on the TTC it seems most people get halfway there and then camp out by the back doors to make sure they can get off quickly at their stop. Having frequent crushing passenger loads on streetcars and bus routes contributes to this culture but it happens even when the vehicles aren’t full. I do have sympathy for people using wheelchairs and strollers on TTC vehicles though – using our transit system is getting hard enough when one is unencumbered and able-bodied, it has to be even more miserable with a baby or a disability.


  16. With the low-floor buses, you often can’t move back beyond the doors/stairs. Particularly the ones that don’t have the side seating (i.e. most of them).

    You can try and have 3 or 4 people stand on the stairs, and in the aisles … but it’s very difficult, as most people are wider than the seats (I certainly am, and I’m only 5’8″ and average weight). With 4 people in each row, the people are all sticking into the aisle. You start walking down that aisle and standing there, and you’re jostling everyone, unless you’re very careful. And then when you are standing there, someone wants to get off … and there’s really no way for them to get out, without everyone retreating back to the stairs, or some intimate encounters.

    Steve: Yes, that is a terrible design, and it’s amazing that the TTC bought so many with that layout.


  17. Steve comments, apropos of the lack of space at the back of the Orion VIIs, “Yes, that is a terrible design, and it’s amazing that the TTC bought so many with that layout.”

    1. Theoretically, all buses have about the same number of riders, since they are not running with gaps and bunches. So it’s okay.
    2. When all those earlier VIIs were being purchased, there were plenty of high-floors still out on the busy routes. (I wonder which busy route was the first to become all low-floor all the time.)

    Steve: Re (1): Even assuming uniform distribution of riders between buses, what might be OK with the 2011 RGS service standards may not survive a shift to the pre-RGS standard especially on routes where loading is already above the RGS level. Re (2): There is a general problem with the standards, especially for off peak, in that there is more useable standee space in the high floor buses relative to the number of seats. A simplistic formula like “seated load plus 25%” does not translate to the same thing for each vehicle type.


  18. Wouldn’t changing the seating layout in the rear of the Orion VIIs to the one of the VII NGs be a simple matter of removing a row of seats, and turning a second row around by 90 degrees? If it’s as easy as I assume it to be, why haven’t they done so already? It creates more standing space, and it removes the issue of seats nearly no one can fit into (granted, I’m 6’6″, but I’ve seen much shorter people than myself sitting at an angle in the second-to-last row of seats of the Orion VIIs).

    Steve: I too suspect it’s fairly easy, but as the new seating layout is comparatively new, and the TTC has more pressing matters on its mind right now, it’s not something I’ve heard anything about (e.g. a comparison of how space is used in both flavours of bus). Definitely something for the “customer service” folks to look at.


  19. Even if it’s easy to convert the seat layout, it’s still going to cost money to do the changes. A bus has to be taken out of service for a time, and a coachfitter has to remove and reorient the seats. I’d guess that neither of the two original seats would be the right size to go crosswise, so the seat would need to be rebuilt.

    With the current environment, would there be any talk of spending money on something ‘unnecessary’ like this?


  20. The seating beside the stairs sits atop what I believe are fan/heater units which take up the entire two seats’ width on each side. They are the reason for this part of the seating layout and some of the lack of foot space. This cannot be easily altered.


  21. One day someone is going to raise the awkward question about standees on buses. Their safety depends entirely on the bus driver not having to apply the brakes hard. Otherwise they will get thrown around badly, and be injured or killed.

    The TTC standard now seems to be to deliberately increase the number of standees to increase their revenues, at the cost of rider safety.

    If I drove a van or pick-up truck with no seats and passengers standing up holding rails I would probably be jailed. And the TTC is encouraging this to increase revenues.


  22. On the comment from a deputation that commission members and council should be on the TTC, and many declined the idea.

    I have to ask why? The TTC despite all our complaints to make it better, is really not that bad, and you can get around the city very easily on the TTC(it may take long to get to some places). So why are the elected officials and especially the TTC Commission members not on the TTC. And I am sorry, but riding the subway to City Hall is not using the TTC. Those commission members should be on the TTC daily and have to rely on it. Otherwise what is the point of being on it?


  23. Brian says: “One day someone is going to raise the awkward question about standees on buses. Their safety depends entirely on the bus driver not having to apply the brakes hard. Otherwise they will get thrown around badly, and be injured or killed.”

    Perhaps their aim is to have the standees packed so tightly that there will be enough (human) padding to avoid serious injury. :->


  24. The legal liability for standee’s safety can be skirted with a disclaimer. The JR East and West trains already broadcast safety message periodically. My translation is not perfect, “It may be neccessary for the train to stop suddenly, so please be careful”.

    On a side note, standee’s safety can be better protected with a ATO system at least with a heavy rail system. ATO system applies brakes much more smoothly than humans.

    Steve: Actually, braking is a function of the software running the car whether it’s in ATO mode or not. When a subway operator puts a train in the normal service brake position, it is the software that determines the braking force to keep the deceleration within limits standees can handle. On buses, by contrast, the braking is a function of how far down the operator presses the pedal, and this can take riders past the point they can handle. On the CLRVs, there is an anti-spin/skid mechanism that automatically pumps the brakes and can cause the car to lurch both during the braking and acceleration phases. This is an example of design that works in theory but is lousy for passengers. Finally, the noisy brakes on the T1 fleet are caused by a software problem that has been known about, but not fixed, for years. It has nothing to do with the absence of ATO.


  25. Hi Steve:

    I understand budget cuts are happening everywhere, but the TTC is missing a very important item off their website. Any transit route which connects to the subway/rt system is missing scheduling information :(.

    Steve: Very strange. I will have to chase this with the TTC.


  26. RE: Making space on low-floor buses

    Why can’t we expand the use of the Flyer D-40-LF (I think that’s what they’re called, you know the low-floor buses on Islington)? I notice that the rear seats beside the stairs don’t have anything underneath.

    Steve: This is an old model (1998-99) and there are only 51 of them in the fleet. Expanding use of them isn’t an option because you cannot buy more.


  27. Morning Steve 🙂

    I “failed” to reply back (sorry), I emailed the company about the situation. I’m waiting for the response and see the correction :).


  28. Hi Steve

    The TTC corrected their schedules but I did notice a few differences. First one is each route serving an off street station has a bus/streetcar bay number added to their schedules. Secondly, high schools are slowly being added to help students :).


  29. Steve: This is an old model (1998-99) and there are only 51 of them in the fleet. Expanding use of them isn’t an option because you cannot buy more.

    I guess a better question would be, why didn’t we use a low-floor model with a similar design to the Flyer D-40-LF? Could using a similar design to this bus be possible in future bus fleets?


  30. Steve: This is an old model (1998-99) and there are only 51 of them in the fleet. Expanding use of them isn’t an option because you cannot buy more.

    Moaz says:

    How bad would it be for the TTC to buy used buses from other jurisdictions? It seems to me that the 905 services keep their buses for 10 years (give or take) and at the end of their working life they probably still have some years left.

    MT / MiWay and YRT and BT have lots of New Flyer D40LF buses that are getting up to their 10th birthday now. Not to mention the MT / MiWay artic fleet which is 10 years old and of the new design which is supposed to meet TTC standards now.

    I have to wonder if the TTC could lease these used buses from the suburban transit systems (perhaps with some kind of storage & maintenance plan so TTC doesn’t have to build / find new storage space.

    Since the suburban systems are replacing buses faster than the TTC, those buses can help carry the TTC over the anticipated bus shortage for the next few years.

    Cheers, Moaz


  31. I see that Councillor Doucette is rallying to the cause of Express route 145, with calls to like a Facebook site in favour on Twitter. Given that many of comments liking the bus include calls for ditching the premium fare, hope this money loser is discontinued in June.

    Steve: This is a classic example of how the TTC (and come members of Council) manage to waste money on pet services while having no qualms about cutting others. I wonder when Councillors will rally to improve service on the 501 that will benefit everyone, not just the coddled few at Humber Bay?


  32. Steve asks,

    “I wonder when Councillors will rally to improve service on the 501 that will benefit everyone, not just the coddled few at Humber Bay?”

    About the time that the Councillors in question actually start riding the TTC. The notion that south Etobicoke’s transit difficulties would be solved by an express bus to downtown is a notion held by lots of people who never take the streetcar (or the TTC in fact), but think “an express bus would be great!”

    The Humber Bay Express is a bus service dreamed up by non-transit-users. They think they know what would help those who actually ride the TTC. They’re wrong.


Comments are closed.