On Sunday, October 7, the TTC will improve service on many routes. This is a continuation of the upgrades across the system made possible by Council’s allowing the TTC to spend unexpectedly high fare revenue on more service.
This round of improvements begs an intriguing question. These are improvements not driven by some Miller era ideology about improving transit service in the hope that more people will ride, but by the fact that ridership growth has pushed demand on many routes beyond the reduced service standards enacted by the Ford/Stintz administration.
A fundamental issue about cities with robust transit demand is that eventually you have to run more service. We may make nips and tucks around the edges, but those pesky passengers just keep showing up at stops.
Will Council recognize this fact in the 2013 budget and allow the transit subsidy to grow, or will they cave in to the Ford ideology that no increase is the only acceptable policy?
Looking at the projected changes in average loads for many routes, it won’t take much more riding to bring them above the threshold for another service improvement. This is not a one-time effect, and the TTC needs to produce a plan showing how it will deal with the growing demand on all of its network.
With the October schedules, the services on Queen will be back on their normal route except for the 502 Downtowner which will be extended from McCaul to Bathurst until mid-November pending completion of water main and track construction on McCaul. The Spadina streetcar returns between Bloor and King in November, and to Queen’s Quay just before Christmas.