Commuters can still Ride the Rocket, just with less frequency.
Service cuts to bus routes including the 29 Dufferin, 32 Eglinton West and 56 Leaside took effect on Feb. 12.
For commuters, the cuts translate into longer wait times — ranging from 30 seconds up to five minutes in some cases — and bigger crowds during rush hour with 10 percent more passengers required to stand, TTC spokesperson Brad Ross says.
However, delays of only a minute could significantly reduce the on-time performance of the bus system, says Jamie Kirkpatrick, spokesperson for the TTCRiders advocacy group.
“There’s going to be a larger queue of people waiting to get on the bus, which means it’ll take longer for people to board the bus, which means the bus will get off schedule quicker,” Kirkpatrick says.
City council had given the TTC $5 million to prevent such reductions, but at its Jan. 31 meeting, the commission allocated the money to Wheel-Trans for ambulatory dialysis patients.
The cuts are required in order to balance the budget, Ross says.
“Reducing service is not what we want to do,” he says. “But the financial realities of the city and the TTC are that we have a 10 percent reduction in our subsidy level for 2012.”
Kirkpatrick blames Mayor Rob Ford and his team at city hall for the cuts.
“It [is] entirely because of the decision by the current administration to have a blanket 10 percent cut to the TTC’s budget, without really looking at the impact or ramifications that would have.”
Ross says reverting to pre-2004 passenger loading levels is the most economical option.
“What we didn’t do was cut routes outright,” he says. “We did not eliminate routes. That would’ve been the easy thing to do to save (operating) costs.”
TTC rider Ali Zaivi, stepping off the bus at Dufferin station during the morning rush hour, says his bus is always crowded.
“I take this bus every day. And every time, I’m standing. There are so many people using it like students and people going to work. When there are service cuts, more people may be using their cars.”
Kirkpatrick says it’s a shame commuters will be waiting longer and dealing with busier buses.
“Riders are doing our part,” he says. “We’re paying more this year for less service and it’s not fair.”
During peak times, 35 bus routes have 42 service reductions. During off-peak times, 36 bus and streetcar routes have 90 service reductions.
Buses are also becoming more crowded. Buses that used to average 48 customers will now have an average capacity of 53 riders.
Period of peak service reductions on Monday–Friday:
6 Bay — afternoon
10 Van Horne — morning
16 McCowan — morning
21 Brimley — afternoon
22 Coxwell — afternoon
26 Dupont — morning
30 Lambton — morning
31 Greenwood — morning
34 Eglinton East — morning
35 Jane — morning and afternoon
41 Keele — afternoon
45 Kipling — morning and afternoon
46 Martin Grove — morning
53 Steeles East — morning and afternoon
56 Leaside — morning
57 Midland — morning
60 Steeles West — morning
66 Prince Edward — morning
67 Pharmacy — afternoon
68 Warden — morning
69 Warden South — afternoon
81 Thorncliffe Park — afternoon
89 Weston — afternoon
96 Wilson — morning and afternoon
102 Markham Road — morning
110 Islington South — afternoon
112 West Mall — morning
117 Alness — morning
123 Shorncliffe — morning
131 Nugget — morning
133 Neilson — morning
134 Progress — afternoon
139 Finch-Don Mills — morning and afternoon
191 Highway 27 Rocket — morning
192 Airport Rocket — morning
Off-peak service reductions:
7 Bathurst — Monday-Friday midday and early evening, weekend mornings and afternoons
24 Victoria Park — Saturday afternoon
25 Don Mills — Monday-Friday midday and early evening, Saturday daytime
29 Dufferin — Monday-Friday early and late evening, weekend mornings, Sunday afternoon
32 Eglinton West — Monday-Friday midday, weekend mornings and afternoons
34 Eglinton East — Monday-Friday midday
35 Jane — Sunday morning and afternoon
36 Finch West — Monday-Friday midday and late evening, Saturday morning
37 Islington — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday afternoon
39 Finch East — Monday-Friday midday and late evening, Saturday late evening
41 Keele — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday morning and afternoon
44 Kipling South — Monday-Friday midday
45 Kipling — Monday-Friday midday and early evening, Saturday afternoon
47 Lansdowne — Monday-Friday midday
52 Lawrence West — Monday-Friday midday
53 Steeles East — Monday-Friday early evening
54 Lawrence East — Monday-Friday midday
58 Malton — Monday-Friday midday
60 Steeles West — Monday-Friday midday, weekend mornings
63 Ossington — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday morning and afternoon
68 Warden — Monday-Friday midday
84 Sheppard West — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday afternoon
85 Sheppard East — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday afternoon and early evening, Sunday morning and afternoon
89 Weston — Saturday afternoon
95 York Mills — Saturday morning and afternoon
96 Wilson — Monday-Friday midday
102 Markham Road — Monday-Friday midday
129 McCowan North — Monday-Friday midday and early evening
185 Weston Road North — Monday-Friday midday
190 Scarborough Centre Rocket — Saturday afternoon
199 Finch Rocket — Monday-Friday midday and early evening
501 Queen — Monday-Friday midday and early evening, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening, and Sunday morning and afternoon
504 King — Saturday morning and late evening
505 Dundas — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday morning and afternoon, Sunday afternoon
506 Carlton — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday and Sunday daytime
510 Spadina — Monday-Friday early evening, Sunday morning
512 St. Clair — Monday-Friday midday, Saturday daytime and Sunday afternoon
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