This week, the Toronto Transit Commission Board will debate on whether to accelerate implementing bus priority corridors on five major routes in the city.
The motion put forward by TTC Commissioner and City Councillor Brad Bradford is part of the 5-Year Service Plan, which aims to improve service-related issues.
“Advancing these priority corridors on a fast-track basis will help to improve reliability, safety, and customer confidence in our transit service,” the motion reads.
The five corridors put forth in the motion include:
- Jane Street: from Eglinton Avenue to Steeles Avenue
- Dufferin Street: from Dufferin Gate to Wilson Avenue
- Steeles Avenue West: from Yonge Street to Pioneer Village Subway Station
- Finch Avenue East: from Yonge Street to McCowan Road
- Eglinton Avenue East/Kingston Road/Morningside Avenue – from Kennedy Subway Station to University of Toronto Scarborough
In the motion, Bradford outlines key benefits for accelerating work on the approved bus priority transit corridors.
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For the City Councillor, bus service is the most “adaptable mode” of transportation for the evolving public health guidelines on physical distancing and the most flexible for real-time service adjustments to meet the changing demand.
And, the bus priority corridors in the 5-Year Service Plan focus on parts of the city where service has experienced more overcrowding during the pandemic.
The motion highlights that many of the communities in these corridors are home to essential frontline workers who do not have the option to work from home.
By accelerating the works for the bus corridors it would aid communities experiencing some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the city and “achieve important gains for transit equity and access in geographic across all of Toronto.”
“As our communities continue reopening through the COVID-19 pandemic, the bus network will play a critical role in connecting communities historically underserved by transit, removing barriers to accessing employment, and restarting the economy,” the motion states.
The goal is to implement this bus plan by September 1, when many large employers and schools resume working in-person.
Bradford said the motion proposes at a minimum, the corridors could be implemented by painting and signing the curb lane for TTC buses only, optimizing signals for transit priority, placing temporary bollards or cones to identify transit-only lanes, and providing enforcement.
The TTC board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.