The first section of the TTC’s new bus-only lanes were officially introduced in Scarborough on Friday.
Mayor John Tory was joined by city councillors and TTC executives as he unveiled the first section of RapidTO, spanning over two kilometers of Morningside Avenue.
As of Sunday, the red-painted section of road can only be used by buses and bicycles, and any cars that crosses into it can be fined $110 and lose three demerit points.
The RapidTO project is a planned network of five transit priority corridors across the city. According to a release, the RapidTO network will improve the reliability and increase the capacity of bus routes, which will in turn create a faster and more reliable route for TTC riders. The TTC began installing the lanes on Tuesday.
The new lanes are part of the Eglinton East Corridor, which will include 8.5 kilometers of priority bus lanes along Morningside, Eglinton Avenue East, and Kingston Road upon completion in November. The new lanes are expected to reduce transit travel time by two to five minutes, according to the release.
“Building transit rider confidence will help ensure the TTC continues to be a critical part of our pandemic response efforts,” said Mayor Tory.
Eglinton East, including Morningside, is among the TTC’s most heavily-used corridors, said the release. The new lanes will take over the existing HOV lanes on Eglinton, and curb lanes on Kingston and Morningside.
“Priority corridors are in communities that are home to essential frontline workers and where TTC buses are the primary mode of travel,” said Rick Leary, CEO of the TTC. “We’re determined on getting more RapidTO bus lanes across the city and keeping our riders in the fast lane.”
According to the city, the five corridors will include:
- Eglinton Avenue East/Kingston Road/Morningside Avenue from Kennedy Subway Station to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
- Jane Street from Eglinton Avenue West to Steeles Avenue West
- 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
- Lawrence East (East of Victoria Park to Rouge Hills Drive) was subsequently added as the sixth priority corridor