The TTC’s ridership has been declining since 2014.
According to the TTC’s Ridership Growth Strategy, which was presented during Monday’s board meeting, adult ridership has seen the sharpest declined since then, with a total of 16 million yearly rides lost.
Adult Metropasses have seen a significant decrease of 14% (403,000 passes) in annual sales over the same period. Toronto’s transit ridership growth trajectory levelled in the past three years, and the TTC expects this trend to continue in 2018.
The growth strategy aims to increase ridership in Toronto, while preventing ridership loss over the next five years.
In order to do so, the TTC is focusing on three points: 1. Move more customers, more reliably 2. Make taking public transit seamless 3. Being innovate for the long term.
With approximately 850,000 customers, the TTC says that it has an opportunity to positively impact ridership growth by addressing current “pain points.” It describes these pain points as service reliability and flexibility, to encourage existing customers to choose the TTC for more of their travel in and around the city.
The TTC’s latest numbers can be related to the higher usage of ridesharing apps like Uber. Data collected suggests that the average wait time and trip cost are competitive advantages ridesharing has over the TTC.
“However, TTC staff need to review this in more detail with Uber before firm insights can be made,” states the transit report. “The company has expressed willingness to work with TTC staff so they and the TTC can gain further understanding of Toronto-specific digital ride-hailing trends. With Lyft, the other major North American digital-ride hailing provider, recently choosing Toronto as its first international city for expansion, the TTC will also engage with them in understanding mobility trends.”
But it’s not all external issues.
The TTC has had problems with the delivery of their new streetcars, adding to fleet capacity constraints.
“The unreliability of the aging streetcar fleet, coupled with the delayed deliveries of new accessible streetcars, is causing the TTC to pull buses from bus routes to replace failing legacy streetcars on streetcar routes,” said the report.
The five year outlook shows the delivery of the new vehicles by 2019, along with the addition of electronic buses. Additionally, the TTC is planning to introduce two-hour transfers next year.