TTC route cuts delayed but Scarborough riders still wary

Scarborough residents won’t have to worry about fewer evening and weekend buses for another two months.

The Toronto Transit Commission announced Wednesday that it is delaying the plan to reduce service on 48 bus routes, 10 of which are in Scarborough. These routes have smaller ridership than others, the TTC said.

Students taking night classes at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus will have greater trouble getting home if the proposed cuts to the 116A/E Morningside bus after 10 p.m. pass, fourth-year biochemistry student Brian Fong said.

“It would be harder and more inconvenient for students who are used to taking this bus to get to school,” he said. “There are also lots of school events which occur on campus on weekends.”

Ward 37 councillor Michael Thompson is concerned about proposed cuts to the 32 Eglinton and 43 Kennedy bus services, he said. Both run through his ward.

“The commission has to look into whether these cut in services are really necessary,” he said. “Scarborough has a history of being transit-challenged. I just want to make sure that these cuts in bus services are not having the type of impact that would majorly impact Scarborough.”

The TTC should consider the needs of residents who have no alternative to public transit to get around, including the elderly, Scarborough resident and long-time TTC rider Amy Cheung said.

“They may, to minimize costs, reduce frequency of buses but not cancel the routes altogether if there is proof that some residents are counting on that particular route to get around,” she said. “The TTC should not have unlimited powers to increase fares or cut services because they hold a social responsibility towards citizens who rely on them for their day-to-day lives.

“They must take interest of the public into consideration.”

The commission is set to hold a series of public meetings about the proposed route cuts Jan. 24 – 27 .

“The public needs a say and the TTC needs to fully assess citizens’ needs,” Thompson said.