TTC commuters assess impact of coming route cuts

Rush Kazi, a paralegal in North York, relies on the TTC to get to work every day. Riding the 122 Graydon Hall bus, it takes her nearly two hours to get to work.

“If they cut it then I actually will have no way to (get to) work, as I work in North York in one of those industrial like areas,” she said. “My law firm is not in an accessible part (of the city).”

Kazi attended the last of the TTC’s four public consultations on proposed cuts to selected routes in the city. The consultation took place at the Elmbank Community Centre in Etobicoke. The TTC calls the process service reallocation. It plans to eliminate and reduce service on what it has determined are underused routes and reinvest the savings in busier routes. The TTC estimates it will save the city approximately $7 million.

Brad Ross, the director of TTC communications, acknowledges the inconveniences.

“It’s not something we want to do, but we are constrained with funding so our options are very limited,” he said. “We can’t have a fare increase.”

At the community centre meeting, maps displayed the routes potentially affected by the cuts. Each map offered TTC riders alternative routes to the proposed cut routes.

“Much of the elimination is late in the evenings and on weekends. It will probably affect 1.2 million trips out of a total of 487 million, which is less that one per cent,” Ross said.

Kazi discussed her route with the TTC staff at the meeting. She considers herself one of the luckier commuters. The proposed cut will only affect service to her bus route after 10 p.m., outside of her regular working hours.

For those who work late shifts and outside of standard working hours, however, a reduction or complete cut in service after 10 p.m. could be devastating.

Jennifer Ahamed, an employment advisor at Humber College, works with newcomers and helps them find work in the city.

She said the proposed cuts could potentially create a barrier for newcomers.

“If they’re working at night and if they don’t have transportation, they are going to get stuck,” she said. “We provide employment services and help them to get jobs, but when it comes down to transportation there’s none.”

All the findings from the four public consultations will be presented in a report to the TTC commission on Feb 2.