TTC route cut meeting draws thin crowd

A public meeting regarding the TTC’s planned service cuts saw few members of the public attend in Scarborough last night.

A handful of people met with TTC representatives at the Scarborough Civic Centre Wednesday night for the third of four public consultations about proposed cuts to bus routes across the city. Members of the public were invited to discuss their concerns with TTC representatives on hand at the informal drop-in session.

There is an online feedback form for those unable to attend the meetings.

Michael Binetti took advantage of the Scarborough meeting. He said while the proposed cuts don’t affect him personally, he worries about friends of his, including one who is a university student. She regularly takes the #9 Bellamy bus in Scarborough, he said, which is on the cut list.

“She comes home from school late at night and relies on that bus to get home safely,” Binetti said. “She is going to have to take two extra buses now to get home, plus a 15 minute walk and that’s even more of a problem on nights when it’s -20C out.”

In 2008, the TTC introduced additional off-peak transit services in an effort to increase public transit availability. TTC riders could rely on the service later at night, no matter where they lived. While this new service has been of great value for those who need it, an explanation on TTC’s website says, the resources that are being used by these under-performing routes are needed in other areas where ridership is at an all-time high.

According to Bill Dawson, TTC service planner, the TTC determines the amount of riders on each route by having a person sit on the bus, with a counter, and clicking each time a rider comes on to the bus. This is done once per year on buses and three times for subway stations.

The #9 Bellamy bus, for instance, has on average 40 riders after 10 p.m. on weeknights. In comparison, on an average weekday, the #29 Dufferin bus has over 40,000 riders.

While the TTC is using these statistics to justify their proposed service cuts, Binetti reminds that there is a frustrated person behind each of those low numbers. In particular, his #9 Bellamy, off-peak, bus-riding friend.

“She really isn’t happy with this news. Her exact words to me were, ‘I guess it’s time to get a car’”.

PDF file of all routes affected, including maps of each route.

Observer Radio News: Last week, the TTC held four meetings and allowed the public to air their concerns over recently announced service cuts.

Observer Radio’s Leslie Marciniak reports.

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