TTC projections show ridership is on track for a third year of declining numbers.
Here is a look at some of the reasons ridership may be in decline:
Unfair fare prices:
TTC customers are frequently hit with fare increases.
An adult fare costs $3.25, while children, students and seniors pay at a discount. Price increases are due to the costs of the TTC operations, renovations, and new vehicles.
Overcrowding on TTC vehicles:
TTC vice chair, Alan Heisey, said it’s possible that ridership could be sagging due to overcrowding and insufficient capacity.
“The TTC should focus on having more express buses,” Palad said. “I often find myself waiting for an express bus from between 15 to 20 minutes … Buses are sometimes late and people start to pile up at the station.”
Karl Junkin, senior researcher at Transit Action Ontario, said that the high levels of crowding impact the experience of commuters.
“If riders have more experience of a TTC that’s too crowded, they may consider other ways to travel,” Junkin said.
To combat this, the TTC is making plans to have service vehicles arrive on schedule.
Andy Byford, CEO of the TTC, said in a board meeting on March that the aim is to have vehicles “on time at every stop. That’s got to be our aspiration.”
He later said that the goal is to have the buses depart at the exact time according to the schedule, to avoid delays.
Heisey suggested that Uber, Bikeshare, and Cars2Go, are stealing passengers.
Palad agreed, saying that she prefers her experiences with Uber over taking the bus.
“Sometimes the bus breaks down or the bus drivers switch, or a person on the bus is causing a commotion, which can delay a lot of people’s travels.”
To prevent running a deficit, the TTC needs “more money to cover deficit from city or province or reduce service,” Heisey said. However, there is little chance of avoiding a deficit, due to a subsidy of 90 cents per trip that is added with each additional passenger.