Community Bus pilot program rolls into East York

TTC's new bus service aimed at seniors, Wheel-Trans customers

East York resident Del Hursey, 71, is a fan of the new Community Bus service.

She says she likes it because she doesn’t have to take as many bus transfers to get to where to she needs to go.

“Not too many people know about this service,” said Hursey, who recently used the Community Bus to get from No Frills on Victoria Park to Shoppers World on the Danforth. “It’s convenient.”

The TTC began its nine-month Community Bus pilot program along two routes this month. The program is designed to connect senior citizens and Wheel-Trans customers along the Lawrence Manor 400 and East York 404 routes by offering door-to-door service to shopping centres, community centres, hospitals and seniors’ centres.

“The pilot is part of a 10-year Wheel-Trans strategy aimed at transforming the way accessible public-transit services are delivered,” TTC spokesperson Donna Harris said in an email. “The TTC’s goal is to provide customers with increased flexibility and spontaneity.”

Seniors who have tried out the service have mixed reactions.

Philomena Mcbolin, 94, uses a walker and says she doesn’t like the change in bus stop locations that require her to walk to the opposite side of the plaza to catch her bus home. Janice Marshall, 79, says the Community Bus doesn’t allow her enough time to shop before its final 4 p.m. bus.

The Community Bus program allows passengers to flag buses down along their route. Anyone can try out the new service. The TTC has reallocated $400,000 within its existing Wheel-Trans program for additional buses and to build awareness through posters, flyers and talking with riders.

The pilot will determine whether the service will continue or expand.