Snowstorm causes public transit delays in Toronto

Between 15 to 25 centimetres of snow fell, making for a slow, agonizing commute

lines of TTC commuters
TTC commuters waiting in lines for their buses to arrive in Don Mills Station on Jan. 28.  Matthew McCarthy/Toronto Observer

Monday night was not a good night for anyone taking public transportation, with many commuters frustrated, tired, cold and stuck due to the snow.

Roads and sidewalks were full of snow. It was cold. Commuters spent more than double the usual time getting home. The snowstorm on Jan. 28 was cruel.

The snowstorm hit around noon, causing snow to cover the streets and sidewalks of Toronto and nearby cities.

The sidewalk of Bullock Dr. in Markham, Ontario at around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2019  (Matthew McCarthy/Toronto Observer)

Commuters waited in Pape station from up to 10 to 40 minutes for their bus. The message board that shows the times of the buses would sometimes increase during the wait. For example, the 925 Don Mills Express went up from nine minutes to around 18 minutes.

The snow would blast into Pape station whenever the doors to the station were open. The inside of the station was cold. There were dozens of Centennial College students from the nearby Story Arts Centre in the station due to the college closing at 3:30 p.m.

When the buses did arrive, it was bittersweet.

A TTC bus in Don Mills station covered in snow with foggy windows from the snowstorm outside, Jan., 28.

A TTC bus coming back from its commute in the Jan. 28, 2019 snowstorm.  (Matthew McCarthy/Toronto Observer)

Bus drivers were banging their windshield-wipers when they got back due to the amount of snow on them. The visors that display the numbers on the bus were foggy for some buses, to the point of being unreadable.

Some buses got stuck on their routes for up to two hours, such as one of the Don Mills Express buses. It took 20-30 minutes to go from the Lawrence East stop to York Mills Road.

Don Mills station also had problems, with lines of people waiting for their buses on the platform.


[aesop_video align=”center” src=”self” hosted=”″ caption=”People lined up for their buses on the Don Mills Station platform Jan. 28, 2019. (Matthew McCarthy/Toronto Observer)” disable_for_mobile=”on” loop=”on” controls=”on” autoplay=”on” mute=”off” viewstart=”on” viewend=”on” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]


TTC buses weren’t the only buses with delays: YRT and Viva buses also had delays, with the Viva Green taking 20 minutes longer to arrive at Don Mills station from the usual 20 minutes.

Lyn May, who works at a mutual fund company, called her experience during Monday’s commute on the 95 eastbound bus horrible.

“Got to York Mills station 4:30 p.m. and didn’t catch a bus til 6:30 p.m. The bus I got on was the fourth one that arrived within a 10-minute span,” May said.

She told the Toronto Observer what else she saw.

“I know in the past when they’ve had issues with the road, they used to detour the bus…For some reason this time around they just decided to go up the hill and I’m, like, ‘Well this is odd.’,” she said.

The TTC subway also had its fair share of problems.

Although the TTC was criticized by many commuters on social media due to the slow service and lack of preparation, the TTC responded with a light touch during and after the snowstorm.


About this article

Posted: Mar 5 2019 5:26 pm
Filed under: News