I was very troubled to learn that at the TTC meeting on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the Commission will consider a report that will set in motion a process to remove stops on our bus and streetcar routes. This significant move is being undertaken without proper notice or consultation with our communities or the TTC riders who will be affected.
The five page report to the Commission (available HERE) claims that the move is to “improve pedstrian safety” by removing mid-block stops and having them located close to a traffic signal. This will mean that heavily used mid-block stops, such as the one that serves parents and students at Lord Dufferin School, will be eliminated without concern for the passengers or the distances or conditions they will need to walk.
The report also recommends placing stops at minimum distances, stating that the “appropriate distance between stops” offers “less disruptive travel”. One of the examples that is given is the removal of the streetcar stop at Victoria Street, near St. Michael’s Hospital. Anyone who is familiar with that stop at rush hour knows that a significant number of people debark there in the morning. Forcing the passengers to load and unload exclusively at Yonge Street will not improve travel times or rider convenience. Although not in the report, the TTC are proposing to elimnate the Front Street stop for the Sherbourne bus, using this rationale.
These recommendations are a backdoor attempt to reduce service. They do not take into account the way that passengers use the system, transportation needs of the area, or the various uses near the stops in question. Rather than creating a rational terms of reference to examine the service in neighbourhoods, the staff are relying on a cheap and cheerful cookie cutter approach. Although the report promises a follow up report on the implications and a “plan for consulting with affected Councillors” there is no plan for consulting with the affected riders. This approach also sets a piecemeal justification for each stop.
I am committed to ensuring that our transit works for our community, and that all changes receive proper input from residents. I invite you to make a your voice heard at the Commission.
Members of the public may make deputations at the TTC meeting. Requests to appear as a speaker will be accepted in writing until Noon on Monday, January 27. You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also make a written submission.
The TTC meeting is on Tuesday, January 28, at 1:00 pm in Committee Room 1, City Hall.