Toronto mayor John Tory indicated he would support a motion to add $3 million to the TTC’s budget to specifically address the hot button topic–crowding.
Tory would leave it to the TTC to decide how to tackle the issue with the extra funding that works out to around $577 million.
“I’m dedicated to making sure that the TTC is doing everything possible to minimize delays, and to ease crowding, and doing those things as soon as possible,” the mayor said.
Overcrowding is becoming a major issue that has left the TTC scrambling. The Bloor-Yonge station has in recent months became so overloaded at times that the TTC has even shut it down and evacuated passengers to prevent possible stampedes or an accident whereby someone fell on the tracks. At times of overcrowding such things become a distinct possibility.
Other than the $3-million funding boost, the mayor’s plan doesn’t include any dedicated funding, and several of the proposals were measures the TTC was already exploring or had planned to carry out.
The plan includes adding two extra trains to Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) during morning rush hour, adjusting overnight maintenance schedules to ensure repair work doesn’t interfere with daytime service, and adding staff at the transit operations centre to ensure the TTC can react faster to service problems.
Mayor Tory is also expected to meet with Ontario Transportation Minister Kathryn McGarry and Premier Kathleen Wynne to address the larger issue concerning transit challenges across the region.
Going forward he will hold monthly meetings with senior transit staff at the TTC and Metrolinx to track the progress of new transit projects, including the relief line subway, in an effort to speed them up.
The 10-point strategy requests the TTC take another look at introducing lower fares during off-peak hours, which would give passengers an incentive to travel outside of the busiest periods. Doing this would also boost ridership as it would give those who had no intention of using the TTC to do so.
Tory is proposing studying the use of express buses on Yonge St. to relieve subway crowding. – CINEWS