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TTC proposes dedicated bus lanes for 5 busiest routes

Last Updated Dec 12, 2019 at 7:27 am EDT

The TTC is recommending Toronto build exclusive bus lanes for five of the busiest routes in the city.

The new report names Eglinton East, Dufferin, Jane, Steeles West and Finch East bus routes as ones that would most benefit from having a bus lane.

The five and 10-year outlook from the TTC predicts ridership will grow by 35 million riders by 2024.

They have focused part of their plan based on the success of the King Street project that was made permanent earlier this year and gives priority to streetcars through the downtown core.

However, while the King Street project cost $3 million, the dedicated bus lanes could cost upwards of $40 million.

“I championed the King Street pilot and based on its success moving more people across the busiest surface transit route in North America, I have been supportive of looking at bus priority corridors as a way to improve transit reliability on some of our busiest bus routes to help transit riders,” mayor John Tory said in a statement to CityNews.

“The plan released by the TTC identifies five corridors where buses could be given greater priority so that they could move more efficiently along their route and the entire street may ultimately work better for everyone.”

The report stresses that this change could bring major improvements to daily commutes as 70 per cent of TTC trips involve the use of a bus or a streetcar.

TTC Spokesman Stuart Green says the biggest improvements they can make is moving as many people as possible with as few vehicles as possible.

“The priority was really to look at those corridors where most people live or work or where there is the greatest opportunity to enhance people’s commuting experience.”

Councillor Brad Bradford, who is also a TTC board member, said he believes this is the right area of transit relief to focus on.

“So much focus is on the subway and the LTR, and yet, the reality is our surface transit system does a lot of heavy lifting,” said Bradford.

The recommendation is expected to go before the TTC board during their meeting next week.