A chartered bus service that seeks to provide Liberty Village residents with an alternative to the cramped confines of the King streetcar will resume operations later this month after staging a successful one-week trial this past fall.

Beginning on Jan. 19 residents will be able to take the Liberty Village Express from East Liberty and Pirandello streets to Union Station every weekday morning and then back at the end of the day for a cost that equates to about $4.50 a ride.

The for-profit service was launched in an effort to provide a more reliable transit option to those living in the neighbourhood, according to co-founder Brett Chang.

“The tickets are going to be a bit more expensive than the TTC but we are guaranteeing you a seat and 100 per cent on-time performance,” Chang told CP24 on Tuesday. “It will be a lot more comfortable than the TTC I promise you that.”

About 60,000 people ride the King streetcar every day and in the past some customers have complained about being unable to board the car due to overcrowding.

According to Chang, the Liberty Village Express seeks to remedy that by making five trips in the morning and then another five trips in the evening with each rider getting a reserved seat on the bus of their choice.

As for possible regulatory issues — the City of Toronto Act provides the TTC with exclusive rights to provide public transit — Chang said he believes the Liberty Village Express is on sound legal ground as a technology and chartered bus service.

“Our ultimate goal is to build technology that improves everyone’s commute and that includes the TTC,” he said. “We would actually love to work with the TTC on implementing our technology on pilot routes to help move everybody better.”

Though the idea of a privately operated bus charter service is relatively novel, several condominiums in the GTA do provide shuttle services for residents.

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