TTC asks riders on 9 bus routes to consider travelling at later times to reduce crowding
Commuters are shown on the TTC's Dufferin bus on Tuesday morning. TTC bus drivers are now being instructed by their union to limit the number of passengers on their vehicles to no more than 15 following reports of overcrowding on more than a dozen routes. (Submitted)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020 6:09AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:37AM EDT
The TTC is encouraging riders on nine different bus routes to considering altering their travel times in order to reduce crowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a series of messages posted to Twitter, the TTC said that it had identified the routes as very busy before 7 a.m. on weekdays” and is now warning riders using those routes to avoid travelling in the early morning hours, if at all possible.
“Unless your trip is essential, please consider travelling after 7:30 a.m. to encourage physical distancing,” the TTC said. “Also, please practice physical distancing at bus stops and on-board vehicles.”
The TTC has previously discontinued the use of fare boxes on its vehicles in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 and has prohibited front-door boarding in order to protect its operators.
They have, however, maintained full service levels despite a roughly 70 per cent decrease in ridership.
Speaking with CP24 on Tuesday morning, Mayor John Tory said that he will ask staff about potentially redeploying some buses on the affected routes in order to reduce crowding. But he said that riders also have to do their part by not boarding vehicles that are already full or close to full.
“People have to be willing to adjust or modify their own behaviour if they can,” he said.
Some transit agencies have reduced their vehicle capacity during the pandemic, including Brampton Transit where the number of people allowed on vehicles has been cut in half.
Tory told CP24 that the TTC has not chosen to take that step formally so far because it is striking to “strike the right balance” where it is still providing essential workers, like doctors and nurses, with a way to get to work.
“I am assuming we are all workers in the medical field and that is why we are still taking transportation,” a commuter told CP24 at Keele Station on Tuesday morning. “For now I think everybody is being safe and keeping a distance.”
The routes of concern identified by the TTC on Tuesday morning are:
- 117 Alness-Chesswood:
- 165 Weston Rd North
- 96 Wilson
- 35 Jane
- 41 Keele
- 119 Torbarrie
- 102 Markham Road
- 44 Kipling South
- 123 Sherway