Toronto transit bus, slowest bus routes

Mock awards honour the city’s slowest transit routes as advocates demand bus lanes

Congrats to the Dufferin, Jane and Steeles West bus routes. These three gems of Toronto transit have the dubious honour of winning awards for the city’s slowest bus routes according to a new campaign by the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

The mock awards are presented at an event where volunteers dressed up as marathoners to receive medals in a ceremony. The timing aligns with an imminent report scheduled for debate at the Executive Committee, focusing on Toronto’s plan to introduce additional bus lanes.

“It’s time to put the ‘rapid’ in RapidTO,” said How-Sen Chong, Toronto Environmental Alliance climate campaigner. “There’s no excuse to delay the next four priority routes of RapidTO: Steeles West, Finch East, Lawrence East, and Dufferin. We need studies on these four routes to be complete in 2024. And it means that we need paint on the ground by the end of the year.”

The RapidTO Surface Transit Network Plan report, slated for debate on Jan. 30, proposes advancing studies and consultation along Finch East, Lawrence East, and Dufferin but lacks clear timelines for the implementation of bus lanes or other transit priority measures.

According to the report, 70% of all rides on the TTC include time on a surface route, with surface routes being identified as the least reliable portions of Toronto’s transit system.

“As ridership recovers from the pandemic, it is vital we provide reliable and fast transit options for Torontonians who take the bus every day”, said Josh Matlow, councillor and TTC commissioner. “Thousands of residents across several under-serviced neighbourhoods and York University students rely on the Steeles bus. The current plan leaves all of them stuck in traffic. I will be working closely with local Councillor Anthony Perruzza to finally get transit moving on Steeles Ave.”

York University student and TTCriders volunteer Elton Campbell, who won gold in the #29 Dufferin jersey for slowest bus routes, shared his frustration with the TTC.

“Whenever I need to take the Dufferin bus from Parkdale to Wilson Station, it is painfully slow.” he said. “I was not surprised to learn how slow the Dufferin bus is, but I am surprised that city council is not planning to move faster to make quick improvements to Toronto buses.”

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO