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TTC, York U. settle on bus-only corridor

Speeds commute between campus, subway station

Unique transit route due to be finished by 2006


The TTC and York University are expected to announce an agreement tomorrow that clears the way for Toronto’s first bus-only route, intended to reduce transit time between the university and Downsview subway station.

While the two sides have long agreed on the principle of a bus-only route as a temporary subway alternative, they have been bickering over its precise route.

The agreement calls for a new road to be constructed on the grounds of the university (as the TTC wants) but far enough from some buildings and residences to keep noise down (as the university demanded). The $40 million project will be completed in time for the opening of the Toronto Argonauts’ new football stadium in 2006.

“It has been a rough ride on a very bumpy road,” said Moscoe. “There was a little bit of give-and-take, but ultimately it’s going to benefit students. …

“What we’re going to be able to do is guarantee students a 13-minute ride from the Downsview subway station. Right now, that ride runs anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.”

Moscoe said the plan calls for the road to be torn up in 10 years. “We suspect there might be a subway there by then.”

From Downsview station, the city will build bus-only lanes on Dufferin Street to north of Finch Ave. A new, bus-only roadway will be constructed in the hydro corridor between Dufferin and the university campus and on vacant land west of Keele St.

Bus-only routes operate on the same principle as streetcar-only routes along Spadina Ave. and Queens Quay and offer a low-cost alternative to building subways.

Extending the Spadina subway line to York University would cost about $1.2 billion.

The extension is in the early phase of an environmental assessment.

“As the gridlock worsens in the northwest part of the city, it becomes crucially important that we have some form of rapid transit out there and this is our interim solution,” said Moscoe.

The plan will be discussed tomorrow at the TTC’s monthly meeting.

University officials could not be reached for comment.