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TTC to review Variety Village bus stop request

by Tamara Cherry

The TTC is “committed to take a second look” at requests to put a bus stop in front of Variety Village, a commission spokesman said Sunday.

“The matter isn’t closed,” insisted TTC spokesman Brad Ross. “We will be coming back and re-examine that and we will report back to our commission. I can’t say when because I don’t know yet, but in the near future.”

Ross’ comments came in response to a Sunday Sun column in which Mike Strobel called on the TTC to put a bus stop in front of the Scarborough facility for disabled children. He noted that the bus stop at the rear of the building, on Danforth Ave., near Birchmount Rd., requires a trek up a “menace” of a path that “is muddy and strewn with rocks and concrete.”

Strobel highlighted a letter written to mayor-elect Rob Ford from TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster.

“The TTC has examined this service request several times over the years and has, unfortunately, not been able to support or justify the operation of such a service, over and above the four services which we already operate to that complex,” Webster wrote in the letter, dated Sept. 20. “The reason for this is that Variety Village is located on a section of Danforth Ave. which has virtually no development aside from Variety Village itself and which, therefore, would generate only limited ridership.”

Ross said Strobel’s column failed to mention the fact that Webster’s letter noted the TTC would re-examine the issue.

Webster, who was unavailable for comment Sunday, had written that the TTC “would be happy to once again review the feasibility of introducing new service to Variety Village” in the next annual review of service proposals.

Toronto Coun. Karen Stintz, who is expected to be named TTC chairman this week, said that based on her “initial review” of the Variety Village situation, “it appears the public is not being well served.

“These are the kinds of customer service initiatives that mayor-elect Rob Ford is committed to bringing to all areas of the city, including the TTC,” Stintz said Sunday. “(It’s about) customer service, remembering who the customer is and making sure we build a city that’s working for those who live here.”

The TTC has “transit standards” to abide by, Ross added.

“It is a very difficult place to stop given the number of routes in and around the area,” Ross said. “To divert one of the routes would certainly inconvenience a great many people who use that route or it could be additional costs to putting a stop in — in addition to the diversion.”