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Latest Transit Toronto News

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Read the daily “on schedule” posts to find news and other information that affects your daily commute. You’ll learn about public meetings, special events and construction projects that affect transit services today.

In the news: Thursday, August 21, 2014

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today.

Greater Toronto Area
  • Canadian Press article, “Ontario and Quebec want increase in federal infrastructure funds” (from the CP24 website), here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Toronto’s new streetcars: What riders need to know”, here
  • CBC News Toronto report, “TTC to inspect 88 buses after part recall”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Warren Kinsella accuses John Tory transit plan of ‘segregation’, apologizes”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Karen Stintz drops out of Toronto mayoral race”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “TTC video offers preview of new state-of-the-art streetcar”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Chow’s transit announcement derailed by supporter’s tweet”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “‘Disappointed’ Karen Stintz drops out of mayoral race, leaving city politics”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Video gives sneak peek of new TTC streetcar”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Stintz drops out of mayoral race, says political career is ‘over’”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “Mayoral candidates vie for votes from Stintz camp after she exits race”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “Chow strategist under fire for suggesting Tory’s transit plan is racist”, here
  • Global News Toronto report, “WATCH: TTC guides you through new state-of-the-art streetcars”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Chow campaign member calls Tory’s transit plan ‘segregationist’”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Karen Stintz bows out of the mayoral race”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Keep Union - Pearson rail link affordable, councillors urge Metrolinx”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Tory slams Chow for failing to distance herself from outspoken strategist”, here.
  • Globe and Mail column, “Chow - Tory dustup portends nothing good”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Karen Stintz drops out of mayoral race”, here.
  • Globe and Mail column, “Stintz was a promising candidate — at least on paper”, here.
  • Globe and Mail commentary, “Five things all Canadian cities should stop ignoring”, here.
  • National Post article, “Subway extension to Vaughan could be delayed as TTC sues contractor for missed deadlines”, here.
  • National Post article, “Olivia Chow operative Warren Kinsella under fire for suggesting John Tory’s transit plan is racist”, here.
  • National Post article, “Karen Stintz drops out of mayor’s race, says she is ‘disappointed’”, here.
  • National Post article, “Karen Stintz’s withdrawal from mayoral race may have more impact than her campaign”, here.
  • National Post commentary, “Full Pundit: Julian Fantino would like a word with our veterans”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “TTC board backs CEO’s call for transit improvements”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Tory calls on mayoral race rival to own up to troublesome tweets”, here
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Transit commissioner questions value of the TTC board of directors”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC video introduces new streetcars”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “John Tory slams Olivia Chow’s response to operative’s ‘segregationist’ tweet”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Soknacki’s campaign heavy on policy, light on fund-raising”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Karen Stintz quits mayor’s race, leaves politics”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Karen Stintz explains why she left the mayoral race”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Kathleen Wynne finds new infrastructure ally in Philippe Couillard”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Plenty of bells and whistles on new TTC streetcars”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Olivia Chow unveils her transit plan”, here.
  • Toronto Sun commentary, “Tory’s SmartTrack plan a good deal”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Tory accuses Chow of ‘dirty politics’ over Kinsella tweet”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Karen Stintz out of mayor’s race”, here.
  • Toronto Sun column, “Feds to Ontario: Clean up your fiscal house”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Weekend events affect transit services,
August 22, 23, 24

Buskers are a secondary feature of the annual Canadian National Exhibition, but this weekend, you’ll also find them front and centre at other special events in downtown Toronto and Waterloo.

Those special events and others in Brampton, Burlington, the Georgetown area of Halton Hills, the Lindsay area of Kawartha Lakes, Markham, Milton, Oshawa, Stouffville, Toronto, Waterloo and the Winona area of Hamilton all affect transit services this weekend.

Buses replace subway, August 23, 24:
Eglinton to Bloor


The TTC is canceling subway service along the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina line between Eglinton and Bloor Stations this weekend, Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24.

Frequent, accessible buses will replace the trains, serving the bus terminal at Eglinton Station and then stopping to drop off or pick up passengers at stops on Yonge Street near all other stations along this section of the line. (Unofficially, the buses likely start and end their trips in the bus terminal at Wellesley Station.)

All trains serving the line will operate between Finch and Eglinton Stations and between Downsview and Bloor Stations only.

TTC crews will upgrade the tracks while the subway is closed, working on projects at Davisville Station and between Summerhill and Bloor Stations.

They’ll also work on a long-term project to replace signals along the line. The TTC must replace its signals, relays, wiring and cabling equipment, much of which is nearly 60 years old, since their frequent failure significantly impacts service. The TTC says that “This necessary signal and track work will result in a more reliable service.”

Regular subway service resumes Monday, August 25.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT -- Brentcliffe:
Construction continues, August 17

eglinton crosstown logo.pngMetrolinx contractors are working to build the future Eglinton - Scarborough Crosstown light rail transit line.

Crews continue to work on Eglinton Avenue East east of Brentcliffe Road to build a deep shaft, where, eventually, they’ll launch the east-end tunnel-boring machines. The site will remain a construction zone for several years through various stages of the project. The two tunnel-boring machines will work their way westward from the launch shaft towards Yonge Street.

Walls of the launch shaft must be in place and crews must dig out the shaft before tunnel-boring machines can arrive. But, before they can do that, they have to move utilities safely out of the way and relocate overhead hydro wires.

From 10 p.m. Sunday, August 17 until 6 a.m. Monday, August 18 and continuing overnight nightly for two to three weeks, they’ll start moving the utilities. They’ll set up a work zone in the north lane of Eglinton Avenue East, beside the east launch site. The work zone will extend from west of Leslie Street to just east of Brentcliffe Road. Crews will separate the work zone from traffic with traffic cones.

Only one lane of traffic at a time can pass through this area, so east- and westbound traffic alternately uses just one lane. “Paid-duty” Toronto Police Service officers will control the flow of traffic. Expect delays.

The paid-duty officers will temporarily stop eastbound traffic on Eglinton and temporarily divert westbound traffic to the eastbound lane around the work zone.

Then, they’ll temporarily stop westbound traffic. Eastbound traffic will continue to proceed on the eastbound lane.

Traffic patterns in the area continue to change and shift during different phases of the work. Motorists, cyclists pedestrians and transit passengers should expect delays.

Although the City has permitted the contractors to work on this phase of the project daily between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., underground tunnelling may continue 24 hours a day.

Work continues until September 12.

During construction at the east launch shaft — on Eglinton Avenue East between Leslie Street and Brentcliffe Road — TTC passengers should expect delays for buses operating along these routes:

  • 34 Eglinton East;
  • 51 Leslie;
  • 54 Lawrence East;
  • 100 Flemingdon Park;
  • 305 Eglinton East overnight; and
  • 354 Lawrence East overnight.


DRT revises routes and services,
September 2

Durham Region Transit is making minor route and service changes to its network, starting Tuesday, September 2.

It’s also resuming extra services to and from high schools, a college and university now that summer is over and students are returning to class.

Davis Drive rapidway construction:
August 21 to 29

Metrolinx and York Region contractors continue the project to build a rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Davis Drive in Newmarket.

From 7 p.m. tonight Thursday, August 21 until 7 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, August 22, crews will be working at various sites to continue the project.

They may also work overnight from 7 p.m. Monday, August 24 until 7 a.m. Tuesday, August 25 and continuing overnight nightly until 7 a.m. August 29. While work will not take place every night within this time frame, the contractors have scheduled four nights of work to complete, weather-permitting.

Work sites are on Davis Drive:

  • between Huron Heights Drive and Lundy’s Lane; and
  • between the Tannery and Lorne Avenue.

Expect noise.

During Davis Drive rapidway construction expect delays for:

  • GO Transit express buses operating along the 65 Newmarket / Toronto route; and
  • York Region Transit passengers riding local buses operating along the 44 Bristol, 50 Queensway, 54 Bayview, 55 / 55B Davis Drive, 58 Mount Albert, 223 Newmarket GO shuttle and 520 / 521 Newmarket community routes.


Rapidway on Highway 7 West:
More construction, August 21

Metrolinx and York Region contractors continue getting ready to build a rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Highway 7 West from west of Jane Street to east of Keele Street.

As part of ongoing work to relocate hydro services before rapidway construction can begin, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. today, Thursday, August 21, PowerStream Inc. crews will be working on Highway 7, just west of Keele Street to install hydro lines.

During this work, they’ll temporarily close alternating traffic lanes in all directions at the intersection of Keele with Highway 7. The work may also temporarily affect traffic signals.

Motorists and transit riders should expect delays in this area. Traffic-control personnel and “paid-duty” York Regional Police officers will be on site during the work.

Wherever possible, sidewalks will remain open. If the work blocks a sidewalk is closed, directional signs will guide pedestrians safely around the work zone.

Crews will maintain access to driveways in work areas.

Note that this work is weather-dependent. If crews encounter a weather delay, they’ll work Monday, August 25, instead.

During Highway 7 West rapidway construction, expect delays for:

  • Brampton Transit Züm express buses operating along the 501 Züm Queen route;
  • TTC buses operating along the 35D Jane and 107 Keele North routes; and
  • York Region Transit Viva express buses operating along the Viva orange route and YRT local buses operating along the 20 Jane and 77 Highway 7 routes.


In the news: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today.

Greater Toronto Area
  • BlogTO post, “The story of the last new streetcar launch in Toronto”, here.
  • BlogTO post, “TTC votes for widespread service improvements”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “TTC sues contractor over Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Buiding a new, beautified subway line”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Downsview Park Station emphasizes art, natural light”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Finch West Station harkens the OCAD building”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Park-like York University Station in the heart of the campus”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Pioneer Village Station is lit up by art installation”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “407 Station a ‘mixing bowl’ of transit”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station expected to be centre of development”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “TTC board approves new transit plan”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Scarborough subway update & Pearson night flights on Executive Committee agenda Wednesday”, here.
  • CP24 report, “TTC board approves report on service improvements”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “TTC board approves service improvement plan report”, here.
  • article, “Technology will improve commute on Durham buses”, here.
  • article, “Oshawa train station now owned by Metrolinx”, here.
  • article, “Wheel past the gridlock: Pickering residents encouraged to bike to GO station”, here.
  • article, “Bus clips Oshawa paramedic SUV on call”, here.
  • article, “Ajax wants help dealing with traffic congestion”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Visually impaired man questions accessibility of Eglinton Crosstown”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Ford softens tone on streetcars, but opposes all-door boarding”, here.
  • Global News Toronto article, “Island airport activist bids for Toronto council seat”, here.
  • Metro Toronto’s Ford for Toronto post, “Running for mayor? You should support the TTC’s plans for service improvements”, here.
  • National Post article, “TTC endorses a wish list of improvements to ‘save’ public transit, but next council will need to approve them”, here.
  • National Post article, “Rob Ford vows to improve TTC services without adding new staff (and offers some rare praise for streetcars)”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Councillor Matlow protests proposed fare cost for Union to Pearson rail link”, here.
  • NOW article, “TTC board approves major service changes ‘in principle’”, here.
  • Spacing Toronto post, “The UP Express: Has Metrolinx overpriced new link to the airport?”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “TTC Management Proposes Widespread Improvements, Two-Hour Fares and More (Updated), here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Better TTC service gets initial approval”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Ford pledges to improve TTC service by cutting costs”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “TTC remake brings Union Station to life”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC riders on their first impressions of new Union platform”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Planned Eglinton LRT platforms dangerous and inaccessible, says blind human rights lawyer”, here.
  • Toronto Star editorial, “Make rapid transit line fares to Pearson airport competitive”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “NO BS: Mayoral candidate Ari Goldkind runs on promise of more taxes”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “TTC endorses service improvement proposals”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Ford vows $30 million in TTC funding”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Councillor questions purpose of TTC commission”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “John Tory a ‘ditherer’; Rob Ford a ‘buffoon’”, here.
  • Urban Toronto post, “Photo of the Day: The Second Platform”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe
  • Toronto Star article, “Hamilton looks to its waterfront as next great frontier”, here.

In the news: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today.

Greater Toronto Area
  • BlogTO post, “What the new platform at Union Station looks like”, here.
  • BlogTO post, “New TTC map combines subway and streetcar routes”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “TTC outlines ways to improve streetcar, bus service”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Rob Ford opposes all-door streetcar boarding”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Union Pearson Express: Will Toronto’s airport train be too pricey?”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Second Union Station subway platform opens…”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “TTC board to consider report on improving transit”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “5 things to know about the new TTC report, including time-based transfers”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Tory says TTC report is ‘irresponsible’, lacks financial plan”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Union Station’s Bay concourse won’t be completed in time for Pan Am, officials say”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Union Station’s 2nd platform opens to riders”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “COMPARE: How does TTC stack up with other North American streetcar systems?”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Man struck by TTC streetcar dies in hospital”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Ford vows to implement many of the proposals in TTC report being considered today”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Tory criticizes timing, funding plan in TTC report for service improvement”, here.
  • CP24 report, “New TTC report sparks funding questions from some mayoral candidates”, here.
  • CP24 report, “New Union Station platform opens”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Matlow concerned with expected cost of Union to Pearson rail link”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “Councillor raises concern over cost of Pearson rail link”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “Bay Station now WiFi-friendly; 7 more planned by the end of 2014”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “How the TTC wants to improve bus, streetcar services in Toronto”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Mayor Rob Ford supports some TTC improvements in new report”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Union Station second platform now open”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “High cost of new Union - Pearson express train worries councillor”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “TTC set to consider costly new service plan”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “”TTC proposal’s lack of funding plan ‘not responsible’, Tory says”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “New second platform at Union Station confuses subway riders”, here.
  • article, “TTC outlines future plans to relieve congestion”, here.
  • article, “New Toronto Transit Commission subway platform opens for Yonge line commuters”, here.
  • National Post article, “For lone TTC cleaner at Union Station, subway platform has doubled his work”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Tory slams timing, lack of funding plan for TTC revamp”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Union Station’s second platform opens…”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Man hit by St. Clair streetcar dies in hospital”, here.
  • NOW article, “Report charts new course for the TTC, but will candidates embrace it?”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “GO Rider comes to the Church of Crazy Train with his Confession”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Whole lot of entitlement going on at Centennial GO parking garage”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Don’t care about your problems… Get your shoes off the seat!”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Union Station’s second platform now open for business”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Duly Quoted: Josh Matlow on Union - Pearson express train fare”, here.
  • Toronto Life’s Daily Informer post, “Rob Ford announces support for TTC improvements, including some that reverse his own cuts”, here.
  • Toronto Standard post, “WiFi comes to Bay Station, other stations in the near future”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Could time-based transfers and all-door boarding be coming to the TTC?”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC improvements backed by Chow, Stintz, Soknacki; Tory disagrees”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Keep Union-Pearson express trains affordable, councillor urges”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “The Pulse: West-enders yearn for more buses, streetcars”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC drivers to allow students to ride without ID”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Metrolinx faces fire from Mount Dennis residents over tree removal”, here.
  • Toronto Star commentary, “Toronto area needs to know the true cost of congestion”, here.
  • Toronto Star commentary, “Building Toronto to meet the needs of all of its residents”, here.
  • Toronto Star commentary, “In complete communities, pedestrians take precedence”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Teacher rescues guitar lost on TTC streetcar”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “Open Streets Toronto paves way to a better city”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “TTC plan would expand service but cost millions more”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “John Tory rips TTC improvements report rollout”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Chow lauds TTC expansion plan”, here.
  • Toronto Sun commentary, “Let’s tell the truth on transit”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Second subway platform at Union Station ready to go…” here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Ford wants to put the brakes on councillors’ free TTC ride”, here.
  • Toronto Sun column, “What the mayoral candidates still have to address”, here.
  • Toronto Sun column, “Ford hangs tough, Chow down but not out, Tory on the rise”, here.
  • Toronto Sun editorial, “Toronto’s debt free? So what?”, here.
  • Town Crier article, “Save Bannockburn plan tied to Scarborough Subway”, here.
  • post, “Riders say yes to 10 minutes or better TTC service and two-hour transfer fares, but will the city?”, here.
  • post, “TTC riders supports investing public dollars into good jobs — Bombardier”, here.
  • Urban Toronto post, “Second Platform Opens at TTC’s Union Station”, here.
  • article, “York Region inspectors make sure your road is safe”, here.
  • article, “Former councillor DiPaola aims for regional seat”, here.
  • article, “Leider aims for Ward 5 seat on Richmond Hill council”, here.
  • article, “Pilli taking aim at Ward 2 seat in Richmond Hill”, here.
  • article, “Will Stouffville grain elevator’s fate be decided Tuesday?”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe
  • Barrie Examiner article, “Barrie Transit sees 8% drop in ridership since changes”, here.
  • article, “Wheels turn slowly on Innisfil GO Station plans, rider says”, here.

Nine ways to improve the TTC
(Hey! None of them are subways or LRTs!)

This year is election year and everyone is talking about transit. And, everyone, it seems, has an idea on how to improve TTC services, to make it “the [even] better way” to get around.

Not surprisingly, the TTC has lots of ideas, too. Tucked away down as the last item of the supplementary agenda for this week’s Toronto Transit Commission meeting, is a report, “Opportunities to Improve Transit in Toronto”, outlining many of them.

The document addresses a fundamental flaw in the pre-election giddy-season grandiose plans of municipal candidates and their seemingly endless debate of countering “subways, subways, subways” with “SmartTrack” or light rail transit or whatever…

The fundamental flaw is this:

While Toronto certainly needs more rapid transit lines, any new lines approved today are at least seven to ten years away before entering service. Even the projects already under construction — the subway extension to Vaughan and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT — are several years from completion. How do people get about in the meantime?

Moreover, emphasizing rapid transit over other forms of transit doesn’t help improve service for commuters as they travel to and from the subway. What good is better subway or LRT service if you face infrequent service or overcrowded buses before you reach the station? Better or more subway service doesn’t reduce the commuting challenges for the thousands of TTC passengers (like us) whose daily trips to and from work are strictly by bus or streetcar and don’t involve a ride on rapid transit.

According to the report,

“The TTC knows, and has proven that, despite many conflicting views and arguments, Toronto’s citizens want, need, and respond very favourably to perceptible basic improvements to existing bus, streetcar, and subway services. In 2003, the TTC introduced its Ridership Growth Strategy — a strikingly-simple document which said that Torontonians would increase their use of transit if basic improvements were offered to them such as:

  • reduced crowding and waiting times on peak-period services;
  • city-wide availability of services, in every neighbourhood, during all off-peak periods;
  • more comfortable and convenient off-peak service, in the form of adequate seating capacity to avoid the need to stand; and
  • more-convenient fare media such as a transferrable Metropass.

“The TTC began implementation of these improvements in 2004 and… the public’s response was immediate, significant, and long-lasting. Unfortunately, in more-recent years, owing to City budget pressures, a large number of these improvements were undone in order to reduce the TTC’s operating costs. Indeed, recent slowdowns in ridership can likely be attributed to the reversal of these changes as TTC reaches peak capacity.”

The TTC’s timing in presenting this report to its board now is impeccable. This is the last meeting of the commission before the municipal election, and some or all of its members may no longer be sitting on the board after October. The commission can readily approve this report without political consequences, and those who are politicians will appear transit-friendly to voters when they go to the polls October 27.

Since the report requires the City to increase the TTC’s capital and operating budgets, the newly elected City Council must consider the report at meeting early in its term. Will Councillors still be as enthusiastically in favour of improving local transit, when the rubber hits to road, or more precisely, when the dollars fill the budget, seeing as they’ll have another four years before they have to face their transit-traveling constituents at the polls? Let’s hope so.

Here are the TTC’s nine recommendations for improving transit:

  1. implement all-door boarding and proof-of-payment on all streetcar routes;
  2. reduce wait times and crowding on bus and streetcar routes;
  3. establish a city-wide network of “Ten-Minute-or-Better” bus and streetcar services;
  4. expand the express route network with new and improved express bus routes;
  5. implement more transit priority measures;
  6. add resources to improve service reliability and route performance;
  7. operate all routes all day, every day across the city;
  8. change the one-trip-per-fare to a two-hour-travel-privilege-per-fare; and
  9. expand the overnight network of bus and streetcar routes.

We’ve reported on, some, but not all, of these ideas before, as part of the TTC’s Ridership Growth Strategy, which the board approved in March 2003 and the Transit City Bus Plan, which the board approved in August 2009.

  • You can read “Opportunities to Improve Transit in Torontohere. (.pdf)

  • You can read the Ridership Growth Strategy here. (.pdf)

  • You can read the Transit City Bus Plan here. (.pdf)

Also read Steve Munro’s blog post for his detailed review of the report and its recommendations here.

Older Transit Toronto News Postings

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