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TTC ridership setting new records, despite all the griping from riders (and newspaper columnists)

Transit in Toronto (Image: Paul Sherwood from the Flickr pool)

Bouncing off of the latest Statistics Canada data, Matt Gurney writes in the National Post that the long travel times associated with Toronto transit are the reason people are “staying off mass transit.” There are a number of things we find, let’s say, “funny” in Gurney’s column, and that’s one of them. It’s pretty clear that Torontonians are actually not staying off mass transit—in fact, quite the opposite is true.

From the Toronto Sun:

The TTC is well on its way to achieving a predicted 500 million annual ridership next year, a spokesman said.

Ridership is up, despite last year’s 25¢ fare hike and service cuts since May 8 on 41 low-use bus routes, Brad Ross said in an interview…

“All we can say is ridership on the TTC continues to grow,” Ross said, adding the StatsCan report “bundled” regional and city transit ridership figures.

Some of this is just population growth, but the information that’s available paints a pretty clear picture: Toronto has one of the highest rates of transit use in the country. Also, we expect those numbers have likely gone up since the last census, especially considering that the price of gas has doubled since 2006. Sure, the fare hikes for the TTC have been annoying, but they haven’t doubled the cost of getting to work.

Obviously, the TTC isn’t immune to criticism. For one, the fact that it leaves many commuters (especially in the northern reaches of the city) reliant on cramped buses is a huge problem. But despite its real issues, people aren’t abandoning transit in Toronto—far from it. Of course, writing that wouldn’t be news.

TTC ridership is up, up, up! [Toronto Sun]
Matt Gurney: Transit, what a waste of time [National Post]

  • J

    TTC is the worst public transportation system I’ve ridden. It’s street cars, buses, and trains are never on time. The street cars are from 1970s and run 25mph. I always see its employees lounging around in groups at stations. They don’t give a two cent about passengers. And what is up with TTC tokens? Who still uses tokens for god sakes! Get a f’ing card system, NOT monthly passes, but the ones that deducts fares as you ride. Also, no zoning? A guy riding through 3 sub stops pays same amount as the person traveling from Finch to Union.

    TTC just shows how Toronto is filled with worthless liberal piece of S*** who just makes this city more retarded.

  • Rocketman75

    In response to “J”,
    TTC may have its flaws but its definitly not the worst transit system around! For example, how many systems in North America can boost that they have a nightbus route that run better then every 5 min (320 Yonge). The reason drivers are hanging at subway stations are because they are waiting to take over their vehicles or they are on SCHEDULED break or recovery.The reason streetcars move so slow is a combo of passengers thinking of themselves( not having fare ready, standing on the 1st step/sorting their fare so the doors cant close so the car can move off) and getting stuck in TO traffic like everyone else.
    . . and what would you rather have, a fare card system or modern vehicles?! Most would say modern vehicles and that is what TTC is doing. The bus fleet is now modernized, new subways car are now being delivered and entering service and new streetcars are finally being biult. NOW TTC can start to think about fare collection!
    .. and ZONES?! Drivers are getting assaulted for enforcing transfers and passes! Can you imagine the assault rate if we have to check fares at zone boundries?! There was a reason they eliminated fare zones back in 1973!!
    Government underfunding can be blamed on most of TTC problems and that has got to change if TTC is to meet the needs of a growing city.
    So J, learn about the whole story before trash talking!!

  • Mark Dowling

    J – the streetcars are being replaced with brand new ones, unless Dougie cans them to get his freakin monorail.

  • Dudley Horscroft

    The photo illustrates what is wrong with TTC. On the near side of the street I think I can identify 12 buses. Each has a driver. Assuming they are carrying full loads of about 75 passengers there are 900 passengers there, with buses slowly moving forward to the bus stops, taking time to load and unload passengers, and then slowly creeping to the next stop.Budapest on its busiest tram route runs trams which can carry 350 people (Siemens NF12B). Three trams would be needed to carry the same number of passengers, but at stops, since there are 8 doors each side, each can load and unload 8 times as fast as a bus. This means the service is far faster,and costs far less to operate.