The TTC has started providing statistics relating to the proposed bus route cuts part of the 2011 budget. Steve Munro was nice enough to post the TTC’s numbers here. (PDF link)
After putting on my nerd pants, I converted the PDF back to an Excel document. Filtering to display only weekday cuts, the TTC’s own numbers indicate that over 2,600 riders per day will be impacted by these proposed weekday cuts. Of the 658,569 customers affected per year, 126,086 of those will be ‘lost’ riders, who will presumably replace a trip they previously took by transit by a trip in a car.
The TTC estimates that many of these impacted riders will walk to other routes, but how much of that will happen remains to be seen. Steve Kupferman at OpenFile Toronto makes some good points about why simply walking further to access transit can be daunting for some late night riders.
Meanwhile, Munro concludes:
The TTC’s analysis shows the hallmarks of something pulled together quickly as a way to satisfy a demand for cuts without taking care to look at what is happening or to validate the accuracy of the calculations.
“Pulled together quickly to satisfy demand for cuts” is kind of a recurring theme this week.
Postscript: Via Jonathan Goldsbie’s twitter account, this from Royson James is particularly relevant to this discussion:
“[Late-night and weekend service] were introduced as valued, credible transportation options and alternatives to driving a car. They were to help people adopt transit as part of their lifestyle. We clearly said they would not generate huge ridership or carry huge volumes but they would allow citizens to count on transit wherever and whenever they need it.”
And that’s what they have done. Off-peak ridership is growing faster than rush-hour service and accounts for more riders. “We achieved what we set out to do,” [TTC Manager – Service Planning Department Mitch] Stambler said.