Last word on bus route cuts

The Globe and Mail’s Kelly Grant:

Contentious reductions to late-night and weekend hours on 41 little-used TTC bus lines are going ahead, despite more than six hours of pleading from riders who wanted to salvage the routes entirely.

The Toronto Transit Commission voted in favour of curbing the service and shifting $4-million in savings to overcrowded routes this fall.

via TTC going ahead with bus-service cuts – The Globe and Mail.

I was at a conference all day today so I’m late on a lot of this news. I’ve already written at length about this season’s bus route cuts, and Steve Munro has summed things up far better than I ever could, but I’ll make this one last comment in light of the decision being made final last night.

The precedent this sets for transit in this city is alarming. While it may be fair to claim there’s been an overreaction to relatively minor changes in service, that overlooks the long-term impacts of this kind of decision. These cuts happened because ridership growth has created a need for greater service on busier routes. If ridership continues to go up, will this commission cannibalize more ‘under-performing’ routes? Where does it stop?

And to those who charge that opposition to these cuts was tied up in left-versus-right ideology, I’d argue that to an extent that’s true, but only because the right-wing municipal government the left feared was anti-transit immediately went about making cuts to transit.


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