During the city budget process, a surprise vote by council to reverse a number of proposed cuts included a motion to restore roughly $5 million in funding to avoid cutting service to a number of TTC surface routes.
“We allocated that $5 million specifically so that service didn’t have to be cut,” said Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon.
The TTC Commission, however, opted to use the money for Wheel-Trans and dialysis patients, leaving in place the planned service cuts. Changes were announced last week, and have already taken effect.
In the East End, the changes that will likely be felt the most are those to the 501 Queen streetcar. On weekdays, a minute has been added to the time between streetcars east of the Humber loop during midday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and early evening (7 to 10 p.m.) time slots. Saturday morning and afternoon service has been decreased by a bit over half a minute, and a minute for the evenings. Sunday and holiday morning service has almost two minutes added between departures, with half a minute added between afternoon service.
On the positive side, weekday afternoon rush service should see some improvements, as streetcars are increasing in frequency by about half a minute. Calls to the TTC inquiring whether the number of short turns would increase or decrease were not returned.
The 506 Carlton (Gerrard Street East) streetcars are running 20 seconds further apart on midday weekdays, and a bit over half a minute further apart on Saturdays. Sundays and holidays will see a minute more between streetcars in the morning, and 50 seconds in the afternoon.
The 31 Greenwood and 22 Coxwell buses are taking a hit, with Greenwood’s weekday morning peak service now at every 12 minutes instead of every eight minutes. The afternoon peak service on Coxwell has increased from every six minutes to every eight minutes.
Early risers using the 300 Bloor-Danforth night bus will be pleased, as service between 4:30 and 6 a.m. has increased from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes on weekdays. Late nights on Dawes Road are also improved, with service increasing from every half hour to every 15 minutes.
Other bus routes in the greater Beach area remain unaffected.