Bus company explores Beach express

The Beach is leading in an online poll for the next Toronto neighbourhood to get a private commuter bus.

Line Six is a startup company that tested a $5 private bus service from Liberty Village to downtown this October. The company now has an online poll asking Toronto residents what other routes to try, and says it will run buses on the first three to get 500 votes.

So far, a Beach to Union Station route leads the pack with just over 50 votes.

The TTC already runs the 143 Downtown/Beach Express, six morning and five evening buses that take an express route from Neville Park Loop to downtown.

The buses cost an extra $2.70 on top of the standard $3 fare, and regular riders can buy a $38.50 sticker for their monthly pass.

But local councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon said many riders have told her they’ve had trouble with the 143.

“You pay double the fare, essentially, for a premium service, and many residents don’t feel they’re receiving that, especially with all the construction,” McMahon said.

Riders have complained that the 143 has been rerouted around recent road construction with little notice and some buses, especially those on return trips, don’t show up on time.

“People are getting home 25 to 30 minutes later, so they feel they shouldn’t have to pay an extra fare,” said McMahon.

McMahon said she is looking at adding another 143 bus for the morning trip, and to improve how the TTC warns riders about detours.

As for keeping to a schedule, McMahon said city council will look to create a 10-minute service standard across the TTC, including local streetcar routes like the 501 and 503 where wait times are longer than usual.

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