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TTC increasing service starting Sunday

The TTC will be increasing service starting this Sunday as students are returning to school and more people are expected to return to the office next week.

The transit agency says it expects to see a slight bump in ridership in the coming weeks and is boosting service to meet demand.

The TTC says ridership has been in the 55 to 60 percent range throughout the summer, but current models predict a further 10 to 15 percent jump over the coming weeks and months, with the exception of any pandemic restrictions.

“As students return to school and more people return to in-office work after Labor Day, we know our ridership will increase as it typically does in September,” TTC CEO Rick Leary said in a news release on Aug. 30. “This year is different from past years for obvious reasons. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic it is especially important to me that TTC be fully prepared to welcome everyone back to a safe and clean system with service that meets the needs of our customers.”

The TTC has previously said that ridership dipped down to 37 percent of the pre-pandemic norm during the initial Omicron wave in January but has been steadily increasing since then.

In preparation of the increased demand this fall, the TTC says it has been focused on increasing service across many routes, hiring more frontline employees, enhancing cleanliness and renewing their focus on safety, including the addition of more Special Constables.

Service changes coming into effect as of Sunday, Sept. 4 include:

  • Restoration of three-minute train service on Lines 1 and 2

  • Increased service on 29 bus routes and two streetcar routes

  • Restoration of seasonal post-secondary services across the network

  • Across all modes, extra, unscheduled vehicles will be available to help fill gaps that develop due to unplanned delays or disruptions

The TTC says it plans to provide details on more changes and improvements to its operations in the late fall.

“This includes roll out of the Automated Train Control signaling system on all of Line 1, expansion of the Wi-Fi on buses pilot program and the introduction of a modernized fare inspection and revenue protection model,” the TTC wrote.

Last week, the TTC said it will start cracking down on fare evasion this fall after a pandemic-driven hiatus.

TTC Spokesperson Stuart Green said fare evasion accounts for three percent of all transit riders, and five percent among streetcar riders specifically.

Those caught riding transit without paying could face a $425 fine.

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