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Ridership Growth Strategy

TTC Plan Promises Better Service

After a decade of decline the TTC has developed a plan to improve transit in Toronto. On March 17th, 2003, the transit commission considered and approved a Ridership Growth Strategy.

The strategy represents a sharp and very positive departure from the days of cutting service and hiking fares (see our Transit's Lost Decade in the publications section for details)

The Ridership growth strategy also avoids the trap of glitzy mega-projects. Instead the plan focuses on the basics of better service where demand is highest, and freezing or even rolling fares back.

The catch, as always, is who pays. To date no government has offered to put up sufficient funds to cover existing costs, much less improved service, since transit funding was greatly reduced while Mike Harris was Premier.

The Plan lays out year by year how the TTC can ramp up service and improve fare policy. The City is asked to complement these measures with pro-transit measures adopted in the City's new Official Plan. Essentially these measures aim to increase the speed of buses in traffic through restrictions on left turns, traffic lights that respond to TTC vehicles, modest parking restrictions etc..

Year by Year Measures (as scheduled in the 2003 Ridership Growth Strategy)


  • Extra buses in the afternoon and evening on some of the busiest routes.
  • Cut the price of the senior and student pass.
  • Allow community colleges and universities to buy in bulk at a discount.
  • Better signal priority on some routes (hold green lights for transit vehicles).
  • Expand parking at some stations.


  • More "off-peak" improvements.
  • Cut the Metropass by $5.00/month.
  • More signal priority.
  • More parking.
  • Introduce a special student/senior daypass.
  • Make day passes good all day (they currently start at 9:30 am).
  • Improve capacity on the Scarborough RT (if the right equipment can bought).


  • Improve service on crowded rush hour routes.
  • More off peak improvements.
  • Transit only lanes on some busy routes.
  • $0.10 fare cut.
  • New weekly pass.

Over the course of 2007 and 2008 even more off peak service would be added. Perhaps the good old days of guaranteed seating at all times except rush hour and maximum waits of 20 minutes, even on Sundays, might return.

Only after all of this is in place would subway expansion be considered.

Finally, something to look forward to, and fight for.