Until recently I sympathised with the TTC until I was treated to a "dog and pony show" recently explaining to me and my neighbours what a wonderful favour the TTC was doing us by extending an existing but under utilised Bus Route through our quiet streets.
A public meeting was advertised ( not very effectively, since most residents received no notice) for an evening in June at Fenside Public School. The TTC representative made it quite clear that he had no interest in collecting public input on the subject and that the route extension was already a done deal. Subsequent examination of TTC meeting minutes on the internet reveals that a consensus was supposed to have been collected that evening and reported back at the next TTC meeting for consideration in the trial approval process. Councillor Minnan-Wong admitted under pressure that he had initiated the process by which the route extension trial was born on the request of ONE resident. Under more pressure from the 75 residents attending the meeting (his estimate) Minnan-Wong reluctantly called for a show of hands that revealed approximately 90% opposition to the proposal. The TTC representative stated that the extension was going into service as planned whether we liked it or not. How's that for a sensitive and responsive public service. Councillor Minnan-Wong left the meeting looking quite confused.
The TTC has initiated a program to increase ridership all over the city, from our experience, it appears that cost or need are not a consideration. The plan as applied locally seems to be to put more vehicles on more streets whether there is a demonstrated need or potential gain in ridership at reasonable cost or not.
Viability of the 122 Route extension was predicated on a TTC study that expects 460 NEW riders per day who never used the TTC before will board this bus because a 5 minute walk to the existing and more frequent 95 York Mills bus route is too much to ask.
Prior to Labour Day about 150 riders from this study area boarded the subway bound 95 Bus each morning.
The original 122 Graydon Hall Route
It ran 7.3 kms from the York Mills station on the Yonge Street subway to a loop at George S. Henry Academy, a public High School, on Graydon Hall Avenue just west of the Don Valley Parkway. 4.5 kms of the route are on York Mills Road and shared by the 95 York Mills Bus Route, The Lesmill / Duncanmill portion of the route is 100% commercial/industrial and provides most of the fares. The section of the route East of Don Mills Road is 100% high rise apartments and the High school.
Rush hour service is heavy enough to justify the route however between rush hours it is largely deserted, certainly not busy enough to justify the frequency of service. 80% of the ridership is created in rush hour west of Don Mills Road. The High School provides traffic when school is open, about 3/4 of the year
The 14.6 km route was schedule as a 40 minute round trip but most drivers covered it in 30 minutes and spent 10 minutes reading the paper at the loop.
THE EXTENDED 122 ROUTE
The round trip is now 19.4 km and scheduled to be a 60 minute drive but is routinely driven in 45 minutes off Rush hour leaving 15 minutes per trip for reading, smoking and laying down a blanket of diesel fumes while parked in a hazardous position in our quiet leafy neighbourhood.