Mayor John Tory announced Wednesday a proposed plan to speed up building priority bus lanes along Eglinton Avenue East.
The 8.5-kilometre corridor runs along Eglinton Avenue East, Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue from Kennedy subway station to the University of Toronto campus in Scarborough.
Tory was joined by TTC CEO Rick Leary, councillor and TTC commissioner Jennifer McKelvie, as well as councillors Paul Ainslie and Gary Crawford at the press conference.
“Our plan is to get started right away on a design with a plan for the Eglinton East priority bus lanes to be in place by this fall,” Tory said.
The plan will be represented at the TTC board meeting on July 14.
City officials hope the bus-only lanes will make service on some of Toronto’s busiest bus routes faster and more reliable.
“Bus customers have relied on our services the most — 36 per cent of the customers that used buses prior to COVID-19 are still using the system as compared to 19 per cent of subway customers, as of the week ending June 26,” the report states.
Last December, the TTC recommended that the City build exclusive bus lanes for five of the busiest routes in the city including the Eglinton East corridor. The four other corridors include:
- Jane Street from Eglinton Avenue to Steeles Avenue
- Dufferin Street from Dufferin Gate to Wilson Avenue
- Steeles Avenue West from Yonge Street to Pioneer Village Subway Station
- Finch Avenue East from Yonge Street to McCowan Road
On Wednesday, the City identified the Eglinton East corridor as the first priority. Tory said the plan is to have the lanes on Eglinton ready by the fall, followed by the Jane Street route next year.
The existing HOV lanes on Eglinton Avenue East will be converted into priority bus-only lanes, as well as curbside lanes on Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue. The estimated cost is around $7.8 million.
Before COVID-19, the five corridors had a combined ridership of around 220,000 passengers per weekday. On Wednesday, Leary said ridership on the TTC is starting to increase in Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.