The TTC’s prospects of restoring ridership to pre-pandemic levels seem grim. The recently published transit report cards by the Toronto Regional Board of Trade (TRBOT) reveal that Toronto had the lowest level of transit service reliability in 2022 when compared to other municipalities in the region.
TRBOT assessed the performance of various factors in determining the average score, including basic service coverage, reliability, transit priority measures, 24-hour service and integration. Municipalities in the GTA, Hamilton, Guelph, and the regions of Waterloo and Halton were evaluated and assigned grades based on transit data from 2022.
While Toronto and Mississauga received the highest composite score of approximately 69 per cent — the equialent to a B letter grade, Toronto also received the lowest score in terms of transit reliability, with only about 58 per cent of transit trips being on time. In contrast, other municipalities scored over 70 per cent in reliability.
Read our report to see how your municipality fared: https://t.co/O6iuY1LkcY pic.twitter.com/kgrCfC6SGE
— Toronto Region Board of Trade (@TorontoRBOT) July 5, 2023
Congestion issues and frequent diversions due to construction were identified as the primary reasons for Toronto ‘s lower transit score. Other key issues included lack of fare integration with neighbouring municipal transit services. The report also notes that Toronto’s most recent service cuts were not factored in the assessment, but acknowledge that these cuts would have a negative impact on the city’s grading.
For Toronto to score an A, the report’s suggestions include expanded express bus services, digital signage in stations, adding more streetcar routes, integrating fares with GO Transit and other municipal transit agencies and addressing safety concerns on the TTC.
The report also advises securing financial resilience for the TTC.
“Many elements of Toronto’s subways system are reaching end of life, having been built between the 1950s and 1970s. This will mean refurbishment costs in the tens of billions just to keep the existing system running,” the report notes.
Oakville and Milton received the worst grades outside of Toronto. While the report said that Milton’s transit service “remains very limited for a rapidly growing city,” Oakville’s low grade was attributed to significantly reduced service.