Toronto Transit Commission bus system

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Toronto Transit Commission bus system
TTC.svg
TTC 1515.JPG
ParentCorporation of the City of Toronto
Founded1921
HeadquartersWilliam McBrien Building
1900 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
LocaleToronto
Service areaToronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham
Service type10-minute network, Local, Express, Night, Shuttle, Paratransit, Express bus service
AllianceGO Transit, MiWay, York Region Transit, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, Viva Rapid Transit
Routes
  • 198 total
  • 135 local/regular
  • 27 Blue Night (night service)
  • 25 express
  • 6 community
  • 5 downtown express
Fleet
Daily ridership1.24 million (avg. weekday, Q1 2019)[1]
Fuel typeDiesel, hybrid electric, electric, gasoline
OperatorToronto Transit Commission
WebsiteBus routes

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) uses buses and other vehicles for public transportation. In 2018, the TTC bus system had 159 bus routes carrying over 264 million riders over 6,686 kilometres (4,154 mi) of routes with buses travelling 143 million kilometres (89 million mi) in the year.[2] As of 2020, the TTC has almost 140 bus routes in operation.[3]

Bus routes extend throughout the city and are integrated with the subway system and the streetcar system, with free transfers among the three systems. Many subway stations are equipped with bus terminals, and a few with streetcar terminals, located within a fare paid area.

As of 2020, the bus system has about 2400 buses. Bus propulsion includes diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, battery-electric and gasoline. Four bus lengths are used: regular buses 12 metres (40 ft) long, articulated buses 18 metres (60 ft) long and minibuses either 8 metres (26 ft) or 6 metres (20 ft) long.[4] All buses are fully accessible with low floors and, except for minibuses, all are equipped with bicycle racks.[3]

History[edit]

19th and 20th centuries[edit]

Bus service in Toronto began in 1849, when the first public transport system in Toronto, the Williams Omnibus Bus Line, was launched. The service began with a fleet of six horse-drawn stagecoaches. After ten years, the use of streetcars were introduced in the city as the Toronto Street Railway (TSR) was established in 1861. After a year of competition between the two companies, the TSR had surpassed Williams Omnibus Line in ridership.[5]

Until 1921, several private and publicly owned transport systems were established and ended up being merged into one another or abandoned. Electric streetcars were widely used in Toronto and surrounding settlements during the new century. After the establishment of the Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC) (predecessor of the Toronto Transit Commission (also having the acronym of TTC) until 1954), streetcar routes were taken over from predecessors in 1921. It ran bus routes by using motor buses for the first time in the city.[6] The TTC also experimented the use of trolley buses from 1922 to 1925, operating a line on Merton Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road.[7] Gray Coach, an intercity bus line by the TTC, began operation in 1927. As the coach service increased in ridership, the TTC built the Toronto Coach Terminal. By 1933, the TTC introduced the local bus and streetcar stop design, a white pole with a red band on the top and bottom. Between 1930 and 1948, the city replaced various TTC-operated radial railway routes extending to surrounding municipalities with bus routes.[6]

On 1 January 1954, the TTC became the sole public transit operator in the newly formed Metropolitan Toronto. Thus, the TTC took over some private bus operations that existed within the Metro area. These included:[8][9]: 55 

From 1947 to 1993, the TTC's system included several trolley bus routes, such as this one on the 89 Weston Road route in 1987.

Between 1947 and 1993, the TTC operated a trolley bus system on medium ridership routes. In 1947, the TTC created four trolley bus routes (Lansdowne, Ossington, Annette, and Weston Road) in the west end that replaced streetcar routes. These routes were based at the Lansdowne garage. About 1954, a separate trolley bus division created at the old Eglinton garage (adjacent to Eglinton station) to serve routes on Yonge Street, Avenue Road and Mount Pleasant Road north of Eglinton Avenue. When the Yonge–University subway was extended to York Mills station, the Yonge trolley bus line was closed and its buses were reassigned to serve Bay Street. In the early 1970s, the trolley bus fleet was rebuilt. The TTC leased some trolley buses from Edmonton, which was phasing out its fleet. The last trolley buses ran in 1993 on the Bay and Annette routes. Rather than replacing the aging trolley bus infrastructure, the TTC decided to use CNG buses to replace the trolley bus fleet.[7]

In January 1960, the General Motors "New Look" buses, informally called "fishbowls", went into service. As earlier New Looks were retired they in turn would be replaced by newer versions of the New look model, with the result that the model would serve Toronto for over 50 years.[10]

In 1966, plans were made to replace all streetcar routes with buses in the next 20 years. The plan was cancelled in 1972 and streetcar routes were rebuilt. In 1970, GO Transit was established by the Government of Ontario with Gray Coach serving as its operator for most of its routes. The TTC operated its first dial-a-bus services under GO Transit in 1973. In 1975, the first paratransit service, Wheel-Trans, was established by a private operator. The TTC also began using minibuses for minor routes, which would be replaced by regular buses by 1981.[6]

A Wheel-Trans bus at York University. The paratransit service has been operated by the TTC since 1988.

In 1982, the TTC acquired 12 articulated buses, the articulated version of the GM New Look bus. The Province of Ontario sponsored the buses as a trial. The bus had rear-wheel drive whereby the trailer section pushes the rest of the bus. The TTC sold all 12 of these buses to Mississauga in 1987, and chose the Orion Ikarus articulated bus.[11]

In 1987, the TTC acquired 90 Orion Ikarus articulated buses; Ikarus manufactured the components in Budapest, Hungary and Orion Bus Industries assembled them in its Mississauga plant. The buses had mid-section wheel drive whereby the front section of the bus pulled the trailer section. Poor welding led to corrosion problems, and the TTC retired 50 of the buses by 1999. The last Orion Ikarus bus ran in June 2003.[12]

In 1987, the TTC implemented the Blue Night Network, an expansion of its overnight services using buses and streetcars. The following year, the TTC took over Wheel-Trans services. The TTC sold Gray Coach Lines to the Scotland-based Stagecoach Group in 1990, while also introducing "community buses", providing minibus service in a few residential neighbourhoods.[6][13]

In 1989, the TTC began using buses fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG).[6] Supported by subsidies from senior governments, the TTC used CNG buses to replace its trolley bus fleet. CNG buses were serviced at the Wilson Yard which had a special CNG fueling station. Because of safety concerns about CNG fuel tanks on the bus roof and low overhead clearances, these buses were banned from interior terminals. Also, the savings of using natural gas over diesel fuel was not as great as expected. The TTC converted some CNG buses to diesel.[7]

Accessibility expanded to regular buses in 1996 with the use of lift-equipped buses.[6] This was further improvised two years later when low-floor buses were added to the fleet.[14]

21st century[edit]

Between 2006 and 2009, the TTC made its first purchases of hybrid electric buses, choosing the Orion VII model. These buses had batteries that would only last 18 months instead of the expected 5 years. As a result, the TTC went back to purchasing diesel buses until 2018, when it would try hybrid technology again.[7][15]

In 2009, the TTC opened its first BRT route that uses its own dedicated busway and bus lanes when route 196 York University Rocket was rerouted to the York University Busway. When the extension of Line 1 to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre opened in December 2017, the 939B Finch Express is the only route continuing to use it.[16]

In December 2011, the TTC bus fleet became fully accessible with the retirement of the last of the old, non-accessible GM "New Look" buses, a model dating back to the 1950s. The last New look buses ran on 52 Lawrence West on 16 December, and were replaced by accessible Orion VII low-floor buses. At that time, the TTC operated 1,800 12-metre accessible buses, all of which were equipped with bike racks.[14]

The TTC ordered 27 articulated buses from Nova Bus, which began revenue operation in the spring of 2014. At 18 metres (60 ft) long, as compared with a standard 40-foot bus, the Nova LFS Artics hold about 112 passengers, compared with 65 on the standard length bus.[17]

A TTC bus painted in livery based on the Flexity Outlook streetcars used by the TTC, 2018. The livery was introduced on TTC buses the previous year.

As of 23 December 2016, all of the buses in the TTC system have Presto card readers.[18] Buses delivered to the TTC since 2017 have a new livery based on the livery of the Flexity Outlook streetcars.

In November 2018, the TTC received the first 55 of 255 hybrid electric buses, specifically the LFS Hybrid model from Nova Bus.[19]

In April 2019, the TTC received the first of 60 electric buses from the three bus manufacturers: Proterra, New Flyer, and BYD. On 3 June 2019, the first electric bus (from New Flyer) went into revenue service on the 35 Jane bus route.[20] On 26 October 2019, Proterra Catalyst BE40 electric buses went into service on the 6 Bay bus route.[21] By September 2020, the BYD K9M buses had arrived, and on 8 September, the first BYD bus went into service on the 116 Morningside route. At this point in time, with 60 electric buses, the TTC boasted it had the largest fleet of electric buses in North America.[22]

In 2020, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused TTC ridership to decrease dramatically. On 23 March 2020, the TTC suspended all express bus services system-wide, with the exception of the 900 Airport Rocket and 927 Highway 27 Rocket. A number of seats began to be blocked off to encourage social distancing.[23]

On May 31, 2021, the TTC started a pilot for free Wi-Fi on buses, starting with the 35 Jane route and to continue later in June with the 102 Markham Road route.[24]

Operations[edit]

A TTC bus operating on TTC Route 300B. Blue Night routes are numbered from 300 to 399.

The TTC operates six types of bus routes:[3]

  • Regular routes operating during the day and evening (route numbers 7–189 excluding 141–145)
  • Express routes that serve only major bus stops (900-series routes)
  • Downtown express routes providing a rush-hour service for a premium fare carrying riders from several points in the city to downtown (route numbers 141–145)
  • Blue Night routes that operates only at night (300-series routes)
  • Community routes using minibuses intended for riders having difficulties using the traditional system (400-series routes)[2]

The TTC also offers its Wheel-Trans service for registered users with disabilities. This service operates door-to-door and requires booking in advance. Wheel-Trans uses minibuses and has no predefined routes.[25]

Many regular bus routes are divided into branch routes, which deviate slightly from the original route, or which terminate at different points along the route. A route is referred to by its route number and/or name (for example, 189 Stockyards). Routes are named after the street or area it serves. All of the TTC's regular routes, except for 99 Arrow Road, 171 Mt. Dennis and 176 Mimico GO, connect to a subway station; 99 Arrow Road and 171 Mt. Dennis serve the areas around their respective bus garages. Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Highway 407, and Chester stations do not have any connections to regular daytime TTC bus routes.[26]

Some bus routes extend beyond the city limits into Mississauga and York Region, as those municipalities contract out bus routes to the TTC outside of Toronto. Despite almost completely being in Mississauga, Pearson International Airport is within the TTC's fare-paid zone.[27][28]

Priority bus lanes[edit]

In 2020, as part of a municipal initiative dubbed RapidTO, the TTC started to set up priority bus lanes along several routes in Toronto. These are different from existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in that they are in effect 24 hours per day seven days per week, and may only be used by buses and bicycles, with taxis and private vehicles not being allowed. The priority bus lanes are identified by paint and signage.[29]

The COVID-19 pandemic provided the impetus for the RapidTO project. The lanes are to improve TTC service in lower-income neighbourhoods, which house employees performing essential services during the pandemic. By allowing buses to move faster, there would be less crowding and better physical distancing.[30]

The lanes prevent road traffic from slowing bus service and disrupting the spacing between buses, which had resulted in gaps and bunching. The lanes are expected to improve efficiency so that fewer buses are required to produce the same level of service, with the extra buses being deployed to provide additional bus service.[30]

Bus priority lanes are painted in red with diamond and "bus only" markings. Private vehicles may use some portions of the lanes, painted with red stripes, to access driveways or to make right turns. There are no physical barriers to separate bus from general traffic lanes. Motorists illegally using a bus priority lane are subject to a $110 fine and 3 demerit points.[30]

The priority routes are:[29][31]

  • Eglinton Avenue East, Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue from Brimley Road (and eventually from Kennedy station) to the University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Jane Street from Eglinton Avenue to Steeles Avenue
  • Dufferin Street from Dufferin Gates to Wilson Avenue
  • Steeles Avenue West from Yonge Street to Pioneer Village station
  • Finch Avenue East from Yonge Street to McCowan Road
  • Lawrence East from east of Victoria Park Avenue to Rouge Hills Drive near Rouge Hill GO Station

The TTC opened the Eglinton East lanes on 11 October 2020[32] (with the lanes on Morningside Avenue opening a few days earlier[30]) and expects to implement the Jane lanes in the second quarter of 2021. The implementation dates for the other routes have yet to be announced.[29]

Eglinton East[edit]

The Eglinton East route runs 10.9 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Brimley Road and Eglinton Avenue to the University of Toronto Scarborough campus along Eglinton Avenue, Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue. The TTC converted the existing HOV lanes on Eglinton Avenue East and the curbside general-purpose lanes on Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue to priority bus-only lanes. Priority lanes will not be implemented between Kennedy station and Brimley Road until construction for the Scarborough Subway Extension is completed. Both local and express bus routes use the priority lanes, and the number of bus stops were reduced to speed up service. The TTC estimated a travel time savings of 16.5 percent on local services and 6.5 percent on express services. The implementation of priority bus lanes will not preclude a future upgrade to light rail.[29] The Eglinton East lanes were expected to cost nearly $8 million.[30]

When implementing the corridor, the TTC reduced the number of stops along the way from 69 to 48, a net reduction of 21 stops, and was reviewing the "consolidation" of 6 additional stops. Some of the eliminated stops were far from a signalized intersection; some others had few nearby destinations. Having fewer stops allowed faster bus service but, for many riders, resulted in longer walk times to a bus stop. For example, when the stop near two apartment buildings at Dale Avenue and Kingston Road was eliminated, riders had to walk an extra 250 metres (820 ft). Another eliminated stop was 900 metres (3,000 ft) from its nearest replacement stop; this contradicts a TTC guideline that stops should be no more than 400 metres (1,300 ft) apart. Riders, including those with disabilities, complained.[33]

Five routes use the Eglinton priority bus lanes:[32]

  • 12D Kingston Rd
  • 86 Scarborough
  • 116 Morningside
  • 905 Eglinton East Express
  • 986 Scarborough Express

Jane[edit]

The Jane bus priority lanes will run along Jane Street between Eglinton Avenue and Steeles Avenue. These lanes are expected to open sometime around the end of 2021 to the start of 2022.[29][30]

The Jane route is next in priority for implementation because:[29]

  • It has one of the slowest operating speeds in 2020.
  • It provides a north–south connection with three subway lines, the existing Line 1 Yonge–University, and Line 5 Eglinton and Line 6 Finch West, both under construction.
  • It serves many Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
  • There are no adverse impacts to on-street parking.

Automatic passenger counting[edit]

Automatic passenger counting (APC) is a feature installed on TTC buses to automatically to keep a count of the passengers on board each bus. The feature uses infrared lights at doors to count passengers boarding and exiting buses. Along with bus location, APC data is transmitted to a central computer in real time and is used for service planning and transit control. Using APC data, the TTC can monitor passenger load on buses and optimize bus assignments on routes that have a potential for crowding. As of April 2021, all but 34 of the TTC's more than 2000 buses have ATC; none of the streetcars in the commission's fleet have the feature.[34]

APC also supports the iOS/iPadOS apps Rocketman and Transit, allowing them to advise riders about bus crowding. This feature was introduced in April 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic to support physical distancing. The TTC says it will continue to support these apps after the pandemic ends.[34]

Garages[edit]

The following is a list of active TTC bus garages:

Active garages
Garage Opened Address Description
Arrow Road (Arw) 1988 700 Arrow Rd., North York 21,000 m2 (230,000 sq ft) facility; 2 wash racks; 2 diesel fueling stations; 12 twelve-metre and 2 eighteen-metre hoists; 4 inspection pits;[35] electric bus recharging[21]
Birchmount (Bir) 1956 400 Danforth Rd., Scarborough 8,310 m2 (89,500 sq ft) facility; 2 wash racks; 2 fueling stations; 10 twelve-metre hoists; 4 insection pits; UWE heating system for buses stored outside[36]
Eglinton (Egl)[37] 2002 38 Comstock Rd., Scarborough 2 wash racks; 2 fueling stations; 14 twelve-metre hoists; 4 inspection pits; UWE heating system for buses stored outside;[38] electric bus recharging[21]
Lakeshore (W-T) 1980 580 Commissioners St., Toronto 2.8 ha (7 acres) of land; 4,800 m2 (52,000 sq ft) of maintenance space; 740 m2 (8,000 sq ft) of office space; supporting Wheel-Trans and community buses[39]
Malvern (Mal) 1983 5050 Sheppard Ave. East, Scarborough 21,200 m2 (228,000 sq ft) facility; 2 wash racks; 2 fueling stations; 12 twelve-metre hoists; 3 eighteen-metre hoists; 4 inspection pits; indoor bus storage; Eurovac system[40]
McNicoll (McN) 2021 225 Milliken Blvd., Scarborough 29,000 m2 (310,000 sq ft) facility, capacity for 250 12-metre buses, repair bays with 14 hoists and 2 inspection pits, paint and body shops with 2 bays and one hoist, degrease room with one hoist, rooftop solar panels for office HVAC and lighting, green roof[41]
Mount Dennis (MtD) 2008 121 Industry St., York 23,575 m2 (253,759 sq ft) facility; 16 hoists for twelve and eighteen-metre buses, 4 cleaning stations; steam cleaning room; paint and body shops; parts and materials storage area;[42] electric bus recharging[21]
Queensway (Qsy) 1966 400 Evans Ave., Etobicoke 11,600 m2 (125,000 sq ft) facility; 1 wash rack; 1 diesel fueling station; 14 twelve-metre hoists[43]
Wilson (Wil) 1976 160 Transit Rd., North York
Wilson Yard Complex
21,368 m2 (230,000 sq ft) facility; 11 twelve-metre hoists and 3 eighteen-metre hoists; 2 wash racks, 2 diesel fuelling stations; 4 inspection pits; Eurovac system[44]

For major bus overhauls, the TTC uses the Duncan Shop (W. E. P. Duncan Building) and the D. W. Harvey Shops at the Hillcrest Complex.[45]

As of 2020, three garages have equipment to recharge electric buses: Arrow Road (for New Flyer buses),[20] Mount Dennis (for Proterra buses)[21] and Eglinton (for BYD buses).[21]

As of August 2020, the TTC has been in negotiation with Toronto Hydro and Ontario Power Generation to set up eBus infrastructure at TTC garages. Toronto Hydro would increase electrical capacity at each TTC garage, and OPG would design, build, operate and maintain all charging infrastructure at garages. The TTC hopes to get TTC board approval in the first quarter of 2021.[46]

Former garages[edit]

Former garages
Yard Location Year opened Year closed Notes
Danforth (Dan) Danforth Ave. & Coxwell Ave. 1915; 1921–1922 (additions by TTC) 2002 Built for the Toronto Civic Railways in 1915 and additional indoor storage added by TTC in 1921–1922; re-purposed as bus garage in 1967; closed in 2002 but still used by TTC for storage and office space[47]
Davenport (Dav) Davenport Rd. & Bathurst St. 1924 1993 Attached to Hillcrest Complex
Eglinton (Egl) Eglinton Ave. West & Yonge St. 1922 2002; demolished Built to replace TRC Yorkville Carhouse and retired as carhouse in 1948 to become bus garage until 2002; most of facility now demolished and remainder used as temporary bus terminal
Lansdowne (Lan) Lansdowne Ave. & Paton Ave. 1911 1996; demolished 2003 Built for the Toronto Railway Company and acquired by TTC in 1921; became a trolley bus garage in 1947 and streetcar storage ended 1967; abandoned after 1996 and demolished 2003. Site a vacant and fenced-off lot.

Vehicles[edit]

Bus fleet as per TTC Service Summary of June 20, 2021[4]
Series Model In service Garage Built Seats Length (m) Propulsion Manufacturer
1000–1149 Orion VII 147 MtD 2006 38 12 Diesel–electric Orion Bus Industries
1200–1423 Orion VII "Next Gen" 178 Mal, MtD, Wil 2007–2008 36 12 Diesel–electric Daimler Buses North America
1500–1689 Orion VII "Next Gen" 43 Mal 2008 36 12 Diesel–electric Daimler Buses North America
3100–3369 LFS 270 Arw, McN 2018 33 12 Diesel Nova Bus
3400–3454 LFS Hybrid 55 Mal 2018 33 12 Diesel–electric Nova Bus
3455–3654 LFS Hybrid 200 Arw, Mal 2019 33 12 Diesel–electric Nova Bus
3700–3724 XE40 25 Arw 2019–2020 33 12 Battery–electric New Flyer Industries
3725–3749 Proterra Catalyst BE40 25 MtD 2019–2020 32 12 Battery–electric Proterra
3750–3759 BYD K9M 10 Egl 2019–2020 35 10 Battery–electric BYD Auto
7900–7979 Orion VII 67 Qsy 2006 38 12 Diesel Orion Bus Industries
8000–8099 Orion VII 98 Qsy 2007 38 12 Diesel DaimlerChrysler CBNA
8100–8219 Orion VII "Next Gen" 120 Wil 2010 36 12 Diesel Daimler Buses North America
8300–8396 Orion VII "Next Gen" 97 Wil 2011–2012 36 12 Diesel Daimler Buses North America
8400–8504 LFS 105 Bir, Qsy 2015–2016 33 12 Diesel Nova Bus
8510–8617 LFS 107 Bir 2016–2017 33 12 Diesel Nova Bus
8620–8716 LFS 97 Egl 2017 33 12 Diesel Nova Bus
8720–8964 LFS 245 Arw, Bir, Egl 2017 33 12 Diesel Nova Bus
9000–9152 LFS Artic 152 Arw, Mal, McN, MtD, Wil 2013–2014 46 18 Diesel Nova Bus
9200–9239 LFS 40 Bir 2018 33 12 Diesel Nova Bus
W100–W300 The Friendly Bus 199 W-T 2009–2012 8 8 Diesel American Bus Products Inc.
W500–W647 Promaster 80 W-T 2017–2021 6 6 Gasoline Creative Carriage Ltd.

On October 22, 2020, the TTC board approved the following purchases for new buses:[48]

  • 300 hybid buses to start operating in 2022
  • 300 electric buses to start operating in 2023
  • 70 minibuses for Wheel-Trans service to start operating in 2022.

Diesel low-floor buses[edit]

A Orion VII rigid diesel low floor bus in a Airport livery.

The TTC has a fleet of Orion VII low-floor buses built from 2006 to 2012, and the Nova LFS, built from 2015 to 2018.[4]

The first order of 51 diesel low-floor diesel buses, of the D40LF model, were manufactured by New Flyer in 1999 and retired in 2016.[49] 220 Orion VIIs, manufactured by Orion Bus Industries, were added to the roster in 2003 and 2004, with the another 250 acquired in 2005.[50][51][52] Between 2012 and 2014, the fleet was rebuilt; it took approximately eight days to complete a rebuild and cost about $175,000.[53] Further deliveries were added between 2006 and 2007 with 180 buses acquired with the UWE heating system removed, and an additional 217 buses between 2010 and 2012 were delivered as diesel buses instead of hybrids.[54][55] 12 buses from the 2007 Orion order were retrofitted with luggage racks at a cost of $2,000 per bus and are dedicated to the 900 Airport Express service to Toronto Pearson International Airport.[56]

After the success of the articulated buses, the TTC purchased over 213 12-metre (40 ft) LFS diesel buses between 2015 and 2016.[57] An additional 382 buses were added to the order in 2017 and 2018 to replace the retiring Orion VII buses manufactured between 2002 and 2005 due to emissions problems, while another 270 were added in 2018 and came equipped with external security cameras and USB ports where customers could charge their mobile devices on the bus.[52][58][59][60][61][62]

Articulated buses[edit]

Nova LFS diesel articulated bus

Introduced in 2013, the Nova Bus articulated buses are the third generation of articulated buses in Toronto, the earlier two being those manufactured by General Motors (operating from 1982 to 1987) and by Orion-Ikarus (operating from 1987 to 2003). The total cost of the Nova articulated fleet was $143.7 million. Fewer operators are required as the 18-metre articulated bus (carrying 46 seated and approximately 31 standing passengers) has 45 percent more passenger capacity than a 12-metre bus. Each bus can accommodate two standard wheelchairs and provides nine priority passenger seats. Each bus features three doors, LED interior and exterior lighting and automatic central air conditioning and heating. The "clean diesel" engines minimize engine exhaust emissions using electronic engine controls and treatment systems for diesel exhaust.[63][64][65]

In late April 2017, the TTC temporarily withdrew the entire Nova articulated fleet from service because one of the buses experienced a "full throttle", that is, an unexpected acceleration. Nova provided a software fix that required 20 minutes per bus to install allowing buses to go back into service.[66]

Hybrid-electric buses[edit]

Nova LFS hybrid bus

The TTC has two models of hybrid-electric buses (also called diesel-electric buses), Orion VII built from 2006 to 2008, and the LFS Hybrid built in 2018 and 2019.[4]

The Orion VII hybrid buses, like its diesel counterparts, have features such as air-conditioning, GPS for automatic stop announcements, a wheelchair ramp and the ability to kneel at the front door for easier boarding. Fuel savings of 10 to 30 percent were expected compared to diesel buses. However, the model achieved only 10 percent savings because it was designed to work best in stop-and-go traffic which occurs mainly in downtown Toronto. The batteries were problematic requiring replacement every 18 months when they were expected to last 5 years. At $700,000 per bus, the hybrid was $200,000 more expensive than a diesel-only bus.[67][68]

The LFS Hybrid is essentially an electric bus with an onboard diesel generator to produce electricity to recharge an onboard battery as needed. Unlike for electric buses, the battery is not recharged overnight. These diesel-electric buses use 25 percent less fuel than a diesel bus. Also, energy produced by descending a hill or braking will help recharge the battery. The bus is driven by an electric motor with electricity drawn from the on-board battery. On-board systems such as doors, HVAC, power steering, etc. are electrically powered.[19][69]

Electric buses[edit]

BYD K9M eBus

The TTC has a goal to operate an emissions-free bus fleet by 2040. In 2018, the TTC received three demonstrator electric buses for evaluation to test the performance of electric vehicles. The TTC received one bus each from manufacturers: California-based Proterra, Winnipeg-based New Flyer (part of NFI Group) and Chinese-based BYD.[70]

In April 2019, the TTC received the first of 60 electric buses after ordering 25 each from Proterra and New Flyer, and 10 from BYD. The 60 buses, plus infrastructure changes at three TTC garages, costed approximately $140 million with the federal government paying $65 million of that cost.[71][69]

The buses are powered exclusively by lithium-ion batteries that take about three hours to recharge. The buses are expected to travel approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) on a single charge; however, when the bus heater activates in cold weather, the range is reduced by 30 to 50 percent. (For perspective, an electric bus on the 35 Jane route travels about 78 kilometres (48 mi) in a day.) Per year, each electric bus will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 149.2 metric tons (146.8 long tons; 164.5 short tons) and eliminate diesel fuel costs of $56,000. The electric buses are 15 to 20 percent quieter in motion, and 85 percent quieter when idling.[71] These buses, with a 440,000-watt onboard battery, can be used as mobile power plants during power outages, by plugging the bus into a building such as a hospital.[69]

BYD buses require different recharging infrastructure than Proterra and New Flyer buses, with the former using AC (alternating current) and the latter two using DC (direct current). The Eglinton garage has AC recharging, while Arrow Road and Mount Dennis garages have DC.[22]

Shelters[edit]

Prior to the 1980s, the bus shelters on TTC routes were installed and maintained by the TTC and the various municipalities of Metropolitan Toronto and lacked advertising. Within the old city of Toronto, they were metal frames with large glass panes, but the suburban ones were metal-clad with fibreglass and smaller glass windows. A few older shelters, like Otter Loop (Small Arms and Coxwell Loops were similar for use on streetcar routes), were formal brick-and-glass structures; most of these disappeared in 1960s or 1970s, with Otter's structure surviving into the early 2000s.[72] However, during the mid-2010s, the Otter Loop bus shelter was removed and the area was converted into Heart Park.[73]

Shelters and related advertising displays had been installed by Trans Ad[74] and later by Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoor, Mediacom and TDI[74]). Outfront Media and Astral Media (a division of Bell Canada) are responsible for all other forms of non-electronic advertising on the TTC (excluding posters and digital advertising in the Toronto subway system and on buses and streetcars, which are managed by Pattison Outdoor Advertising, which includes OneStop Media for digital billboards).[75][76]

Bike racks[edit]

Bicycle rack-mounted on a TTC Orion VII NG bus

All TTC buses, except Wheel-Trans vehicles, are equipped with folding bike racks installed on the front of the bus. Depending on the bus model,the rack can hold either one or two bicycles. Cyclists must remove all loose or detachable accessories from bicycles stored on the rack. If all the rack slots are full, bicycles may be stored inside buses except during rush hours.[77]

Background[edit]

In mid-2005, the TTC began a pilot project to test bicycle racks on six selected routes as a way to boost ridership and to be more environmentally friendly.[78]

In July 2007, the Commission authorized the addition of bus racks to the remainder of the TTC bus fleet except for buses to be retired over the following three years. The 2007 expenditure for installation was an unbudgeted $250,000, to be covered by a shortfall in 2007 capital expenditures. The Commission included another $1,720,000 in the 2008–2012 capital budget to install bike racks on remaining buses. All new buses ordered would be delivered either with bike racks installed or at least mounting brackets for TTC staff to install the racks.[79] In December 2011, bike racks were available on all TTC buses except minibuses.[14]

The Nova Bus LFS articulated buses came factory-equipped with bike racks, as did the non-articulated LFS buses that entered service in 2015. The racks were sealed in October 2014, by order of the Ministry of Labour,[80] because of concerns about bikes on the racks obscuring the drivers' view. In May 2015, the slot closer to the bus was authorised for use. The other is sealed off with metal panels, and the retention hooks have been removed. Once the first slot is full, cyclists may bring their bikes inside the articulated bus during off-peak hours at the driver's discretion.[81]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Public Transportation Ridership Report – First Quarter, 2019" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. 31 May 2019. p. 36. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b "2018 Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
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External links[edit]