Toronto city council has unanimously approved priority bus lanes along an eight-kilometre stretch on Eglinton Avenue East, Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue in Scarborough, as part of the city's RapidTO plan.
Mayor John Tory says RapidTO, a network of transit priority lanes across the city, is crucial in helping the city get back on its feet after an economic hit the TTC has taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"[This] will help us quickly improve access and mobility for Scarborough residents, help manage congestion, shorten travel times and improve transit reliability so that residents are even more confident they will get where they need to be on time," Tory said in a news release Tuesday.
Last week, the TTC board approved a report on fast-tracking the installation of priority bus lanes and other measures to enhance service on five of its busiest corridors, including:
- Eglinton Avenue East/Kingston Road/Morningside Avenue from Kennedy Subway Station to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
- Jane Street from Eglinton Avenue West to Steeles Avenue West.
- 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.
Lawrence East (East of Victoria Park to Rouge Hills Drive) was subsequently added as the sixth priority corridor.
An $8M project
The report says the project will cost the city approximately $7.8 million, but notes the lanes are aimed to reduce travel time by improving speed and reliability.
That should result in an annual savings of $2.5 million in operating costs, the report says.
According to the report, the existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Eglinton Avenue East and curbside general-purpose lanes on Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue will be converted to priority bus lanes.
The report also noted that Eglinton Avenue East is among the TTC's most heavily used corridors.
"This is the beginning of the RapidTO network which will help our transit system recover from the impacts of COVID-19 as quickly as possible and ensure that the TTC continues to be a critical part of rebuilding our economy," said Tory.