For the first time, the TTC is using an online survey to help it decide on a service issue.
About four years after embarking on renovations that have had Pape Station continually covered in construction hoarding, the TTC is taking the unprecedented step of asking riders to decide how much longer the work should go on.
Right now, the plan is to keep the station open throughout construction, which would prevent workers from finishing the bulk of the job until around December. One way to speed up the process would be to close the station temporarily, and that’s what the TTC is seeking input on.
An online survey, posted on the TTC website on Tuesday, asks members of public to pick from three different options:
- Keep the station open throughout construction, as planned
- Close the station for 12 days straight
- Close the station for six consecutive weekends
The TTC thinks either of the latter two courses of action would enable it to finish the main part of the renovation about three months earlier, in September. If the station were closed, no trains would stop there and buses would have to be rerouted.
TTC spokesman Brad Ross says the commission is seriously committed to doing whichever of these three things the online survey’s results seem to favour.
“If it’s clearly one over the other two, for example, then of course, if that’s what the community wants, then that’s what we’ll do,” he said. If no single option wins a clear majority, the TTC will go with whatever seems to be best for construction.
Ross said this is the first time the TTC has tried to poll the public directly—although the commission has, in the past, engaged with riders in less quantifiable ways, at community consultations and at town hall meetings.
The renovations at Pape are supposed to improve accessibility and add a second exit, while also enlarging the station and modernizing its look. Dufferin Station is getting similar treatment, but the makeover there isn’t expected to be finished until 2014.
When work at Pape began in mid-2009, it was scheduled to be completed by spring 2012, but various unexpected setbacks have caused the project to drag on for longer. Even so, one has to wonder if riders are fed up enough with the dilapidated look of the place that they’ll tolerate a closure.
We’ll find out. The survey closes on April 17.