Despite the proposal, budget challenges for the transit agency loom.
John Tory and Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence) would like Toronto’s transit agency to open earlier on Sunday mornings.
In a statement released this morning, the mayor and the TTC Chair requested that the TTC Board look at opening earlier than its current 9 a.m. start time on Sundays. The other six days of the week, the transit agency opens at 6 a.m.
The proposal from Tory and Colle will see the Sunday opening pushed forward to 8 a.m., and will cost an additional $1 million.
We are not the only global centre that is adapting to the evolving realities of peoples’ lives. Other municipal transit systems have stretched their hours and changed their thinking to provide modern service to modern cities. It is important to both of us that Toronto continues to work toward these standards, and provide the comprehensive service our riders deserve.
The later opening particularly affects shift workers, people trying to get to the airport, and those who use transit to go to religious services on Sunday morning.
But implementing the earlier schedule comes with its challenges.
Earlier this year, the TTC said in response to the mayor’s request that early Sunday hours could not be accommodated until 2020. This is in part due to ongoing track maintenance and improvement that can only be done when the subway is not in operation. But after additional study by the TTC, they believe the agency can accommodate one additional hour of service on Sunday mornings while doing their ongoing track work.
During the press conference to announce the proposal, Colle also said he would propose a freeze on Metropass costs, but that the cash fare may increase this year as the agency moves towards smartcards.
Between a ridership shortfall, and ongoing funding challenges, the TTC may have a difficult challenge for its 2016 budget.
This article has been updated to include information about costs and timing.