TTC

10 signs you rode the TTC in the 1990s

The early 1990s were something of a heyday for the TTC. At the outset of the decade, the province still provided operating subsidies, and an adult cash fare was $1.20. Service levels were generally adequate to the city's needs (though we still complained), and the type of crowding that you see at downtown stations nowadays was confined to major delays. Sigh.

Here are 10 signs you rode the TTC in the 1990s.

1. You remember the trolley buses, which still operated on the Bay St. and Dupont/Annette routes until 1993. The wires that powered these vehicles remained in place until the middle of the decade before the TTC dismantled them.

2. You got excited about the new T1 trains with their red upholstered seats, wider space around the doors, and general cleanliness.

3. You realized that the subway could crash after it tragically did on August 11, 1995. Commuters who rode the TTC that day felt thankful to get home safely.

4. You called your local bus stop. In the days before Nextbus GPS tracking, the best you could do was dial a phone number assigned to your nearest stop, which would provide the next three scheduled buses.

5. You thought Toronto would get an Eglinton subway line. They even broke ground on the project in 1994. Then Mike Harris was elected and the project was promptly cancelled.

6. You deposited 75 cents for a student cash fare in the early 1990s. And you still remember the pain of the turnstile being locked by the power-hungry maniac in the collector booth demanding to see the Student Card that you lost a week after it was issued.

7. You recall when TTC service went to sh*t after provincial operating subsidies were cut in the late '90s. It was downhill from there.

8. Buses seemed bigger back then. The old GM Fishbowls, the New Flyer series, and the the Orion V -- all in service during the '90s -- had greater capacity on account of their raised floor design.

9. You ran from the Cinnabon counter at Eglinton Station to catch a bus because you saw the route light flashing in the old bus terminal, which closed in 2004.

10. Charles Pachter's mural Hockey Knights in Canada at College Station just felt so much more relevant when you'd ascend the steps to watch Leafs games at the Gardens.

What did I miss? Add your memories of riding the TTC in the 1990s to the comments.

Photo by Brad O'Brien


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