Toronto businesses worried about cancelled TTC program
In just a few weeks, the TTC will officially nix its time-based transfer program along St. Clair West after more than a decade of piloting the idea – unless a local BIA succeeds in getting its way.
The program, introduced in 2005 to relieve construction woes, allows passengers to jump on and off public transit anywhere along the 512 St. Clair route for a period of two hours, so long as they have a transfer.
As of Sept. 3, this will no longer be the case. The 512 line will soon operate just like every other route in the city, meaning that fares are only valid for one trip, in one direction, and without re-boarding privileges.
This, say members of the Regal Heights Village Business Improvement Area, will potentially lead to a "decline in business and activity in our area."
The BIA started a Change.org petition last week asking the TTC and "appropriate government sectors" to reconsider their disposal of the program.
"This service has not only been a benefit to the businesses along St. Clair Avenue West," the petition reads, "but a huge benefit to the community at large."
Just over 200 people, out of a total 500 needed, have signed to show their support as of press time. Some signatories are leaving personal messages about their concerns.
"As a senior living on a fixed income, the short term transfer really helps me to take full advantage of all the shopping stops..." writes one local resident.
"I use the transfer at least 4 times a week now, but perhaps won't be shopping as much when I have to pay for each ride back and forth."
Many others on Change.org and elsewhere online are recommending that the program be expanded, as opposed to discontinued.
"This should be implemented system wide," reads another petition comment. "It's a great way to stimulate the economy across the city."
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