TTC announces pilot project for 24-hour subway system
In a rare TTC Board meeting late Sunday at City Hall, staff put forward a report recommending that the city test new subway service hours for a period of three months as part of a pilot project.
The motion passed in a 17-8 vote, meaning that we should start seeing night subways as soon as this August.
Exact details are still being worked out, but the report suggests that, instead of starting at 6 a.m. each morning Monday through Saturday (8 a.m. on Sundays) and closing down at 1:30 a.m., the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line would instead run 24 hours a day, seven days a week as part of the pilot.
Costs for the pilot project would come out of the TTC's 2019 operating budget and total approximately $800,000.
TTC spokesperson Stella Redd credits new, more efficient maintenance procedures as one of the main reasons why after so many years of people asking for late-night subway service, the TTC is finally ready to move forward.
"Staff typically use the hours between 2 and 6 a.m. for routine maintenance," said Redd in a statement issued Sunday night. "For the duration of the pilot, maintenance will take place alongside major repairs during scheduled closures."
The pilot project will begin on the Yonge-University-Spadina line, but if the service proves popular enough to sustain, it could be expanded to the rest of the system.
Without modification, the plan would see 24/7 subway service on Line 1 from August 1 until October 31, with Halloween serving as the final night of service.
Staff will then compile a report based on ridership and other data to argue for or against making 24/7 subway service in Toronto permanent to accommodate the city's fast-growing and highly mobile population.
We can always dream, right? Sadly, we'll likely be waiting for this just like those promised refunds or when we can drink in parks or when the Rogers Centre changes its name back to the SkyDome. Happy April Fools' Day.
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