43 routes get a boost

COLIN MCCONNEL/torstar news service


TTC chair Adam Giambrone rides the 29 Dufferin bus to check out the enhanced service on the route that went into effect yesterday.

« A month or six weeks from now people may notice a little less crowding. »

Helga Schlatter was among the TTC patrons who noticed a welcome change yesterday: More buses on the Dufferin 29 line. She had watched three pass as she was dropping her children at school.

"You miss a bus on Dufferin and you have to wait. But to my astonishment another one showed up," Schlatter told TTC chair Adam Giambrone, who was out during the morning rush checking on this week’s improvements — the single largest bus service expansion in the city’s history.

One of the busiest lines in the city, Dufferin carries about 34,000 people a day. It was among 43 bus and three streetcar routes that got a boost to rush hour, off-peak and weekend service, starting Sunday.

The addition of between two and six buses on Dufferin, depending on the time of day, means customers should see a bus coming by every three minutes, Giambrone said.

Not everyone got that kind of service yesterday. Giambrone waited about 10 minutes for both north- and southbound buses before three or four buses pulled up together.

This week’s service enhancements won’t be instantly noticeable, he said. "A month or six weeks from now people may notice a little less crowding."

But as TTC riders were finding something to cheer about, GO riders on the busy Lakeshore West line were coping with ongoing delays caused by the derailment of a freight train just east of Aldershot station around 1 a.m. Monday.

CN crews worked for a second day to clear the third track where 19 rail cars derailed. The other tracks were cleared yesterday morning, allowing VIA to restore most of its service, a spokesperson said.

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