Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[LINK] "For Some TTC Riders, A Dufferin Slog"

For what it's worth, regardless owhether I lived on Queen Street West at Dufferin or DUpont Street at Dufferin, the 29 Dufferin bus has always been problematic. The Queen Street West stops were always worse, especially when bus stops were moved for construction or other reasons. At both ends, mind, the tendency of the buses to clump in two, three, even four or five prevails. This sort of thing is unsurprising.

Dufferin doesn't jog anymore, and TTC buses that used to worm their way along Gladstone Avenue before continuing north or south on Dufferin now go straight through the brand new underpass. So why is there still a shelter on Gladstone, north of Queen, for a bus stop that doesn't exist anymore? And—worse—why did it take several days for either the City or the TTC to let anyone at the stop know about it?

When the Dufferin Underpass opened on the afternoon of Thursday, November 18, the small change was a big deal for the 29 Dufferin bus route, often marked by overcrowded buses that arrived two or three at a time at Dufferin Station after long waits. "People told me tonight," Mayor David Miller happily tweeted hours later, "that riders spontaneously broke into applause when the Dufferin Bus went under the new underpass!"

Less so that same afternoon, a block east.

By the time Andrew McConnachie got off the Queen streetcar to go buy groceries at Price Chopper, Gladstone had seen its very last 29 Dufferin bus. At the bus shelter on Gladstone's east side, right beside the grocery store, McConnachie says he saw "half a dozen people waiting." He bought dinner, and then, "when I came back out the crowd had doubled," he says. "I ended up telling everyone what the situation was and everyone was pretty peeved." Other than a newly missing TTC bus stop pillar, there was no indication that the stop had moved: inside the shelter and out, there were no signs, no posters, and no one from the TTC there to help.

A day later, on Friday, with the sun setting fast on a frigid November day, Mary-Lu Travassos waited at the shelter for twenty minutes before we spotted her and told her that the stop had moved. She doesn't take the route too frequently—just a few times a month. Other than through the TTC's website, there wasn't any way for her to know that the stop was out of service; there was even a TTC map inside the shelter that showed the 29 Dufferin's route as hopping over to Gladstone before continuing down Dufferin.

"They don't care," she said, resigned, as she walked up Gladstone and rounded the corner towards Dufferin to catch her bus.
Tags: dufferin street, dupont street, links, queen street west, toronto, ttc
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