The city’s MTM system has become a major transportation concern in the region, with some riding in their own cars and some taking transit.
The system is designed to reduce congestion by connecting riders with one another, but many in the transit community are concerned it could become a bottleneck for people using it.
“There is no reason to use the MTF,” said Chris Micallef, a transportation planner with the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Transportation Authority (GTHA).
“There are two lanes for all buses, not just one lane for MTM.”
In a survey released earlier this year, nearly half of respondents said they’d like to see MTM expanded.
While MTM ridership has remained stable in recent years, congestion in the system has increased.
The TTC said it was taking steps to improve the system.
A new lane has been added to the westbound lane on York Street between Finch Avenue and Queen Street, with a separate one to the eastbound lane being added.
In a city with over 1.5 million people, MTM is expected to add about 500,000 trips a day by 2031.
The MTM route also connects the downtown core, downtown York and the GTA Westside.
But the system is also in dire need of upgrades, especially in light of the recent shutdown of a new tunnel that was scheduled to open later this year.
“This is the first time that MTM has been closed,” said John Kelleher, president of the MTOA.
“We need to be able to take the MTP and turn it into a viable transportation option.”
While some TTC riders are riding MTM on weekends, other riders have begun to take it for longer commutes, often to work, school or other events.
In the past year, there have been two major delays in MTM service.
In September, the TTC cancelled service between Jarvis and St. George stations due to severe weather.
That same month, the service was halted between Finch and Bloor stations due a power outage in the southbound direction.
MTM buses are equipped with emergency braking systems, but drivers often have to use their feet to slow down to avoid a crash.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there is no dedicated left-hand lane on the MTT, meaning drivers often must pull out into the right-hand lanes to get to their destinations.
That can be a frustrating experience, said Kelleh, who said he has had to wait for several minutes for the bus to slow to a stop before the left-turn lane was clear.
“I have been very frustrated, as a driver, because I know the system works,” Kellehe said.
“It just needs some more work.”
Riders need to understand that they are not only taking transit on the TTC, they are also taking it with them when they leave the system, said Micalef.
“The way we’re building this system is not just to get people to work or to the airport, but to get them to get on the bus, get on a bike or to walk their dog.”
Riders who have already booked their tickets will not be able book an MTM bus during the shutdown.
But Kellehew said that should not be a barrier to riders.
“People who have booked their ticket already are not going to miss it, but if they do, it’s not a big deal.”
Riders should not worry about waiting for the MTC, said Lorna Dyer, an associate professor in the university’s department of transportation engineering.
“If there’s no MTM, you can do everything you want to do, whether you want a meal at the restaurant or a movie,” said Dyer.
“And if you’re going to have a meal, don’t worry about it.
You can get on another bus, and it’s only 15 minutes.”
While it’s possible that some riders will be able travel on the system during the MTS shutdown, Dyer said the TTC is making every effort to minimize congestion and the impact it will have on the region.
Riders who are unsure of their travel options will be directed to the MTR website.
The website will be updated on a regular basis with information about MTM and transit in the GTA, with daily updates on the status of the system and the number of rides expected to be taken.
A number of cities have implemented MTM systems, including Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Montreal, and Ottawa.
MNT has also been in operation in Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Ottawa, as well as the Quebec City region.
“When you have a system that’s been in place for years, there’s a perception that it’s going to work,” said Killehe.
“But what we’re seeing is that there’s always a disruption.
There’s always an issue with reliability, there are always changes.”
A few other issues with MTM that will likely remain a concern during the next