Buses, not the LRT, may be the solution to transit issues in Scarborough

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Increasing the number of bus routes is the most immediate solution to transit inaccessibility, some Scarborough residents believe. The borough’s diverse community depends on public transit to get around, yet the service they’re getting needs improvement.

“The day-to-day use of Scarborough transit is okay,” said Michael Smith, a Scarborough resident, during the story sharing portion of the evening. “It works at times, surprisingly. But long distances are a problem and I am getting increasingly worried if I have a physical ability to be a regular TTC commuter. I think whether I should move closer to work.”

Scarborough residents discussed transit issues at the Transit Story Circle at East Scarborough Storefront, near Lawrence Ave. and Kingston Rd. This is the second Story Circle to date. The first Story Circle took place in November 2018; it focused on Scarborough media coverage and how the community can create new narratives about itself.

The second Story Circle was an informal, lively gathering for the community members to participate in facilitated conversations about their transit experience, share stories and brainstorm solutions to the transit issues. The circle of chairs provided a feeling of intimacy and familiarity, where everyone in the group was equal and everyone’s opinion was valid.

“We decided to live in Scarborough based on access to transit,” said Nadia Heyd, 46, during the story sharing portion of the evening. Heyd is a mother and resident near Kingston Rd. and Guildwood Prkw. Commuting is difficult for her children because traveling 3.5 kilometers from her home requires two buses. As a result, her children spend more time waiting for buses than traveling on them.

Others expressed concerns about a lack of available buses and poor organizational structure of the TTC in Scarborough.

“There’s lack of communication and lack of organization at TTC,” said Sachin Persaud, a Ryerson University student. “There’s no communication to let people know if the train will move or not.”

“Multiple connections are a frustration,” Moya said. “We need rapid transit. Fixing busses, adding more buses.”

After the story-sharing portion, the attending residents came up with solutions, which included better time management for the buses, and the supplying of additional buses during winter. This would help with long wait times and commuters would not feel rushed to get to the subway.

The Scarborough Story Circle, Transit Edition, was held by The Discourse on Feb. 28 with more than 30 people in the audience, including councilors Cynthia Lai, Jim Karyjanis and Jennifer McKelvie.

Kateryna Bandura for The Discourse

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