UPDATE (March 10, 2013): Articulated buses began running along the 29 Dufferin route and I look forward to hopping on board and speaking with riders to learn about the difference these new vehicles have made and how we can continue to make the TTC experience better.
As your voice at City Hall, I advocated to ensure that the 29 Dufferin route would be among the first to receive articulated ("bendy") buses, and last week TTC CEO Andy Byford confirmed that the new bendy buses would be rolling-out along Dufferin between January-March 2014.
At the end of June, 2013 I brought our TTC CEO for a ride-along on the 29 Dufferin bus in order to show him the infamous "Dufferin caravans" along the route. Ward 18 residents are often frustrated when they wait an unreasonably long time for a 29 bus, only to have 4, 5, sometimes even 6 buses arrive at once. On that June morning, CEO Byford and I witnessed 4 buses arrive at Dufferin Station, at once, and I was subsequently assured that our area would be among the first to receive the new articulated buses once the fleet arrived in Toronto.
Some may be able to recall that the TTC had articulated buses in the past and may wonder why we are bringing them back. The previous generation of articulated buses were not a quality bus. They were prone to mechanical problems and not very comfortable to ride. The TTC reduced the use of articulated buses for several years, but when a new generation of more reliable and comfortable buses came to market it was decided to look at these vehicles once again.
City-wide, the TTC is receiving 134 new high-capacity buses. Articulated buses carry 45% more passengers than conventional buses and have several advantages over their 40-foot cousins, including more seating, reduced operating costs, reduced boarding and unloading times, which in turn, allows for more reliable service on routes like Dufferin.
Having more reliable service on the Dufferin route is something I've heard to be very important to Ward 18 residents. This has been echoed by Executive Director of Communications for the TTC, Mr. Brad Ross, who says that "Customers often tell us they prefer reliability - if your schedule says 'X,' it should be 'X' and not 'Y.'"
The articulated buses will allow for greater route management, reduction of bunching and gapping and for these reasons I left nothing to chance and immediately requested Dufferin be amongst the first upon hearing that the articulated buses were being delivered. I am very pleased that the 29 Dufferin route was selected to be among the first to receive the new articulated buses and look forward to hopping aboard in early 2014.
For more information on the bus roll-out and other important community events I invite you to visit www.anabailao.com and to sign up for e-newsletter updates.