A Trip to the West End

   10 September 2004, early evening

Toronto has a pretty good public transportation system. I mean, compared to other cities I have spent time in I am unimpressed, but it’s better then nothing. I recently had to make a trek from my house in the East end to an appointment in the West end. And when I say West end, I mean West; this place was at the very edge of the city. Here are the notes I made on my trip back to the East end:

  • The time it took to get from my appointment to Kipling station via buses was 25 minutes.
  • The time it took to get from Kipling Station to Kennedy station on the subway was 50 minutes. For those not from Toronto, this subway line run East to West, and crosses the entire city almost. This was the longest step in my trip.
  • The time it took to get from Kennedy Station to the Scarborough Town Centre station on the Rapid Transit train was 10 minutes.
  • The time it took to get from the Scarborough Town Centre Station to my kitchen was 20 minutes by the bus followed by a little walking.
  • From my appointment back to my home took just over 2 hours on the TTC. 15 minutes of that time was waiting for the first bus I would take on my trip.

So those are some fun little TTC facts.



  1. And yet the entire trip only cost you about $2. For what the TTC may lack in service, it makes up for it in cost to the user. A two-hour transit trip in a city which uses a zone or distance-based fare would set you back quite a bit.

  2. This is a good point. Two other cities I think have a better transit system are London and Sydney. But both of these cities charge based on where you start and where you end up. So a trip like mine could be more expensive in Syndey. Of course, there are trains that can take you to every corner of the city, which you don’t get here.

  3. BTW, Melbourne is similar to Sydney as far as rates are concerned, but the tram service is just awesome. Frankly a Melburnian doesn’t need a car.

    In Adelaide thinks are a bit different as it was a bit planned unlike the hap-hazard sprawl of Sydney/Melbourne. All the main routes lead to the CBD. So the majority of buses start from a suburb (BTW everything is a suburb—CBD is pure business) and end around Victoria Sq. in the CBD. In a “all roads lead to Rome fashion”.

    So to go from A to B at maximum takes two buses. And since its a small city, commute times are generous. Throw in the student discounts and you get passage for 2hrs for a dollar!

    Now I compare this with Los Angeles, and its heaven. But driving is more fun out there anyways.

  4. I hear that the transit system in Germany is just amazing. It’s almost always faster to take public transport. Not only is it faster but you don’t have to find parking, pay for it, and then walk the rest of the way to where you are going. I wish Toronto/Ontario had a more extensive transit system, then I MAY be inclined to use it.

  5. Well, Kipling and Kennedy are pretty far away from each other and there are many stops in between. Subway trains only travel so fast. The HK MTR trains travel at 80 km/h so I assume the TTC trains are similar. I think the only way to travel quickly over such a distance in any city would be a commuter train.

    I would like it if we had some more subway lines but I don’t think the TTC has the necessary ridership to make them viable. That, and I don’t think anyone wants to give them money.

  6. Isn’t the current situation a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts for Toronto’s public transit. For the TTC to improve their service, they need more riders. People are unhappy with the TTC so they don’t use it. So the TTC never improves their service.

  7. Wouldn’t that be more like a Catch 22?

  8. I guess so. It’s not good either way.

Don't be shy, you can comment too!

Some things to keep in mind: You can style comments using Textile. In particular, *text* will get turned into text and _text_ will get turned into text. You can post a link using the command "linktext":link, so something like "google":http://www.google.com will get turned in to google. I may erase off-topic comments, or edit poorly formatted comments; I do this very rarely.