In 2016, South Leaside residents will finally be able to use transit all along Bayview Avenue without making a detour via Yonge Street, thanks to the efforts of Leaside Property Owners Association co-president Carol Burtin Fripp, Bennington Heights Residents Association president Hugh Grant, and Ward 26 councillor Jon Burnside.
During a TTC committee meeting on June 22, which Fripp attended, the TTC confirmed it would extend service on the 28 Bayview South bus route sometime next year to address a gap in service between Davisville Avenue and Sutherland Drive, which Fripp called a “longstanding problem.”
“This service gap has had serious impacts on South Leaside residents whose only way to get to medical appointments at Sunnybrook, or to visit family or friends who are patients there, involves a lot of expense,” Fripp told the TTC.
Taking a taxi costs $12 each way while parking charges are $4.75 per half hour “and I don’t know anyone who has ever gotten away in a half-hour or less,” Fripp said. South Leaside residents who take the TTC to Sunnybrook must take the 88 South Leaside bus to St. Clair station, then take the subway north to Davisville station, before taking the 11 Bayview east and north along Bayview Avenue.
While not the dedicated Leaside-to-Sunnybrook service that Fripp preferred, next year’s service change will let South Leaside residents get off the 28 Bayview at Davisville Avenue and then catch the Bayview 11 north to Sunnybrook without detours at Davisville or St. Clair stations.
The LPOA had been approached often over the years by residents urging the TTC to close the gap, Fripp said, and her own experience with the problem came to a head two years ago when she wrote an article about Leaside resident Michael Bell who relied on the TTC to bring him to Sunnybrook for weekly medical treatments.
Ward 26 councillor Burnside, who said the lack of TTC service into South Leaside has been a problem for decades, called the extension a “modicum of success.”
“Although it’s not exactly what I’m looking for, it’s a great first step, and I’m appreciative that the TTC took it,” he said.