For many years the LPOA has received complaints from Leasiders about the missing link in TTC service along Bayview Ave. between Sutherland Dr. and Davisville, particularly from people needing to get to Sunnybrook Hospital for appointments.
Unless they drive (and pay hefty parking fees at Sunnybrook) they must catch the South Leaside 88 bus to first go west to St. Clair subway station, then take the subway north to Davisville station and wait for the Bayview bus there. A very time consuming process, and physically challenging for the ill or infirm.
As for South Leasiders who want to take transit to Bayview’s shops and restaurants, they must currently go through the same routine. Not an incentive to give their business to our Bayview merchants!
In the 1990s, the TTC briefly discussed (and rejected) complicated changes to the South Leaside 88 bus route to close the service gap.
However, I now propose a different, simpler approach to this service gap, and have requested Councillor Parker to consult the TTC about moving bus route 11/11C, currently based at Davisville, to a base at the St. Clair subway station instead.
Route 11 currently goes along Davisville to Bayview, and then north to Steeles. Route 11C, a shorter version, travels only as far as Sunnybrook Hospital before returning to Davisville.
There is room for an additional bus route at the St. Clair subway station, at either the bus bay or the streetcar/bus platform, and the St. Clair station is more user friendly than the Davisville station. It is not exposed to the elements at the subway level and its platforms are wider.
Riders currently using Davisville station solely to take route 28 between Davisville and Bayview would be unaffected.
The advantages would be considerable: South Leasiders would be able to get easily BY TRANSIT to Sunnybrook Hospital, avoiding expensive parking or taxi costs.
It would also assist them and those from Bennington Heights and Moore Park to get to the Bayview commercial area and shop locally BY TRANSIT, freeing up scarce Bayview parking spots for those coming from further afield, a welcome economic boon for Bayview merchants.
More and more, our population is aging and needing ready access to Sunnybrook, as do young and growing families. More and more, our local shops face competition with big box chains providing free parking.
I believe this proposal merits serious consideration. It is a relatively simple, low cost solution to a major problem.
Thank you to Leasider Michael Bell, with whom I discussed this problem. I would be interested to hear from other readers about this!