Meeting Date: April 18, 2007

Subject: 59 Maple Leaf – Service To Chaminade College School

Recommendations

It is recommended that the Commission:

1. Receive this report noting that:
• direct bus service from Chaminade College School, via Queen’s Drive, is not operationally feasible and is not recommended;
• TTC staff have suggested an alternative approach to improving the security of Chaminade College students wishing to use TTC services which involves the creating of a new entrance from the school yard to Maple Leaf Drive; and

2. Forward this report to Councillor Di Giorgio and the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Funding

This report has no effect on the TTC’s operating or capital budgets.

Background

On a number of occasions since November 2006, including at the March 21, 2007 Commission meeting, Councillor Di Giorgio has discussed with TTC staff possible changes to the 59 MAPLE LEAF bus route that would contribute towards improved security for students travelling to and from Chaminade College School. There have been a number of security incidents involving students at the school in the after-school hours, and the Councillor has been working with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Toronto Police Service in an effort to address these security concerns.

Discussion

Chaminade College School, a Toronto Catholic District School board secondary school, is located on Queen’s Drive, west of Culford Road, in the Lawrence Avenue/Jane Street area. It is served by the 59 MAPLE LEAF route which operates on Maple Leaf Drive on the north side of the school property (see attached drawing). The entrances to the school are on the south side of the property on Queen’s Drive, however, so students wanting to use the      59 MAPLE LEAF bus are required to walk around the school from Queen’s Drive, via Venice Drive, to Maple Leaf Drive to reach the service. The attached drawing shows the school and the nearby bus stops. In addition to the regular 13-to-20 minute service provided on the    59 MAPLE LEAF route in the morning and afternoon peak-periods from Monday to Friday, two additional special TTC bus trips are operated each afternoon specifically to carry students eastbound from the College at school dismissal times.

In response to the requests from Councillor Di Georgio, staff have examined the possibility of operating some, or all, of the current 59 MAPLE LEAF service on Queen’s Drive, rather than Maple Leaf Drive, to serve the front of the school. However, there are multiple speed bumps on Queen’s Drive which makes this operation not feasible, and would contravene the TTC and City of Toronto policy of not operating regularly-scheduled bus service on roads with speed bumps. This is because operating buses over speed bumps causes discomfort for riders, could result in on–board injuries, and could result in damage to the underside of   low-floor buses. Even if the speed bumps were to be removed, diverting all of the service onto Queen’s Drive would significantly inconvenience many other users of the route and is not recommended.

As an alternative, TTC staff identified the opportunity to have students walk almost entirely on school property to reach the bus service on Maple Leaf Drive. If the school were to create an entrance to the school yard on Maple Leaf Drive, the TTC would create a    “school trips only” bus stop on Maple Leaf Drive, close to the new school-property entrance, to enhance the safety and security of students using this service. Discussions are ongoing with the Councillor’s staff and school staff regarding this proposal.

Summary

The requested change to the bus route is not operationally feasible, and is not recommended. The best solution for improving student access to the existing bus route is for the Toronto Catholic District School Board to open a new access gate from school property to the existing bus route on Maple Leaf Drive.

April 3, 2007
11-31-57

Attachment:  Drawing - 59 MAPLE LEAF
 
P:\SharedWorkArea\Commission\Reports\2007\2007-04 - April\Draft#xxxxx CR - Service to Chaminade College School.doc