Residents on Ellerslie in suburban North York aren't used to seeing buses.
So when the TTC started detouring vehicles onto the street to get around a sinkhole that's made Sheppard west of Yonge impassable, they reacted like they'd just seen a spaceship.
"The neighbours were going crazy," says area Councillor John Filion. "From a transit perspective, Ellerslie was the best solution," explains TTC senior superintendent of surface transportation John Chamberlain. "It was the newest road and the shortest route." This is a one-time emergency. The bus's detour on Ellerslie is little more than 1 kilometre long. And the street itself, a feeder route running between Yonge and Bathurst, is already well travelled. No big deal, right?
Well, not exactly. Filion, arguing that Ellerslie is "not designed for buses" (try telling that to downtowners who live with buses and streetcars outside their front doors), got the TTC to reroute the vehicles all the way north to Finch, adding 25 minutes in each direction for transit riders.
The better way? "It's one of those little hardships," says TTC spokesperson Marilyn Bolton.
At least one Ellerslie resident, who doesn't want her name used lest her neighbours turn on her, has been left red-faced by the Red Rocket turnaround."We are coming into smog season," she says. "It's crazy putting the wants of a few residents over transit users."