On the 36: the split Finch West bus

Residents of University Heights and Bathurst Manor are intimately familiar with the 36 Finch West bus and have taken notice of the recent changes made to the route. On weekdays between 6am and 10pm, the 36A carries eastbound passengers to Finch West station where they must transfer to another 36 bus to continue towards Finch Station. Likewise, those travelling west from Finch Station on the 36 must transfer to the 36A at Finch West Station.

The odd quirk has drawn frustration from residents who view the transfer as an awkward and unnecessary part of their daily commute. Residents, like Britney, who travel eastward towards Finch Station for work in University Heights do not understand why the change was made.

Britney explained, “Finch West is a busy area with lots of offices and industry. I think the change doesn’t reflect how people actually use the [Finch West] bus” pointing out that many of her co-workers travel to work from areas served by the 36A which no longer continues towards Finch Station. Her coworkers must transfer at Finch West Station adding additional time and stress to their commutes.

After contacting the TTC’s customer service line, the split of the Finch West route was attributed to its high passenger traffic. In 2017, the 36 Finch West was the TTC’s third busiest bus route and its fifth busiest surface route overall averaging 43 100 weekday trips. As explained, the split is the TTC’s effort to optimize traffic flow by increasing the service frequency of buses along certain parts of the route.

However, this has still left residents wondering why it has only been the 36 and not the TTC’s busier surface routes that has undergone such a change. The two bus routes that have greater usage, the 32 Eglinton West and 52 Lawrence West, offer commuters routes without a midway transfer during the same weekday hours while travelling equivalent or greater distances.

Resident Troy Budhu speculated, “you can’t help but think this wouldn’t happen outside of Finch West and the Jane-Finch community

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