How to learn about the Toronto Transit Commission in 3D?

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the public transport agency that operates bus, subway, streetcar, and paratransit services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, some of which run into the Peel Region and York Region.

It is the oldest and largest of the urban transit service providers in the Greater Toronto Area, with numerous connections to systems serving its surrounding municipalities.

Established as the Toronto Transportation Commission in 1921, the TTC owns and operates four rapid transit lines with 75 stations, over 150 bus routes, and 9 streetcar lines.

In 2021, the system had a ridership of 386,443,400, or about 1,889,100 per weekday as of the third quarter of 2022. The TTC is the most heavily used urban mass transit system in Canada.

Gray Coach Lines bus (left) and TTC bus (right), 1936

Public transit in Toronto started in 1849 with a privately operated transit service. In later years, the city operated some routes, but in 1921 assumed control over all routes and formed the Toronto Transportation Commission to operate them. During this period, streetcars provided the bulk of the service.

In 1954, the TTC adopted its present name, opened the first subway line, and greatly expanded its service area to cover the newly formed municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (which eventually amalgamated into the present City of Toronto). The system has evolved to feature a wide network of surface routes with the subway lines as the backbone.

In addition to buses, streetcars, and subways, the TTC also operated the Toronto Island ferry service from 1927 to 1962, when it was transferred to the Metro Parks and Culture department (now Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation).

The TTC also operated a suburban and regional intercity bus operator, Gray Coach Lines, from 1927 to 1990.

1986 HMD 418 Toronto Collection

The HMD 418, in paint schemes inspired by GM New Looks used by GO Transit in Southern Ontario, and by the Toronto Transit Commission from 1959 to 2011.

1986 HMD 418LF/E Toronto Collection

Buses are a large part of TTC operations today. However, before about 1960, they played a minor role compared to streetcars. Buses began to operate in the city in 1921, and became necessary for areas without streetcar service. After an earlier experiment in the 1920s, trolley buses were used on a number of routes starting in 1947, but all trolley bus routes were converted to bus operation between 1991 and 1993.

2008 Introducing Presto Card

The Presto card (stylized as PRESTO) is a contactless smart card automated fare collection system used on participating public transit systems in the province of Ontario, Canada, specifically in Greater Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

Presto card readers were implemented on a trial basis from 25 June 2007 to 30 September 2008. Full implementation began in November 2009 and it was rolled out across rapid transit stations, railway stations, bus stops and terminals, and transit vehicles on eleven different transit systems.

A variant of the Presto card is the Presto ticket, introduced on 5 April 2019, which is a single-use paper ticket with an embedded chip. The Presto ticket can only be used for the services of the Toronto Transit Commission.


Toronto Transit Commission

Owner City of Toronto
Locale Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham
Transit type Bus, subway, streetcar
Number of lines 191 bus routes
4 subway lines
9 streetcar routes
Number of stations 75 in use
60 under construction
Daily ridership 1,889,100 (weekdays, Q3 2022)
Annual ridership 386,443,400 (2021)

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