One of the absolute worst feelings is having to wait for a late bus in -20°C weather in the early hours of your Monday morning commute. Fortunately, there is hope. The City of Toronto Transportation Department is proposing to add heated bus shelters along some of the more popular bus routes.
In a report that will be sent to the city's infrastructure and environment committee next week, the transportation department is proposing that 100 heated shelters be put up around Toronto to keep commuters warm while waiting for the arrival of their bus or streetcar.
If the city council approves these plans, Torontonians can expect to enjoy these heated shelters from November 1 to April 30 of every winter, as long as the temperature is below 5°C.
Exactly how are these shelters actually going to be heated? Heating units will be placed inside bus shelters that can be turned on when commuters are waiting for the arrival of their bus. The units provide heat for five minutes before shutting off.
However, there's no need to worry. If your bus is running late and it looks like your wait time is going be 20 minutes opposed to 5 minutes, you can reactive the heater immediately after it shuts off.
While it is not stated exactly what bus shelters will receive these heaters, the proposal states that 100 would be placed throughout the city within seven years.
One of the main priorities for these heated bus shelters are routes that are known to have a higher amount of commuters yet face less frequent service. So if you find yourself constantly stuck at a bus stop that doesn't have a bus appearing every five minutes, you might be eligible for a heated station.
According to the proposal, a survey was conducted in 2017 that shows that one of the main suggestions on improving bus shelters throughout the city is to add heaters. Especially since heaters are provided in other big city bus shelters such as Quebec City.
This proposal comes to light after the awful winter that many commuters have had to face while using the TTC. Narcity reported on multiple occasions where bus routes and streetcar routes were delayed and affected due to freezing cold temperatures and snow.