Wednesday, March 07, 2007

96 Wilson: A Route Exposé

96 Wilson is one of the longer routes on the TTC system, running from York Mills station to Albion & Humberline, near the border where Toronto, Vaughan and Brampton meet. The route runs very frequently, and during the peak hours, 27 vehicles (normally Nova RTS, but any accessible bus from Arrow Road division can show up) provide service every 3'33". Even on the 319 Wilson Night, service never drops below 30 minutes. Combined with service by the 165 Weston Road North between York Mills and Weston Road, there's seldom a time when there's not a bus in sight. When I lived in Rexdale, several branches of the 96 stopped right in front of my house, so my connection with the route runs deep.

Wilson has one of the most branches of any TTC route, potentially making it confusing for riders, but necessary to serve the numerous neighborhoods and the 20,800 people along the route.
  • 96 York Mills stn - Humberline & Finch
  • 96A York Mills stn - Carrier Dr via Kipling & John Garland
  • 96B York Mills stn - Humberline & Albion Rd
  • 96C York Mills stn - Thistledown via Albion Rd
  • 96D York Mills stn - Carrier Dr
  • 96E York Mills stn - Humber College express
  • 96G York Mills stn - Clayson
However, there are some quirks with this route. First of all, the route map shows all branches going to Wilson Station. This is true, but it shows that only the 96, 96A, 96C, 96D & 96F branches serve York Mills station. This leaves out 96B, which goes to York Mills, but it includes this mysterious 96F branch.

96F does not appear on the printed schedules or on the service summary. However, it does appear on the route map - but it doesn't show where the branch goes. From my research, I've discovered that it began in 1996 as a rush hour branch, and then was replaced by 96G sometime before 2000 - that is, until I rode a 96F Wednesday afternoon.

Was it a mistake the operator failed to catch, was it an unscheduled short turn, or was the bus going out of service and heading back to Arrow Road? Each one is possible, but one thing is for sure: Transit isn't bland and mundane. You can find mystery and intrigue around every corner.

The route map is from the TTC website.

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At 3/13/2007 9:44 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... there's seldom a time when there's not a bus in sight." Try catching a 96 or 165 eastbound around Keele anytime during the evening peak. I've often had to wait 15 or 20 minutes, then four buses arrive at the same time. Both are generally very reliable, though, in the morning at Wilson Station. I'm glad I get off at Keele, so I can take any of the 96s or 165s and don't have to try to figure out the various permutations of the 96.


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