The TTC's Dufferin bus route received a mock gold award Wednesday for being Toronto's slowest bus route, with a peak travel time of 10.6 km/h.
The Jane bus route came second with a peak travel time of 16.3 km/h, while third place went to the Steeles West route for a peak travel time of 17.5 km/h.
Finch East received an honourable mention with a peak travel time of 18.4 km/h.
Volunteers dressed up as marathoners received medals during an awards ceremony held one week before a report about Toronto's plan to install more bus lanes will be debated at city council's executive committee meeting.
Coun. Josh Matlow and a coalition of stakeholders along Steeles Avenue — including businesses, residents, students and university employees — conceptualized the mock awards as part of calls for city council to speed up bus lane implementation and complete studies for the next four priority lanes by the end of 2024.
Advocates say the plan should move more quickly and they're disappointed that Steeles West is off the list.
"Steeles West was originally part of the plan for RapidTO, but that disappeared in the report that we've seen this week," said Matlow.
RapidTO is a network of transit priority lanes on some major roads across the city for buses and streetcars
Coun. Josh Matlow and a coalition of stakeholders along Steeles Ave, conceptualized the mock awards. (CBC)
According to Matlow, study after study shows that Toronto has some of the slowest commute times in North America.
"We have three million people in the city and we need to help them get to school, get to jobs, get to see their friends, recreation and so much more in a reliable way," he said.
"We need to focus on Dufferin because the residents who rely on Dufferin call it the suffering bus because of their experience every single day. Jane was promised an LRT years ago that Mayor [Rob] Ford ripped away."
York University student and TTCriders volunteer Elton Campbell, who won gold wearing the 29 Dufferin jersey, said taking the bus from Parkdale to Wilson Station is painfully slow.
"I used to work at Dufferin Mall and I can tell you that I got the nickname 29 because usually I was around 29 minutes late," Campbell said.
York University student and TTCriders volunteer Elton Campbell, who won gold in the number 29 Dufferin jersey, says taking the Dufferin bus from Parkdale to Wilson Station is painfully slow. (CBC)
"This bus is very slow, especially from Wilson to Parkdale area, it's like I am on a tour, watching cars passing me," Campbell said. "So, it's important that we put the 'rapid' in RapidTO because the 'rapid' has been missing for all these years and this is one of the busiest areas."
Meanwhile, Ersan Ozon from York University, who accepted a bronze medal wearing the 60 Steeles West jersey, said bus lanes on Steeles West will help staff and students get to class on time and improve access to York University.
"Bus lanes are good for everyone because they mean less congestion and pollution on our streets," Ozon said.
Coun. Alejandra Bravo also spoke at the presentation of the mock awards.
"Making the Dufferin bus more reliable will help the tens of thousands of people who travel on Dufferin every day," Bravo said.
"It's time to move quickly on the design and consultation needed to implement RapidTO."