Monday, February 19, 2007

now don't you wish you'd take the ttc or go to the game?

Vintage Ad #59 - TTC or GO to the Game
It's 1977 and there's a new ball team in town. You don't feel like battling for a parking spot to see the Jays for the first time. How will you get down there without feeling as jittery as the fellow in this ad?

How about special TTC and GO services?

Thanks to the detective work of James Bow at Transit Toronto, here is some information about this service. One account of the service, from Bill Robb:

I'm looking back through TTC Headlights and I believe this service was short-lived. Express buses to hockey and football games date back to before widespread subway service. These express services operated to ALL home games. The Blue Jay special buses ONLY operated to weekend and holiday home games. The sporting fan was used to service to all games and people would show up for weeknight games, wait and find no bus. Also these were extra fare express services and as the subway lines reached further and further out the extra fare became a tougher sell. Sunday and Holiday passes, which had been reduced in price in 1977, weren't valid on the these extra fare services, just regular TTC routes.

The reason the service was set up this way probably has a lot to do with the economics of the different sports. Football plays a relatively small number of games with large crowds. Hockey plays an intermediate number of games with small crowds compared to the capacity of many major league outdoor stadiums, but at very high percentage of arena capacity. Baseball plays the largest number of home games and traditionally depends very large crowds for the Home Opener, some key matchups and traditional holiday dates like the 4th of July (in US cities) for much of its crowds.

From Robert Lubinski:

Express buses to Exhibition Stadium home games from Union Station lasted until the opening of SkyDome. I worked at Birchmount Garage in the summer of 1988 and the express buses were still operating that year. It seemed kind of odd that express buses from Union Station to the Ex operated out of Birchmount (rather than Danforth or Davenport divisons), but they did.

I think the opening of SkyDome finished off any remaining Express services to Blue Jays or Argos home games as well as the 521 cars that had operated for games if that service hadn't ended already before that.

Source: Toronto Blue Jays Scorebook Magazine, Volume 1 No 17, 1977

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