TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, August 31, 2014 (Update 3)

The August 31 schedules will see a return to fall service across the system as well as several other changes.  At long last (I have been distracted with other events, and there was a lot to do this month) here is the consolidated list of service changes. The list combines all types of change because there are overlapping seasonal, construction and service improvement effects.

The table linked here has been updated to correct errors missed in its creation. Thanks to Timor Urakov for catching these.

2014.08.31_Service_Changes (Revision 2)

Major changes include:

  • Return of streetcars to 510 Spadina
  • A major change of the 504 King schedule to provide added running time
  • Return of 504 King and 505 Dundas streetcars to Broadview Station
  • Route split of 501 Queen for Gardiner Expressway construction at Humber Loop
  • Route split of 116E Morningside Express to 198 UTSC Rocket

Something I have not included here, but will add in a future update, is a list of all of the Standby Buses (and a few streetcars) that are spotted around the city for various reasons. They don’t show up in the route-by-route info, but there is a substantial chunk of the fleet used to provide this service. Due to a bus shortage, the number of standby vehicles scheduled for fall 2014 is lower than originally planned.

510 Spadina

Streetcars will return to Spadina between Bloor and Queens Quay with all service running through to the south end of the line. The route will be scheduled based on CLRV capacity, and new Flexities will take over runs one by one as cars become available. Current plans are for through service to Union and a resumption of streetcar service on 509 Harbourfront in October.

At the end of the AM Peak, 508 Lake Shore trippers operate a westbound trip as 506 Carlton to provide extra capacity to the UofT St. George campus. These trips previously operated back to Roncesvalles Carhouse, but they will be changed so that the cars switch over to 510 Spadina which has more cars during the midday than the AM peak.

Previously, this interlining was done using 503 Kingston Road cars from Russell, but with the move of 510 Spadina to Roncesvalles, trippers from that division will be used.

504 King Running Time Changes

In an attempt to reduce the need to short turn much of the service to keep operators on time, the TTC is changing the round trip times during all periods of service on this route.

King Round Trip Time Changes September 2014

                    Weekdays     Saturday     Sunday
                    Aug   Sept   Aug   Sept   Aug   Sept
AM Peak             104+8 120+8
M-F Midday          100+8 122+5
PM Peak             115+8 135+7

S-S Early Morning                85+5  105+5  78+2  95+4
S-S Late Morning                 97+7  111+6  94+5  109+5
S-S Afternoon                    97+7  111+6  94+8  109+5

Early Evening        95+7 116+6  97+4  111+4  82+8  97+3
Late Evening         85+6  99+4  83+7  100+4  76+4  95+4

In the table above, the “before” times are shown under “Aug” and are taken from the schedules in effect until Aug. 30. The “after” times are shown under “Sept” and are taken from the schedules effective Aug. 31.

The time is given as running time plus recovery time. For example, the AM peak running time of “120+8″ means that cars will have 120 minutes of driving time to make a round trip plus 8 minutes of terminal recovery time. Some of the changes increase the total time by 20%, a very substantial increase.

Whether this will translate into a noticeable reduction in short turns remains to be seen. One potential problem will be the accumulation of “early” cars at terminals where it is already possible to find lineups of cars. From my own knowledge of the line, some of these changes appear to be excessive and will probably have to be rolled back.

501 Queen & 508 Lake Shore

From September through December, reconstruction of the Gardiner Expressway at Humber Loop will close off the underpass between the loop and Lake Shore Blvd. The outer end of the Queen route will once again switch to a shuttle bus connecting with the streetcar.

Subway Changes

Yonge subway operations will be changed to base more trains at Davisville Yard. This will give more time for maintenance work as the last service trains will be clear of the line sooner than on current schedules. An early morning non-revenue train that carries Station Collectors to work will be replaced with a shuttle bus.

On the Bloor subway, service will be improved weekday middays and evenings, and on Saturday afternoons to reduce crowding.

Roncesvalles Yard

In anticipation of the arrival of more Flexities, some runs will be shifted to other locations. Exhibition Loop will now be used to store some 511 Bathurst runs as well as 512 St. Clair runs already at that location.

The 510 Spadina route will operate from Roncesvalles where the Flexities will be based, and to make room, all runs on 505 Dundas will operate from Russell.

Broadview Avenue

Streetcar service will return to Broadview Station after a temporary absence in July-August.

Since the re-opening of the Broadview & Queen intersection, carhouse trips from Russell westbound have resumed using the west-to-north curve that was taken out of service for safety concerns in October 2012.

Six Points Project

The reconstruction of the Kipling-Dundas-Bloor interchange begins in September and this will trigger diversions of various routes around Kipling Station.

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69 Responses to TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, August 31, 2014 (Update 3)

  1. James Bow says:

    How long has Exhibition loop been used to store cars overnight?

    Steve: This started with the July board period.

  2. Timur Urakov says:

    The new streetcars have been tested on every inch of useable track including the Long Branch turnback at Humber Loop. The only stretch they haven’t been tested on yet is Queens Quay, for obvious reasons.

    The 508 PM peak trippers (six in total) that Steve is talking about are supposed to arrive at Long Branch coming from the downtown core via King. The first three then leave Long Branch at 5:42, 5:53 and 6:03 PM, respectively going back to Church & King as 508s and return to Dundas West Stn as 504s (leaving Church & King westbound at 6:52, 7:03 and 7:13 PM, respectively), before running in to Roncesvalles yard.

    The last three 508 trippers are scheduled to leave Long Branch Loop at 6:25, 6:36 and 7:02 PM respectively and are supposed to travel only as far east as Humber Loop, then make another westbound trip to Long Branch (leaving Humber at 6:52, 7:03 and 7:29 PM). Lastly, they leave Long Branch at 7:20, 7:31 and 7:52 PM running in to Roncesvalles.

    That is what the schedule looks like on paper. In practice, since the route is badly off schedule on a daily basis, what happens is that the first three trippers rarely make it past Bathurst or Spadina on their second trip toward downtown and the last three – the ones are supposed to use the Long Branch turnback at Humber – very often do not terminate at Humber Loop, but instead continue on eastbound and then head north to Dundas West Station (via Roncesvalles) to fill gaps in 504 service. In effect, almost every day there are three eastbound ’507′ trips, that unintentionally mimic one proposal that I’ve read here about introducing a direct Long Branch – Dundas West Stn streetcar service.

    And Steve, I’ve noticed this morning that your table does not include seasonal changes on 76 Royal York South (AM and PM peaks) and 191 Hwy 27 Rocket (AM peak, midday, PM peak).

    Steve: I have updated the linked table. By the way, according to the Scheduled Service Summary there is no change to the AM peak on the 191 Rocket.

  3. “The only stretch they haven’t been tested on yet is Queens Quay, for obvious reasons.”

    Wasn’t the Queens Quay tunnel geometry what caused the Bombardier streetcar bid to be disqualified the first time around?

  4. Ed says:

    I have to agree that very, very few 508 cars turn back at Humber for another run to Long Branch. The TTC installed a stop pole for those cars at the northwest corner of the shelter, with actual run times (to the minute) in a fit of earlier optimism, but I don’t see the pole there any more. The tracks are also much too rusty for three runs a day to have turned there.

    With 508 AM trippers going into service on 510, does that mean that Flexities will be running out to Long Branch?

    Steve: I suspect you will see a change in those arrangements once the 510 Spadina service fully builds up to Flexity operation.

  5. Kingstreetcar says:

    One thing that is different this time with the 501 spilt is that there is also a secondary shuttle bus. This goes from Marine Parade Loop and services the condos near Brookers Line. This is because the underpass will be completely closed off including to pedestrians.

    The Humber Loop east to west turn back is in normal use for turn backs and has been tested with no issues by the LFLRV. Steve is right about the PM 508 as 3 are designed to go back downtown and 3 are to turn back at Humber Loop eastbound. Since planning can’t give those runs the 30 extra minutes of running time they are used as 501 change overs, or as extra service for 504 to DWS. They seldom do their actual routing for the second trip.

  6. Timur Urakov says:

    There is no change to the AM peak on the 191 Rocket that would show up in the service summary. What is changing are the number of trips on the 191A branch at the end of the AM peak that were cancelled for the summer and are now being re-instated. Six new northbound trips on the 191A departing Kipling Stn (to Humber College) at 8:50, 9:10, 9:30, 9:50, 10:10, 10:30 AM. Four new southbound trips departing Humber College (to Kipling Stn) at 9:26, 9:46, 10:06, 10:26 AM.

    Darwin: I was not involved in the procurement process at all, but as far as I know, the main issue with the initial Bombardier bid was the wheel flange angle which posed a derailment risk in very tight curves when computer simulations were carried out.

    Steve: From talking to Stephan Lam at the TTC, I know that a great deal of work has gone into the whole question of truck, wheel and track dynamics. The fact that the prototypes have not been derailing all over the place is a testament to that work.

    As for the Airport Rocket, the change is not mentioned anywhere (service memo or schedule summary). There was nothing for me to “catch” and report it.

  7. Michael Forest says:

    Steve said:

    “Just look at the Crosstown that lost its access to a Scarborough yard thanks to the SRT/subway decision.”

    As I remember, the Scarborough (Conlins Rd) yard is/was supposed to host SLRT and Sheppard LRT cars.

    There was a talk about another facility in the Eglinton / Don Mills area, for Eglinton and Don Mills LRT cars. Of course, it is unlikely to happen as long as the Don Mills line is on hold, and Eglinton ends at Mt Dennis.

    Steve: There was provision for track to allow shop movements between the SRT and Eglinton lines. Initially, the east end of Eglinton would run from Conlins Road, only shifting to another carhouse when there was one or more lines to support it.

  8. Steven says:

    In regards to selecting routes for Artics, the TTC should have considered routes that provides a feeder service to the subway than busy routes with riders taking it a few stops.

    Both the 7 Bathurst and the 29 Dufferin aren’t good routes for artics. I think they should consider routes like the 191 Highway 27 Rocket and the 45E Kipling Express where people would just board the bus and all offload at Kipling Station. In PM peak, most of the riders originate at the station. The 196 York U Rocket works out well, but that route would be gone by 2017. There isn’t a lot of routes that fit these criteria which makes me wonder about the future of acquiring more of this vehicles for the purpose of saving operators.

  9. Malcolm N says:

    Steven said:

    “Both the 7 Bathurst and the 29 Dufferin aren’t good routes for artics. I think they should consider routes like the 191 Highway 27 Rocket and the 45E Kipling Express where people would just board the bus and all offload at Kipling Station. In PM peak, most of the riders originate at the station. The 196 York U Rocket works out well, but that route would be gone by 2017. There isn’t a lot of routes that fit these criteria which makes me wonder about the future of acquiring more of this vehicles for the purpose of saving operators.”

    Would they not still make sense on longer routes, where there was relatively few riders boarding at any given point. I note that while Finch East for instance has a similar number of riders as Finch West, it seems to have many more buses (nearly twice) on it (based on 2012 numbers) would that not indicate that the buses have less churning, and therefore likely making the route a better candidate.

    Finch East has nearly twice the ridership of Bathurst and more than 3 times the buses. Would that not make it a good candidate for a good number of Artic buses, as opposed to Bathurst? Steeles East has slightly more ridership than Bathurst and twice the buses, again does this make sense as a route for Artic?

    I realize that more detailed information than this is required to select routes, however, would not this type of logic make a good first sort, and then look in great detail at the route collection pattern on the street to decide. Also as you note POP and all door boarding may help resolve the issues with time spent in boarding.

    Steve: You can’t just look at peak buses as an indication. Some routes have much better off-peak demand, and so the total passenger count is spread over far more vehicle hours. Each route requires its own analysis, although obviously there will be common patterns.

  10. Malcolm N says:

    Steve said:

    “You can’t just look at peak buses as an indication. Some routes have much better off-peak demand, and so the total passenger count is spread over far more vehicle hours. Each route requires its own analysis, although obviously there will be common patterns.”

    I was looking for a first cut based on information already collected. Another proxy for deciding on selecting candidates for study might be vehicle kilometres vs load. For instance the vehicle kilometers on Steeles East is more than twice that of Bathurst on a daily basis, with only 15% more riders, and Finch East has 3 times the kms with less than twice the load of Bathurst.

    Steve: The AM peak scheduled speed of 7 Bathurst is 13.7 km/h whereas the various branches of 39 Finch East range from 21 to 24 km/h. It’s easy to rack up more mileage when the buses are travelling over 50% faster.

    Again I am not saying that means that they would be good routes, but would this not be a way of looking for routes that make sense to study first. Give an idea of the gross average loading and trip distance based on existing available information. Just use this data as a sort to prioritize which lines to study first. Once you are on the ground you may discover that the loading pattern results in local areas of very high churn, and long portions of half empty bus. This of course would mean that this would not be a particularly good candidate for larger buses.

    Clearly the fine detail of the route loading and alighting pattern is what will determine if it is good fit, however, are there not a fair number of Artics coming into the fleet?

    Steve: There are 153 on order of which roughly half are here. The peak scheduled artic service for September is 63 buses. Sheppard East is converting in October.

  11. Brent says:

    re: assignment of articulated buses:

    Officially, the September Service Summary has them as follows:

    7 Bathurst (weekdays)
    310 Bathurst (M-F overnight)
    29 Dufferin (weekdays + Saturdays)
    53 Steeles East (express branches)

    Unofficially, I have seen 85 Sheppard East using artics in the early and late evening on 3 or 4 occasions, although service is scheduled as Orion 7s.

    Steve: Sheppard East will convert officially in October. Other routes have seen artics in service on the standard 12m schedules before they officially became “artic” services.

    I wonder if there are other cases where they regularly or occasionally migrate. Darwin O’Connor’s TransSee site has a feature allowing you to search by fleet number. Searching the numbers 9000 through 9152 gives the locations of all artics currently in service (as of 2:00 today, they were all on Dufferin and Bathurst).

    Steve: At 5:30 some were also on 85 Sheppard East.

    I would think that Dufferin loses some of the advantages of artics not just because of turnover, but because the biggest bottleneck is at Bloor, where the stop is not within a fare-paid area and therefore the artics are at a disadvantage due to longer dwell times (unless there is extra staff on hand to facilitate all-door boarding).

  12. Malcolm N says:

    Steve said:

    “The AM peak scheduled speed of 7 Bathurst is 13.7 km/h whereas the various branches of 39 Finch East range from 21 to 24 km/h. It’s easy to rack up more mileage when the buses are travelling over 50% faster.”

    To what degree however, is this due simply to traffic, and to what degree is this due to the fact that the bus stops are more frequent and/or longer on Bathurst?

    Steve: That requires a more detailed analysis of both routes, not to mention pulling apart times of day and location effects. This is a good example of the sort of simplistic comparisons people make between “buses” and “streetcars” except in this case, both routes are buses and it is the characteristics of the route which determines the vehicle speed, not the vehicle technology.

  13. Steven says:

    Service on the 199 Finch Rocket is pathetic and would be made worse with artics. They are either stuck on McCowan with few riders or bunched up together. I would image a 3 artic parade replacing the current 4 40-ft. bus parade. Half the buses should really just end at McCowan (like the old 39C Express branch) instead of heading to STC. The TTC should really focus on running a better service before considering a conversion to artics. Allocating more run time doesn’t help on long routes if they all ended up bunching in congestion. Also, in my experience, 199 rocket buses never passes any local 39 buses. The Steeles East Express buses are much more reliable than the 199 Finch Rocket.

    Until the McNicoll garage opens, I don’t think I’ll see any artics on Finch East. Hopefully when the garage opens, 25 Don Mills and 116 Morningside could also be converted.

  14. Malcolm N says:

    Steve with regards to the choice of vehicles I am asserting detailed study would be needed, but looking for predictive characteristics in available data.

  15. Steven said:

    The 196 York U Rocket works out well, but that route would be gone by 2017.

    One wonders if the TTC will keep the 196 as a Sheppard West Rocket once TYSSE opens?

    Cheers, Moaz

  16. Robert Wightman says:

    I guess that it would be impossible to Long Turn vehicles to eliminate terminal congestion when too many get there at the same time.

  17. Brent said:

    Unofficially, I have seen 85 Sheppard East using artics in the early and late evening on 3 or 4 occasions, although service is scheduled as Orion 7s.

    I saw one operating on Sheppard Friday morning, though I cannot recall if it was just after 8 am when I arrived in the area, or a little after 9 am when I was leaving the area.

  18. Rob says:

    I wonder if there’s been any thought to using the artics on the Yonge night bus? It’s always so crowded, and virtually the entire ridership is going to Finch anyway.

  19. Mikey says:

    Did you notice that the LFLRV went through the curves around Spadina Circle slower than the CLRV’s?

    I wanted to get a feel of how smooth the bogied-modules are when they go through curves. The 3rd and 5th modules felt quite smooth (but the streetcar was travelling slowly). I didn’t try the 1st module yet.

    Steve: I think we had a lot of trainee operators on the two cars today, and they were not exactly barreling down the street.

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