TTC Service Changes Effective March 27, 2011

The list of changes for the “March” (actually almost April) schedule period is rather short because the TTC deferred implementation of service cuts on lightly used routes to May 8.

One intriguing side-effect of that decision is that the amount of service operated will be “over budget” because the cuts were incorporated in budget plans in November 2010, long before there was any public discussion, and at a time when rumours of cuts were met with denials from the TTC.

In our wonderfully new “transparent” Toronto, how many other changes are lurking, unpublished, in the budget?

Changes in Hours of Service

53F Steeles East Staines Express: Two new morning trips will be added weekdays from Morningside at about 5:21 and 5:48 am.

Diversions

505 Dundas: With the resumption of watermain work on Dundas, streetcars will divert via Spadina and College until late June.  Headways at all times will not be changed, but one car will be added to the route to handle the longer round trip times.  There will not be any replacement bus service on Dundas.

504 King: Reconstruction of Roncesvalles Avenue will resume to allow work by Enbridge Gas as well as completion of the sidewalk reconstruction.  During this period, the same bus shuttle that operated in 2010 will run from Dundas West Station to Sunnyside Loop, and King cars will loop through Roncesvalles Carhouse.  The Jane night bus, which runs on Roncesvalles, will not be affected.

In May, work is expected to begin on track replacement and paving between Roncesvalles and Close on King Street.  This will complete the rebuilding of the King route to the new resilient track standards.  While this is in progress, King and Lake Shore cars will divert via Queen and Shaw.  The work is expected to be completed before the CNE (with associated traffic problems in Parkdale) opens in mid-August.

Unlike the period of watermain work on King West in 2010, there will not be any replacement bus service on King west of Shaw.  I can’t help wondering why the TTC doesn’t simply route the 504 to Dufferin Loop so that service would be maintained for riders from Shaw to Dufferin whose access to Queen is limited by the rail corridor.

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11 Responses to TTC Service Changes Effective March 27, 2011

  1. DiCK says:

    “I can’t help wondering why the TTC doesn’t simply route the 504 to Dufferin Loop so that service would be maintained for riders from Shaw to Dufferin whose access to Queen is limited by the rail corridor.”

    Last year I asked a TTC supervisor why Dufferin Loop was infrequently used. He replied the track on Dufferin ‘is absolute crap’ and ‘is not trusted’. Has this section of track been repaired recently?

    Steve: Cars go to Dufferin Loop all the time. Yes, there were repairs. Last year, while the service was officially diverting to Ronces via Queen during watermain work on King, about half of the service went to Dufferin. Last night, I saw a car signed up for Dufferin at about 10pm westbound from downtown. The loop is very well used.

  2. Jonathon says:

    Aren’t there tracks on Dufferin from King to Queen? I don’t know what directions they allow turns to proceed, but would at least a one-way loop be possible?

    Steve: Once the overhead is reinstalled at Queen and Dufferin, a loop would be possible via Dufferin, Queen and Shaw. However, Dufferin Loop is simpler and would preserve service bothways on King.

  3. So no service for those 28 stops on Dundas between Spadina/Dundas and College/Dundas?

    14 WB stops and 14 EB stops.

    Oh gee. TTC Management should get an award for smartest planning.

    Steve: This is the same as last year. Would-be riders must walk to College or Queen for service.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Man, another stretch of messed up service. I happen to live exactly in the “black hole” of service affected by these diversions, west of Dufferin and south of King.

    The reason why they don’t use the Dufferin loop is cause it makes too much sense.

    Things are much more normal when Parkdale gets the screw..;)

    Will be taking the Lansdowne bus I guess and walking down from Queen…

  5. Richard says:

    It’s great to see more service on the 53 Steeles East bus but the bus (53A, E) only runs every 20 to 30 minutes east of Markham Rd. I would prefer to see a decrease in headway if possible. Thanks for the updates Steve. I will try to avoid the 504 King once the service changes take effect.

  6. Mark Dowling says:

    Can’t be using Dufferin Loop for streetcars on a regular basis – people might start asking for the return of the 522 Exhibition West :D

    Steve: In theory, the 522 was dropped due to a “lack of streetcar operators”. In practice, the TTC seems to prefer to use express buses (see also the operation on Bathurst where the streetcars run local and the buses run express).

  7. I would like to point out Steve that the TTC did short turn 504 King cars at Dufferin Loop during the CNE last year. I actually asked the supervisor there if I could board one as I was heading to the Bloor-Danforth Line and was told that it would not be possible.

    It makes me wonder why in situations like that they do not allow people to board streetcars at the Dufferin Gates given the fact that roughly 50000 people pass through there daily.

    I know the TTC has the 193 from Dundas West to Dufferin Loop but if you supplemented service with streetcars heading from Broadview (or Neville Park) to the Dufferin Gates during the CNE the TTC would have a money maker on their hands. People want to avoid transfers at all costs. If they can go from the beaches or Danforth to the CNE the service would be used.

    I know I would have loved to take the 504 from Dufferin to Broadview Station during the CNE. It would have saved me time transferring at Dundas West and brought me closer to my destination.

    Correct me if I am wrong Steve but the 501 and 504 all have signs that display both 504 Dufferin and 501 Dufferin if I am not mistaken.

    Steve: Yes, I know that many 504 cars went to Dufferin Loop last year, so many that it was a challenge to find one running through to Roncesvalles. It turns out that the constraint this year is that the TTC will be rebuilding the overhead on King from Shaw to Roncesvalles while the line is shut down for track replacement. That doesn’t entirely make sense considering that the overhead work should take far less time than the track work, but that’s the story.

  8. David Cavlovic says:

    Steve: You may be interested in this, what with impending work legislation and all.

  9. Steve I found your answer as to why passengers can’t travel down Dufferin to Dufferin loop. The track was not ballasted properly and the section in between and around the rails in sinking in spots causing the rails to be raised on some spots and below grade in others. When it’s raised it’s really high above the road.

    It seems to me it could be a liability issue with passengers aboard going down Dufferin.

    I work installing rail at the Toronto railway heritage centre as a volunteer and having ballasted almost the entire park myself I can say without a doubt improper ballasting is causing safety issues on Dufferin.

    Improper ballasting can lead to sinking and raised rails and therein derailments. It’s a huge liability to run revenue service over those tracks and they need to be relaid in order to run revenue service streetcars to Dufferin loop.

    Steve: All this may be true, but it doesn’t stop the TTC from running short turns to Dufferin loop every day. If it’s in such appalling shape, why isn’t it scheduled to be rebuilt until 2012?

  10. Steve says:

    An update to my reply to Richard White: I checked out Dufferin Street south of King on February 28, and there is no slow order on this track. Last year, there was a bad track heave, but this was repaired and the slow order over it was removed.

  11. Thank you Steve. I could have swore the track was raised. My eyes must be deceiving me.

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