Service Changes Effective August 2, 2009

For mid summer, there are only a few schedule changes on the TTC network, and they take effect at the start of August running through to Labour Day weekend.

Changes for September are much more extensive, and I will deal with these in a separate post.

Bingham Loop Reconstruction

Due to the reconstruction of Bingham Loop, routes 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road Tripper will be replaced by buses.  Combined streetcar service of 7’30” will be replaced by bus service of 6’00”.  The off-peak 20’00” headway is unchanged.

Diversions at Bingham Loop will change from time to time as construction progresses.  This also affects the 22A Coxwell, 12 Kingston Road, 322 Coxwell and 324 Victoria Park Night Buses.

Roncesvalles Reconstruction

Running times on the Roncesvalles shuttle bus will be increased at some times to compensate for actual start of construction and the diversion of southbound service via Dundas, Lansdowne and Queen.

501 Queen

The test of a modified step-back crewing operation will end, and normal crewing will resume on this route.

77 Swansea & 71 Runnymede

Running times on these interlined routes will be increased.  In the AM peak and midday, this will be done by reducing recovery times scheduled at terminals.  In the PM peak and evening, headways will be increased.  PM peak headways on the common section of the route will go from 10′ to 11′ with a change from 20′ to 22′ on the Runnymede branches.  A similar change will occur in the early evening, but at that time only half of the service runs south of Bloor.

Caribana

Additional service will operate for the parade on Saturday, August 1 on 511 Bathurst, 509 Harbourfront and 29 Dufferin, as well as express buses from Keele, Dundas West and Lansdowne Stations.  The 329/316 night routes will divert around the CNE grounds as described in the next section.

Additional service on 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina and 6 Bay is also planned for the Sunday, August 2 events on Toronto Island.  Whether these will actually occur given that the civic strike has shut down the ferries remains to be seen.  All of the added service is operated “at the divisional level”, meaning that the work is easily cancelled or reassigned if the party ends up at a new location.

Canadian National Exhibition

Additional service will operate on all of the usual routes including 511 Bathurst, 509 Harbourfront, 193 Exhibition Rocket and 29 Dufferin.  Overnight service on interlined routes 329 Dufferin and 316 Ossington will not operate through the CNE grounds, but will connect via Fraser and Liberty.

Construction Season 2009 (Updated)

This morning, I took a ramble around the city to have a look at various projects affecting the streetcar system.  For those who don’t see all of the sights, here’s a roundup.

Updated 5:20 pm:  A link to a more recent design layout for St. Clair Phase 4 (west from Caledonia) has been added.

Updated 6:20 pm:  John F. Bromley provided a route history for the Roncesvalles Shuttle which I have added to this article.

St. Clair

The now-and-forever St. Clair project is beginning to look as if it might complete in our lifetime.  Eastward from Dufferin, new track is under construction, and the excavation is completed all the way to Oakwood.  Once this section is connected at both ends, there will be continuous track once more from Yonge to just west of Caledonia.  It’s a start.

Meanwhile, road and sidewalk construction is underway on the south side of St. Clair east of Winona, and Oakwood is less of a disaster area albeit not yet completely opened.  West of Caledonia, utility and sidewalk work progressed west from the Newmarket Subdivision bridge, and is further along on the north than the south side.

Some comments on other threads here suggest that the design will change the underpass between Old Weston Road and Keele.  Any proposal to widen the road here would certainly not be a quick project.  The plans shown in the EA involve no widening (see detailed layout part 1, page 2), nor is any shown in the February 2009 version (see pages 5 through 7).  If someone has other, definitive information, please let me know.

Dundas

Work has just begun on watermain construction west of Bathurst Street.  This is supposed to end for September, but I will be astounded, given recent experiences with construction delays, if this happens.

All Carlton cars run to Dundas West Station, while the Dundas car goes to Bathurst Station, and a Dundas bus runs from Keele Station to Wolseley Loop.  Dundas streetcar service eastbound from Bathurst depends on how many cars actually reach Bathurst Station because short turns would miss the connection completely.

Roncesvalles

Overhead has been removed on Roncesvalles from Dundas to north of the carhouse except at the Howard Park crossing which now only has the east-west tangent wire for the eventual return of the Carlton car.

The streetcar track will be removed over the next two months to simplify watermain work, and will be replaced in 2010 on its new alignment as the street itself is rebuilt to the new design.  Considering that there has been streetcar service on Roncesvalles since 1908 (first a shuttle, then the Queen car, finally the King car), the absence of track and overhead will be a strange sight indeed.

Proposed changes at Queen and Roncesvalles are on hold, I believe, pending resolution of design issues including the eventual route of the Waterfront West LRT in this area.

Queen

Due to watermain and track construction, service on the Queen and Downtowner cars began diverting today as previously reported.  (For those who carp, with justification, about TTC signs, the diversion notice calls the route “Downtown” with a map showing the eastbound diversion running on Lombard, not Adelaide.)  This is expected to be in place for eight weeks.

Meanwhile, utility work west of Gladstone has reduced Queen to a single lane westbound through the underpass, and west from Noble (one west of Dufferin), construction occupies both curb lanes.

It will be interesting to see whether cars still take extended layovers at the ends of their trips, or simply short turn a lot.

Meanwhile, although the work is not visible from Queen, riders on the rail line above can see the considerable progress on the excavation of the new Dufferin Street approach from the north that will eliminate the jog at Queen for all traffic.  Just getting rid of the left turn queues in both directions should improve the streetcar and bus operations here.

History of the Roncesvalles Shuttle from John F. Bromley

RONCESVALLES

Operational periods: 1908; 1909-1911; <1914-1921

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