Service Changes for October 18, 2009 (Updated)

Updated August 31, 2009 at 4:10 pm:

In response to questions in the comment thread, I checked with the TTC about two items:

  1. The elimination of premium fares on some express routes has been moved back to June 2010.
  2. Construction of Park Lawn Streetcar Loop is on hold indefinitely due to funding constraints.

Original post:

The following service changes will be implemented, except as noted, for the schedule period beginning Sunday, October 18, 2009. 

Of note here are new express bus services, the split of the 501 Queen car into two separate routes (covered in detail in a separate post), and the restoration of service cuts implemented in February 2009.

Construction Related Changes

Trackwork on Bathurst at Fort York Boulevard will cause diversion of the 511 Bathurst and 310 Bathurst Night route both ways via King, Spadina and Queen’s Quay to Bathurst.  This diversion will require two additional peak vehicles during most operation periods (one additional only at late evenings, as well as Sunday early morning and early evening).

The bus replacement of the 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road will end with the start of the September weekday schedules on September 8.  The planned reconstruction at Bingham Loop has been deferred to 2010.  Headways will revert to the streetcar schedules in use in May 2009.

Route Changes

The new 145 Downtown/Humber Bay Express Premium Fare route will operate in peak periods.

Five eastbound trips will operate in the AM peak of which the first three will originate east from Kipling and running via Lake Shore, Fleet, Bathurst, Adelaide to Jarvis.  The return westbound trip will be via Richmond, Bathurst and Lake Shore to Marine Parade Drive.  Two buses will make a second eastbound trip from Marine Parade Drive.  The trips will operate at 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30 from Kipling, and at 8:00 and 8:30 from Marine Parade Drive.  The running time from Marine Parade Drive is expected to be about 40 minutes to Richmond and Bathurst (the end of the loop through downtown) with proportionately shorter trips for earlier locations on the loop.

Six westbound trips will operate in the PM peak originating from Peter and Adelaide.  Buses will loop through downtown via Adelaide, Jarvis and Richmond, and then will proceed west via the same route as shown above to Marine Parade Drive.  The three buses will make two outbound trips each, and on their second trips will continue west to Kipling after looping through Marine Parade Drive.  Trips will leave every 30 minutes eastbound from Peter and Adelaide starting at 4:05 pm and will arrive at Marine Parade Drive about 50 minutes later (departure and running times will vary depending on where a passenger boards on the downtown loop).

This service will divert via Spadina while Bathurst is closed for track construction (see above).

The 501 Queen route will be split with east end service running from Neville to Dufferin (looping via Shaw, King and Dufferin), and west end service running from Long Branch and Humber to Broadview (looping via Parliament, Dundas and Broadview).  I will deal with this in a separate post.

Temporary Service Reductions End

Several routes had service cuts in February 2009 to deal with bus and operator shortages.  Services will be restored to levels meeting standards on these routes.  In the list below, each entry is formatted as:

(old/new headway, old/new average load, number of added buses)

  • 50 Burnhamthorpe, AM peak (10’/8′, 51/41, +1)
  • 25 Don Mills, AM peak (3’30″/3’10”, 53/48, +3)
  • 25 Don Mills, PM peak (4’00″/3’36”, 53/48, +3)
  • 108 Downsview, AM peak (7’15″/6’30”, 52/47, +1)
  • 102 Markham Road, AM peak (5’00″/4’23”, 51/44, +3)
  • 133 Neilson, AM peak (8’/7′, 51/45, +1)
  • 133 Neilson, PM peak (7’/6’30”, 49/45, +1)
  • 168 Symington, AM peak (5’30″/5′, 52/47, +1)

Express Services

The 35E Jane Express to York U will have two additional buses during both peak periods.  AM peak service will improve from a 20′ to a 12’40” headway, while PM service will improve from 17′ to 12’30”

The 41E Keele Express to York U will be created by adding two buses to the route and reassigning some buses now used for local service.  The express branch will run every 11-12 minutes in peak periods, and will operate via Keele, Weston, Rogers and Keele rather than via Old Weston Road as the local buses do.  The service will terminate at York U and will not continue north to Steeles Avenue.  The local 41B service to Steeles will have headways widened from 5’30” to 7’45” in the AM peak, and from 5′ to 7′ in the PM peak.

The 60 Steeles West services will be reorganized.  A new 60E to Kipling Express will replace the former 60E (Highway 27) and 60F (York U) express services, and four buses will be added to the route.  Two of these are restored from the February 2009 cuts, and two are net new for the revised design.  The resulting services will be:

AM Peak:  Every 7’30” on each of the 60C York University and 60D Highway 27 local services, with a 12′ headway on the 60E express.

PM Peak:  Every 8′ on each of the local services, with a 12′ headway on the 60E express.

The 96E Wilson Express will have improved service.  During the AM peak, one bus will be added to reduce headways from 14′ to 12′.  During the PM peak, three buses will be added to reduce headways from 21′ to 12′.

Other Service Changes

The 79 Scarlett Road evening service on weekdays will be improved from a 15′ to a 12′ headway by the addition of one bus reducing average loads from 38 to 30.

The 28A Davisville to Brick Works service will end on October 17.

Last trips from the Zoo will be adjusted to match earlier closing hours.

Weekend service to Wonderland on 165 Weston Road North (contract service for York Region) ends on November 1.

Miscellany

New short turn destination signs will be added to the 34 Eglinton East, 54 Lawrence East, 51 Leslie, 56 Leaside and 100 Flemingdon Park for short turns westbound at Bayview and at Mt. Pleasant.  This appears to be a formal TTC acknowledgement that some peak period service never reaches the Yonge Subway.

43 thoughts on “Service Changes for October 18, 2009 (Updated)

  1. Do you have any idea about the stops on the new routes, especially the express ones?

    Steve: Here is the info I have on stops for the express routes:

    145 Humber Bay: Buses will make all stops on Lake Shore, Marine Parade, Fleet, Adelaide, Jarvis and Richmond.

    41E Keele northbound: Stops at Keele Station, Keele & St Clair [at existing 41 KEELE nearside stop], Weston & Rogers, Keele & Rogers, Donald, Eglinton, Ingram, Lawrence, Falstaff, Wilson, Sheppard, Finch, Murray
    Ross & York U Busway, and York Lanes.

    41E Keele southbound: Stops at York Lanes, York U Busway & Murray Ross, Finch, Sheppard, Wilson, Falstaff,
    Lawrence, Gulliver, Eglinton, Donald, Keele & Rogers, Weston & Avon, Keele & St Clair (farside), and
    Keele Station only.

    60E Steeles eastbound: Stops at Kipling Loop, Islington, Weston, Signet, Peter Kaiser, Jane, Keele, Dufferin
    (farside), Hidden Trail, New Westminster, Bathurst (farside), Village Gate, Hilda, Tangreen, Yonge & Steeles, and Finch Station only.

    60E Steeles westbound: Stops at Finch Station, Steeles & Yonge (farside), 100 Steeles Ave, Hilda, Village Gate, Bathurst, Carpenter, New Westminster, Conley, Dufferin, Keele, Jane, Adesso, Signet, Weston, Islington, and Kipling Loop only.

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  2. 41E is a surprise (at least to me) and is overdue. The routing straight up Keele to Rogers Road is a good move, in fact all 41 should be routed that way to avoid congestion and extra turns along St.Clair. 168 Symington provides good service up Old Weston Road no need for the duplication with 41. Furthermore, 41 could operate “limited stop” between the Subway and Rogers Road stopping only at transfer points. One thing I don’t like about the new 41E is the lack of stops at transfer points Annette and Dundas. I realize it is a short distance from the subway however, I feel it should be a given that any express route stops at all transfer points regardless of distance.

    Steve: I have already suggested the 41 via Weston and Rogers routing as a means of dealing with the reconfigured St. Clair Avenue east of Keele. They will start with the express service, and then we’ll see what happens to the locals. The old routing is left over from the days before the Symington bus existed.

    The design for the St. Clair and Old Weston intersection has the westbound stop immediately west of the intersection. This will make it hard for buses to turn south to west unless it is reconfigured.

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  3. Headway-based service rather than schedule based. Sounds like a dream come true! If only. I recall the original system took years to get into place and had/still has many problems expecially with drivers and transit control not obeying the system. Plus 5 (minutes) ahead of schedule is not good. That old practice of “soaking” still exists. In the meantime there should also be a “rule” that more than one bus cannot proceed through a signalled intersection on the same signal. Especially when there is a bus bay to sit in. Waiting for a light to change to run across and watching 2 or 3 buses race through is infuriating!

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  4. Any more details on the 41E (a lot of my questions were answered in the two top posts) like what hours it’ll operate? Peak or also Mid-Day? And is 7am “peak”?

    Steve: It’s a peak period service which, by definition does not run outside of the rush hours. The hours of service will be:

    AM Northbound 6:00 to 8:29
    AM Southbound 6:47 to 8:19
    PM Northbound 3:19 to 6:26
    PM Southbound 2:30 to 5:59

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  5. Headway based service is great on routes where there is frequent service, however it isn’t so good on routes where the headways are longer, say when there is 15 minute or even 30 minute headway and you’re likely to check the schedule and go out a few minutes before the scheduled time.

    Steve: That is precisely why this is intended to apply only to routes with 10 minute or better service.

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  6. The 60E changes are huge. Previously the 60E and 60F only ran express from Finch to Steeles … for all intents and purposes the express service on Steeles itself is new. Eastbound from Kipling to Yonge it reduces the stops from 44 to 14!

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  7. I’m pleasantly surprised by the new 60E true express service. It is long overdue. I’m surprised though that 60F has been removed, I would have hoped that the TTC would also enable a true express bus from Finch station to York U having similar stops as the new 60E, but terminating at the York U campus. Otherwise, it is good news for anyone riding route 60, as the new express service will improve travel times for longer-distance commuters.

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  8. Steve, thank you for the info. While I rarely use the 41, the new express service will be running at the times which I do, this will help me quite a bit as that bus can be one royal pain in the …

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  9. The 145, 41E, and 60E services appear to have no local “area” like some express routes where service runs local from one end to a certain stop, then run express all the way to the station. Why the change for these two routes anyway?

    Does this mean that regular 60 service does not run express on Yonge? And why only Kipling and not Signal Hill Road? There are a lot of people who work in that area who would benefit from such a serivce.

    I’m still waiting for express services for the following routes:

    17E Birchmount (long since terminated but would be nice to see again)
    52E Lawrence West (ditto, and it ran express from Lawrence to Lawrence West stations)
    32E Eglinton West (same here, except it ran only from Eglinton West Station)
    25 Don Mills (I think this ran a long time before, would be nice to see some express service from Don Mills Station to Pape Station)
    89 Weston Road
    165 Weston Road North (the express stops could be on the same route as 96 Wilson)
    85 Sheppard East (maybe run express from Don Mills Station to McCowan with some express stops and local the rest of the way)
    68 Warden
    37 Islington
    129 McCowan North
    42 Cummer (maybe run this express via Finch to Don Mills…..)
    102 Markham Road

    Steve: Some of the routes listed above are part of the Transit City Bus Plan. They will get improved local service in the short term and express service in the long term. This “long term” (2014) is too far off for my taste, but that’s a budget decision.

    Paul: my belief for the 60F is that it has now been superseded by the 196 running from Sheppard-Yonge Station.

    One other thing that I was wondering is why don’t they assign 200-series route numbers for all rocket routes, premium or local? We seem to be creating more “Rocket” routes every now and then. Maybe renumber 224 Victoria Park North to a number in the 100s…. How about dropping the “E” designation from each route and renumbering as a 200 series route?

    Steve: There are two problems here. First, if a route gets a completely new number (not the base number plus 200), there will obviously be confusion for riders. Second, what happens when both routes 0xx and 1xx get express services? We already have a situation where many night routes don’t match their daytime counterparts (the Finch services are 308 and 309, while the Eglintons are 305 and 307). As the number of routes with express branches increases, I think the TTC is far better to leave the base route number plus the “E” suffix.

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  10. Steve As the number of routes with express branches increases, I think the TTC is far better to leave the base route number plus the “E” suffix.

    The trouble is that is that the 95E, 96E, 116E etc. would have to renamed… also, ‘E’ as a suffix would mean ‘express’, whereas A/B/C/D would just mean ‘variation’. Maybe using X as a prefix would work better? (In theory this could lead to the 123X being mixed up with the X123, but one would hope no route ever has 23 variations…)

    Steve: Yes, they need to clean up their act on nomenclature, but keeping the base route numbers is important. Surely any organization that can take the time to create new short turn destinations for routes on Eglinton East can address consistency in numbering and lettering of its services.

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  11. “145 Humber Bay: Buses will make all stops on Lake Shore, Marine Parade, Fleet, Adelaide, Jarvis and Richmond.”

    Will they create new stops for this route? It should stop at Windermere and Lake Shore to serve the many buildings just north of there.

    It doesn’t need to stop at Colbern Lodge and Lake Shore which is served by the 80 Queensway, but are almost never used.

    Will it use the Fleet and Spadina ROW?

    Steve: I don’t know about new stops. Using the Spadina ROW would only apply to the diversion, and would be tricky given that the buses don’t run the transit priority signals. The north to east turn at Adelaide would be particularly difficult. What they will do for the Fleet/Bathurst intersection I don’t know. It is entirely possible that they didn’t think about it. I’m surprised that they are not using Fort York Boulevard instead.

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  12. One possible way of avoiding confusion (at least, I would hope), is as much as possible do away with letters, including E, and give branches their own route number, just like the way other big cities do. Yes it would mean pushing numbers into the 200 series, or jumping over everything and using 700 and 800 numbers, but I bet it would prevent a lot of people getting on the wrong bus if the branch had it’s own route number. For example, what’s wrong with making the Emmett branch of Eglinton West the EMMETT 732 (for example) route, or Islington via Rexdale Blvd. (REXDALE VIA ISLINGTON 737). And express routes could have their own numbers and be called ROCKET, since that’s the way TTC likes to fool…have people think their “special express” routes should be called.

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  13. Why does the 60E stop at Signet and Peter Kaiser (minor local stops with transfer to very minor rush hour only routes) but not North West Gate (future Steeles West subway) or Founders (another York U stop)? Adding express stops at these two locations would improve service for current 60F users.

    Steve: You should complain to the TTC and to your local Councillor more or less simultaneously if you believe this should be changed. Unfortunately, the TTC provided no opportunity for feedback from affected communities on this.

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  14. Steve is there any word on when we’ll see the Toronto Rocket subway cars? I seem to remember Brad Ross mentioning on his Twitter they were delayed until 2010, yet the TTC’s own website still says they are starting passenger service in 2009. We’re starting to run out of 2009 here.

    Steve: Don’t believe everything you read on the TTC’s web site. You won’t see those cars in revenue service until next year.

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  15. Why does the 60E stop at Signet and Peter Kaiser (minor local stops with transfer to very minor rush hour only routes)?

    The express will be a rush hour service, I can tell you that at Signet, (where I’ll be boarding), there is always plenty of people get on so I’m more than happy it stops there. I did attend the TTC service suggestion earlier this year and I did suggest that Steeles West service should extend the express portion, but I suggested only extending the express section to as far as Keele with stops at the major intersections. My only concern with the E suffix that it could confusion for people who use the local stops. Why not have it ‘as suggested in other posts’ as 60X unless they are going to well advertise that the 60E bus will no longer stop at say .. Murray Ross or even Alness. I can foresee a lot of irate people who used to catch the 60E suddensly see it fly past them .. 3 parts empty!!!

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  16. To Mr. David Cavlovic,

    How hard is it to distinguish one branch from another? I think we all know there is a difference between 37 and 37A one goes to one place, the other to a different place. If people needed TTC maps, all you would see are lines one beside the other, especially along baseline routes with at least 5 different branches. I don’t see the need to have different route numbers if a specific route runs along with others similar like it, but just branch off for a block or so just to loop around. It’s just like that episode of The Simpsons where Liza takes the bus to meet with her school when she gets on the wrong bus.

    The word “ROCKET” is simply another way of the TTC saying “EXPRESS”. I don’t think it’s their intention to fool people into thinking it’s not an express. Ever heard of “Ride the Rocket”?

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  17. The stops on 60E were likely chosen as those with the highest ridership, same as on Finch East. There is a cluster of very tall buildings at Jane and Steeles, so it is undersdtandable why the 60E would make a few local stops there, same as Bathurst and Steeles. In terms of separate route numbers though, what about situations like route 39 where there are now four different express branches, eight in total? maybe it would make sense there to split up the route, especially when the expresses run six days a week and don’t make many local stops…

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  18. To Mr. Galitane:

    Ride the Rocket predates the use of Rocket for express service. It was “redisignated” by the TTC for Express purposes as a way of jazzing up their Express service. Compared to some other cities, (which can be unfair, I admit) TTC’s Express service is not really express.

    The Rocket term goes way back to the PCCs (some even say the Peter Witts, but the evidence is not as strong for this), when their improved speed abilities, compared to the older ex-TRC cars, made it seem like they were “Red Rockets”. This term was then transferred to the Subway when it first opened in 1954 and the red G-trains (quite ironic, when you consider how slow they were on the northbound hills, when it often seemed like they were going backwards).

    In some respects, yes, names — different route names as you are pointing out — don’t necessarily translate to improved service. But, with longer branches it could help. And, if you look at the TTC route map, or any route map for a huge city, you will notice for the most part (Eglinton east of Yonge being somewhat of an exception), where there are a multitude of routes, it would be impossible to show all the lines for one street (OC Transpo runs almost 100(!) routes through the downtown core at various times along the Transitway), so, one line with all the route numbers (or a legend box with an arrow pointing to that line) does quite well.

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  19. Speaking of expresses, when will the York U busway be up and running? AS far as I can tell, in existing traffic conditions, the 196 rocket cannot beat a well-timed trip using the 96E and 41E services to York U. Despite whatever the schedule might say, this is the truth, even with local service on Keele, one only loses a few minutes as opposed to the rocket.

    Steve: Late November, I think. We will see in about six weeks’ time when the service changes for the November/December schedule period are announced.

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  20. On the 196

    The route itself is quite fast. From the bus loop to Keele and St. Regis you save quite a bit of time. From St. Regis and Keele to Downsview, you also save yourself time. The problem, however, is trying to turn left from Keele on to St. Regis. Often there is a lineup of buses waiting to do just this.

    Northbound, the problem does not exist. I challenge Jonathon’s assertion that a 96E+41E trip would beat the 196. If you are measuring from the bus bay of Wilson station to the curb at york university, then perhaps you have a point, however remember that most people who head to York are not arriving on a westbound bus at Wilson station (hence getting to said bus bay).

    I actually challenge Mr. Markowski to personally prove this at a date and time of his choosing (so long as I’m not working) to a race from a station south of Wilson (Yorkdale seems like a good starting point) to the Wendys at York University (closer to the 41 stop, plus I could grab a burger).

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  21. The problem on the 196 is chronic delays combined with unpredictable traffic. If the new express services prove reliable, then this route would provide a reliable trip time as opposed to the 196. Traffic on eastbound Sheppard is often horribly slow during the afternoon rush. However, in my case there is the additional factor of the ten minute walk to the subway versus the 30-second stroll out to Bathurst. depending on one’s proximity to the subway and/or origin, the 196 could be, but likely wouldn’t be faster. And as for your race, try about three weeks ago when I actually was headed to and from York. As for now, I don’t actually care.

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  22. It’s time (yet again, it seems) to explain where the term ‘Red Rocket’ originated. It occurred from the mouth of a somewhat disappointed 14-year old budding railfan on March 30, 1954 and was high sarcasm. My father and I went down to Queen Station to watch the new trains and have a ride. He, who never used transit unless his car broke down, opined that they moved very fast, commenting after seeing his first train entering the station northbound (many of you will recall how “fast” that was with the pig-weight G class!). I suppose he can be forgiven for that after, daily, trailing Witt trains up Kingston Rd in rush hour for many years in his 1939 Chrysler. I coined the term ‘Red Rocket’ that same day. The term was used by me for several years, mostly with school friends, but as far as I know no other railfan knew of it until I joined the UCRS in 1961. Still it wasn’t in much use, even though I applied it while showing slides

    Then Mike Filey joined UCRS in the late 1960s and he twigged to the term right away. Filey also had the ear of John Downing when the fledging Toronto Sun started up. During the time when Downing was beginning a campaign to favor the further cause of streetcars, Mike and I joined him for lunch one day at the Toronto Press Club and the term was used during our conversation. Downing picked up on it right away and applied it in several columns. He was also a sympathizer with the Streetcars For Toronto Committee, on which Filey and I played minor roles under the direction of Steve and Andy Beimiller. Eventually the term lost the “red’ portion but not for several years. TTC eventually picked up on it and occasional references to the term were made before it came into general use.

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  23. re: Red Rocket.

    I stand corrected, by the man who should know.

    I bought into various other articles that claimed earlier provenance, so there’s how an urban legend is born.
    The sarcasm of the original coining of the term seems a propos for today’s traffic conditions, though.

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  24. Also, just because they are called Rockets, that does NOT give passengers permission to set them on fire!

    Steve: At least part of the transit system runs on hot air, but ignition is not required.

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  25. John F Bromley: thanks for the full history of ‘red rocket’. I can recall reading more than once in Downing’s column the history beginning with the Toronto Press Club lunch. It’s nice to hear the rest of the story!

    By the way, I think you meant to refer to the ‘fledgling Toronto Sun’, as in new. A ‘fledging Toronto Sun’ would be getting covered with feathers! 😉

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  26. Calvin: “By the way, I think you meant to refer to the ‘fledgling Toronto Sun’, as in new. A ‘fledging Toronto Sun’ would be getting covered with feathers!”

    I NEVR COOD TIPE WURTH A DAM AYND SPILCHEQUE ISS YOOSLESS.

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  27. The sun has a good sports section, swan boat racing would be the sport of the future!

    Steve: We would have to rename the operators’ “rodeo” to a “regatta”!

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  28. All this feather-talk reminds me of an old Victor Borge routine, where he talks about one of his students being a Portugoose. He married a Portugander, and together they had a lot of Portugoslings. This has NOTHING to do with schedule changes, but then a lot of schedule changes are worth nothing as well, so…

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  29. LOL!

    I didn’t mean to insult your typing skills! 😉

    It’s a bit common for ‘fledging’ and ‘fledgling’ to be mixed up. I think it is because both words can be applied to young birds (and Yonge Swans!).

    Steve: Shhh! Don’t pre-announce my scheme for the Richmond Hill Swanway.

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  30. How good could a swanway to Richmond Hill be? All the water will run downhill, which doesn’t help Northbound traffic. Talk about White Rockets!

    Steve: The Ontario Swan Boat Development Corporation has a secret technology to make water run uphill.

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  31. Steve said Shhh! Don’t pre-announce my scheme for the Richmond Hill Swanway
    Ah… the cygnet is out at last.

    Going back to nomenclature, short-turns should have some sort of different number to indicate that. Trying to rememebr which headsigns will take me where for the 501 (or any other route which numerous short turn possibilies) ratehr defeats the poitn of route numbers.

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  32. David Cavlovic said “I bought into various other articles that claimed earlier provenance, so there’s how an urban legend is born.””

    Exactly. How anyone could think a Peter Witt car was any kind of rocket would be kind of unbelievable, and the G trains were in fact RED, rather than maroon & cream, otherwise the term would have been the “maroon rockets”! If nowhere else, G trains were at least more rocket-like on the downhill portions of the line.

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  33. “If nowhere else, G trains were at least more rocket-like on the downhill portions of the line.”

    Southbound out of Finch (before North York Centre Stn. was built), out of Sheppard, and out of St. Clair. WHOOHOO! And all the brake markers were outside of the stations, too. (N.B. out of Eglinton and out of Lawrence was pretty fun, too!)

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  34. Paul: I’m pleasantly surprised by the new 60E true express service. It is long overdue. I’m surprised though that 60F has been removed, I would have hoped that the TTC would also enable a true express bus from Finch station to York U having similar stops as the new 60E, but terminating at the York U campus. Otherwise, it is good news for anyone riding route 60, as the new express service will improve travel times for longer-distance commuters.

    I ride the 60 every weekday and this change will make my commute worse as the 2 stops closest to me aren’t on the list of express stops. This means that for me service will get decidedly worse as the buses will be less frequent and also the trip time will increase because the buses will make all stops along Yonge. Kudos to the TTC for yet another service “improvement”.

    I don’t see how this new express service will be of any real use since it will run every 12 minutes. So to take adventage of it a “long distance commuter” will have to miss as many 3 local buses. It will be interesting to see how much time it will really save for people travelling to Dufferin or Jane – my guess it won’t be much compared to the current 60E service.

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  35. I think they should put another bus on the 65 Parliament route on Sunday’s & holidays & they also should change this route to include the bike racks on this route since these buses now have bike racks on them.

    Steve: You are unlikely to see more frequent Sunday/Holiday service on Parliament until the 20-minute network comes into effect. At that point the route will need two buses, and will probably run every 15 minutes. As for bike racks, about 2/3 of routes have them already. You will just have to wait for Parliament’s turn.

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  36. Eric brings up an interesting point regarding express services. Especially the former 17E branch. That branch ran up to Steeles only, and did not use the routing to 14th Avenue. For people using stops north of Steeles, they had switch between 17A and 17E buses if they wanted to take advantage of express service.

    Any express service should cover the entire length of the route and not just to some point in between. If one were to put express service on 68 Warden, the routing should include the branch going to Major Mackenzie, with local stops between the north end and somewhere south of Steeles. This would encourage more 905 people to use transit. There should also be an express bus on 35 Jane going to perhaps Vaughan Mills. 37 Islington can also benefit from express service to Highway 7.

    One perplexing route is 107 Keele North. This route is almost entirely within the 905 fare zone and there is hardly any ridership south of York University so I do not know why they do not simply hand this over to YRT. This way, YRT could run the service as an express between York U to Downsview Station the same way the Viva Orange bus operates. I have also heard a call to separate 25D Don Mills service to 16th Avenue while providing an express option from Don Mills Station to Steeles. There are a lot of ways to make service easier for those living and working in not-so-accessible-by-transit areas in the GTA.

    One final note, I would like to see some express service along the 58 Malton route. This could not only be a benefit to those living and working in the Malton area, but also act as yet another express service to the Airport.

    Steve: Services north of Steeles are run on a contract basis by the TTC for York Region. If York wanted to hand these over to YRT, it is entirely within their power to do so. The fact that they don’t suggests that there is a perceived advantage in having TTC operate the routes.

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  37. Just a quick response to a couple of comments here.

    “Dale says: (September 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm) [65 Parliament] they also should change this route to include the bike racks on this route since these buses now have bike racks on them. Steve: As for bike racks, about 2/3 of routes have them already. You will just have to wait for Parliament’s turn.”

    Bike racks are currently being installed on all buses (as well as Operator Barriers which currently have priority for installation) at Birchmount Garage/Division (which operates 65 Parliament). My understanding is that an operating division cannot have its routes designated as bike rack available until a high percentage of buses are equipped to ensure that there are guarantees that the offered service is actually there. This is similar to the early days of low floor/high floor with lift wheelchair routes.

    The TTC has been doing bike rack installation on a division by division basis. Birchmount has been one of the last divisions to get bike racks. Birchmount was the second division to go completely low floor (Orion VII diesel) after Eglinton. With a total of 7 bus divisions and limited resources to install bike racks, the roll out will take time (especially since the installation of Operator Barriers is the top priority right now).

    Your response to Stephen Cheung needs just a little clarification. Services north of Steeles are run on a contract basis by the TTC for York Region Transit (YRT). The TTC runs exactly the service that YRT specifies and at the scheduling that YRT wants. If there are to be TTC operated express services north of Steeles, it will be because YRT has specifically contracted for them. Stephen Cheung should actually address his concern to YRT and to his York region Councillors.

    As an Operator who has actually driven 17A and 68B in the past (prior to their transfer to another division coincident with the opening of Mount Dennis), I can attest that these two routes do not need express service north of Steeles. As well, during rush hours (and perhaps at other times of the day) there is a YRT service (route 90) that is operated from Don Mills station as an express service to Steeles along Don Mills Road.

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  38. Yet again the TTC has ignored North-East Scarborough and Morningside Heights, and still has not started a 133E Neilson Express service.

    While these new express routes are a good start, the TTC has to get a little more risky, and start operating super express service on highways, and with long long distances of no stops, like Montreal does.

    We have got to speed up transit a lot more, or people are going to continue to drive.

    The amount of time it takes to travel anywhere on the TTC is just way too long, and really is the only draw back of the TTC. Service is great for the most part. But travel times mean that you are wasting a good amount of time over driving.

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