Streetcar service will return to route 512 St. Clair on December 20, 2009.
Streetcars will operate from St. Clair Station to Earlscourt Loop at Lansdowne, and buses will operate from Oakwood Loop to Keele (Gunn’s Loop). Buses will run in the curb lanes except for the stop eastbound at Oakwood.
Service on the streetcar route will be improved relative to pre-bus operations (see detailed chart). Headways at all times are more frequent than the April 2007 streetcar schedules, and the widest headway is 10 minutes. That is operated only late evenings on weekends.
Round trip times between Yonge and Lansdowne were 60 minutes in the AM Peak 2007 schedules, but this has been reduced to 50 minutes in the new 2009/2010 schedules. The longest running time in 2007, for Saturday afternoons, was 84 minutes (to Keele). The time (to Lansdowne) has been reduced to 47 minutes in the new schedules. (A round trip from Lansdowne to Keele likely took at most 16 minutes, not including layover time, in 2007.)
Work on the Bathurst Street underpass at Dupont will be completed before December 20, and streetcars will operate from Roncesvalles Carhouse rather than Hillcrest.
The service planned for St. Clair is clearly an improvement both in frequency and speed over that which operated on the route before it was rebuilt. The new schedules go into effect during the winter months, an ideal time to show off improved service quality. With luck, the traffic signals will actually speed streetcars across the route rather than contributing substantial delays. This is a real test of the TTC’s and the City’s desire to show that transit priority and all of the disruption on St. Clair are worth the effort.