Service Changes for January 2010

A few changes will occur on Sunday, January 3, 2010.

Notable among these is the 192 Airport Rocket which has been formally rescheduled and rerouted in response to concerns about the safety of its operation.  The changes were implemented on November 2, 2009. 

The northbound route is via Dundas, Hwy 427, Hwy 27 and Dixon Road to the airport.  Southbound trips remain via Hwy 427 and Dundas to Kipling Station.

The loading standard at all times is 38, a seated load.

2010.01.03 Service Changes

At Scarborough Town Centre, the 169 Huntingwood bus will move to the diagonally opposite corner of the platform from its current location to make more room for the 190 Scarborough Centre Rocket.  This takes effect on Tuesday, January 19.

2010.01.19 STC Bus Bays

29 thoughts on “Service Changes for January 2010

  1. Has the TTC ever thought of renovating STC Bus Terminal? It looks really old and dirty now-a-days…

    On the other hand, don’t fix what’s not broken.

    Steve: It does seem designed to look dingy, and has been that way since it opened. Whether the reconstruction of the SRT will be accompanied by a station beautification remains to be seen.


  2. I can seriously go on a rant about the 192 service change but i will hold my breath on this one. If the TTC is seriously so “concerned” about it’s safety why don’t they just rearrange the seating on about 7 of their buses into shuttle form (mostly perimeter seating). Their argument would be of course the cost of doing this wouldn’t be worthwhile because it can only be used and a few routes and not the whole system but this would solve the problem entirely. But of course the TTC like to make pathetic excuses as to why the need to change this service. This will not only make the trip longer than it needs to be, but (I know this may be minor) but increase fuel consumption which will increase expenses (by a very small margin i know). They might as well rearrange the seating as this would save money it the long run and provide more safety for customers along with providing reliable fast service.


  3. The Service Summary reckons that 80% of the CLRV (AM Rush) and even the ALRV (PM Rush) fleets will be available! Did Santa second some elves to Hillcrest, and if so were they paid union rates?


  4. Are you kidding me about the 169 move? I take that bus to STC daily. It is right next to the escalator to go up to the plaza, civic centre and the federal building.

    I am recovering from a car accident so I am not exactly in the best shape and I know I could of gone down to Sheppard and taken the 190, but that is just a lot more walking which I can’t do now.

    Now they are going to put it all the way at the other bloody side so I will have to go up one level (no change there) then go across the whole “main floor”? the escalators next to 169/190 end up on the top right by the exists and escalators to the SRT.

    The 169 comes every half and hour, they could time it so there is no 190 at 12:00/12:30/1:00/1:30 and so forth which is when the 169 bus leaves STC.

    ARGH, seriously do they even do their homework on timing? If they work their timing then the 169 won’t have to be moved all the way to the other side.

    Steve: Back when I would travel between Don Mills and STC from time to time, I found the 169 Huntingwood a handy alternative if I had just missed the 190 and the 169 was due. It takes a bit longer, but allowing for the wait for the unreliable 190 “Rocket” to show up, could wind up being faster. Having them stop near each other was really handy because I could just take whatever bus was there. It certainly seems as if the 169 is being pushed off into an area where nobody will ever use it unless they absolutely have to.


  5. Maybe working this overnight shift is making me see things – but the TTC website route description for the Queen car (still?) says that 5 services are operated – with the Shaw/Parliament options still there.

    Have I just not noticed this when I’m on the street … or have they learned from their experiment and started this full time now?

    Steve: Nope, the route operates in the traditional manner, and the Shaw/Parliament operation ended on November 22. It takes a while for this sort of news to find its way to the folks who maintain the website.


  6. Re: Pushing the 169 at STC to the outback of platform use.

    This is an old TTC tradition to “prove” they are fully utilizing available space (and, typical of the TTC, this is far from consistent). Lawrence Stn., since the demise of all the branches of 52 serivce, has always suffered from this. Even though service between Yonge and Bayview were/are provided by the same 2 routes (old days, 11 Bayview/28 Davisville; today, 124 Sunnybrook/162 Lawrence-Donway), boarding for the 11, or the 162, was way-the-heck at the outer end of the bus platform, and not at a possible closer location, opposite what used to be the loading spot for 52A to Weston Rd. service. In other words, the bus bay was designed to load three buses in each direction. Considering how dark this bay is, I knew a lot of people who were a little nervous waiting at the outback end of this platform late at night when things were quieter.


  7. Re: 192, can someone confirm what this so-called “safety concern” is? And why does this affect only the Northbound routing and not the southbound one?

    Steve: Apparently there was a weaving across lanes required by the northbounc routing that was deemed unsafe, particularly with heavily loaded buses.


  8. The best news from this service change list, is the additional trips on the Don Valley Express. Finally the TTC is understanding that people love these buses, and the service on some of these routes needs way better service than is provided at the moment.


  9. No wonder the 192’s schedule was so off. Last week I was relying on the schedules to get me to Pearson’s T1, but not only was the schedule completely useless, the frequency was garbage, too – according to the posted schedule it should have been every 12 minutes, but I waited over 20, and the driver still sat and took a good 5-minute break. There was no signage indicating anything to riders and nothing on the website, either.

    Of course by that point the bus was rammed full of people, when the previous bus (which I narrowly missed) was nearly empty. I have a feeling it left early, however since there was no reliable schedule, there was no way to know.

    The new routing wastes an extra 10 minutes dilly-dallying through all of the traffic lights along Dixon Rd. Can someone please explain to me why taking the 427/27 to Dixon and meandering to the airport is safer than just taking the 427 all the way?

    Also — and this may be beyond the TTC’s contro l– the routing from T3 to T1 is truly awful — it would be faster to get off at T3 and take the people mover over to T1. Would the routing be any better if the terminal order were reversed?

    Steve: This is yet another example of the TTC website being out of sync with actual operations. Ad hoc changes like this do not drive the usual processes within the TTC for web site or stop pole schedule updates, even assuming these were actually carried out (which they frequently are not).

    As for the route via Dixon, my understanding is that the original routing required tricky lane changes with rather full city buses. Within the airport, I don’t know who dictates the route, but it is likely the TTC’s choice.


  10. I think the bus bay move at STC is for the better, it’s now very crowded around the current 190 bay, the 169 frequently can’t get into its current bay, or gets ‘boxed in’ by the 190, so the move is for good reason, it inconviences less people than moving the 190 would.

    We face the same problems out here at Kipling, with the 191, 192, 30 and 46.

    191, 192 share one long bay, and the 30 and 46 share the bay right behind it, several times a day you’ll find a 191 or 192 in the 30/46 bay, with the 30 or 46 having to ‘road load’ or try using another bay. There are a lot of blind/senior/disabled people that rely on the 30, and it’s just not safe right now. Apparently from the artist’s renderings and blueprints of the redesign of Kipling, it’s not going to change either, which has pissed off a lot of passengers and drivers alike.

    Miroslav, I share your pain on the bus bay issue. I find the bus bays at STC confusing already. I have to have help to find the correct one usually, or go along asking the various bus drivers sitting in the bays, what route they are. Very frustrating!


  11. Two points come to mind.

    1. Steve: “It takes a while for this sort of news to find its way to the folks who maintain the website.” The huge advantage of a website is that it can be changed easily and give up-to-date information. The TTC needs to ensure that their website is THE way to tell customers what’s going on. (I include also adjusting the schedule pages if a route is on diversion.) Well, one can hope!

    2. The snafu with the 169 and STC (note above) leads me to, once again, propose that the TTC appoint Station Managers. (Not one per station). If there were a Station Manager at STC they would, perhaps, realise that there are other possibilities. One can hardly expect planners and schedulers at Davisville or wherever to know station layouts and customer patterns.

    Happy New Year to all!


  12. On a slightly distantly related note (which came to mind after the comments about TTC’s website), is there any sort of news / rumors / patterns in the entrails about TTC adopting Google Transit?

    Steve: None. I believe they are still claiming to be rolling out their own trip planner. However, from what I’ve heard, the beta version doesn’t work very well.


  13. DavidC I think you nailed the issue right on the nose. Why should planners at Davisville (they actually work out of North York City Centre) not know the riding patterns and what customers want?

    If they do not know this stuff, than maybe they would be out there riding the buses a little bit more and appointing citizen advisors, etc.

    There is no doubt at all that TTC planners don’t know what is going on with riders (otherwise North East Scarborough would have express buses for example).

    That being said, the 169 move is not that big a deal, considering how little people use that route. The 169 buses almost always leave STC almost fully empty.


  14. Chris raises a good point: it looks like the TTC might have missed an opportunity to simplify the 192’s routing within the airport.

    Along that indirect route from T3 to T1, there’s a stop at Jetliner Rd (it’s a pole and shelter along the airport’s elevated internal roadway, with a stairway down to Jetliner Rd itself). But with the new routing along Airport Road, that stop could be shifted to the nearby intersection of Airport Rd and Jetliner Rd/Bresler Dr (so it would be served before the bus reached T3). It looks to me like that intersection is actually closer to the trip generators in the area, plus a stop there would be accessible by being at street level.

    And by eliminating the existing Jetliner Rd stop, I believe the tour of the airport grounds could be eliminated: it looks like there’s a direct road link from T3’s inner arrivals curb to T1’s ground level. It’d require the GTAA to shift the 192’s T3 stop to the inner curb stop, but I’d hope they’d see the benefit. And for the TTC, the shorter route might allow them to recapture most of the extra time they’re spending going via Hwy 27/Dixon/Airport Road.


  15. Regarding the bus bays, I don’t understand why it would be so hard to move both the 190 and 169 to another part of the platform that’s more spacious and move less frequent/lesser used routes to that corner (although it would probably mean a longer walk). There are benefits to having two routes going the similar direction together, especially if one is a busy route. On the other side of the 169, at Don Mills station, during peak hours, the 25 northbound is often very crowded, but because the 10 Van Horne bay is right next to it, every 10 minutes, it takes a lot of pressure off the 25 as it shares part of its routing with the 25. However, offpeak, when the 169A, stops on the opposite side, far away from the escalators, 25 and even 190. The 169As often leave empty, while a long line remains at the 25. (No idea why they didn’t use the 10 platform, since it is closer to the escalators as well).

    (Also, why is the 192 from Kipling all the way at the far end? There is always some poor passenger carrying loads of luggage who gets off at the front of the train and has to walk the length of the platform to get to the bus… it seems that routes like this should be placed where it’s most convinient to the passenger, overriding other minor factors that may be in play)


  16. DavidC: The TTC website is far from up to date.

    Just a casual reading pulls out data which is obviously out of date.

    For example:

    Construction projects: High Park Station is expected to be completed for end of November 2009.

    route diversions: Finch East also expected to be completed end of November/beginning December.

    The FAQ says the subways run until 1:30am and doesn’t mention the tunnel maintenance.

    When I last looked after a large website, every page had an assigned responsible person, and a date when the page had to be verified and updated if necessary. This was used to ensure that every page was maintained. The TTC obviously hasn’t taken this simple precaution.

    There is obviously a large amount of information which simply isn’t on the website, but should be. I happen to know that there is construction at the Broadview station which isn’t listed. This is harder to protect against, but it needs management to take a keen interest in making sure that the website is a active and accurate resource.

    Steve: I am tiring of hearing how the TTC is going to really look after customer information, but many, many things fall through the cracks. It is clearly not a real priority. There’s a parallel with their printed signs which don’t have stale dates on them, and which stay posted for months after they are out of date. Nobody has the job of looking after that stuff.

    Broadview Station is no longer officially under construction, but there’s a bad water leak problem that has kept the new east stairways closed for months with no sign of improvement except some cleaning work (the station still leaks). In that case, what is really bad is that the TTC does not mask off the exit signs. This would be critical if someone were trying to use the exit in an emergency, and ran to it only to find it blocked.

    Meanwhile at street level, despite a claim earlier this year that the TTC would start to provide standard printed signs, the collector’s booth is still festooned with hand-written signs, of which the most common is the “please pay your fare and enter” which is often in evidence while the collector is elsewhere, sometimes having a smoke out on Broadview.


  17. Steve,

    Jon’s comment got me thinking … who owns Scarborough Centre? Just the transit part, not the bridge between the mall, and the civic centre/federal building or the actual mall, civic centre/federal building.

    There is the TTC part on the west side, the regional (Greyhound/GO Transit) on the east side and that laneway on the north for the taxis. Is the north end laneway part of the transit part?

    If the TTC would renew the station, can they do it whenever they want and what would happen to the east side?

    Steve: I believe that the TTC owns the transit roadway and station. GO and the other operators are using space provided by the TTC. I am not sure what you mean by “what would happen with to the east side” as any renewed SRT would still use the elevated structure to reach McCowan and beyond.


  18. Regarding the 192, the claim that this is due to a safety concern due to the “weaving lanes” issue is ludicrous. Mississauga Transit operates buses that run from the 427 to 401 westbound, this routing requires twice as much weaving than the 192. Either TTC drivers are not the seasoned pros on highways like Mississauga is, or someone really wants to make life miserable for TTC riders.

    And as for the “smoke breaks” on Broadview, is that a union demand? This really wouldn’t be an issue for automatic fare collection, as I witnessed in Lisbon, their fare system actually allows station staff to deal with other, more pressing issues, (and allow them to take their “smoke breaks”). Stationmasters indeed, but sometimes I wonder if our antiquidated fare system is more of a union thing than not.

    Steve: I suspect the smoke breaks are more an issue of lack of management, plus the fact that we folks at Broadview are such an honest lot! You cannot ascribe every ill of the world to unions, and it undermines your argument to do so.


  19. By “what would happen with to the east side”, I think he means that if the east side platforms (GO/ Greyhound) are not owned by TTC, what will happen to them.

    Steve: They are owned by the TTC, and I don’t see any reason why they would be removed.

    Speaking of platforms… anyone know how the Victoria Park construction is doing right now?

    Steve: It’s coming along and new structures are appearing gradually. Winter will get in the way of things for a while.


  20. If you want out of date announcement and over schedule, at least public schedule, construction projects try GO Brampton. In February of 2007 signs went up saying that Railroad Street, the one to the south of the tracks would be one west bound east of Mill street from the start of February to the end of March. It was re-opened this December. Other signs said that the station would be finished by November 2009. Half of the south platform has not even been started except for preliminary destruction of all vegetation. New signs and the website say that all construction will be finished in February of 2010.

    One of the contractors, who shall remain nameless says that they will stop work about the middle of January until the middle of March because the weather conditions are not good for putting in rest of the platform. They only have the part west of the handicap platform built, cars 7 to 10 so they still have to build over half of the platform. The west end tunnel is almost finished, just cosmetic work to be done, but it is useless until the platform is ready.

    The elevator at the east end of the north platform is almost done. The south side elevator and station structure over stairs and elevator are not done. The stairs, one to main street and one to the bus terminal, are done except for handrails and surface finishing. I think that the TTC spent less time building St. Clair than GO did on this site. If and when it gets done I think that it will be a very good station. It has modern construction but it fits in with existing station and surrounding building(s) that will not be torn down and redeveloped


  21. Steve: “It takes a while for this sort of news to find its way to the folks who maintain the website…”

    I’m often finding a disconnect between the website and communications at the TTC (although this is also true for other large organizations, too.)

    Just one small example: the website misquotes last month’s cost for a Metropass — it indicates that the cost was the same both before and after the fare increase tomorrow (January 3) — while the TTC’s media release gets it right.

    DavidC says: “The huge advantage of a website is that it can be changed easily and give up-to-date information. The TTC needs to ensure that their website is THE way to tell customers what’s going on. (I include also adjusting the schedule pages if a route is on diversion.) Well, one can hope!”

    Absolutely. Too often, old processes for developing print materials seem to still dictate how organizations produce materials for the web. When you’re developing something to appear in print, you’re stuck with it for a long time if you’ve made an error. That’s why often there’s a lengthy sign-off process before the organization approves anything for print. I think most organizations — and I suspect the TTC is one of them — haven’t quite made the transition to this not-so-new-technology, because the wonder of the web is that you can correct and update almost immediately if situations change or if you’ve made a mistake.

    The TTC and other GTA transit agencies and other TTC transit agencies forget that updating your website is a priority. And they forget that telling passengers about the end of the project is just as important as telling them about the start of it. Too often, web visitors are misinformed by out of date information about construction projects that affect service because information has an expiry date that’s already passed. Does that mean that the project has ended? Or is it still ongoing, only no-one has bothered to update readers?

    On the other hand, the TTC and other agencies also suddenly remove information at the end of the project, without telling anyone that the project is complete and that regular service has resumed. That’s really only an effective way to manage information for first-time visitors to a specific website. If you’re a frequent visitor and want to find out the status of a project that may affect your transit ride, then suddenly finding information about a project has simply disappeared from the site isn’t very useful. Although you might be able to assume that the project is done, since the information on the site is often out of date or unreliable, you also suspect that the project is still ongoing, but someone has removed the information by mistake.


  22. The new route for the 192 Airport service is ridiculous. As per earlier comments, the Mississauga bus does even more lane changes than the 192 in the same distance and if it is a safety concern, we have a much larger problem on our hands since there are millions of automobile drivers risking their safety on that road every day. I used to encourage people to use the 192 since it was a quick and reliable alternative to get to the airport. It is now considerably slower and very frustrating particularly on the way to Terminal 1.


  23. Moving the 169 to the currently “vacant Bay” at STC sounds logical…but I’m wondering if this mean drivers will stop using that Bay as their early passenger drop-off or washroom break parking spot? I take the 132 Milner, so I can vouch that this empty Bay is used for all sorts of temporary pit stops by everyone (drivers, security, maintenance…). It can get real crazy especially when the 132 and 43B arrive at the same time and one is forced to move to the spare Bay.

    To 169 Huntingwood riders … be prepared. That platform bay will be horribly cold & windy in the winter … and during the hot summer you can smell the garbage bins stored around the corner.


  24. Why do we even need busbays? Every modern system uses curbside loading, yet we’re willing to leave some of the best real estate in this city as busbays?

    Curbside loading should be forced on the TTC as automated fares are introduced. Leasing of land and air rights would be the obvious benefit, and less fare evasion would be another benefit.

    Steve: I’m not sure what you are talking about here. All TTC buses load at the curb, and the bays under discussion are at a terminal where they exist to make pulling in and out past each other simple for drivers. As for fare evasion, what has that got to do with it? The bus bays in question are in the paid area of a terminal.


  25. Steve, I was referring to those terminal/busbays. And by curbside loading I was referring to stations like King, Queen, Bay where street level vehicles load at the curb.

    I was specifically told by an engineer for the TTC that the benefit of a busbay is eliminated by the amount of delay for both the TTC vehicle to enter and exit as well as the delay it causes to the rest of the traffic.

    Fare evasion happens at paid areas of the busbay/terminal. People simply walk in without paying. Has anyone ever studied the amound of fare evasion that happens at these busbays/terminals? And should we not move towards curbside loading (in the street) and develop that land and lease it out as is done in NYC?

    Steve: For the number of buses stopping at Scarborough Town Centre and the volume of passengers, there isn’t enough sidewalk/curb space for all the buses and passengers. As for leasing the space above, well, that has already been done at York Mills. There are proposals for other sites, but one major issue is that bus terminals underneath buildings need ventillation, and they are not the most inviting places to be as a passenger.

    Fare evasion happens in many places in many ways. I see people walk into the paid area of Broadview Station off of the street all the time, but the vast majority don’t. Some of those people probably have passes and can’t be bothered taking the long way around. In any event, you don’t get rid of terminals which are needed for large volume transfers between routes (and some decent shelter for waiting passengers) to solve that problem.


  26. Steve busbays/terminals and large subway stations can be a thing of the past of this city wanted to change bit by bit. There are benefits of cutting back on size and focusing on simplicity. The TTC is spending 177 million on the VCC station, and millions mores to redo station on B/D. I don’t see the benefit in that size and residual costs that come with it.


  27. I heard that there are planning on “rebuilding” the 427 between the QEW and 401, can anyone confirm this? For those who have never been on this stretch or don’t drive, this stretch of highway is a nightmare that makes the 401 look like a cakewalk!

    With the 401, you can stay in your lane at a steady pace, occasionally having to merge due to your lane ending or turning into an off-ramp. With the 427, lanes end, move from express-collectors, turn into off-ramps, etc all the time and all over the place requiring multiple rapid lane changes all the time.

    Going the speed limit in the right lane (as required by the Highway Traffic Act) is virtually impossible. In fact, it is a miracle that there aren’t multi car pileups on this highway on a daily basis. TTC bus drivers say this highway is a danger to them, but I’m willing to argue it is a danger to all drivers.


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