TTC Service Changes Effective September 5, 2010

Many service changes come into effect for September 2010.  These will include both the reversal of the normal summer cuts as well as improvements to deal with growth in demand.

Please refer to my article on the June 2010 schedule changes for a list of the summer service cuts that will end in September.

Service Improvements

The service improvements are listed in a table in the usual manner on this site, and these are stated relative to the winter schedules.

2010.09.05 Service Changes

Construction Projects

  • Work on the Yonge Subway north of Eglinton with late-night tunnel repairs is expected to continue until late 2011.
  • Work at Pape Station requiring the 72 Pape bus diversion to Donlands will continue to the end of 2010.
  • Track work on The Queensway will result in replacement of streetcar service west of Sunnyside Loop on weekends until the end of the October schedule period (November 20).  The replacement service will operate to Dundas West Station as a merged service with the 504 King shuttle on Roncesvalles.
  • Construction on Roncesvalles and on King (to about Close Avenue in Parkdale) will continue through late 2010, and the 504/508 streetcar services will remain on diversion via Shaw and Queen as at present.  The 504 shuttle bus will revert to a short route from Queen to Dundas West operating southbound via Dundas and Lansdowne because service to Shaw via King will not be possible once track construction begins.
  • Roadway repairs at Runnymede Station will require changes to the 71 Runnymede, 77 Swansea and 79 Scarlett Road services through to the end of the October schedule period.  79 Scarlett Road will operate to High Park Station at all times.  Weekday peak and midday periods will see the 77 interline with all 71 services bypassing Runnymede Station.  At other times, the 71B Industry branch will run to High Park Station.  These changes take effect on Tuesday, September 7.
  • Reconstruction of Bingham Loop will complete this summer, and streetcars will return to the 502/503 routes on Kingston Road.
  • Fire prevention work at York Mills Station will complete and all routes now using a temporary terminal will move back into the station.
  • Construction projects affecting the 88 South Leaside route on Moore, and the 505 Dundas car west of Ossignton will be completed.

No More New Looks on Bay

Effective in September, the 6 Bay route will operate with accessible, bike-rack equipped vehicles.  Fans of GMC New Looks will have to search further afield to ride these vehicles.

Seasonal Services

Many seasonal services will end their operation after Labour Day.

Rapid Transit Service Changes

One “gap train” will be removed from the schedule of the Yonge-University line in each peak period, and it will be redeployed as regular service on the Bloor-Danforth line.  This will reduce peak headways by a few seconds, equivalent to .5 more trips through the peak point per hour .  This change is over and above the restitution of winter service levels.

Midday service on Bloor-Danforth will be improved by adding two trains and reducing headways from 4’39” to 4’16”.

On the Scarborough RT, step-back crewing, already in use during the AM peak, will be extended to the PM peak at Kennedy Station.  This will eliminate the need for operators to fight their way through crowds of passengers as they change ends.

511 Bathurst Cars Get Even Longer Layovers

It is claimed that running times on the 511 are too short and that time must be added to the schedules.  Anyone who was watched the extended layovers taken by 511 cars at the Exhibition Loop might question this claim, but riders on the 511 will have headways widened from 30 to 60 seconds at all hours to provide for this.

24 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective September 5, 2010

  1. Nice to see a solid package of service improvement coming forward.

    Question: Is this in part or whole phase 1 of “Transit City Bus” or is that November? (assuming its still this year).

    Steve: The Transit City Bus Plan will be part of the 2011 budget, and I believe that some changes will be made compared to the original proposal.


  2. Steve, since 6 Bay will be a HEV LF route, I assuredly propose 6 Bay to be transferred over to Birchmount Garage with Diesel Orion VII LF buses to prevent battery issues. Besides, it is close to routes 72A Pape and 65 Parliament so they can have extra deadhead time.

    Question: How did 6 Bay moved to Birchmount after Lansdowne closed in 1996?

    Steve: The assignment of routes to garages is a mysterious process within the TTC at times.


  3. Too bad only the northbound leg of the 504 King shuttle will be merged during The Queensway construction. The southbound leg remains via Lansdowne. At least, we’ll get half of a 507 route to the Dundas West Station during those weekends of construction.

    Do you know when the real reconstruction of The Queensway west of Roncesvalles would happen? Or is that all there is to The Queensway right-of-way.

    Steve: Some of this was originally planned for this year, but the scope of work is sufficient that it triggers the need for a formal assessment. Until we see next year’s budget, it will be hard to know when things will happen, especially if a slash-and-burn candidate wins the mayoralty.


  4. “The replacement service will operate to Dundas West Station as a merged service with the 504 King shuttle on Roncesvalles.”

    Wow! This sounds almost as if it was an unofficial trial run of your 507 idea.

    Steve: Well, yes, but during a period when the street is torn up so that the service will be ragged. All the same, it will be interesting to get some running times as a reference for what a real schedule would look like.


  5. I find it interesting that PM peak headways on the 509 will now be greater than the AM peak headways. Sunday service has doubled or tripled at all times of the day from two years ago. I guess the TTC has finally noticed there are people living in the west harbour now and many more are to come.


  6. Eastbound Queensway was a real mess last Thursday morning. King St. was closed, and traffic was forced down to one lane prior to the Roncesvalles/King intersection. This means that (gasoline) cars were backed up to Windermere.

    Granted, Lake Shore will be open (was closed for the Indy). Nevertheless, the eastbound Queen (street) car I was on zipped by oh so many cars and truckes, and a Lake Shore “Express” bus, all stuck in traffic.

    On weekends traffic on the Queensway may not be all that bad, but if the reconstruction requires some weekday work, the bus shuttle will be slower than walking.


  7. Regarding Runnymede Station roadway work and the rerouting of 79 (and 71B) to/from High Park Station. Is the route specified? If via High Park and Dundas a right turn at Runnymede may be a little difficult due to angle of Dundas. 79 could go west on Dundas and north on Scarlett while eastbound cannot turn left at Scarlett and Dundas due to lane design. On the other hand if they extend the route along Bloor congestion and two left turns will slow service.

    Steve: The planned route is via Bloor and High Park.


  8. Work at Pape Station requiring the 72 Pape bus diversion to Donlands will continue to the end of 2010.>

    I’m a bit baffled by this, as I use Pape Station most days.

    Back last fall, they took 2 bus bays out of service, reducing the bays from 6 to 4. Then they operated (poorly) until the spring, when the moved the 72 Pape to Donlands. However there are still 4 bays in service.

    What troubles me however, is that the final design appears to only have 4 bays. With the Don Mills buses often travelling in packs, there is often 3 or 4 Thorncliffe and Don Mills buses in the station. With the 72 running as well, there is often no where left in the station for arriving buses.

    I don’t understand how this station is supposed to work after modernization is completed, if 4 bays are not enough for the existing service; particularily if the Don Mills Express bus is implemented in Fall 2011 as proposed in the Transit City Bus Plan.

    Have I missed something here?

    It would be nice to take a close look at the plans, but though I’ve seen these before, they are hard to come by on the net, other than an image on Joe Clark’s site and from what I can see, there is no change to the configuration of the remaining 4 bays.

    Steve: The TTC’s project page for Pape Station states that the south side bus bays are closed permanently, and I too don’t understand how the station can possibly operate with all of the buses on the north side. Ideally, something should be rerouted from Pape, but what? The 72 Pape belongs there logically, and the 25/81 Don Mills & Thorncliffe Park services complement each other for the south end of their routes.

    The original report with the conceptual layout makes no mention of how bus operations would be affected. The online version linked here does not include the drawings that were in the hard copy.

    The next report on the subject deals with finishes and artwork for the station and it does contain a complete drawing set.

    I am amused that these drawings are not linked from the project page, and I only knew where to find them because I have the original report in my files.

    Once again, the matter of bus operations is not mentioned in the report. As you can see on the drawing, the elevator between the westbound platform and street level comes to the surface within the south roadway, and that’s why it is closing permanently.


  9. 1pm eastbound at Keele Station the trains are already standing room only now almost every day. I don’t see how the headway can be under 5 minutes because it is reliably reported by the Next Train screen to be 7-8 minutes. Two more trains won’t make a dent.

    Why would anyone even bother to ride the 79 Bus along Bloor if they can transfer to the subway at Runnymede. This makes zero sense. Ray is spot-on about the congestion on Bloor – it is absolutely awful. There’s one lane each way through most of Bloor West Village due to on-street parking. If I must make a car trip over there I will only drive on the side streets.


  10. Re: How did 6 BAY go from Lansdowne Garage to Birchmount Garage.

    Well, before trolley bus operation, 6 BAY operated out of Davenport Garage. When trolley bus operation commenced, it was naturally switched to Lansdowne Garage. After Lansdowne Garage closed, it was moved to Eglinton Division where it stayed until it was closed (and the division shifted to the Comstock Location). Route allocation is supposed to be based on the best access for dead-heads between route and garage, but is not always the case (my favorite was when the Flyer Low-Floors were based at Eglinton but were sent to Kipling Stn. for AIRPORT ROCKET service).


  11. As you can see on the drawing, the elevator between the westbound platform and street level comes to the surface within the south roadway, and that’s why it is closing permanently.

    Ah, I searched high and low for those drawings!

    Hmm … disturbing … I heard at the Woodbine open house, that the design team behind Woodbine was the same as Pape. And at Woodbine they are taking out one of the 3 bus bays for the elevator. Which I pointed out was a bad idea, given that there are frequently 3 buses in the station during rush hour (as the 91A behaves very differently than the other 91 buses). They seemed surprised and completely oblivious to how the routes work. They seem to have a process where one route, is one bay, no matter how frequent or branched the route is.

    I’ve tried to contact them a couple of times since 2008 to try and understand what they are doing at Pape, without a response. There is this issue, and there is the complete lack of capacity increase of that station from all this work seems bizarre, with the narrow staircases and escalators remaining, and the new second exit not in a place, where it’s going to get much use. I almost think that the project team would prefer to not discuss the issue.

    Steve: At Broadview, we had the same sort of problems with the elevator, except that it ran into the clearance line for the old streetcar tracks, and they had to be moved. We got a double-track station out of the effort. There is a general problem with the BD stations given their location that there’s a good chance the platforms will be under something. This makes installing the elevators tricky even if the project designers had some sense of how the station actually operated.


  12. Tricky certainly! But I fear that bus service at Pape will be messed up until they build the DRL and Don Mills LRT. Though at that point, there may not even be need for a bus platform at Pape – certainly not the 4 bays.

    Oh well, perhaps they’ll do something creative, and run the proposed express bus out of Greenwood, and down Don Mills Road, with a bus-only turn signal from northbound Greenwood through onto Don Mills Road (or out of Donlands or Broadview). Between that express bus, and the elimination of the 25D service to York Region, perhaps they get by with the 4 bays, for the current 3 routes at Pape.


  13. Sending more buses to Donlands might be the answer in the long run – perhaps swapping either 25 or 81 with 56? Anyone who has driven down Donlands lately (as I do regularly) will have noted a new building nearing completion on the west side near Mortimer (about 10 storeys) and a planning notice for something similar on a nearby site so it could probably use better than 12 minute headways soon.

    Steve: The whole problem with moving only the 25 or the 81 is that they both serve the same territory as far as Thorncliffe Park, and during off hours, it is more convenient for people to have both routes at the same station.


  14. It seems to me that there couldn’t possibly be that much demand on Pape itself, so I wonder if during the AM rush when demand is more southbound some buses could be re-routed via Donlands from the north. This would relieve congestion when it is heaviest.

    Steve: Routes should either go to Pape all of the time or to Donlands all of the time. Switching them around because you’ve cocked up the platform arrangement just annoys the passengers. Mind you, we have lots of experience on that account.


  15. I’m glad I’m not the only person who saw the issues with the Woodbine design. I made a similar comment to NF’s at the Woodbine open house and submitted a written comment afterward. In addition to the use by 91 buses, the third bay also sees use during special events (e.g. Ashbridges Bay fireworks) and emergency subway shutdowns between Woodbine and Warden (Woodbine is a turnback point). Those are infrequent occurrences but they are certainly times when the third bay is needed. The response at the meeting was basically that TTC operations staff had signed off on the proposal.

    I submitted a sketch that may save the third bay by positioning the elevator on the west side of the corridor from the track platform level instead of the east side, but I have no idea if it would be (a) feasible or (b) even considered.


  16. Routes should either go to Pape all of the time or to Donlands all of the time.

    The service to Thorncliffe park is actually 3 buses though. While one (81) goes along Pape and Overlea, and loops around Thorncliffe and the second (25) simply goes along Pape and Overlea and up Don Mills; the third (100) runs along Pape and Overlea and through Flemingdon Park … and goes to Broadview instead of Don Mills. It certainly doesn’t seem to take any longer to get from Pape/O’Connor to Broadview Station compared to Pape Station.

    Perhaps twinning the 81 with the 100 would work then … and even save a couple of minutes of travel time (personally when I lived near Overlea and Don Mills, I’d take the Broadview bus, given the choice). I don’t know how much platform space is available at Broadview though.

    Anyway, there are probably a lot of solutions. I fear though, that we’ve put more thought into the platform usage here, than TTC has done during the design of the new station.


  17. It seems to me that there couldn’t possibly be that much demand on Pape itself, so I wonder if during the AM rush when demand is more southbound some buses could be re-routed via Donlands from the north. This would relieve congestion when it is heaviest.

    It seems to me that you couldn’t have possibly ever used this service on Pape itself. I’ve had the (mis)fortune(?) of having to use this route during peak periods on a regular basis only a few years ago. Given that headway is 6-8 minutes during most of the day, I’d say there’s probably demand. The peak direction is subway-bound during the AM and outbound from the subway in PM, though there was always a fair number of passengers in the non-peak direction.

    Peak service always got fouled up daily. I never did find out why but I suspected that it might have had something to do with the way the main route operated with combined headways with the A/B/C downtown branches. Most afternoons there were often gaps and two 72’s pulling into the station at the same time. Sometimes I even saw three, with the third one in the caravan waiting to pull in on Lipton while blocking 25/81 buses. This station “improvement” might give folks around Pape a taste of what it’s like at Broadview.

    One idea might be to increase service on the pitiful 83 Jones bus. The highest points of demand on the Pape route at the time were at Queen/Gerrard and Riverdale/Bain (apartment blocks on Blake Street). I wonder how many people would use Jones were it not so terrible. Maybe even an 83A branch that could maneuver down Blake Street in the peak direction? They’d never try that.


  18. I disagree with the person who suggested running accessible diesel buses on Bay – hybrids work best on stop-and-go routes, and Bay is an excellent example of one such route. If anything, they shoud be focusing more on running hybrids downtown (Coxwell, Jones, Pape and Parliament all come to mind as great choices) and diesels in the suburbs.


  19. The service to Thorncliffe is really four daytime buses, maybe five, when you include the 88/88A South Leaside from St. Clair and possibly the 56/56B Leaside from Donlands, although the latter requires a transfer and is on the periphery.

    The combination of the 25 Don Mills and 81 Thorncliffe Park from Pape is really the correct one. As noted above, there is actually a reasonable local demand on Pape, north of the subway station, at all times, not just during the peak periods, and not just at the major intersections where connecting routes are present.

    The 25 is a fairly reliable route but I would contend that the 81 is really the local bus for both Thorncliffe Park and Pape Village. Yes, the 25 provides frequent headways, but buses often won’t reach Pape Station in a timely fashion if there is a major winter storm or if there is any major disruption anywhere on Don Mills Road due to the length of the route. The 81 isn’t perfect either, but its potential disruptions are much more limited. Of course, any disruption that impacts the Leaside Bridge will impact all of the bus routes that travel roughly southbound into Donlands, Pape, and Broadview Stations.

    The 81 really isn’t required on Broadview Avenue. The 100, like the 25, provides fairly reliable and frequent service and, if there is a problem on that route, the 8, 62, and 87 are present, barring a catastrophe, to pick up local passengers.

    Further, given that the 303 Don Mills Blue Night route is a hybrid of the 25 and 81 north of Pape Station, it makes sense just to keep things simple and straightforward for riders at all times of the day and night.

    Pape Station’s “new” bus terminal is another matter though. I won’t repeat my normal comments about the overall renovation for once, but it is disappointing that the TTC has closed the south bay to accomodate an elevator. The elevator is needed of course, but perhaps they could have been more creative in its placement if the budget for the renovation was larger. It might have made sense to have the 72 and the 81 share the south bus bay, with the 25 utilizing the whole north bus bay.


  20. I wasn’t referring to the south services (Carlaw for the most part), rather the routes coming in from the north that primarily use Pape as an access route to the subway- case and point the 100 bus that could just as well use Pape to get to the subway but doesn’t, presumably because there would be no room at Pape station and Broadview could use some service as well.

    Steve: Broadview is rather full already what with two separate bays for the 100 Flemingdon Park, Mortimer, Cosburn and Broadview (which shares its spot with Wheel Trans). When the subway breaks, and Broadview is the turnback point, then it gets really busy.


  21. and therein lies the problem- Donlands Station really wouldn’t have enough room for all those services either.


  22. Considering the old southern bus platform at Pape Stn. is now defunct, if things got REALLY crazy for space, is there any way the TTC could acquire some land from the parking lot just to the east of the busway for expansion?

    Steve: It’s a Toronto Parking Authority lot, and so I am sure with an application of enough bureaucratic elbow grease this could be done. However, it should have been included in the original design.


  23. I’ll throw my 2 cents worth in here based on my experience as a TTC Operator. I have driven ALL of the Birchmount based routes that you have mentioned and I have operated out of ALL of the Danforth stations. These stations are all tight to operate out of at the best of times.

    Putting a third route into Donlands would be a disaster from an operations standpoint given the small bus bay area. At the moment, the diverted 72 buses are finding it difficult to share the platform with the 83 and quite frequently end up blocking the 56.

    As for the 81 and 25, they compliment each other on Pape Ave. with most local passengers (Pape Stn. to Thorncliffe) prefering to ride the 81 as the 25 can get quite crowded with “long-haul” passengers.

    As for diverting services to Broadview Stn. – please don’t – Broadview Stn. is extremely crowded during peak time now. The bus bay was changed to eliminate platform sharing – there is no additional platform space for another route.

    Adding extra service to 83 is an interesting idea, however and might take some passenger load off of 72. The biggest problem with 72 is along the A and B branches (no C that I am aware of) when these branches get hung up in downtown traffic to/from Union Stn.

    I have always thought of 91A as a “route within a route” as it helps carry the local traffic on Woodbine Ave. but its schedule is not truly integrated into the rest of the 91. Congestion at Woodbine Stn. is compounded by TTC non-revenue vehicles parked “along the fence” (these belong to the signal shop located within the bowels of Woodbine Stn.). Eliminating one of the platforms is going to cause chaos for the above noted reasons.

    One final comment: ANY station is a disater during subway turnback operations. There is simply not enough space at ANY station to handle the crowds and shuttle buses.


  24. Based on Gord’s great comments …

    Why did operations sign off on reducing the number of spaces for buses at Pape from 6 to 4; and at Woodbine from 3 to 2?

    Steve: It is entirely possible that whoever did this is unfamiliar with how the station operates, or was “convinced” to accept the design.


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