Service Changes for November/December 2010 & January 2011

There are few changes in service planned for the remainder of 2010, but many improvements for January 2011.

Continuing riding increases on the TTC network will pose an early problem for the new Commission in that these service improvements are driven by loading standards.  If the Commission wishes to save money by reducing (worsening) the standard, then it will have to answer to riders for the effect this will have.  Service is the only thing that the TTC has to sell, and cutbacks, as we have seen before, are counterproductive.

Service on the 28A Davisville to Brick Works which operates only on Saturdays was planned to be dropped in October, but will continue operation through the winter to serve ongoing weekend activities at the Don Valley Brick Works.

Effective Sunday, November 21:

501 Queen: Weekend bus replacement from Dundas West Station to Long Branch will end, and streetcar service will resume 7 days/week west of Roncesvalles.

504 King Shuttle: The weekend shuttle service on Roncesvalles will revert to the weekday routing as through operation with the 501 shuttle will not be required.

49 Bloor West: Early morning service on Saturday will change from every 20 to every 24 minutes to improve reliability.  The average load will rise from 27 to 32 which remains below the service standard of 38.

145 Humber Bay Express: The Park Lawn short turn service will be extended to Mimico Avenue and Royal York to reach customers on Lake Shore west of Park Lawn.  There are no additional trips, but schedules will be adjusted to reflect the extra mileage and actual operating conditions on the route.

39 Finch East and 199 Finch Rocket: Early evening running times on weekdays will be increased to reflect actual operating conditions.

Standby buses scheduled at various divisions will be revised to reflect the additional need for service on weekends before Christmas.  Offsetting reductions will occur on weekday peak standbys.

165 Weston Road North: Seasonal service to Canada’s Wonderland ends.

Effective December 19, 2010:

504 King: Service will return to Roncesvalles Avenue.  The schedules to be operated are identical to those in effect in May 2009, and these will stay in effect until the January 2, 2011 schedule period when weekend service improvements that were made in September 2009 will also be included.

2010.12.19 King Service Comparison

Effective January 2, 2011:

Riding increases on many routes trigger additional service as shown in the table linked below.

2011.01.02 Service Changes

The Steeles East route will be extended into Morningside Heights.

2011.01.02 Steeles East Map

22 thoughts on “Service Changes for November/December 2010 & January 2011

  1. December 19, 2010 for the streetcars to return to Roncesvalles! Great! I’ll make sure my dentist appointment (office on Roncesvalles) will be set for after the 19th.


  2. The York University rocket change is interesting. Guess they got tired of running buses back during peak times that were largely empty and are trying to pick up a few people in other places. It’s a bit like running a ski tow. I was surprised at even the 4-5 people a bus that were leaving York at 8 in the morning.

    And most of those people will be on reduced passes. Wonder if the gravy train thinking will look at that bit of largesse? Like I’m all for helping out the disadvantaged with transit but if it’s a choice of which community, I’d rather give free passes to the blind and make university and college students pay more. Would Karen Stintz dare take on that lobby group?


  3. I wonder where the additional ALRVs for the Bathurst and Queen service increases will come from. In addition, more CLRVs are needed for King and St. Clair and Bathurst midday.

    Also, I’m not sure how the bus “Std” number are arrived at. They look to be anywhere between 38 and 50. There is a relationship between time period and standard load, but the standard load still varies across routes. Given that almost all the routes are going to run Orion VIIs, I wouldn’t expect variance. Dufferin, which runs high-floor Orion Vs, has the same midday standard load as low-floor routes.

    Steve: The off-peak standard is a seated load. The peak standard is based on standing capacity allowing enough elbow room for variations from the average from bus to bus. The standards vary from one model of bus to another, and therefore the standard on a route is determined by the typical vehicles used there. See the TTC Service Plan at page 8.


  4. Thanks for getting this chart up Steve, so early too!

    Overall, great to see many, much-needed service improvements.

    Of note to me is 2 more routes (at least) getting most/all of their service segments withing the 20 minute headways proposed as part of Transit City. One or two others also moving within the 10 min level for the first time.

    I have to ask … what’s up with St. Clair? Has ridership exploded? That’s a very large improvement. How many ‘spares’ does the TTC streetcar fleet have left after this round of changes?

    One final question/thought. I don’t see any indication of improved subway service. I specifically recall Gary (Webster) saying they needed to add trains to Bloor, if not Yonge (off-peak). Any news/thoughts?

    Steve: A train was added on BD in September. This was redeployed from a gap train on Yonge. As for demand on St. Clair, yes riding there is doing quite well now that there is reasonably reliable and frequent service. This sort of thing compounds itself because as service improves, more people make it their first choice rather than a distant second.

    I will be putting up an article about streetcars in the next few days and will include the current and projected fleet requirements, to the degree that I can estimate them, there.


  5. The Wilson Heights routing is news to me. Granted, after 10pm I’m normally heading Westbound, so I may have missed this (unless it doesn’t take effect until January 2). Still, considering Wilson station was opened in 1978, buses have been running on Wilson Heights for 32 years with no problems, so why is it a problem now?


  6. Grzegorz Radziwonowski says:
    November 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm
    The Wilson Heights routing is news to me. Granted, after 10pm I’m normally heading Westbound, so I may have missed this (unless it doesn’t take effect until January 2). Still, considering Wilson station was opened in 1978, buses have been running on Wilson Heights for 32 years with no problems, so why is it a problem now?

    I can tell you why. Nimbys!

    Look at the SRT leaving Kennedy after 10pm the RT has to operate slowly between Just north of Eglinton Ave and the Hydro corridor south of Lawrence Ave but back then in the 80s and 90s it wasn’t a problem but now it’s all of a sudden a problem.

    I’d keep the Wilson Heights Blvd routing as is. Besides the houses are not along Wilson Heights. They’re along the side streets that run off of Wilson Heights Blvd. What about 104 Faywood? Are they going to reroute that off of Wilson Heights Blvd and Ansford Ave to Faywood Blvd? What makes 104 special to use Wilson Heights and not 96/165? I’m just saying!


  7. The 145 Humber Bay ‘Express’ routing change makes a non-useful route slightly less non-useful. There are some expensive residences on the west side of Mimico, maybe these people have the cash to ride a premium service.

    Nevertheless, I have seen the passenger loadings on quite a few 145s, and they typically are in the range of six. I’d be surprised if all the 145s in one peak period carry as many people as a single through 501 car.

    As for the schedule being adjusted to reflect the actual operating conditions of the route, does this phrase ever indicate speeded-up service? (I don’t think so.)

    The premum fare 145 gives you a bountiful choice of seats, and no ‘undesirable’ passengers as occasionally show up on the Queen car. And air-conditioning in summer. That’s about it. With the ‘adjusted’ schedule, I’d be surprised if the express bus was even five minutes quicker to say Yonge and Adelaide, compared with a Queen car to Yonge and Queen. I’ve seen bus and streetcar travel in tandem from Kipling to Mimico Creek.


  8. Angelo, let’s not start the NIMBY debate. Please.

    Look, the 96 (ignoring the 96F), after 10pm, runs every 20-22.5 minutes; the 165 every 20-30; so combined every 10-15. The 104, by comparison, runs every 20 minutes; the 160 ends at 10pm.

    I only found it a bit puzzling considering that, for at least 10 years, if not more, the same houses have been on Wilson Heights, and the routing has been the same, both without issue.


  9. Ed,

    I rode the 145 regularly until the Gardiner construction made it less convenient than the GO train. It was far, far faster than the 501 in the mornings (afternoons, not so much). Usually we got from Miles Rd to Yonge and Adelaide in 35 minutes. Even the 508 streetcar didn’t make that kind of time, and the 501 crawls by comparison. But, yeah, I was willing to pay the premium fare for faster service, a/c, and a place to park my butt.


  10. Hi Grzegorz

    To be honest I’m not starting any sort of debate. But what I am saying just like you is that the buses were running along Wilson Heights since 1978 and now after 32 years it’s all of a sudden a noise problem? Something tells me it’s Nimbyism. Same is said about the Scarborough R.T. The line started in 1985 and now it’s a noise problem. If it was such a concern then wouldn’t the noise problem be solved back then with the SRT and the 96/165? I bet that the new residents who decided to live there recently are the ones calling in to complain about noise. Guess what the buses were there well before the new residents who wanted to live there. Again if noise was a concern then this change to the 96/165 would’ve happened long ago. That’s just how I see it. On top of that maybe 104 Faywood should also get the same treatment after 10pm. Who cares about how often 104 Faywood runs it’s still noise.


  11. Re 53 Steeles East. Is there a new routing extension for this and where does it run?

    Steve: I have updated the main post with a link to the map of the extension.


  12. Angela says: I rode the 145 regularly until the Gardiner construction made it less convenient than the GO train. It was far, far faster than the 501 in the mornings (afternoons, not so much). Usually we got from Miles Rd to Yonge and Adelaide in 35 minutes. Even the 508 streetcar didn’t make that kind of time, and the 501 crawls by comparison.

    I guess it depends on when in the morning you’re travelling. A 7 AM 501 out of Long Branch loop will hit Queen and Yonge at 8 AM. Even 7:30 AM departures can do this. There’s a horrible sag in service for the next hour or so. So that means that a 501 will take a bit under 20 minutes from Long Branch to Miles, therefore a bit more than 40 minutes to Yonge St. I took this trip several times a week for eight months, and the timing was pretty constant.

    The 508 is actually slower than the 501. It’s the same speed to Roncesvalles, and it may bet to King and Dufferin a bit quicker than the 501 gets to Queen and Dufferin. However, King is usually backed up eastbound to Bathurst, maybe some delays around Spadina, and then comes to a halt eastbound to Simcoe. Given a choice between the 501 and 508 to get downtown, I choose the 501.

    The other thing with the 145 is that it’s vulnerable to backups on Lake Shore Blvd., which seem to happen more frequently than backups on Queen. These days, I pass the 145 as I ride my bicycle along the lakeshore path. (To be fair, I pass streetcars if I’m riding along Queen or King….doing my best sprint to keep ahead of the streetcar as far as the next stop when its doors close.)


  13. Heh, I don’t mean to say that a streetcar departing Long Branch loop at 7:30 AM will get to Yonge by 8 AM, it’s that the travel time is routinely right on one hour. Of course, a 6:15 AM departure will take fifty minutes, including some layovers in downtown to apparently keep to a schedule that’s more suited for the heavier traffic of 8 AM-9 AM.


  14. The Wilson Heights issue could have to do with the new resident moving into the area. The new residents moving in tend to much much more affluent than the middle class residents they replaced.

    I could be wrong, but I predict we are going to see a ridership decline in many former solid middle class areas such as Wilson Heights, the Scarborough Bluffs, etc, as more affluent people move in. The bus could come to their front door and they still won’t step on the bus.

    So these issues of buses on residential streets could actually become a norm in these changing neighbourhoods.


  15. Mike: I humbly disagree. It is a common misperception that the more affluent types do not take public transit. Okay, maybe unless you live in Rosedale or the Bridle Path, but the point remains, a lot of those types still take public transit. Of course this assumes that public transit will take them where they need to go. If it doesn’t that’s a whole other story.

    Even Bay Street execs don’t like the stress of driving downtown to get to work. The only people who usually do tend to have a carpool.


  16. Oddly, I can find nothing on the TTC’s website describing service changes due to the Dufferin jog elimination. I guess I’ll have to go see for myself. It would be so sad if the buses were still running via Peel/Gladstone/Queen because the route map hadn’t been updated!

    Steve: Let’s see how long it takes for them to fix this! Place your bets ladies and gentlemen!


  17. It may not be a posted service change yet, but it was addressed at the June 2 Commission meeting. I don’t know if I should find it sad or comical that a full assessment of the routing change was made (“The change in weighted travel time shows that the benefits of a faster trip for the large number of through-customers outweighs the inconvenience of a longer walk for a smaller number of customers”) — as if the TTC was even going to consider the possibility of leaving the Dufferin bus on Peel, Gladstone and Queen while general traffic sails through the new underpass.

    Happily the Commission has officially approved the routing change “effective upon the opening of the new roadway,” if there was ever any doubt…

    Steve: Considering how much effort the TTC expends on not approving, or even properly evaluating other route changes (see Long Branch car), that report set a new standard for wasting staff’s time.


  18. Well, Dufferin buses were certainly going through the underpass both ways before 5 PM last night. No new or relocated stops yet for either Dufferin or Queen. So the Dufferin stops at Queen are well up the hill to the south of Queen (placed there to accommodate the turns the buses used to have to make). The Queen car still stops at Dufferin nearside eastbound, but Gladstone and Gwynne westbound.

    Transferring from westbound Queen to northbound or southbound Dufferin is a pretty good hike now. Inexplicably, this is not listed as a walking transfer.


  19. Ed says:
    “I guess it depends on when in the morning you’re travelling.”

    That’s likely true. I’ve gotten used to working early, so I’m out the door no later than 7:30. I’m giving the “new” 145 schedule a try this week, since the Mimico GO lot has been filling up by 7:15 and they’ve been religiously ticketing folks parking on the street.

    So far, the 7:33 Royal York departure has been getting me to Yonge around 8:10am. That’s pretty much what I found pre-schedule change. The buses have definitely been fuller. Still room to sit, but I’m seeing an increase in ridership, anecdotally. I can’t see the express buses as a bad thing if they actually get riders. I see them more as an alternative to the GO train than the streetcar. Considering the morning GO from Mimico is ALWAYS standing room only and given parking constraints at the station, the express bus can offer another way into downtown for about the same price.


  20. Apropos of letting TTC riders about route changes due to the Dufferin jog elimination, Steve writes: “Let’s see how long it takes for them to fix this! Place your bets ladies and gentlemen!”

    Sucker bet: it will take until just after public complaints and on-line posts make the problem clear to the TTC.

    I saw a new westbound stop for Queen St., west of Dufferin. I guess farside stops need to be at least one ALRV-distance from the intersection, although this looked more like one new low-floor length.

    The TTC route description for Dufferin has an update, and the route map for Queen shows the Dufferin bus connection at Dufferin. The list of all westbound stops has a Queen at Dufferin, and no Queen at Gladstone. I didn’t notice if that stop had been removed. Queen eastbound farside at Gladstone remains on the list; again I didn’t have time to notice if it was still there.


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