Service Changes Effective June 18, 2012

The TTC will implement many service changes on June 18, 2012 mostly for seasonal changes in demand.  The lion’s share of these are service cuts, with a few increases.  These are detailed on the first six pages of the document linked below.

Construction will continue in many parts of the city notably affecting the streetcar system.

Waterfront / Spadina

The separate operation of 509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina will continue into June, but the Spadina streetcar service will be replaced with buses running in mixed traffic to permit construction.  This includes both track repairs and changes to the safety islands in anticipation of the new LFLRVs and the implementation of the Presto fare card.

Service on 511 Bathurst will be increased to absorb some of the traffic that might otherwise attempt to use the 510 Spadina service.

Whether this arrangement, with buses stuck in the often-jammed traffic lanes of Spadina, will work at all remains to be seen.  I cannot help wondering why the work is not staged in such a way that buses could use the right-of-way for at least part of the distance with police assistance at merge points.

Welding of new rail for the reconstruction of track on Queen’s Quay is now in progress in front of the Redpath’s Sugar site.  Tentative plans have streetcar service coming off of the 509 Harbourfront car at the end of July for the beginning of construction.

Queen Street East / McCaul Street

Work will continue on Queen near Russell Carhouse, but the reconstruction of McCaul Street will close McCaul Loop.  During this period, the branch of the 501 operating from Russell to McCaul will be extended to Wolseley Loop at Bathurst Street.  Whether it will actually reach this destination in the time allowed is quite another matter, and I expect to see a lot of cars short-turning.

Dufferin Street

Dufferin Street will be closed to transit between King and Queen for track and water main work.  The branches of 29 Dufferin which normally operate to Dufferin Loop will be short-turned at Queen via Gladstone.  The branches which operate to the Princes’ Gate will divert via Queen, Shaw and King around the construction zone.

2012.06.18 Service Changes

18 thoughts on “Service Changes Effective June 18, 2012

  1. Steve said: Welding of new rail for the reconstruction of track on Queen’s Quay is now in progress in front of the Redpath’s Sugar site. Tentative plans have streetcar service coming off of the 510 Harbourfront car at the end of July for the beginning of construction.

    510 Harbourfront… I presume you mean 509?

    Steve: Ooops .. yes 509. I will correct the post.


  2. Ohhh and I presume this is track replacement on Dufferin? Will this allow for revenue service into the Dufferin Loop much like the 521 Exhibition West used to do?

    Steve: The work is between Queen and King. I am not sure when/if the track south of King will be done. In any event, Dufferin Loop is routinely used as a short turn point for King cars. The 521 Exhibition service was dropped through a combination of factors, mainly the lack of streetcar-trained operators to run the extra service, and a desire to run an express bus rather than a local streetcar.


  3. If the TTC is going to run buses on the east end of 501, 502, 503, all of 509 and 510 do they have enough spare buses? Given the amount of tourist traffic on Queen’s Quay why didn’t they wait until September or is the track that bad? It is going to be interesting watching the buses on Spadina Queens Quay and south Bay.

    Steve: The project is timed to merge with Toronto Water’s project as well as the reconstruction of Connaught Avenue and Eastern Avenue. Ot has already been deferred once, thanks to Rob Ford, from 2011. During the summer, the number of buses in scheduled service is much lower (just look at all the service cuts) and they have more than enough vehicles to operate the east end of Queen, Spadina and Harbourfront. If anything, it’s important to get as much of this out of the way while they have spare buses, not wait until the fall.


  4. On April 26, someone unloaded a bunch of rails onto the College streetcar tracks immediately east of the McCaul intersection causing a 1-day diversion of 506 service. (By the following day the rails had been moved to the north curb.) So would these rails be for McCaul Street? Or is there more track replacement to be done on College? I know that the College/McCaul intersection was replaced in 2005.

    Steve: They are for McCaul from Queen to Dundas, a job that starts in late June.


  5. Steve said,

    “Welding of new rail for the reconstruction of track on Queen’s Quay is now in progress in front of the Redpath’s Sugar site.”

    May we presume that this means they are starting the re-profiling of the tracks and the automobile lanes along Harborfront? I confess that in Rob Ford’s Toronto I’m happy to see it being done at all but why are they doing it during the summer tourist season?

    Steve: The intention is to work on the outer part of the line first to avoid the worst of interference with the events at Harbourfront. This project is starting late, as usual, because of all of the farting around by various agencies who can’t get their acts together in time for an early spring launch.


  6. “Tentative plans have streetcar service coming off of the 509 Harbourfront car at the end of July for the beginning of construction.”

    Just to confirm, there will be 509-only streetcar service on Queens Quay to Union Station until late July, correct? “Coming off” meaning suspending streetcar service then?

    Steve: Yes, and yes.


  7. Will the use of the PCCs on 509 be deferred by this construction?

    Steve: They will run on Sundays until construction starts, subject to operator and car availability. This should already be in effect.


  8. When the 510 Spadina shuttle bus temporarily replace streetcar for some accident, buses usually would run on the right-of-way and would exit to dodge the accident. This seem to be chosen by the operator, it seems to be working quite efficiently.

    Are they going to upgrade every platform at the same making this right-of-way operation impossible?

    Steve: I don’t know what the construction plan is, but I would not be surprised to see large chunks of the right-of-way impassible. I am going to chase this to find out what is planned. There may be a tradeoff between doing it quickly and minimizing the location of upheavals. Don’t forget that there is some trackwork to be done as well as the platform upgrades.

    Also would the new LFLRVs permit transit priority since they will be running at a reduced headway?

    Steve: In theory, maybe. The problem is that Spadina is still going to be a busy route, and the city traffic engineers won’t give up priority without a fight. Possibly by the time the route is operating with new cars, we will have a more enlightened, pro-transit Mayor and Executive Committee.


  9. Are Waterfront Toronto’s plans for Queen’s Quay being full implemented while the 509 is rebuilt? Or has that project been deferred?

    Steve: Yes, although it will probably take two years to complete the transformation.


  10. How long before River between King and Queen reopens. I’d think a simple loop would have the buses simply turn (while going westbound) left on King, right on River, and right on Queen.

    It doesn’t look they are that far away from putting on the asphalt.

    Steve: According to the street signs, River is supposed to open at the end of May. We shall see. For a while, it was used as a construction staging area. I think the more likely looping is counter-clockwise from Queen to River to King as this is a gentler turn. That’s the route used by the Don Mills night bus which serves Broadview Avenue when the King car isn’t running. Switching to this loop will save a lot of time for the buses. Whether it will improve headway reliability is another matter.

    Changing the turnback to River would, of course, completely screw up the TTC’s scheme of having a transfer point at Parliament because the buses would never go that far west.

    It would be intriguing to know whether the TTC is trying to manage that shuttle to headway or to schedule. The former makes sense. The latter would guarantee the usual spotty service with short turns to keep operators “on time” even though the route is quite short and the relief point is probably in the middle of the line.


  11. Damn TTC cut service to York on the 60C route. There are still 2500 Seneca@York students, and several thousand more York University students attending. Demand IS HIGH … today, 4:30pm, there was a 30 person line up … and it took 30 minutes for a single bus to arrive, but, it was supposed to arrive every 13 minutes.
    Stupid TTC cutting service but increasing prices. Idiots. All of ’em.


  12. N.B. by “all of ’em” I mean management, not the drivers, except those drivers who talk on the phone, text, read, and do other sorts of distractions while driving.


  13. I’m surprised that you haven’t mentioned anything about the Cherry Street construction, which will be getting streetcar tracks from the start.

    But yes, your post is really about changes and impacts to existing service after all.

    Steve: Thanks for pointing this out. There had been some debate about whether the track would actually be installed as part of the construction now underway, and this notice confirms that approach. Now if only we could get a similar project underway on Queen’s Quay East.

    Where is this notice posted?


  14. Allan, it seems like business as usual for the 60C…long lines, infrequent buses, and major overcrowding. That’s why when I needed to reach Centrepoint Mall, I’d take the 196B from the front for of S@Y and take the Yonge line up. Not to mention, I’d get a seat, which can’t be said for those at York lanes. Seeing the 196 line double back on itself is always a sight, except if you’re waiting 30 minutes for a bus.

    Steve, I’m liking the new mobile theme. The comments seem to load without any issues now.

    Steve: The mobile themes are handled by two “off the shelf” Word Press plugins, and they varies depending on the device. Updates arrive regularly. I have nothing to do with the software’s development.


  15. “Where is this notice posted?”

    Someone posted the notice for the Cherry Street construction on twitter.

    One question I would ask the TTC is if they’re planning on building the track intersection at King and Sumach as part of this project, or if these rails are to be laid but isolated from the rest of the system in the short term.


  16. Other than the part south from King are the tracks on Spadina really in need of replacement? The tracks immediately south of Harbord seem to have suffered damage when the boulevards were installed south of Spadina Circle but I find it hard to imagine them being replaced.

    Steve: The work north of King is not complete replacement, except for two intersections, but there are some locations such as the portal at Sussex where the track is in bad shape. The way it has broken up suggests that it was not installed as a continuous piece in the first place.

    Changes are also being made to the safety islands.


  17. Taking Streetcars to the Waterfront

    On Queens Quay West, there’s only 509 Harbourfront streetcars running out of the Union subway station, as 510 Spadina streetcars are short-turning at the Queens Quay and Spadina loop. Beginning this week, track work on the 510 Spadina route has begun, and streetcars have been replaced with buses until this work is completed. If you’ve gotta burning desire to ride a north-south streetcar to the central waterfront (ex. Harbourfront Centre), you’d likely take the 511 Bathurst and step off at Fleet Street, then transfer to a 509 Harbourfront streetcar and ride it to Queens Quay and Lower Simcoe Street. Service on the 511 Bathurst has been increased (anyway) with the addition of more ALRVs, as the tourist season is in full swing in T.O.

    Steve: But at the end of July, the 509 streetcar becomes a bus and you won’t be able to “rocket to the waterfront” until the 510 Spadina returns to Queen’s Quay loop in late fall.


  18. Speaking of the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route becoming a bus route…

    From April 2007 until almost the end of March 2008 (with a break in the work in summer 2007 – so that tourists won’t need to make transfers or get confused – 511 Bathurst streetcars were heading to their usual destination of Exhibition Place), there was track work being done on Fleet Street, and for that duration, the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route became a bus route, running between the Queens Quay & Spadina loop and Exhibition Place. It connected with, and “swam abreast with” the 511 Bathurst streetcar, which was at that time diverted eastward and ran on the tracks of Queens Quay West to the underground streetcar loop at Union subway station. I’ve taken this (diverted 511 Bathurst) streetcar to get to Harbourfront Centre.

    When track work was completed, by late March 2008, streetcars returned to the 509 Harbourfront route, and the 511 Bathurst streetcar was back on its usual tracks to Exhibition Place via Fleet Street.


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