TTC Service Changes Effective January 5, 2014

The TTC will make  improvements in several routes in January 2014.  Many of the changes are small-scale “tweaks” and we have yet to see system-wide benefits from the fare increase that will take effect on January 1.


The Service Budget does show some increase over past years.

January Vehicle Hours of Service Per Week

2010   159,288
2011   160,187
2012   160,830
2013   163,148
2014   167,118 (Budget, unchanged from Nov. 2013)

The values above do not include construction services, that is, additional vehicle hours required to accommodate construction projects which vary from year to year.  Although some construction-related costs are charged to the capital budget, construction service takes buses and operators that are not available for regular service.  In a year with many construction projects, this can delay the onset of service improvements elsewhere.

Despite budgetary constraints, the TTC was able to increase service in 2013 because its actual costs for 2012 were below budget.  The 2013 subsidy was “flat lined” at the 2012 level, but the effect on an “as spent” basis was that the subsidy dollars rose in 2013, and the  burden of additional service did not fall entirely on the farebox.

In 2014, there is a real dollar increase in the subsidy coupled with higher fares.

Route Changes Due To Construction Projects

504 King, 503 Kingston Road and 303 Don Mills Night Bus

Construction on the King Street approach to the bridge at the Don River will take longer than originally expected, and diversions will now remain in place until April, according to the TTC’s diversion notice.

72 Pape and 172 Cherry

Construction downtown has made for unreliable operation of the integrated service on Pape and its longer branch via Commissioners Street to downtown.  Pending completion of the construction (mainly the work at Union Station), the route will be split.

72 Pape will operate from Pape Station to Cherry & Commissioners looping via Cherry, Villiers and Munition Streets.

172 Cherry will operate from St. Andrew Station to Cherry & Commissioners and will use the same loop as 72 Pape.

On Sunday evenings, matching existing schedules, there will be no service on 172 Cherry, and the 72 Pape route will terminate at Eastern & Carlaw.

97 Yonge

Water main repairs on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard will disrupt the 97 Yonge bus.  The route will be split with overlapping services:

  • Steeles to Lawrence Station (all hours)
  • Davisville Station to York Mills Station (all hours)
  • Queen’s Quay to York Mills Station (peak only)

Midday service between Davisville and St. Clair stations will be discontinued.

18 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective January 5, 2014

  1. Though I agree that the traffic situation around King and Union has made the schedule of the 72A quite “erratic”, I wonder whether splitting the route at Cherry and Commissioners will work well. There are certainly people who want to go further east or west and I doubt they will manage to coordinate these two “sub-routes”. (It is also interesting that they are doing this now as the (surface) Union Station work is due to finish in summer 2014 and the work on The Esplanade in mid-January.) At least they seem to be retaining the St Andrew/King version of the route – this has worked very well and the 72A (now the 172) offers people living in St Lawrence an alternative to the really dreadful service on the 504 King streetcar.


  2. As I’ve mentioned on this blog in the past, the integrated service on the 72 hasn’t been good for a long time. When I was a regular user in the area 10 years ago, there were always massive gaps in the service caused by the integrated Union branch which snowballed into crush loads and big delays and bunching in the Danforth to Eastern section.

    Going eastbound from Union the big destinations are the Distillery, Docks, and the T&T market and the new branch will hit them all. The only people who are really out in the cold are the people who take the bus to work at the studios along Commissioners.


  3. 72 Pape. Am I understanding this correctly that all the 72 Pape that now turn at Eastern (which is most of them) will now continue to Cherry – except on Sunday evenings? I’m surprised they’d bother to shorten the route a bit, just on Sunday evenings.

    It’s unfortunate that they are going to stop the 172 at Commissioners. It would have hardly made any difference to loop all the buses at Cherry Beach, instead of the on-street route, and would have provided year-round access here. As it stands now, they’ll be flipping back and forth on a very small service extension, in summer and winter. (unless of course, Toronto is finally finished, and they can recombine the route … but after over 150 years of construction on this route, I have my doubts … 🙂

    I actually use this route, frequently, as an alternative to 504 and 506, from the Parliament to Gerrard. With the 504 detour at Parliament adding about 3-4 minutes to peak run times, and 506 being so utterly unreliable lately with all the west-end construction, a 72 in hand is worth 2 streetcars in the bush. I guess I won’t be doing that any more … but I admit, there were few on the 72 at Queen, who were still on at Mill street. And in the evening westbound, I frequently had the entire bus to myself until Eastern! You can’t rely on the schedule, but it’s easy enough to simply head to the stop when you can see one coming on Nextbus.

    If this routing does continue for the long-term, it would be nice to see the 72 extended 450 metres from Villiers to the new Cherry streetcar loop. Then it could connect to the post-2015 streetcar service – as it is, it’s only a 5-minute walk.

    I’m really surprised such a significant service change doesn’t go the the Commission for approval.

    Steve: It is considered a staff-level change to accommodate temporary conditions.

    A permanent change would go to the Commission, presuming any of them knows where Commissioners Street actually is. Such a change should also trigger community consultation, for all the good that usually does.


  4. I’m a bit confused. Are they are going to eliminate the 34 (Eglinton Stn-Kingston Rd via Kennedy Stn) branch completely? And if so, will they at least make the 116B loop the same way at Kingston Rd. I know when they originally started the 116B about a year or two ago it looped via Eglinton-Kingston-Markham. They have since changed it to loop using the triangle in front of the buildings at Eglinton & Kingston so that it could serve the nearside Markham Rd stop.

    Steve: The service memo makes no mention of a change in the 116B route, but, yes, the Eglinton East service to Kingston Road is completely eliminated.


  5. Thanks for this, Steve. A couple of questions:

    Is there now a 116B branch between Kennedy station and Kingston Road? When was it established? Because it’s not listed on the TTC’s website (wouldn’t be the first time). I had thought that this route branch would come into being as a replacement to the 34 Eglinton East “Kingston Road” service.

    Steve: There is now a 15′ service on 116B to Kingston Road in the AM Peak only. This will be improved by merging in vehicles now used on the Eglinton East bus. The PM Peak service is new, but it makes these trips part of the 116 and independent from whatever is happening further west on Eglinton.

    Interesting to see 172 Cherry Street resurrected. I wonder if we’ll see more of it in the future. As the Port Lands construction picks up, it might make sense to extend it east along Commissioners to loop through Lakeshore Garage, connecting with 83 Jones, and replacing the 72 Pape branch. Though we are basically recreating the 121 Front-Esplanade, aren’t we? Thoughts?

    Steve: I am not wild about having the meet between the two routes at Commissioners and Cherry (or somewhere else on their shared loop) as that’s not the greatest place to wait for an infrequent connecting service (the 172). The real question here is how the TTC will act when the downtown streets are put back together sometime next year. This should not be a “stealth” route split, something that would otherwise require community input and Commission approval.

    Regarding the split in the Yonge line: any chance they’ll redesignate the Lawrence-to-Steeles branch as 197 North Yonge, as they did back when the route was last split, at the turn of the millennium?

    Steve: Ho Ho Ho!


  6. Just thought I’d provide James Bow, and other, with info about the current 116B. 116B is what two AM peak runs are known by internally. The runs operate in service westbound on Eglinton from Cedar Dr (first stop after Kingston Rd) to Kennedy Station and then deadhead back east Not In Service to Kingston Rd. The main purpose of these runs seems to be to help out the buses on 116 as well as the 86 heading to Kennedy Station along Eglinton in the morning as those buses are already packed by the time they reach Markham & Eglinton.


  7. I agree with Commissioners and Cherry being a poor place to make a connection. If they were timed it might not be too bad, but that’d be asking a lot! Instead, why not make the connection at the Distillery District by looping both the 72 and 172 via Front, Trinity, Mill and Parliament? It would maintain a connection to points further east and the transfer point would be in a far nicer area.

    Granted it would cut service south of Commissioners, but at this time of year there isn’t much to do down at Cherry Beach. So essentially you’d have the 65A with a detour to the Distillery District. Come spring when things start warming up they could reintroduce the 72B between Pape Station and the Distillery via Cherry Beach. Now if we could get some sort of continuous service along Queens Quay!


  8. What does “headway” mean on the download?

    Steve: The time between vehicles. e.g. 3’45” means three minutes and forty-five seconds.


  9. I have worked in the Cherry Street area for years. I can tell you that it has been very difficult to get to work easily for approximately the past 1.5 years. My colleagues who also bus it into work will be thrilled with the improvement in TTC service. No more standing in a sketchy area for more than 30 minutes waiting for a bus only to finally board and then hear the driver tell us he is short turning again. :-). Thanks to this I will continue my MDP subscription though as a commuter I don’t take full advantage of it.


  10. I am having a hard time understanding the year to year chart especially because service on the system wide scale has decreased in my opinion over the past few years mainly with the 41 bus cuts in 2011 and then increasing headways on many routes because of the budget cut to TTC. Wouldn’t that have a decreasing number of service hours?

    I also find as a whole this so called increases don’t add up to much and as a city always growing. I think we should deserve better especially year after year beating ridership numbers.

    Steve: The numbers shown are in vehicle hours per week. If service were growing at a rate comparable to ridership, say 2.5%, then these numbers should be going up by about 4,000 each year (2.5% times 160,000). Instead, the value for 2014 is only about 5% above 2010, a compound rate little more than 1%. This, of course, was made possible in part by the service cuts as can be seen by the small growth in 2011 and 2012.

    It is encouraging to see a relatively strong jump in the 2014 number, but this level of service, especially planned increases later in the year, could still be a victim of budget pressures.


  11. The revised 97 service has cut service frequency from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes from Davisville to Lawrence. With 97A + the new 97C route, the frequency varies from 4 to 20 minutes in mid-day from Lawrence to Yonge Blvd. And service from Steeles to Queen’s Quay is rush hours only eliminating mid-day runs. Were these budget cuts? I thought the mid-day Queen’s Quay runs were to service people with mobility problems considering that a number of stations on the Yonge subway lack elevators.

    Steve: What mid-day service to Queen’s Quay? That’s been gone for ages, part of the 1996 Harris funding cuts.


  12. Actually, I should have said early afternoon instead of mid-day to describe the 97 Queen’s Quay runs.

    I remember looking up the 97 bus schedule to Queen’s Quay in 2012. There were no late morning buses to Queen’s Quay but there were a couple of early afternoon runs. From Lawrence & Yonge in June 2012, I took the first PM run to Queen’s Quay and I recall the time being between 1 and 2 PM. (I was at Sugar Beach at 3:15 PM after walking from Bay; it was a long ride.) Today the earliest PM run is 2:54 PM from Lawrence.

    Anyways, it seems that the early afternoon runs to Queen’s Quay were cut probably this month along with week-day service between St. Clair and Davisville. It also seems that the maximum wait for a bus between Davisville and Glen Echo has increased from 15 to 20 minutes.

    So the question is, if you know: Was this service reduction due to budget problems, declining ridership or scheduling problems? Last year, I believe, 103 service was reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to problems in meeting schedule. Could the 97 route have had the same problem?

    Steve: The current change is to permit an alternate schedule to accommodate construction. In theory, once the construction is done, things should go back to the old schedule, but it will be worth keeping an eye on this.


  13. Steve, do you know how to retrieve Service Summary docs from previous board periods? I’d like to go back as far as 2009 if possible. I have tried searching and it only gives the current doc.

    I just looked at the schedule for the 123 Shorncliffe bus and the 123A variant, which runs only between Sherway Gardens and Kipling station, is now mid-day as well. This means that, in the past four or five years, 123 Shorncliffe service south of Sherway to Long Branch has been cut, first the evening peak period, then the morning peak period, and now mid-day. The 123A replaces the 123C. The service summary can let me pinpoint when the latest change was made. It has to be recent.

    The funny thing is, if this was spelled out in any of the service changes things that the TTC puts out, I missed it. And I usually check for changes to my local routes: 110A/B, 123, 501, 508.


  14. “Ah, I figured it out. The key is you have to know the board period start date, then you can type the PDF’s URL/name and pull up the doc.”

    I suggest grabbing them all while they’re available. One of the many things that is regrettable about the modern Web is the lack of historical awareness exhibited by most organizations which post stuff. The right way to post things is that each new item gets a new URL, and once posted, it stays there forever (of course I would make exceptions for front pages, index pages, lists of documents, etc. that are intended to provide information that is current or most likely to be relevant).

    It would not be at all surprising if all the documents to which you refer were to disappear at the next reorganization of the web site.


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