TTC Service Changes Effective May 11, 2014 (Update 4)

The May 2014 schedules will bring major changes across the system mainly in response to construction projects.  Extra running time will be provided on many routes in response to construction delays.  At some times, the current headway will be maintained, while at others the headway will be stretched.  In two cases (46 Martin Grove and 94 Wellesley), no buses are available to improve PM peak service to compensate for extra running time.

The budget for construction-related service is considerably less than what will actually be required.  Although the total hours operated will be greater than the budget for May, “regular” service will be below budget while “construction” more than compensates.  Some changes in the fleet and in service levels have been deferred until later in 2014.

2014.05.11_Service_Changes

This table is broken into four sections listing miscellaneous minor changes, construction-related changes, one route restructuring and seasonal changes.

Updated May 17, 2014:

Effective Tuesday, May 20, the diversions for the Queen & Victoria track project will be changed.

  • All westbound 501 Queen cars will divert via Church-King-York.
  • 501/502/503 shuttle bus services will terminate at Church Street.

The details are on the TTC service advisory page (scroll down to see the portion effective May 20).

Updated May 15, 2014:

The 501 Queen diversion has been revised so that two thirds of the westbound cars travel via Church-King-York to Queen with the remainder operating via Church-King-Spadina.

Updated May 9, 2014:

Recently I asked Waterfront Toronto about the status of work on the Queen/King bridge at the Don River. Here is their reply:

  • Bridge repair work is underway by Infrastructure Ontario (IO). The bridge footings were impacted by excavation work being done for the installation of the back flow preventer, which was part of the work being undertaken for the flood protection landform.
  • Monitoring of the bridge by IO is on-going. They are currently performing bridge movement monitoring 3 times daily and will continue to do so until work is completed. IO will be installing micro pilings at the footings to secure the bridge, but this work cannot begin until the back flow preventer is installed. Temporary bracing is underway. Once that work has been completed IO will install micro pilings, then install the permanent backflow preventer, after which bridge repairs will begin.
  • Because of the delays, IO has had to request extension of the closure of the bridge. The bridge is to remain closed until at least August/September 2014.
  • With respect to the closure and transit, IO has been working with the City and the TTC on staging. Restoring transit is contingent on the completion of the work, so we assume it will be early fall, at the earliest.

Updated May 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm:

Contrary to information in the memo announcing the changes for May 11, the westbound Queen 501 diversion around the Victoria/Queen track construction will be via Church-King-Spadina (the reverse of the eastbound diversion), not via Church-Richmond-York which was a bad choice thanks to watermain construction on Richmond.

No, I don’t know why they are not using the recently rebuilt northbound track on York to get cars back to Queen sooner (westbound at least) or to avoid traffic congestion westbound to Spadina. I suspect for consistency of diversions and to maintain a common transfer point to the subway at Yonge and University.

Introduction of Articulated Buses on 29 Dufferin Saturday Service

Effective with the May schedules, the Saturday service on Dufferin will be scheduled based on the larger vehicles.  The replacement factor increases the headway between buses by no more than 20% providing, effectively, an increase in capacity provided that service is reasonably spaced, always a challenge on Dufferin.

Construction Projects

The Metrolinx work on the Eglinton Crosstown line has now begun east of Yonge Street affecting many routes that use this portion of the corridor.  Service is adjusted accordingly on:

  • 34 Eglinton East
  • 100 Flemingdon Park
  • 54 Lawrence East
  • 56 Leaside
  • 51 Leslie

Interlining on the Leaside/Avenue Road and Leslie/Avenue Road North routes is discontinued during some periods.

City road construction will affect many routes:

  • 7 Bathurst (Bloor to Eglinton)
  • 36 Finch West (Kipling to Highway 27)
  • 45 Kipling and 46 Martin Grove (Kipling from Bloor to Dixon Road)
  • 54 Lawrence East (Markham Road to Kingston Road)
  • 94 Wellesley (Wellesley at Harbord)
  • 133 Neilson (Neilson Road)

Although the split operation of 501 Queen at Humber Loop will end on May 10, TTC construction will affect services using Queen Street:

  • 501 Queen will divert both ways via Broadview, Gerrard and Coxwell during construction of the new intersection at Leslie Street for access to Leslie Barns.  This work will begin with excavation for the sewer replacement now in progress on Leslie, followed by installation of the new intersection special work.
  • 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road services will be converted to bus operation diverting around the construction via Greenwood, Dundas and Jones. 501 Queen buses will operate from Woodbine Loop. The downtown loop will be via Simcoe, Richmond and Duncan Streets.
  • Night service will be provided by 301 Queen streetcars using the same diversion as the day service, and 301 buses will operate from Neville Loop to University.
  • Changes in the ALRV requirements for the Queen car will cause some 504 King trippers to be operated with CLRVs instead of ALRVs.
  • Extra service will be operated on north-south routes in the construction area: 31 Greenwood, 83 Jones and 72 Pape, and there will be a slight increase on the 143 Downtown Beach Express.
  • Cars on 506 Carlton, 505 Dundas, 504 King and 510 Spadina will operate their trips to/from Russell Carhouse via Gerrard and Coxwell.

During the reconstruction of the Queen & Victoria intersection, bus services will divert via Church, Richmond, and Simcoe to Adelaide returning east via Adelaide and Jarvis to Queen.  Streetcars will divert westbound via Church, Richmond and York, while eastbound cars will run via Spadina, King and Church.  This diversion is expected to last about three weeks. Richmond Street is already constrained by water main construction in the south lane west from Church.

47 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective May 11, 2014 (Update 4)

  1. Hey Steve,

    Any idea why the city’s tearing up Finch West only a couple of years before (presumably) the start of LRT construction there?

    Steve: Nope, but of course whether the LRT is about to begin construction is a matter of some conjecture.

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  2. I consider that a rather ‘depressing’ summary.

    Given that is some new money for ‘improved service’ this year, I would have hoped to see a noticeable improvement in the first 1/2 of the year.

    I guess we’re waiting till September or October now …

    Steve: And even in September, it’s not as if there is a lot of money set aside for better service. The service budget for the fall looks a lot like the one for the spring with only 1.3% more service in November 2014 than in the same period in 2013. There fare increase was sold, in part, on promises of better service, but it’s not in the budget. With the policy logjam at City Hall, we are unlikely to see improvement until sometime in 2015.

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  3. This is another example that demonstrates why York should have been remade as a two way street, even if the Adelaide track is currently impassable.

    At least they’re smart enough not to send westbound cars via King and Spadina. It’s rare to not see a symmetrical diversion arrangement.

    If 510 cars didn’t spend time idling at Charlotte loop, I’d say diverting via the loop would be best if there wasn’t a protected turning phase at King.

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  4. Hey Steve,

    When you say that service will be adjusted on Eglinton East bus routes due to LRT construction, what does that mean? (How will they be adjusted?)

    Thanks

    Steve: Look at the table. Headways generally stay the same, but more buses operate on the route because the scheduled trip time is longer.

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  5. re: the reference to Victoria Day standby buses, predominantly on Woodbine South but also on Coxwell, Main and Queen: I don’t recall seeing references to these in previous lists, although naturally there is extra service on Woodbine on Victoria Day and Canada Day. Is this a reference to a different operational strategy, or is it just not usually specified in the planning documents? I do recall last year seemed to have a lot more service on one of those two days — to the point that it almost seemed silly, except that it actually worked to keep loads manageable throughout the day and to defer the onset of breakdown approaching the start of fireworks.

    Steve: There were standby buses last year, but I didn’t include them in the list of service changes.

    The Dufferin restructuring is interesting — it shows the level of investment that is required to make a noticeable impact on long, high-frequency routes. During the weekday midday period, two buses are added but have essentially a negligible impact on headways (reduced from 3’20” to 3’15”), almost raising the question of why bother. On Saturday afternoon, eight buses are removed with the conversion to artics and the only impact is a reduction from 2’30” to 3’00”, which is actually quite modest.

    Steve: Saturday afternoon service on Dufferin now runs with 48 buses, and so the number of vehicles is dropping by 1/6 and a proportional change in headways. For service planning purposes, the off-peak capacity of the artics is 58 compared to 48 on routes with frequent service, or an increase of about 21%. On paper at least, this represents a slight increase in service capacity. This should show up as physically less crowded buses because the artics have, proportionately, more standee space than the 12m buses they will replace.

    Off-peak standards are based on seated capacity plus 25%, and for 12m buses this gives a figure close to the peak period capacity.

    Vehicle  Seats    OffPeak   Peak    Ratio       
    12m        36        45      51      1.133
    12m        38        48      53      1.104
    18m        46        58      77      1.326

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  6. From TTC 29 Dufferin page, arising from the opening of the temporary Dufferin vehicle bridge:

    The Dufferin Street temporary bridge to Exhibition Place is now open to two-way traffic.

    Effective 5:00 am, April 16, 2014
    Route 29/329 DUFFERIN buses will resume its regular routing.

    Effective 2:00 am, April 17, 2014
    Route 329 DUFFERIN and 316 Ossington all-night buses will resume their regular routing.

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  7. Steve, you wrote an article in 2009 where you said “Transit improvements for the pan am games? Dream on”

    Do you change your mind now? More TR subway trains arriving this year and this shifts the T1 trains over the Line 2. And many other things such as some new streetcars and buses, modernization and expansion of subway stations, etc.

    Steve: The TR trains don’t constitute much of an improvement for the games on YUS, and as for BD, H and T1 trains are more or less the same thing. New streetcars should have been here a few years ago but for various delays, station modernization is ongoing (and delayed thanks to budget cuts), and the Spadina subway that might have served the games at York U won’t be ready until at least 18 months after the games are over. Likewise, no LRT line to UTSC and the aquatic centre. The Athletes’ Village in the West Don Lands is not a transit destination because the folks living there for the games will all travel in private buses. The Cherry Street line won’t open until mid 2016, and there is still no sense of when or if it will connect to Queens Quay East.

    Please don’t tell me about all the wonderful transit the games bring to Toronto because they have done almost nothing.

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  8. So nothing has been done? Even opening the second platform at Union station and Waterfront this summer is a joke? Damn the TTC messed up badly.

    Steve: The second platform was installed as part of Waterfront Toronto upgrades because of increasing demands for travel to the area south of the rail corridor, not for the games. Similarly, the Queens Quay project has nothing to do with the games.

    If the TRs can’t have handles below the HVAC sections for the games, then it is not much of an improvement.

    Well things could of been much worse. Could of still stuck with those H6s.

    But then again, many events are in the Greater TO region.

    Cheers!

    Your biggest fan Bob Patrick.

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  9. I was doing work in Liberty Village on Wednesday and had the opportunity to observe articulated buses on Dufferin. It was depressing really, three arrived southbound in tight formation around 3. Unsurprisingly, shortly after, I observed them heading northbound in formation. Glad to see the bigger vehicles and wider headways are working out as a route management strategy.

    Dear god I hope the TTC under Andy Byford will at least admit that this is bullshit. At most they are trying to save money on operator costs. I would be less angry if they admitted as much. I am more angry when they try and dress it up as an “improvement” for customers. God help us when the new streetcars arrive.

    On a positive note, following this I boarded a King car east bound. It was directly behind another car, but the operator actively tried, and succeeded in breaking the bunch up. He made sure to catch two red lights and slowed down to let the other car get ahead. Some people were groaning, but it was nice to see the operator trying to fix service without any prompting. I’m sure the groaners would have been more upset to be short turned further down the line.

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  10. Ultimately, I suspect the TTC will need a true headway management system that will let drivers know their own current headway situation. Line management will require changing that desired headway based on current conditions. So that headway will change for a full or empty vehicle.

    Steve: A few years ago, the last time there was serious discussion of a new vehicle monitoring system, there was talk of onboard displays that would let operators know where they were relative to other vehicles on the line. Maybe we will see this with the new system, but that project is in the “requirements gathering” phase in 2014, and so we won’t know what will be sought as a proposed spec until later this year.

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  11. Steve:

    “A few years ago, the last time there was serious discussion of a new vehicle monitoring system, there was talk of onboard displays that would let operators know where they were relative to other vehicles on the line.”

    In 2014, this can be an app on a tablet running Android connected to the internet via 4G. The TTC can hire a small app developing firm to write them an app that uses nextBus data along with internal data such as specific run info, detouring and other notices. They have a a chat box where operators/supervisors can post notices. I really don’t see why they will have to reinvent the wheel and create a very complicated system using so specially designed hardware that costs 10 times more.

    Today, any passenger can know more about the route than the operator. Isn’t this pathetic? Of course the TTC will have to pay more attention to what is on nextBus. The system thought Good Friday was a normal weekday. There were missing buses everywhere, express bus predictions and branches of routes that don’t even operate on a holiday.

    Steve: I alerted Brad Ross to the Nextbus problem on Good Friday. This happens on many holidays and it is particularly annoying because with the wider headways, that is precisely when people use the system to find their vehicle. There is a fundamental flaw in Nextbus that it depends on matching the operating schedule with the claimed run numbers of vehicles, and if a “holiday” run does not have a “weekday” equivalent, it does not show up in the predictions or maps.

    I don’t know whether the problem lies with Nextbus for not knowing it’s a holiday here (thank you to our friends in the USA), or the TTC as I don’t know where the holidays are defined. All the same, this is a major Customer Service failure that they need to fix before Victoria Day.

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  12. “Of course the TTC will have to pay more attention to what is on nextBus. The system thought Good Friday was a normal weekday. There were missing buses everywhere, express bus predictions and branches of routes that don’t even operate on a holiday.”

    The proper fix for this is obvious, although admittedly not trivial in implementation: there should be a single database of runs, both planned and actual.

    It should have one interface that tells drivers what to do (i.e., show up at this garage at this time and take this vehicle to this route, starting at this time and following this schedule), and a second that drives the publicly-available information.

    There should be additional interfaces that automatically generate the pamphlet schedules, website, and per-stop schedules.

    Changes due to diversions, accidents, equipment breakdowns, driver illness, equipment unavailability, and any other changes, should be recorded in the system as temporary or unplanned changes and therefore automatically reported out via NextBus. One can imagine that it might even explicitly show a run as “cancelled” rather than having it just disappear from the list.

    The question I would have, though, is what currently instructs the drivers? Why isn’t NextBus just an extract from that system? Or is the problem that the data, at that level of detail, exist only on whiteboards and in dispatchers’ memories?

    Steve: The problem is that Nextbus links its predictions and displays of vehicles to whatever schedule is appropriate for “today”. This seems to work fine on weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays, but for some reason, the holidays are sometimes treated as if they were weekdays. I don’t know whether it’s a case that the TTC does not “tell” Nextbus what the appropriate calendar is, or if the proprietors of Nextbus simply forgot to include this exception.

    There are two reasons for using the underlying schedule rather than simply looking at the vehicles as they appear on a route. First off, a prediction near a terminal depends on the departure time, not just on the known travel time from a bus location to the stop of interest. Second, for routes with branches, the only way to get the info about where a bus is headed is to use the schedule.

    CIS (the vehicle tracking system aka “Communications & Information System”) is an antique (early 70s) system, and the amount of info it can report from the bus is limited. Just to fit in the GPS data (which had no equivalent when the system was designed) took some doing. Other possible interfaces include info on the current setting of the digital route sign so that the system would know where the advertised destination of a bus might be. This would also pick up short turns and situations where a run scheduled for branch “A” actually makes a trip on branch “B”. I understand from the Nextbus folks that they were working on something like this for Washington DC, but implementing any new functionality here remains hostage to the old CIS for the next few years.

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  13. I was surprised to learn that NextBus relies on schedules and run numbers. According to their website:

    “NextBus information is not a static schedule listing — it is actual arrival information, updated at regular intervals.
    Because traffic variations, breakdowns, and day-to-day problems faced by any transit provider can interrupt service, NextBus was designed to keep your customers on schedule even if their bus or train isn’t.

    NextBus uses GPS technology and a proprietary algorithm that incorporates historical travel data to track vehicles and predict vehicle arrival time. By taking into account the actual position of the buses, their intended stops, and typical traffic patterns, NextBus can estimate vehicle arrivals with a high degree of accuracy. This estimate is refreshed constantly to provide riders with up-to-the-minute information.”

    Even if they use schedules in some way, surely if a vehicle is “missing” at the start of a route it will not be predicted to arrive ‘by magic’ further down the line? Would the predictions displayed not be of vehicles identified as already moving along a route?

    While on NextBus I note, again, that for some TTC reason there is no obvious link to it on the TTC website. Why is it not right on the front page beside the Schedules and maps section in the upper left corner? Bizarre!

    Steve: Don’t get me started about how the TTC downplays Nextbus as an information tool. In any event, please refer to my remarks in an adjacent comment about why Nextbus uses the underlying schedules.

    This actually triggers a “requirement” that has a potential for further confusion. Extras are not part of the schedule, obviously, and to accommodate them, the “schedule” used by Nextbus contains several dummy runs. When an extra is operated, it must be manually assigned to one of these dummies. The result can be that extras don’t show up in the Nextbus info if the system does not know they exist.

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  14. Judging that Good Friday and Easter Sunday doesn’t exist in the nextBus xml schedule, this is TTC’s fault. They got this right for Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Year’s itself. They had a separate service class for those days but not this time. Transit organizations should be the one controlling which schedule classes to use for which days.

    I do know that school runs and extras are missing on nextBus. One of the noticeable example is the 48A Rathburn school runs. It is clearly illustrated on TTC’s website but missing from the nextBus schedule. I suspect that they are just didn’t want to pay someone to deal with updating nextBus info.

    Steve: Thanks for checking this. For the benefit of readers, the Nextbus Open Data feed from TTC is explained here. The xml version of the schedule for 22 Coxwell (which had no vehicles showing on it at all on Good Friday) is called out with:

    http://webservices.nextbus.com/service/publicXMLFeed?command=schedule&a=ttc&r=22

    If you pull this data, you will see that no holiday schedule is defined.

    Looking at another feed which includes the schedule data, there is a file which sets out the calendar. It does not include Good Friday as a special case. Note that this feed, available from the page linked here, is a very large (36m) zip file.

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  15. And I thought the 40 and 50 minute next vehicle predictions I saw on the screens downtown for the 501 and 504 were real.

    Steve: Sometimes they are, but much more rarely than we saw on Good Friday.

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  16. From my understanding of the tables of the 501 there are basically no headway changes and no extra vehicles even though there are two major diversions. This means the likelihood of increased short turns and buses extended to Neville Loop if I’m reading this correctly. The last Broadview/Gerrard/Coxwell had an extended schedule with extra vehicles (and too much running time!), why wouldn’t they be using that one? Richmond Street is still not available west of Victoria, and if it doesn’t open both ways the diversion will have to be Spadina/King/Church. McCaul/Dundas/Victoria is better but Victoria north of Queen is plugged.

    Steve: There are extra cars on Queen for the diversion. I will update the table to clarify this.

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  17. What are these standby buses on the 22A, 64, 501 and 92 routes?

    Steve: They are extras for the Victoria Day holiday to handle extra traffic to the Beach, especially for the evening fireworks display.

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  18. Hey Steve,

    The Star has a report on the many diversions along the 501 route this Spring.

    It says that due to the Victoria St intersection repair, cars will be diverting around Church/King/Spadina. Do you have any idea why the cars aren’t running back up to Queen via York (on the Westbound trips only, I guess). Would it be too confusing for riders? If so, what’s the rationale of the one-way track on York anyway?

    Steve: York does provide a simpler detour around downtown, but the TTC dropped the ball on two counts: there is no east-to-north curve at King Street, and it appears that the track on Adelaide is to be removed, not replaced. Therefore, the York Street track is only useful for westbound diversions.

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  19. Steve:

    York does provide a simpler detour around downtown, but the TTC dropped the ball on two counts: there is no east-to-north curve at King Street, and it appears that the track on Adelaide is to be removed, not replaced. Therefore, the York Street track is only useful for westbound diversions.

    I don’t understand — so what’s the purpose of the York St trackage at all? Has the intersection at King St been reconstructed already or is that planned to be rebuilt with east-to-north trackage?

    If the TTC’s not going to use the trackage for diversions, why did they bother rebuilding it?

    Steve: York and King is not going to be rebuilt for quite a long time as it is fairly new. A plan to add the east to north curve at the time was dropped for budgetary reasons. As for why it’s not being used this time out, who knows, especially considering that it would be a faster route than using Spadina. Using Spadina does, however, save the cost of a pointman as the switch at King & Spadina is electrified, while the one at York is not.

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  20. Steve said:

    “it appears that the track on Adelaide is to be removed, not replaced”

    Where/when was this announced?

    Steve: It wasn’t, but the City has called a tender for reconstruction of Adelaide from York to Simcoe including removal of streetcar tracks. The TTC, in previous correspondence, said that they were keeping open the option of a north to east curve at York & Adelaide and, therefore, for the track east of York Street. However, there seems to be little interest in keeping the track from York westward.

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  21. Steve, a quick question. Have you heard if the scope of work for Broadview & Queen rebuild will include addressing whatever is causing speed restrictions for streetcars crossing the Don river along Queen? Seems logical to address concurrently.

    As usual, thanks again for your always informative site.

    Steve: These are separate projects. The bridge at the Don is sitting on wooden foundations and that’s why the slow order. I have a query in at Waterfront Toronto (who are working under the bridge on utilities for the West Donlands) to find out more about the state of the bridge and any reconstruction.

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  22. Using Spadina for the Queen diversion may save a point man, but how much will having ten or twenty streetcars packed unmoving on King between Yonge and Spadina cost?

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  23. Whatever happened to that report on the location of streetcar stops that was supposed to come out a few months ago?

    I don’t recall seeing this report, however they’ve started putting ramps into stops along Broadview and Queen Street East. Interestingly, skipping stops which would likely may have been eliminated, such as Mt. Stephen Street on Broadview.

    Steve: The report is supposed to come at the May Board meeting. Yes, I have seen the non-reconstruction of the stops on Broadview and have been meaning to get in touch with the local councillor to see if the claimed “consultation” has actually taken place about these changes.

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  24. Steve, if Queen and Broadview is being redone, is this going to include provision for a possible/future extension of streetcar service south toward/through the rail corridor without massively disruptive rebuilding of the special work?

    Steve: No. That extension is easily a decade in the future, and yes, they will have to tear up the intersection again to create the link southward.

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  25. Any idea why the city’s tearing up Finch West only a couple of years before (presumably) the start of LRT construction there?

    I think the answer is that Finch and Sheppard are (unofficially) dead. There is a map on some construction hoarding at Yonge/Eglinton put up recently for the Eglinton LRT showing these lines, but as far as I can tell no significant planning or work is happening on those lines, politics has probably killed/endlessly delayed them, and GO train expansion is now viewed as a higher priority by the province. Thus the city decides to do construction on Finch because the road is in bad shape. Obviously if the LRT were a serious proposal they would not be doing this because the road resurfacing would be a total waste of money. That is assuming that Hudak doesn’t get elected on June 12 and officially cancels these lines, there is probably about a 50% chance of this given that Hudak and Wynne are basically tied in the polls right now.

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  26. Andrew said:

    I think the answer is that Finch and Sheppard are (unofficially) dead. There is a map on some construction hoarding at Yonge/Eglinton put up recently for the Eglinton LRT showing these lines, but as far as I can tell no significant planning or work is happening on those lines, politics has probably killed/endlessly delayed them, and GO train expansion is now viewed as a higher priority by the province. Thus the city decides to do construction on Finch because the road is in bad shape. Obviously if the LRT were a serious proposal they would not be doing this because the road resurfacing would be a total waste of money.

    Moaz: I suppose an alternative speculation would be that perhaps Finch West is “dead” as an LRT but may somehow lose its “L” and morph into an “RT” (like Hamilton’ s Main Street and Brampton’s Queen Street “RT” lines) … and be extended across the city … and they’re just waiting until October 28th to decide on Sheppard East.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  27. Does the rebuild of Queen & Broadview meant that the west to north curve will be usable again?

    If that’s the case … does west to north at Broadview become a short turn for cars to get back into the Beaches?

    Steve: Yes, the curve will be useable again. As for a short turn, until and if the TTC installs the proposed loop in the parking lot on Broadview north of Queen (east side) which they own, having a car reappear eastbound at Coxwell is of limited benefit.

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  28. I don’t know where this decisions are being made because Finch West is dead is coming from. As recently as April 11th, Infrastructure Ontario released a document indicating they would be issuing the Finch West RFQ this spring, followed by the RFP this fall.

    Of course the provincial election may interfere with that, however city decisions aren’t made on that kind of basis or timeframe.

    Steve: And now we have John Tory saying he would not build the Sheppard or Finch LRTs but would concentrate on the DRL. Very sad, but that’s the politics — Tory is playing to the existing sentiment as whipped up by RoFo and his pals in the suburbs, while trying to appeal to downtowners with “their” subway..

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  29. Steve said:

    “And now we have John Tory saying he would not build the Sheppard or Finch LRTs but would concentrate on the DRL. Very sad, but that’s the politics — Tory is playing to the existing sentiment as whipped up by RoFo and his pals in the suburbs, while trying to appeal to downtowners with “their” subway..”

    Especially politically sad, since I suspect relatively few downtown residents are all that excited about the DRL. It is a crucial link, but Toronto, is now far enough behind, that something needs to be done in several corridors at once. Finch needs something now, even if that was only a proper BRT, good line/headway management and a conversion to longer bus. Toronto has spent too long without addressing the core issues of transit, and now will have no choice but to make some serious moves.

    Candidates for mayor (and mayors) should be willing to look seriously at the issues, and stop pandering. Perhaps the city cannot financially do Transit City and the DRL. A serious candidate for mayor should have a plan that addresses the very serious needs, and speak to those your plan serves and show them how it does. Scarborough, East York, and North York residents that are core bound need something in the way of a Don Mills subway … make the case. If you think that Finch can wait, or will be well served by BRT make that case.

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  30. The detour arrangements look rather inefficient, and will probably cause traffic mess at various intersections. I don’t know why they chose to do it this way, but wouldn’t it be easier to just replace the eastern portion of 501 with buses entirely?

    It seems logical to just shorten the streetcar portion of 501 route to the McCaul loop during the three-month trackwork. The eastern portion of the route would be served by replacement buses that would connect with the 501 cars near University. They could even add some extra trips on the 508 as an alternative for passengers travelling further east.

    Steve: The TTC does not have enough spare buses to replace half of the Queen car as well as the Kingston Road services. A streetcar from McCaul west would be difficult because it would have no connection to the subway and really would not serve the core area very well. It’s a shame this is happening at the same time as the Richmond Street utility work, but that’s a matter of cocked up scheduling from previous project deferrals and the desire to get everything done before the 2015 Pan Am Games construction moratorium.

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  31. In response to Mark Dowling’s question about the Queen/Broadview trackwork including the special work for the future south extension on Broadview, Steve wrote:

    No. That extension is easily a decade in the future, and yes, they will have to tear up the intersection again to create the link southward.

    Typical logic around here: We must build subway lines where the need is not there because there MIGHT be the need in 50 or 60 years, but don’t you dare do a little extra track work now for a streetcar service that is 10 years away.

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  32. Not sure if you were able to pop down to Queen & Kingston at all this morning… but what a clusterf***

    TTC told me that there are NO 501 replacement buses (and if there are, they are few and far) with 502/3 the only buses that will run downtown….

    Driver of streetcar hit the “short turn” button on his streetcar at Coxwell, didn’t tell anyone he was just turning, let two buses go by… let everyone off his car… then went up Coxwell…

    What a mess.

    Steve: There are no 501 buses weekdays until the evening. Service is provided by the 502/503 replacements on Kingston Road, and the 501 car is supposed to serve the Beach. However, when the line is totally messed up by a severe blockage as it was today, then there’s nothing. There is a general problem that the TTC announces that “shuttles have been ordered”, but it takes time for them to reach the affected area. This gives people the mistaken impression that there really is an alternative service.

    I notice that the 92 Woodbine South was also affected, and so this was a truly serious problem that even shuttle buses (or rerouted 502/503s) might have had problems with.

    On Sunday (the first day of this operation), I noticed that some of the 501 Queen shuttles that were only supposed to run to Woodbine Loop were extended to Neville to allow streetcars to be short turned. I think that the TTC makes life worse during major diversions and special events by attempting to keep the line in one piece. On King, the pattern for months has been that a lot of the service from the west end turns back from Church, and some cars from the east turn back at York (via Wellington). This keeps the service vaguely on time and maintains headways on the outer ends, up to a point, but it really confuses passengers because it is not an “official” way the line is run.

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  33. Queen East was a mess today. I notice in midday, many 501/502 westbound buses were short turning at Church. Maps only show the Lesile/Queen diversion. This leads me to think the schedules were adjusted for the Lesile/Queen diversion only but all in a sudden, they decided to do the Victoria/Queen intersection too.

    I don’t know what’s the point to send the Queen cars up Gerrard then back down to King to enter the downtown core. No wonder why they have like 6 people max on an ALRV on Gerrard. I don’t really know what is the purpose of Queen East streetcar right now except to serve those east of Kingston Rd.

    Steve: What is baffling in situations like this is the perverse attempt to preserve the route as a through operation from Long Branch to Neville. It would make more sense to keep a west end operation on the “normal” part of the line and design something specific for the east end. Oddly enough, the de facto operation on King sees a lot of cars turn back westbound from Church and eastbound from York effectively splitting the line in two in an attempt to deal with inadequate scheduled running times.

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  34. Steve said:

    “What is baffling in situations like this is the perverse attempt to preserve the route as a through operation from Long Branch to Neville. It would make more sense to keep a west end operation on the “normal” part of the line and design something specific for the east end. Oddly enough, the de facto operation on King sees a lot of cars turn back westbound from Church and eastbound from York effectively splitting the line in two in an attempt to deal with inadequate scheduled running times”

    Steve correct me if I am wrong but do not most of the east/west bus lines break at Yonge? Is there more through traffic on the Streetcar, as this is also downtown and core service? Or is this an oddity of history? If there is more through traffic, how much of the traffic bound east of Yonge would originate west of Spadina? and how much bound West of Spadina would originate east of Jarvis? Would it make sense to have these routes overlap in the core but not beyond?

    Steve: There is a lot of through traffic across Yonge Street which, if anything, is nearer the eastern edge of the cluster of “core area” destinations than at its centre for streets from Queen north. However, we can already see the effect on King of desinations spreading well east and west of Yonge, and this causes a lot of “across the core” riding. Splitting the routes on a permanent basis would be counter-productive.

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  35. I wonder why the TTC sent out multiple shifts of workers to Queen and Broadview to wire up the intersection for pans when they knew the intersection was to be shut down and dug up a few months later.

    Steve: They cannot work on new overhead while the intersection is under construction, and the moment the track is operational, the streetcars will be back even if there is some cleanup work still to be done in the curb lanes that might prevent vehicles like overhead trucks from getting around easily.

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  36. The overhead on York had been originally deemed “bad” and for emergencies only. Still bad, S/E/C okayed a slow order use.

    Steve: This does not make sense considering that it got all new hangars during the reconstruction in 2013. Out of date info? It wouldn’t be the first time.

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  37. Since the big move includes running all day 2 way GO services, why not have all day service on subways, streetcars, and LRTs?

    Steve: I do not understand your question unless you are being deeply ironic about the issue of off-peak service quality.

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  38. Steve, how much do you hate Doug Holyday for having no understanding of transit?

    Steve: I don’t hate Doug Holyday, but wish his long experience at Metro and the amalgamated city might have taught him a few things about how budgets worked. I almost feel sorry for him having to put up with the Fords at City Hall and Hudak at Queen’s Park. The operative word is “almost”.

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  39. Steve: The details are on the TTC service advisory page (scroll down to see the portion effective May 20).

    What am I missing? When I scroll down, the May 20th stuff all seems to be about Queen/Leslie. And that’s what I saw on Friday as well.

    Steve: The map at the bottom shows the new diversion via York, and the cutback of the shuttle buses to Church, although the text does not mention this. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the TTC to change the signage, announcements, etc., to let riders know that westbound Queen cars are at Osgoode Station, not at St. Andrew. I know that the updated diversion notices were going up on stops on Saturday (the 17th).

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