The TTC plans to reletter many of its routes to adopt a somewhat standardized practice for the number/letter combinations:
- Routes that have no branches will not use a letter. For example, 64 Main will stay as 64 Main in both directions.
- Routes that have branches will use letters for all services operating away from a common point. For example, most buses outbound from Kennedy Station will use a letter because their routes have multiple destinations.
- The “A” branch is typically, but not necessarily, the primary branch.
- The “E” designation is reserved for express operations on routes that also have local service.
- The “S” designation is used for any short turn for which a sign is provided. It is by far the most commonly used letter.
What is frustrating about this change, like so many other pieces of TTC public information, is that the implementation and customer information campaigns are not co-ordinated. New signs have started to pop up even though they are not supposed to take effect until June 22, 2014.
In some cases, the reassignment of the “A” designation as the primary route will not be done in one step because “A” is already in use for another branch. In these cases, there will be an interim configuration without an “A” branch, to be followed sometime in 2015 with a second set of changes.
In the table linked below, the current and final designations are shown. Where there is no interim value, the “final” arrangement takes effect immediately on June 22. Where an interim value is shown, this will be the setup on June 22, with the final shuffle to follow next year.
The rationale, such as it is, for this change is set out in the memo announcing the June service changes:
Changes will be made to the branch designations on 62 bus routes, to make branch and destination information more clear and consistent for customers. With these changes, routes that have only one branch will have a branch number with no alphabetic suffix. Routes that have more than one branch will have alphabetic suffixes for all branches. This will reduce confusion for customers in relation to unlettered and lettered branches.
As much as is practicable, consecutive letters will be used for branches. Branch letters that change will not be immediately reused, to avoid confusion and duplication. In a small number of cases the branch changes will be made in two stages, with branch letters changed now on some branches, and then reused later in 2015.
In addition to these changes, several minor or limited-service branches that do not now have formal branch designations will get new branch designations.
Branch designation changes for streetcar routes will be introduced as the new cars enter service.