TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, August 31, 2014 (Update 3)

The August 31 schedules will see a return to fall service across the system as well as several other changes.  At long last (I have been distracted with other events, and there was a lot to do this month) here is the consolidated list of service changes. The list combines all types of change because there are overlapping seasonal, construction and service improvement effects.

The table linked here has been updated to correct errors missed in its creation. Thanks to Timor Urakov for catching these.

2014.08.31_Service_Changes (Revision 2)

Major changes include:

  • Return of streetcars to 510 Spadina
  • A major change of the 504 King schedule to provide added running time
  • Return of 504 King and 505 Dundas streetcars to Broadview Station
  • Route split of 501 Queen for Gardiner Expressway construction at Humber Loop
  • Route split of 116E Morningside Express to 198 UTSC Rocket

Something I have not included here, but will add in a future update, is a list of all of the Standby Buses (and a few streetcars) that are spotted around the city for various reasons. They don’t show up in the route-by-route info, but there is a substantial chunk of the fleet used to provide this service. Due to a bus shortage, the number of standby vehicles scheduled for fall 2014 is lower than originally planned.

510 Spadina

Streetcars will return to Spadina between Bloor and Queens Quay with all service running through to the south end of the line. The route will be scheduled based on CLRV capacity, and new Flexities will take over runs one by one as cars become available. Current plans are for through service to Union and a resumption of streetcar service on 509 Harbourfront in October.

At the end of the AM Peak, 508 Lake Shore trippers operate a westbound trip as 506 Carlton to provide extra capacity to the UofT St. George campus. These trips previously operated back to Roncesvalles Carhouse, but they will be changed so that the cars switch over to 510 Spadina which has more cars during the midday than the AM peak.

Previously, this interlining was done using 503 Kingston Road cars from Russell, but with the move of 510 Spadina to Roncesvalles, trippers from that division will be used.

504 King Running Time Changes

In an attempt to reduce the need to short turn much of the service to keep operators on time, the TTC is changing the round trip times during all periods of service on this route.

King Round Trip Time Changes September 2014

                    Weekdays     Saturday     Sunday
                    Aug   Sept   Aug   Sept   Aug   Sept
AM Peak             104+8 120+8
M-F Midday          100+8 122+5
PM Peak             115+8 135+7

S-S Early Morning                85+5  105+5  78+2  95+4
S-S Late Morning                 97+7  111+6  94+5  109+5
S-S Afternoon                    97+7  111+6  94+8  109+5

Early Evening        95+7 116+6  97+4  111+4  82+8  97+3
Late Evening         85+6  99+4  83+7  100+4  76+4  95+4

In the table above, the “before” times are shown under “Aug” and are taken from the schedules in effect until Aug. 30. The “after” times are shown under “Sept” and are taken from the schedules effective Aug. 31.

The time is given as running time plus recovery time. For example, the AM peak running time of “120+8” means that cars will have 120 minutes of driving time to make a round trip plus 8 minutes of terminal recovery time. Some of the changes increase the total time by 20%, a very substantial increase.

Whether this will translate into a noticeable reduction in short turns remains to be seen. One potential problem will be the accumulation of “early” cars at terminals where it is already possible to find lineups of cars. From my own knowledge of the line, some of these changes appear to be excessive and will probably have to be rolled back.

501 Queen & 508 Lake Shore

From September through December, reconstruction of the Gardiner Expressway at Humber Loop will close off the underpass between the loop and Lake Shore Blvd. The outer end of the Queen route will once again switch to a shuttle bus connecting with the streetcar.

Subway Changes

Yonge subway operations will be changed to base more trains at Davisville Yard. This will give more time for maintenance work as the last service trains will be clear of the line sooner than on current schedules. An early morning non-revenue train that carries Station Collectors to work will be replaced with a shuttle bus.

On the Bloor subway, service will be improved weekday middays and evenings, and on Saturday afternoons to reduce crowding.

Roncesvalles Yard

In anticipation of the arrival of more Flexities, some runs will be shifted to other locations. Exhibition Loop will now be used to store some 511 Bathurst runs as well as 512 St. Clair runs already at that location.

The 510 Spadina route will operate from Roncesvalles where the Flexities will be based, and to make room, all runs on 505 Dundas will operate from Russell.

Broadview Avenue

Streetcar service will return to Broadview Station after a temporary absence in July-August.

Since the re-opening of the Broadview & Queen intersection, carhouse trips from Russell westbound have resumed using the west-to-north curve that was taken out of service for safety concerns in October 2012.

Six Points Project

The reconstruction of the Kipling-Dundas-Bloor interchange begins in September and this will trigger diversions of various routes around Kipling Station.

69 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, August 31, 2014 (Update 3)

  1. Steve interjects: Normally I would just delete a comment like this because it abusive and presumes that I have taken (or not taken) positions on various issues. However, I want to respond if only to set the record straight. The author of the comment should be under no delusion that I will entertain any replies regardless of which pseudonym he/she posts under in the future.

    Steve, you are so old that even if the construction of DRL starts today (and it won’t for at least another 10 years), you will likely not be around to see it (citing your old age) or will be too old and weak and frail that you will be confined to a nursing home and will not need nor be able to take transit and at best you might be able to take Wheel Trans and so why not support more Wheel Trans service instead of a DRL the inconvenience of whose construction and the cost thereof you would suffer but would never be able to ride? Support more Wheel Trans and earn some good Karma by helping the disabled community. You have ZERO respect for freedom of speech and so needless to say this won’t be posted.

    Steve replies: I expect to be around for a long time, and do hope to ride the DRL, not to mention several other projects on the drawing board. Whether I do or not, however, has no bearing on whether these are good projects.

    As for Wheel Trans and the disabled, if you had been paying attention you would know that I have raised accessibility issues from time to time in two fundamental contexts. First, there isn’t enough money allocated to this, and it’s a classic situation where senior governments impose requirements but offer no assistance to pay for them. Municipalities get into finger-pointing exercises rather than getting on with the job. Second, I really do tire of the attitude at TTC that presumes Wheel Trans will wither away once the entire system is “accessible”. This ignores basic facts about mobility both from one’s doorstep to a transit stop, and for navigating on one’s own power around the city. I consider that the TTC/city decision to kick the dialysis patients off of Wheel Trans disgusting, a classic Karen Stintz “for the greater good” tax saving measure. The TTC has never done a proper study of the basic need for Wheel Trans services to show the real scope, rather than always trying to stay within whatever budget envelope Council forces on them. Showing how much service we really need would be too embarrassing to the pols who like to take credit for everything but pay for nothing.

    Freedom of speech? You’re talking to the wrong person. As long as people are reasonably civil, I let through opinions in long debates here (only rarely closing them down for repetivtiveness) even when I don’t agree with them. Disagreeing with you is not the same as being against freedom of speech, indeed, it is the essence of the concept.

    So please, you and all of the other trolls (or maybe just one who likes to change their name regularly), take your attitude and stuff it. Note that I am exercising my free speech rights here.

    PS: If we are going to start a conversation about Wheel Trans, I will shift the comment thread to a new article so that this one can concentrate on the service changes.

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  2. The new Flexity Outlook, delivery rate and schedule for the production run? How many have arrived? Are there still labor issues at Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay?

    Steve: Two cars with “production” status are here: 4400 and 4403. Also, I believe 4401 is still in Toronto, but 4402 has gone back to Thunder Bay. The strike at Bombardier continues and there is no sign of negotiations.

    And now for the “PAN” or “POLE” question, 510 SPADINA startup on 31AUG2014, which one will normally be used?

    Steve: The TTC is hard at work converting the remaining intersections for pantograph operation. King is done all but for some final tidying-up. Queen is underway as is College. Dundas will be completed once the trackwork is finished. As I understand it, the intent is to operate with the pantograph up while on any route that has been converted, and with the pole for diversions and carhouse moves. The real fun will be to watch the conversion of Roncesvalles Carhouse and the neighbouring intersection. I do not know when this work is planned, and it may be held until 2016 when changes to the street layout are to occur along with new trackwork. They will need a new forest of poles to hold up the new secondary suspension, and there’s no point in designing their locations around a street that is going to change.

    Steve, maybe another two continuing threads, one for Flexity Outlook, covering delivery rate and schedule, any further contract and/or design modifications, the vehicle number delivered, and its status (delivered, testing, OOS, wrecked et al.), and other for Line Improvements, covering percentage and location where work has been performed to permit pantograph operation, schedule for that yet to be done, and the “low floor” acceptable station platform modifications.

    Steve: Sorry, but I don’t plan to follow the rollout at that level of detail. My concern is more for the service these cars will provide.

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  3. So Steve… a little off topic I know but any idea what the service is looking like for the CNE this year?

    I presume a 521 and 522 service are off the table? Are we looking at extra buses on the 509?

    Steve: The preliminary plans (check against the actual announcement later in August) are:

    511 Bathurst: Extra streetcars, both CLRVs and ALRVs
    29 Dufferin: Service terminates at Dufferin Loop, no buses to Princes Gates (the usual arrangement)
    193 Exhibition Rocket: Dundas West Stn to Dufferin Loop via Dundas and Dufferin
    509 Harbourfront: Extra service

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  4. According to one notice I saw, there will be a 501H shuttle bus from the Humber Bay condos to Humber Loop. I guess this is important since people can’t even walk through the tunnel during contruction.

    The real questions is of all the Gardiner bridges, why is this the only one that has to be closed for months at a time?

    For some of these unpredictable construction projects, they should schedule operators who are willing to switch from a bus to streetcar division with a couple days notice.

    Steve: I did not put in the bit about the Humber Bay shuttle because I wanted to hit just the highlights, not all of the details. There are a lot of changes in September.

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  5. Hey Steve, will the 198 UofT Scarborough Rocket be a rush hour only service or a 7 day a week service? Will it also provide express service for Morningside or just follow the same routing as the 116A/E does now?

    Steve: I will include more details in my full writeup, but here is a summary. The Scarborough Rocket will operate Monday to Friday until 10:30 pm from Kennedy Stn., 11:00 pm from UTSC. Daytime headways will be every 10′, with 15′ evening service. Stops will be at Kennedy Station, Midland Avenue, Brimley Road, McCowan Road, Bellamy Road N, Markham Road, Kingston Road, Guildwood GO Station, Galloway Road, Lawrence Avenue, Kingston Road, Ellesmere Road, Military Trail, and UTSC Loop. One aspect that is not a good sign: short turn destination signs have been defined for various locations along the way. If they are going to run an express service to a named destination, it should get there. However, this seems more like a rebranded Morningside Express. There will be some changes to the 116 Morningside local service to improve integration with 86 Scarborough.

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  6. The only disadvantage of the old 507 Long Branch route is that there is no way to circumvent a disruption west of Roncesvalles Ave. Even if Park Lawn Loop is built, any work on the tracks, or on the Gardiner in this case, will require streetcars to be taken off the Lake Shore (as there will be no access to a carhouse for repairs.)

    This leads to a question Steve, will Humber Loop be retained should Park Lawn Loop be built for this type of situation?

    Steve: I cannot see the TTC getting rid of a loop at Humber even though they might simplify it. Park Lawn Loop makes less and less sense as developments fill in areas further west on Lake Shore, and of all the TTC’s capital project proposals, I don’t see this rising to funded status any time soon.

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  7. With the plan for repairs to Islington Station’s bus bays and now the beginning of Six-Points interchange redesign, I wonder how MiWay buses are going to manage to get into Islington Station.

    I can personally walk from Aukland and Dundas, but this is going to inconvenience a lot of transit users from Mississauga as buses are delayed by construction and limited space at Islington Station.

    As for the 198 U of T Scarborough Rocket … this is the latest Rocket replacement of an express bus route …which raises three questions:

    1. Is TTC going to admit this is an ongoing plan?
    2. How many more routes are going to be put in place before they run out of digits?
    3. Which routes are next for Rocket Replacement?

    Steve: I believe that the idea is to consolidate the branding of express routes. There is room to move down into the 180s, although if we get into the 170s, this has amusing implications for the Cherry Street bus to which the word “express” is hardly appropriate.

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  8. Steve said

    “… although if we get into the 170s, this has amusing implications for the Cherry Street bus to which the word “express” is hardly appropriate.”

    The 172 is supposed to be a temporary route and the 72 is supposed to be reinstated in all its glory. Let’s hope that happens soon as the totally uncoordinated and unsupervised 72-172 is really not an improvement over the unsupervised 72.

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  9. Due to the Bombardier strike they have allowed the TTC to retain 4401 and 4402 temporarily for training purposes. Both are still on property, and 4400 is completely outfitted including Presto. All cars will have phase 2 ramp (phase 3 will be final, sometime late next year), and it is still unclear as to the final fate off 4401 & 4402 but current plan is to send back and not return retrofit or otherwise.

    Steve: If 4401/02 don’t come back, does that imply that they will be replaced by a “new” 4401/02, or will the order grow two fleet numbers at the end? It will almost be like the four missing CLRVs.

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  10. Why do the MiWay buses go to Islington anyway?

    It seems much easier and much less disruptive to build a new subway station closer to highway 427 and have most MiWay buses (and maybe a few TTC buses) end there. The subway could squeeze in at-grade, just north of the CPR corridor, with the terminal station at Honeydale mall – near East Mall, but it seems odd to have the west terminal with “east” in its name.

    The simplicity of not having a major construction zone within an active and busy subway/GO station would mean lower construction costs, which would go part of the way to building that 1.5 km extension.

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  11. I thought the original idea behind ROCKET branding, was for super fast point to point express like the 192 Airport Rocket?

    Now it seems to be the name for limited stop services.

    The UofT Rocket will be a great addition, regardless of the name, as this area of Scarborough desperately needs some form of limited stop express service. But I must say, I think the proposed route has a few too many stops.

    I would probably do

    Kennedy, Danforth, Markham Road, Guildwood Station, Lawrence, Ellesmere, UofT Campus

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  12. the intent is to operate with the pantograph up while on any route that has been converted, and with the pole for diversions and carhouse moves

    I think I’m beginning to get powering details confused and was hoping you could sort this out. I know the conversion to pantograph is supposed to improve reliability, but I thought it was also related to the cars drawing twice the current. Do the trolley poles on the new cars also draw twice the current? If not, what stops getting powered when off the pantograph?

    Steve: There is a combination of factors at work. First off, all of the contact wire across the system is being replace with new, larger gauge wire for additional current carrying ability. Second, the Flexities can shed load to limit their power draw by shutting down the air conditioning if need be although obviously that’s not as big a draw as the traction power requirements.

    Reliability will improve because a pan cannot “dewire”, and eventually when all trolley poles equipped cars are retired, intersections can be simplified by the elimination of frogs. The new wires have already been strung in a way that makes this fairly simple to accomplish.

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  13. Steve:

    I believe that the idea is to consolidate the branding of express routes. There is room to move down into the 180s.

    Moaz: if that is the idea, I find it a bit sad that the TTC chooses not to make their branding plan public and actually brand the Rocket service and instead, quietly adds Rocket routes one by one. I’m not hoping that the Rocket buses become Toronto’s version of York Region Transit’s VIVA or Brampton Transit’s ZÜM (with distinct buses and shelters, GPS timing, signal priority and protected right-of-way) … but even MiWay with their MiExpress and MiLocal routes has distinct buses and different route maps … (even though they don’t offer anything else).

    I’d like to see the TTC introduce a Rocket Network (with distinct route numbers and distinct maps as they have done with the Blue Night Network). They can also highlight their Frequent Service (buses and streetcars), Community Bus and Rapid Transit Networks (subway, RT, LRT and future BRT) in the same manner.

    Walter said:

    Why do the MiWay buses go to Islington anyway?

    It seems much easier and much less disruptive to build a new subway station closer to highway 427 and have most MiWay buses (and maybe a few TTC buses) end there. The subway could squeeze in at-grade, just north of the CPR corridor, with the terminal station at Honeydale mall – near East Mall, but it seems odd to have the west terminal with “east” in its name.

    The simplicity of not having a major construction zone within an active and busy subway/GO station would mean lower construction costs, which would go part of the way to building that 1.5 km extension.

    Moaz: Mississauga Transit has been running buses into Islington Station since they took over from the TTC’s Gray Line/Grey Coach services. Even though Kipling opened in 1980 there has never been a serious plan to move Mississauga Transit buses … especially when it became clear that the second mayor of the City of Mississauga preferred to wait for a subway extension to Square One. The proposed interregional terminal at Kipling was supposed to start construction more than 6 years ago but Hydro One wasn’t interested in letting the land under their wires be used for the interregional terminal.

    I do agree that a new terminal at East Mall or Cloverdale Rd. (probably called Highway 427 just as the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will have a 407 Station) would be a good investment. We’ll have to see if the new MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore brings up his plan for a subway extension during the upcoming term.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  14. Steve:

    I will include more details in my full writeup, but here is a summary. The Scarborough Rocket will operate Monday to Friday until 10:30 pm from Kennedy Stn., 11:00 pm from UTSC. Daytime headways will be every 10′, with 15′ evening service. Stops will be at Kennedy Station, Midland Avenue, Brimley Road, McCowan Road, Bellamy Road N, Markham Road, Kingston Road, Guildwood GO Station, Galloway Road, Lawrence Avenue, Kingston Road, Ellesmere Road, Military Trail, and UTSC Loop. One aspect that is not a good sign: short turn destination signs have been defined for various locations along the way. If they are going to run an express service to a named destination, it should get there. However, this seems more like a rebranded Morningside Express. There will be some changes to the 116 Morningside local service to improve integration with 86 Scarborough.

    The 10’/15′ headways and all-day-two-way service are good things, but the number of stops on a supposed “express” route is ridiculous. The current 116E operates eastbound from Kennedy stopping only at Markham and Ellesmere (and occasionally Military Trail at the whim of the operator) before arriving at the UTSC Loop. The westbound service also stops at Kingston Road.

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  15. Moaz said:

    “Mississauga Transit has been running buses into Islington Station since they took over from the TTC’s Gray Line/Grey Coach services. Even though Kipling opened in 1980 there has never been a serious plan to move Mississauga Transit buses … especially when it became clear that the second mayor of the City of Mississauga preferred to wait for a subway extension to Square One. The proposed interregional terminal at Kipling was supposed to start construction more than 6 years ago but Hydro One wasn’t interested in letting the land under their wires be used for the interregional terminal.

    I do agree that a new terminal at East Mall or Cloverdale Rd. (probably called Highway 427 just as the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will have a 407 Station) would be a good investment. We’ll have to see if the new MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore brings up his plan for a subway extension during the upcoming term”

    To what degree does this extension actually serve the interest of that riding? I would have thought that this would mostly increase the load on the subway further west, and thereby increase the crowding faced by Etobicoke riders. Would not more of this riding be better served by pushing for a conversion to LRT /closed ROW for the current streetcar service and route separation from the balance of the Queen car (Waterfront West LRT), and perhaps a moderate extension to turn the end north to meet perhaps meet the subway? The large improvement in bus access, and moving it from Islington, at least from a comfortable distance, appears to offer more to Mississauga South, and be part of regional integration (a worthy cause in itself).

    The situation at Islington needs to be fixed, and Kipling is likely not the place to do it, however, it is not clear to me that this member would have reason to push it. Would it not make sense to do any project in conjunction with a Mississauga south BRT, which would also hit a Lakeshore GO station?

    Steve: Given the attitude of the current Minister — that we have a plan and the time is for construction, not more changes to the plan — the idea of any MPP adding new bits and pieces to the map is a real stretch. Unless there is a by-election to be won, of course.

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  16. Steve said:”PS: If we are going to start a conversation about Wheel Trans, I will shift the comment thread to a new article so that this one can concentrate on the service changes”

    That in itself may be an interesting conversation. Does this service really belong within the TTC would be one of the first questions I would have, as it is clearly aimed to achieve a notably different goal, door to door, for those that require it. Does this service added to the TTC not just make both it and the TTC harder to manage. And yes this is off topic, and if you do create another topic for it please move it there accordingly.

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  17. Steve said:

    “Given the attitude of the current Minister — that we have a plan and the time is for construction, not more changes to the plan — the idea of any MPP adding new bits and pieces to the map is a real stretch. Unless there is a by-election to be won, of course.”

    This is likely the best attitude for the region. It is likely that most of these discussions (at least at a public level) can and should be held for about 3-4 years (run up to the next general election).

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  18. Steve said:

    “Given the attitude of the current Minister — that we have a plan and the time is for construction, not more changes to the plan — the idea of any MPP adding new bits and pieces to the map is a real stretch. Unless there is a by-election to be won, of course.”

    While I agree with the attitude, I have to admit between the public positions of Glen Murray before the election, the information on the Metrolinx site, and the general approach to certain projects, I am unclear to exactly what is being built and in what phase.

    Is Sheppard East LRT still phase 1, is Finch West still phase 1 and LRT?

    Is the Dundas BRT still phase 2?

    What about the link between the Mississauga Transitway and the balance of the network? Currently it appears to link TTC Eglinton ave, and to Kipling station from the Airport grounds. Are not both of these both slated to still be bus on road? Or are there projects that link that will be phased to make these work at the time of commencement of operation?

    We should not be changing plans that are through an EA process, and are to the point where they are under construction, I am curious as to how a couple of these are being phased in and link to the balance of the network. Depending how this is done, it could have a substantial impact on TTC operations along the way potentially awaiting phase 2 projects to close gaps.

    Steve: I don’t think anyone can answer questions about Sheppard and Finch LRT (or any LRT) until after the municipal election. We first need a supportive council without the sideshow of RoFo, and someone strong enough to tell Mammo and Glenn DeB to put a sock in it when they rise to speak about their hard-done by constituents. In Glenn does get re-elected, it will be interesting to see whether his position softens at all.

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  19. Malcolm N said:

    To what degree does this extension actually serve the interest of that riding? I would have thought that this would mostly increase the load on the subway further west, and thereby increase the crowding faced by Etobicoke riders.

    Moaz: It doesn’t help Etobicoke-Lakeshore directly, but then, the Scarborough Subway extension was not going to run through Scarborough-Agincourt either. Peter Milczyn, the new MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (and former City Councillor) was a proponent of a subway extension to Cloverdale. His byelection and recent election rival Doug Holyday preferred a subway extension to Sherway Gardens. Neither is ideal, but Dundas works better from the perspectives of regional integration, redevelopment opportunities, and serving more communities.

    Malcolm N said:

    Would not more of this riding be better served by pushing for a conversion to LRT /closed ROW for the current streetcar service and route separation from the balance of the Queen car (Waterfront West LRT), and perhaps a moderate extension to turn the end north to meet perhaps meet the subway?

    Moaz: It likely could, but a recent decision was made saying that the track through to Long Branch did not need a protected right of way (or even peak-hour transit-only lanes). As I’ve said before, I wonder if it would make more sense to keep the streetcar on Lake Shore as is snd offer a “Toronto West LRT” (as opposed to the Waterfront West LRT) that runs on Queensway (an avenue up for redevelopment) out to Sherway Gardens.

    Malcolm N said:

    The situation at Islington needs to be fixed, and Kipling is likely not the place to do it, however, it is not clear to me that this member would have reason to push it. Would it not make sense to do any project in conjunction with a Mississauga south BRT, which would also hit a Lakeshore GO station?

    Moaz: MiWay did have a plan for a MiExpress 103 route running along Lakeshore Rd. between Long Branch GO and Port Credit GO, but the service was never introduced and the MiExpress 103 actually runs on Hurontario St. The desire now seems to be moving toward having a streetcar along Lakeshore instead of an express bus … as is being recommended in the Inspiration Lakeview redevelopment plans.

    It would be nice if Milczyn could work with his Mississauga South colleague to champion a streetcar extension. As for the subway extension, like I said, he championed it in the past as City Councillor (and may or may not choose to do so again). He might not have jurisdiction now but as a resident of Mississauga who hates connecting at Islington Station, I will support any call for improvements there.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  20. It’s interesting to know about the 198 U of T Rocket route and getting beefed up frequency on the route compared to the 116E Morningside Express but I too think that theres too many stops on the new 198 route. If anything have the stops as follows… Kennedy Stn, Markham Rd & Eglinton, Guildwood GO Stn, Kingston & Morningside, Morningside & Ellesmere and U ot T. That’s really all that’s needed. Now with that being said I’m wondering whats going to happen with the 116A Morningside branch? Will it become a 2 way service? Cause at present a 116E changes to 116A going the opposite direction.

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  21. Steve Said: ” Freedom of speech? You’re talking to the wrong person…”

    Thanks again Steve for all your hard work & letting people like myself who share different views & visions on transit in this City post on your page. Much Appreciated!!

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  22. Moaz said:

    “It likely could, but a recent decision was made saying that the track through to Long Branch did not need a protected right of way (or even peak-hour transit-only lanes). As I’ve said before, I wonder if it would make more sense to keep the streetcar on Lake Shore as is and offer a “Toronto West LRT” (as opposed to the Waterfront West LRT) that runs on Queensway (an avenue up for redevelopment) out to Sherway Gardens.”

    I would suspect that one of the reasons for the “does not need” is that the room for a ROW, in some of the run (I believe where the tracks return to Lakeshore now) is under the 29 or so metres they feel is required to make a dedicated ROW work. There is a couple of spots where they do not have room for sidewalks, 2 in each direction lanes plus dedicated row. I wonder how the 2 routes would compare in terms serving the highest density and most desirable areas along the Lakeshore.

    Having said that I suspect that the critical portion to get a real ROW is the area east of the existing Queensway ROW, ideally having a closed ROW from here to the south core.

    Steve: Lake Shore Blvd. does have some sections that are too narrow for a full right-of-way, but a more fundamental question is whether one is actually needed. Even the Waterfront West LRT has some serious choke points further into the city thanks to its convoluted design. One of the worst is the TTC’s idea that the route would head north on Dufferin, then west on King to The Queensway. This is an area that is already badly congested with streetcar service and auto traffic, and adding a frequent “LRT” would just make things worse. Another route variant would connect the LRT line into The Queensway as yet another branch of the Roncesvalles/Queen intersection that already cannot handle the traffic it has during peak periods.

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  23. Steve said:

    “I don’t think anyone can answer questions about Sheppard and Finch LRT (or any LRT) until after the municipal election. We first need a supportive council without the sideshow of RoFo, and someone strong enough to tell Mammo and Glenn DeB to put a sock in it when they rise to speak about their hard-done by constituents. In Glenn does get re-elected, it will be interesting to see whether his position softens at all.”

    At what point does the province simply say, this is the plan, enough with the BS politics this is what is being done, and actually just start moving on the plan. I was under the impression the city bought in (yes a long time ago, in a place that feels so far away). The act of a single councillor should not change that even if he also happens to be the mayor, otherwise, it is a formulae to endless inaction. This notably reduces the odds of actually getting far enough in the current term of the government, and opens the entire process up to more ridiculous grandstanding and hostage taking.

    Steve: Metrolinx keeps talking of the Sheppard and Finch LRT lines as active projects, but I don’t trust the political environment. Queen’s Park’s attitude that they will build to the current plan seems astoundingly arbitrary given their flexibility in past years to the slightest winds, no breezes, of opposition. We need a middle ground between blind obedience to a plan that is not perfect (and is due for a legislated review) and ad hoc “planning” driven by electoral needs.

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  24. Even though the Transit City Bus Plan doesn’t seem to be in effect, there are still a few aspects of it I see being implemented here and there. The Plan mentions “enhanced express routes” along what at the time were future long term Transit City LRT routes. The 198 sounds like an enhanced express route for the Scarborough-Malvern LRT just like the 195 Jane Rocket is for the Jane LRT. The only route left now is a new express route along Don Mills, if they are in fact following the TCBP.

    From what I’ve noticed, there are two things that differentiate regular express routes that use the E and F suffix (53F, 86E, 95E, etc.) and the Rocket express routes:

    1) With the exception of 39F and (currently) 116E, all other regular express routes only operate during peak periods whereas the Rocket routes have some off peak service.
    2) For the most part the regular express routes have a section of the route where they run locally (except for 39F, 41E and 60E) while the Rocket routes run express entirely (except for 191 and 196).

    To those who say that 198 has too many stops, it stops at every location where it connects with another route (plus Guildwood GO Station and Galloway Rd). This seems to be what they are doing with all their Rocket routes (excluding 192 and 193). The 199 Finch Rocket has stopped at every possible transfer point since it was introduced, something the 39E did not do. The same thing was done on the 195 Jane Rocket. Even the 190 Scarborough Centre Rocket was not spared from this new trend, with Midland & Sheppard being added as a stop at the end of June.

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  25. Steve said:

    “Lake Shore Blvd. does have some sections that are too narrow for a full right-of-way, but a more fundamental question is whether one is actually needed. Even the Waterfront West LRT has some serious choke points further into the city thanks to its convoluted design. One of the worst is the TTC’s idea that the route would head north on Dufferin, then west on King to The Queensway. This is an area that is already badly congested with streetcar service and auto traffic, and adding a frequent “LRT” would just make things worse. Another route variant would connect the LRT line into The Queensway as yet another branch of the Roncesvalles/Queen intersection that already cannot handle the traffic it has during peak periods.”

    I would suggest that ultimately, if the LRT in this area were to stay north of the tracks (which it likely should for reasons of meeting other lines and destinations) it would probably need a tunnel from somewhere close to end of the Queensway to the Exhibition grounds, or some notable expropriation or engineering miracle near the tracks. The issue in my mind with the tunnel, is given its required length (I believe it is on the order of 3+ km) that the cost is such that the city will view the project as a non starter. What percentage of ridership on the car at the end of the Queensway is going through to the core, and what percentage is destined on Queen street west of that? Could you run the Queen car to the park on the Queensway ROW and stop there, and have the Queensway ROW branch onto Lakeshore so riders could transfer there from, what would in be effect a greatly extented 509, to a greatly shortened 501. I suspect that the west end ridership would grow quite a lot, if the car was faster, more frequent and more reliable. However, it would also complicate the ride for those destined to a location on Queen itself.

    Steve: The design that was gaining some attraction, at least until Transit City was killed off, was to turn south at Colbourne Lodge Road (High Park) and then run east on a right-of-way in a reconfigured Lake Shore Blvd. This was part of the western waterfront plan which has been gathering dust since RoFo’s arrival. People coming in from Lake Shore to the core want to get there quickly, not to trundle along Queen, and those who do have a destination on Queen could transfer to the 501. My guess is that once GO upgrades its LSW service to the RER concept and provides an attractive fare, the residual market for the WWLRT will disappear.

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  26. Steve said:

    “Sorry, but I don’t plan to follow the rollout at that level of detail. My concern is more for the service these cars will provide.”

    Steve, where is the TTC actually publishing the information with regards to the delivery and changes in delivery plans for these cars. The only place there seems to be discussion on it in any great detail is on this blog by you. I certainly understand that you cannot and should not get caught up too much in the minutea. Is the TTC wanting to keep mum until a regular flow is established, and therefore there is actually something to talk about. Clearly these cars will not be materially affecting service in August or September. I am sure many would like to know if there is a good chance they will be materially affecting service in January or March 2015. I suspect as few as 15 or 20 cars would actually make a difference, as long as no ALRVs or CLRVs are retired in this period.

    Steve: TTC publish information? I cannot get a straight abswer out of them on this subject.

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  27. Steve said:

    “Metrolinx keeps talking of the Sheppard and Finch LRT lines as active projects, but I don’t trust the political environment. Queen’s Park’s attitude that they will build to the current plan seems astoundingly arbitrary given their flexibility in past years to the slightest winds, no breezes, of opposition. We need a middle ground between blind obedience to a plan that is not perfect (and is due for a legislated review) and ad hoc “planning” driven by electoral needs”

    Amen Steve, the stuff that is at the point of being through EA, needs to be built. There is a time for the collection of input, and an time for construction. The arguments with regards to the Crosstown, and Finch West, should no longer be about whether, but rather about details with regards to how to handle intersections, etc. There should also be a healthy discussion around extensions and additions to plan, especially in terms of regional integration. So where for instance a route runs towards but short of a major destination, there should be a discussion with regards to a later phase of a project.

    However, initial phases should not be held hostage to that discussion. I would like to see both Finch West and the Crosstown run to the airport area and meet the Mississauga BRT, however, I do not think that the current Crosstown construction should be held hostage to that idea, except if it were being built in such a manner that it would preclude any future extension.

    I would like to see a closed LRT run across the south of the city, but do not believe that the initial streetcar purchase should be held up for the debate with regards to the ultimate size of the fleet required in order to support this. Yes, the debate should evolve, but this should not stop initial projects. I suspect that to make this work well, we need a phase 1, 2, 3 and 4, as it seems clear we have an order of construction that is evolving. Finch West, and Sheppard East have been approved long enough they should be through consultation and design and moving to build on at least the initial phase of construction, yes perhaps, we can talk about tweeks to intersections and stations, but well enough already.

    Yes let’s talk about RER, and its implementation, and in what order, what train size and frequency etc, where it can and cannot apply. We can talk about LRT extensions west and east, but with construction underway. Even the UPX, lets get it built and electrified. Then we can have a healthy discussion around its extension and added stations, so that it can be transformed into something that will have a large impact, but we need to get past political gridlock.

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  28. Angelo says:

    If anything have the stops as follows… Kennedy Stn, Markham Rd & Eglinton, Guildwood GO Stn, Kingston & Morningside, Morningside & Ellesmere and U ot T.

    Agreed 100%. Eastern Scarborough requires fast transit for others to commute from the City core to the University and also for commuters that need to get to the West in a timely manner.

    If there is a need to stop at all the proposed stops then it should only run that route every 2nd or 3rd bus otherwise only the stops you mentioned.

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  29. Hey Steve thank you for your prompt reply last time. Just another question, you mentioned that the 198 Rocket will operate M-F but do you think that it will eventually have weekend service? The 86/116 buses are always packed on weekends, more so on Saturdays and I am just wondering if the 198 will become a 7 day a week rocket route in the near future? Thank You.

    Steve: I’m not sure about weekends, and it will depend how the TTC regards the success of the weekday service. Also, there is the basic question about whether there is enough demand just for service at the express stops to warrant a weekend service while retaining something reasonable for the local stops.

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  30. I am glad that they put bike lanes on Adelaide and Richmond but why are streetcar tracks still there endangering the lives of cyclists when no streetcar routes even run on those? As to short turning or detouring, why not expropriate a business or two and make streetcar loops or go bi-directional like every modern streetcar system in the world. And saving a few minutes for a few people by allowing convenient streetcar detours / short-turns is more important than the lives of thousands of cyclists?

    Steve: I am getting tired of the cyclists pontificating about streetcar tracks. You may or may not know that the city is about to repave Adelaide from York to Simcoe including removal of the tracks. Further west to Charlotte (the east side of the 510 Spadina/Adelaide loop) is planned, but probably won’t happen while Adelaide is a forest of construction sites. Absolutely nothing prevents the city from simply paving under the streetcar tracks as they have done in so many other locations. As for Richmond, utility work is planned between Victoria and York, and when it’s time to rebuild the road, the eastbound streetcar tracks will come out. Wellington has been on the list for years, but isn’t being touched until Front Street is back in operation. York is already done.

    So my short answer is this: stop using the death of cyclists as your issue because you simply overstate your case. If you want unused streetcar track made safe, get the city to pave it over (there is track under pavement all over the place from routes that disappeared in the 60s) while awaiting a major rebuild. While you are lobbying City Hall, spend some time on the many streets where there is no streetcar track that are in atrocious shape. This is a city problem.

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  31. Steve ponders,

    “My guess is that once GO upgrades its LSW service to the RER concept and provides an attractive fare, the residual market for the WWLRT will disappear.”

    I wouldn’t be guessing that way. I don’t see any indication in the RER plan for more stations, and unless they’re added. even the most frequent and TTC-fare GO service will only handle the small number of people who live close to the existing GO stations. Neither of the two existing stations are in the greatest of locations if you were starting to plan from scratch. Maybe if you ran a frequent shuttle bus along Lake Shore that ducked into Mimico and Long Branch stations … but then there would be no reason for a streetcar on Lake Shore.

    Steve: I am assuming some additional stations, but certainly all of the local traffic won’t be handled on GO. I just think that you won’t see any pressure for a WWLRT much west of Humber. The other big problem is deciding exactly what the line would do between Sunnyside and Bathurst, which communities it is supposed to serve, because it cannot serve all of them. Right now, it’s not seen as an improvement for anyone and so has no political constituency.

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  32. The plan is to close the loop at Eglinton and Renforth and sell the land to Metrolinx for the Renforth Gateway. The described directions were a bit confusing … frankly I thought Metrolinx wanted the triangular piece of land bordered by Eglinton, Renforth and Matheson, rather than the TTC bus loop.

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: I’m not sure what you are getting at here. What is the significance of the sale, especially in terms of the service changes (the subject of this thread)?

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  33. Steve:

    I’m not sure what you are getting at here. What is the significance of the sale, especially in terms of the service changes (the subject of this thread)?

    It was actually in response to the comment about improving rapid transit connections to Mississauga. It’s not a great connection to the current service changes but in the future, the TTC may benefit from serving the Renforth Gateway and not having to run buses into the Airport Corporate Centre.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  34. If the plan is to eventually have a whole bunch of these Rocket Routes, why didn’t the TTC just allocated one of the unused (at least publically) hundreds of numbers such as 6xx, 7xx or 8xx. Then they could use the number most like the route it parallels. i.e. 35 ->635, 116->616 etc… and they wouldn’t run out of numbers quickly as there are 100 of them in there.

    Then (if they felt like it) they could also renumber things that are on the same street to have the same base number. 7 and 107 on Bathurst, 41 and 141 on Keele, 32 and 132 on Eglinton and so forth.

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  35. When will we see the updated chart displaying all of the changes?

    Steve: When I get it done. This is not a trivial amount of work because I have to boil down a long TTC memo into a more digestible format.

    I agree with the comments about renumbering rockets to have their own “series” the way Blue Night, Community Bus, and streetcars have.

    In Athens they don’t have branches like we do (i.e. 95A, 39D, etc.) as each route has it’s own line number, but express buses are clearly signalled by a preceding X (i.e. X1, X2, X3, etc.) and those express buses actually run like the rockets here (no local service – only limited stop).

    Also, the original renumbering notice by the TTC had nothing in it about the 54 changing to 54B. How come some buses now display 54B? Oversight on the part of the TTC perhaps?

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  36. Mike Vainchtein said:

    If the plan is to eventually have a whole bunch of these Rocket Routes, why didn’t the TTC just allocated one of the unused (at least publically) hundreds of numbers such as 6xx, 7xx or 8xx. Then they could use the number most like the route it parallels. i.e. 35 ->635, 116->616 etc… and they wouldn’t run out of numbers quickly as there are 100 of them in there.

    Then (if they felt like it) they could also renumber things that are on the same street to have the same base number. 7 and 107 on Bathurst, 41 and 141 on Keele, 32 and 132 on Eglinton and so forth.

    Moaz: It’s logical and sensible. Brampton Züm buses are the 500 series (501 Queen parallels 1 Queen, 502 Main-Hurontario parallels 2 Main). MiExpress101 Dundas-South Common parallels the 1C Dundas -South Common and the 101A parallels the 1 Dundas. TTC also has some routes woth a 1 in front to denote a contracted service to York Region.

    I suppose the reason for the Rocket buses being the “19X” series was that they never planned for the “Rocket” buses to become a parallel limited stop bus network.

    I suppose a renumbering exercise for the Rocket buses cannot be as much of a challenge as the current renumbering exercise.

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: If only our worst problem was what numbers to give our bus routes.

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  37. No Ex service from Line 1 this year? I know there is “bus” 509 service because of the construction, but they don’t even mention the replacement bus service at the CNE website, just 193, 511, and 29. Couldn’t they run 521 King Exhibition streetcar instead?

    Steve: The 521 King service has always done less well than the 511 Bathurst service. This year with no spare buses, there is no express service from Bathurst Station, only from Dundas West. Concentrating all available streetcars on Bathurst is a long-overdue return to the importance this route once had, and it will be more important next year when the line operates with Flexities and their higher capacity.

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  38. Steve:

    When I get it done. This is not a trivial amount of work because I have to boil down a long TTC memo into a more digestible format.

    Is there a way for any member of the public to obtain this memo (i.e. from their website) or is it something privately circulated to specific individuals such as yourself? These memos always have me curious.

    Steve: The memo is fairly widely circulated within the TTC and to interested parties (typically planning agencies) outside. I fall in the category of interested media, especially because I digest and republish the info.

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  39. Steve:

    If only our worst problem was what numbers to give our bus routes.

    I look forward to that day as I look forward to meeting my grandchildren. Both may be around the same time.

    W.K. Lis said:

    I know there is “bus” 509 service because of the construction, but they don’t even mention the replacement bus service at the CNE website, just 193, 511, and 29. Couldn’t they run 521 King Exhibition streetcar instead?

    On that note … will the 509 buses be artics or lots of 12m buses? I don’t know where the extra capacity for Ex bus loads would be most needed but artic buses on Dufferin and Queen’s Quay would help.

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: I believe that the 521 is not operating because, as I mentioned in a previous comment, they are concentrating the streetcars on Bathurst where normally there are express buses, but not this year. As for artics, that would depend on the day of the week and availability of spares. I wouldn’t want to see any runs on Dufferin or Bathurst that are scheduled for artics with wider headways running with regular-length buses just to make capacity for CNE services.

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  40. For the CNE, there will also be additional service on 509 Harbourfront (provided at the divisional level). The 193 will operate at the divisional level from Wilson garage with 8 buses on a 5′ headway all day, every day. Departures from Dundas West Station: every 5 minutes from 9:05 AM (morning) to 12: 45 AM (at night). Departures from Springhurst Loop: every 5 minutes from 8:47 AM to 12:27 AM.

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