The service changes effective November 23, 2014 primarily deal with the end of many construction programs and the return to “normal” schedules. There are a few minor service improvements as well as reversals of cuts related to the bus shortage, but overall the service now on the street is what Toronto will see for the remainder of 2014.
Service improvements that had been planned for fall 2014 have been deferred because there is a shortage of vehicles, and this is compounded by greater than planned construction-related service.
Regular service hours per week are up 1.2% for November-December 2014 over the corresponding period in 2013. However, unplanned construction services consume resources that otherwise could have provided a further 1% improvement in regular service.
To reduce the scheduled requirement for streetcars, some trippers on 504 King will be replaced by buses. This sets the stage for the resumption of 501 Queen service west of Humber Loop on December 22 when, for the first time in over two years, the entire streetcar network will be in operation. The problem will persist until deliveries of new streetcars resumes and allows full streetcar operation. (As I write this, a revised delivery and implementation schedule has not been published by the TTC.)
Other factors in actual-vs-budget comparisons for November-December include:
- The delayed retirement of high-floor, lift-equipped buses with low floor vehicles. This would have required more service to compensate for the lower capacity of the low floor buses.
- Additional running time on the subway introduced in the October schedules. This increased the number of trains in service during peak periods.
- The reduction in service hours due to articulated bus roll outs has been less than expected because the order of route conversions is different than planned, and running times on converted routes proved to be longer than expected requiring more vehicles to maintain headways.
- Conversion of the 501 Queen and 504 King routes from ALRV to CLRV operation to permit retirement of the ALRVs has not happened. This would have required more service hours by the smaller CLRVs.