Updated February 6, 2015 at 6:10 pm:
A change to service on 1 Yonge-University on weekday evenings was missed in the original version of my condensed version of the changes. This has been corrected.
Updated February 3, 2015 at 11:30 am:
In response to questions raised by the planned changes, I asked the TTC for more details on specific work.
- At College & Spadina, the platforms used by 506 Carlton will be lengthened, but not widened. They are already wide enough for boarding via the ramps on the Flexities.
- The 509 Harbourfront route will convert to PoP operation when the Flexities move there at the end of March.
- Transit signal priority has been or will be restored at various locations on St. Clair:
- On December 23, 2014, it was restored at Yonge and at Avenue Road.
- Before March 29, 2015, it will be restored at Deer Park, west of Dunvegan, Russell Hill, Bathurst, Wychwood, Arlington and Caledonia
- To be completed, but not necessarily by March 29: Ferndale (St. Clair Stn. Loop exit), Christie, Old Weston, Keele/Weston)
The original article from January 31 follows below.
Service changes for the March-April 2015 schedule period fall into two main groups:
- Schedule adjustments on many routes to reflect actual operating conditions, and
- Temporary route reorganization due to construction at College & Spadina.
College & Spadina
Between April 6 and 27 (approximately), the intersection at College & Spadina will be closed for track replacement. This is the last of Spadina’s intersections to be rebuilt to the upgraded TTC standards for special work. During this closure, special work at Spadina Station Loop will also be replaced.
Both of these projects were originally planned for 2014, but were pushed back into early 2015.
The shutdown has a cascading effect on services on many routes:
- 510 Spadina streetcars will be replaced with buses between Spadina Station and Queens Quay. During most periods, half of the service will be scheduled to turn back from King Street using the Charlotte Street loop. The southbound diversion will be via Harbord, Bathurst and Dundas; northbound, buses will run via Dundas, Beverley/St. George and Harbord.
- 506 Carlton streetcars will divert both ways via Ossington, Dundas and Bay.
- There will be no transit service on Spadina between Harbord and Dundas, nor on College between Ossington and Bay during the construction period.
- 509 Harbourfront will see increased service to replace the 510 Spadina cars that would normally operate to Union Station. The new LFLRVs will be assigned to this route.
- Streetcars displaced from 510 Spadina will be redeployed to 504 King replacing many of the existing bus trippers whose vehicles will move to Spadina. There will only be five bus trippers on King in the AM peak, and none in the PM peak.
- Buses from 17 Birchmount (1) and 95 York Mills (4) will be temporarily removed to supplement the 510 Spadina service.
Several routes will have additional running time so that their schedules more closely reflect real-world operating conditions, but a few routes will also be restructured to improve reliability.
- 1 Yonge-University (renamed from Yonge-University-Spadina) will have its “gap trains” converted to regular runs so that running time on both the through Downsview-Finch and the short-turn service at St. Clair West can be extended. Service will also be improved weekday midday and evenings, and weekend afternoons.
- 29 Dufferin will be rescheduled to match actual driving times, and operations at the southern terminal will be changed so that all vehicles go to only one location (either Princes’ Gates or Dufferin Gate). In theory, this should allow reliable dispatching from a single point. Service assist crews and service relief buses will be added during weekdays through into the early evening.
- 512 St. Clair will see many schedule changes to reflect results of the TTC’s service reliability project.
- Running times will be shortened to reflect the repair of 9 of 13 transit signal priority locations that were not working in fall 2014.
- Service improvements at various times will reduce crowding.
- The arrangements for standby cars will change slightly.
- Cars entering service from Roncesvalles Carhouse will now do so via Roncesvalles, Howard Park, Dundas and Bathurst to reduce travel times. These trips will not serve Bathurst Station.
For full details of schedule changes, see the linked table below.
Among the stranger practices that shows up with the rearrangement of schedules is the conversion of “terminal time” to “driving time”, in some cases eliminating terminal time completely.
These allowances sometimes appear and disappear as needed simply to round off the running times so that headways will come out to an even number, or in the case of branching routes, to a multiple of a common headway. The result can be that a route where once there was extra terminal time giving operators a break there now is much less or none at all. This can be counterproductive to the establishment of regular service.
Although there has been much discussion of service improvements as part of the 2015 budget process at the City and TTC, these have not yet been approved. The published service budget remains the same as it has been since August 2014.