New Streetcars Come To Harbourfront

With the shutdown of the Spadina line for track work, the Flexitys have shifted to the 509 Harbourfront route. Here are a few images of these cars in a new context.

Green trees would make these so much better!

9 thoughts on “New Streetcars Come To Harbourfront

  1. And with them comes a deterioration in service levels. I am now waiting noticeably longer for a streetcar along the 509 compared to when the 510 was in operation. Maybe its just a route management thing but its now common to see the 509 travelling in packs which makes for increased wait times.

    Oddly enough… Monday night at around midnight I actually saw 3 streetcars travelling in a pack. A Flexity was sandwiched between two CLRVs and turning back at Fleet. That was at midnight… I shudder to think how bad service is managed during the day!


  2. Can anyone tell me the headway on 509 Harbourfront in the AM peak? And how many streetcars are assigned to the route in total? I assume 4 of those will be Flexitys. I plan to use the 509 later this month, and I’d like to figure how long I might have to wait to try a Flexity.

    Steve: According to the schedule summary, there are 12 AM peak cars. Today, four of them were Flexitys. You can easily find all of the Flexitys that are in service with TransSee. Note that the link provided here will display all cars between 4400 and 4410. You can easily adjust it as the fleet grows. Nextbus will show you a single route with the Flexitys appearing as accessible vehicles.


  3. Anyone notice how slow the new streetcars traverse the section between Strachan and Exhibition stop? Do all low floor vehicle go slow through curves?

    Steve: I don’t know if there is a slow order there, but the loop is scheduled for reconstruction next year.


  4. Moving these to another line is TTC’s way of making to seem that these are being delivered at a higher rate than they are. The same with starting the numbering with 4400 and then jumping to 4403 leading people to believe that 2 extra new ones are in service when they are not (do NOT tell me about the proto-types as if they are not in service, then don’t give us the false illusion that they are). I am not anti-streetcar, I just think that we need to cancel the current Bombardier contract and solicit a more competitive company which will NOT deliver years late (like Bombardier) with screws and what not falling from day one of service of the new streetcars. Likewise, we need to STOP buying subway trains from Bombardier as too many doors of the new ones are NOT IN SERVICE. A company which can’t prevent screws from falling and which can’t build doors that operate properly is NOT fit to build planes, trains, and streetcars. I wonder why no one has been killed from falling screws from Bombardier built aircraft.

    Steve: The TTC has always been clear that 4401 and 4402 are not in service yet, but they are being used for training (I saw 4401 only a few days ago). Reassigning the cars to Harbourfront is simply a requirement of the fact that College and Spadina will close for three weeks starting on April 6 for track work.


  5. Steve:

    The TTC has always been clear that 4401 and 4402 are not in service yet, but they are being used for training (I saw 4401 only a few days ago).

    I saw 4401 on College Street, eastbound at St. George, Thursday afternoon.


  6. Recently – Sunday, March 29 – I was surprised to see the new LFLRV streetcars on a different route: “509 Harbourfront”. I was heading to the One-of-a-Kind Spring Show and Sale down at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, when I noticed these new streetcars not on their usual route. I would soon find out the next day the reason for this. I was passing through Spadina subway station making the transfer from one train to another when I’d see signs pointing to shuttle buses on the “510 Spadina” route at street level and the underground streetcar portal temporarily closed and blocked off.

    There will be streetcar track construction at the intersection of Spadina Avenue and College Street, beginning the first full week of this month. Streetcars on the “510 Spadina” route have already been replaced with shuttle buses. There will be only the “510 Spadina to Queens Quay & Spadina” and the “510 Spadina to King” in operation; the main branch to “Union Station” via Queens Quay West won’t be in operation for the duration of construction. People who plan trips on the TTC to Harbourfront Centre would transfer to the “509 Harbourfront” streetcar to complete their trip, stepping off at Queens Quay West and Lower Simcoe.

    This construction is reminiscent of TTC track work on Spadina Avenue in 2012. For much of that year, there was track construction on most of Spadina Avenue, and the TTC ran shuttle buses on the “510 Spadina” route from the end of May to mid-November; the main branch of that route to Union Station wasn’t in operation. However, streetcars stuck around on the “509 Harbourfront” route until mid-summer 2012, and eventually replaced with shuttle buses (on July 29th). Beginning in June of that year I’ve been going to Harbourfront Centre, using a combination of the “511 Bathurst” streetcars and “509 Harbourfront” streetcars (later shuttle buses) to get to and from my destination.

    Steve: The construction this year will only last three weeks, but the buses will be there for six because that is the length of the schedule period. Normal service resumes mid-May. By that time there should be enough Flexitys so that both the 509 and 510 services are operated partially with low-floor cars.


  7. Any word on if the TTC will phase out Charlotte street as a regular turnaround? It was bad enough with traffic with the old streetcars, but with the Flexities it’s even more of a gongshow.

    Steve: No word yet. One factor may be waiting for the permanent and supposedly much improved signalling at Queens Quay and Spadina where streetcars now take forever because they are stopped and held so often.


  8. I was down on Queen’s Quay on Saturday and could not believe how bad the lights were. For a the section from Bay to Spadina there is only westbound traffic. I got every light red even though I was the only car on the road. There seemed to be a street car phase between each road phase: streetcar, Queens’ Quay, street car, cross street, repeat Most of the time there were no street cars and nothing on the cross street but we went through the entire cycle at every light. Do they not have any vehicle sensors connected? They better get this fixed before the summer.

    Steve: The current setup is entirely on a timed basis with no sensors. At least now there are two streetcar phases per cycle, not one. The whole thing is to change in mid-May when the new traffic controllers will be hooked up. It is a textbook example of how to screw up transit where it is supposed to be a showcase. I have been assured that the new system will be much better, but don’t have great faith on that score. I will use vehicle tracking data to compare operations under various configurations including pre-construction.


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