Updated December 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm: I checked with the TTC about the termination of both the 509 Harbourfront and 511 Bathurst routes at Fleet Loop rather than simply running one route between Bathurst and Union Stations. Here is the reply from TTC Service Planning:
We considered running a 511 (Bathurst Stn-Union Stn) service but ruled it out for two main reasons. Firstly, stop usage on Fleet west of Bathurst has greatly increased in the last year, and serving these stops only with the shuttle bus would introduce a transfer or longer walk for too many people. Secondly, because of the road configuration and traffic patterns, it is not possible to have a northbound stop for through 511 cars on Bathurst at Lake Shore. The nearest stop would be the existing 509 stop on Bathurst farside of Queens Quay. This adds to the walking distance for customers heading to Fleet Street, and requires customers to cross an inhospitable intersection.
The original article follows below:
The new year brings changes to some routes, mainly on the streetcar system, to deal with the shortage of new Flexitys and a construction project while improving service on 501 Queen, 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road to better reflect actual conditions.
510 Spadina Officially Converts to Flexity Operation
Schedules for the 510 service have been revised based on operation of all runs by low floor Flexity cars, and the route is now officially “accessible”. Headways will be widened during many periods to reflect the larger vehicle capacity.
In the event that enough Flexitys are not available, ALRVs (the longer of the “old” cars commonly seen on 501 Queen and 504 King) will substitute.
Exhibition Loop Construction
Exhibition Loop will be closed to streetcars for much of 2016, with an interim opening in August for the CNE, to permit both TTC track work and Metrolinx construction adjacent to the loop. All 510 Bathurst and 509 Harbourfront service will turn back from Fleet Loop. A shuttle bus will operate between the CNE (looping on street within the grounds) and Bathurst/Fleet. The 310 Bathurst night bus will use the same on-street loop at the CNE as the daytime shuttle.
The 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road routes will be converted to buses to free up streetcars for other routes. Although headways will not change, the scheduled running times will be extended so that buses (and eventually streetcars) will be able to cover their full routes in the time allowed and, in theory, short turns will end. This is especially important for routes which can be functionally useless because they short turn before reaching their markets downtown and on Kingston Road.
Some of the streetcars from 502/503 will shift to 504 King replacing existing bus runs. All of the ALRV service on King will be replaced by CLRVs so that the ALRV fleet is available for the revised 501 schedule.
501 Queen Reorganization
The 501 Queen service will be split at Humber Loop on a temporary basis so that the ALRV fleet can be concentrated on the Humber-Neville section of the route. Scheduled headways east of Humber will be generally improved, and running times have been changed to reflect on-street conditions. This arrangement should greatly reduce the need for short turns and provide improved service on the main part of the Queen route (subject to the usual problems with headway reliability and management).
Service from Humber to Long Branch will operate at most hours every 10 minutes. During late evenings, there will be a transition from a split service at Humber to a through Neville-Long Branch service leading eventually into the 301 Queen Night car. The details of this transition have not been announced. Three trippers from Long Branch to Broadview will operate during the AM peak providing a limited amount of through service from southern Etobicoke to downtown.
Tapscott Employment District
In Northern Scarborough, the 42 Cummer and 102 Markham Road bus routes will be reorganized to better serve the Tapscott Employment District. This change was approved by the TTC Board in September 2015.
As previously announced, subway service will begin at about 8:00 am on Sunday, up to an hour earlier than current schedules. The start times of surface routes will be adjusted to match this later this year for those cases where service is not already on the street before subway service begins. Similarly, the night bus schedules for 300 Bloor-Danforth and 320 Yonge have not yet been changed, and so these routes will continue, for a time, to operate after the subway has opened.