TTC Service Changes Effective January 3, 2016 (Updated)

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.

2016.01.03 Service Changes

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.

Streetcar Shortage

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.

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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.

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20160103_Route42102Map_After

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.

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20160103_Route2FirstTrains

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47 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective January 3, 2016 (Updated)

  1. A couple thoughts Steve…

    Was Exhibition Loop not redone recently during the 509 reconstruction.. or prior to that in the early to mid 2000s? I could have swore they did work near fleet rather recently and near Exhibition Loop. With that in mind, I would not be shocked if they reopened Dufferin Loop to streetcar service for the CNE for a 522 service to help alleviate things.. hell I can see them proposing a service running from Dufferin Loop to Cherry Street during the CNE much like a shuttle to help alleviate the situation at CNE loop.

    Steve: Did you miss “with an interim opening in August for the CNE” in the article? The timing of the work is also determined by Metrolinx construction at Exhibition Station, and by the fact that the loop was temporarily in use as overflow car storage.

    Next up.. the temporary return of the 507 service (for lack of a better term). I wonder if this will be a litmus test of sorts for the TTC. I have a feeling if all goes well there may be a rallying cry to reinstate the 507 on a more permanent basis. Given all the condos in sprouting up in the area there may yet be demand for such a service. The area while desolate is far from the sleazy motel strip (no pun intended) that it was in 1995. The area is (albeit only a tad bit) safer than it was back then and people may want more regular service.

    Steve: The whole issue of service to southern Etobicoke is part of the “Waterfront Reset” study now underway.

    Lastly.. streetcar shortages? How short are we? My understanding from your article is one of doom and gloom wherein we are about to reach critical mass and self destruct so to speak. I get the impression that we have more service than we do streetcars and will end up prying buses from other areas to make up the difference. Will this not just make an already bad situation worse? I mean we are tight on buses and now we are running short on streetcars. To get the buses needed to replace the streetcars, you will need to pull them from active routes. With that in mind..robbing Peter to pay Paul never solves anything and if nothing else will make the situation worse.

    How can we run all this service without the required amount of vehicles. I am honestly quite shocked the TTC has not thrown in the towel yet. Nothing will get a reaction more than drastic cuts to service like we had in the 1990s and under Rob Ford. If the TTC came out and said we need to make deep cuts to service because we do not have the vehicles to run the service.. no doubt someone would get lynched. Once the masses grab their lanterns and pitchforks I can see Ottawa and Queens Park coming up with money to save their electoral asses. A great way to ensure you never get reelected again is to piss off the largest concentration of votes in the country. Nobody wants to get the blame for the TTC throwing in the towel due to lack of funding.. it’s like holding onto a live grenade.

    All in all, I look forward to the upcoming changes.

    Steve: Between the backlog in car deliveries from Bombardier and the declining reliability of the C/Alrv fleets, there has been no spare equipment to improve service on the streetcar system for years. Recent schedule changes on some routes (including buses) have only stretched the existing vehicle allocation to run longer trips times on wider headways. Meanwhile, as part of their winter readiness plan, the TTC is reducing the peak fleet requirements for streetcars so that there will be more spares to deal with cold weather problems. Even if Bombardier gets its act together on new car deliveries, we will not see major improvement for at least a year as new cars replace the worst of the old fleet.

    As for buses, the TTC is just about finished receiving 50 new buses, and these will be used for service improvements on the bus network. I was surprised these were not in the January schedules, but it’s possible staff were holding off pending budget authorization (the scheduling process for January would have started a few months ago).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hurrah! The TTC is doing something to fix the 501 – even if it is not permanent at the moment. Although it has started unofficially as the TTC has been using buses during the week the Lake Shore between Long Branch and Humber to supplement the streetcar service.

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  3. I was aware of the construction memo stating the interim opening but as with all construction be it Metrolinx or the TTC I expect some sort of delay or at the minimum a partial opening (i.e. storage track closed) to slice capacity.

    My reference to a 522 service was along the lines of while it is open they may want to divert some cars so as not to overload a partially completed loop.

    Here’s to hoping we do not have a frigid winter again and that the A/CLRV fleet can handle it without needing to be stored inside, plugged in or roasted over an open fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ogthedim says:

    Hmm….what is Metrolinx doing at Exhibition. Any details anywhere?

    Og, it may have something to do with the work currently taking place at the GO station. They are working on the platform which is adjacent to the streetcar tracks. It may be that they need more room or to access the area surrounding the streetcar tracks.

    I know when they work on the platforms at other GO stations it is a massive undertaking and cannot be done in the confines of the platform itself.

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  5. For the new condos around Humber Bay, a 507 Long Branch to Humber won’t be much good to them, since they’re unlikely to want to visit Faulkner’s Appliances in New Toronto or South Side Johnny’s in Long Branch. Even service to Dundas West would be of minor use in my opinion, unless they want to go hang out on Roncesvalles–as a way to the subway it’s easily beaten by the various 66 Prince Edward branches.

    Of course I’m guessing as to where the condo inhabitants want to go, but if it’s not to work in Mississauga, it’s probably downtown.

    There is one exception; Humber students renting a condo would want to get to the Lakeshore campus, and the 507 is fine for that.

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  6. The GO website has details on their project at Exhibition.

    The Project

    We’re making Exhibition GO Station more modern and accessible by widening the platforms and providing convenient access from Atlantic Avenue. Extending the existing pedestrian tunnel north to accommodate a new future pocket track, will ensure a direct link to the platforms, making it easier for customers to reach their final destination.

    By the Numbers

    515 cubic metres of concrete
    150 tonnes of reinforcing steel (that’s the equivalent weight of almost two blue whales)
    105,944 cubic feet of recycled content from suitable excavated material re-used on site (that’s just over the volume of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool)

    Construction started in fall 2012 and is expected to be complete in 2017. We will post photos of our progress here.

    Steve: It’s interesting that they have info on station work in two separate places on their site, one of which gives little indication of the scale or duration of work at this location.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I thought ALRVs could not be used on Spadina in case they got stuck on the ramp on Queens Quay at the Ferry Terminal. Are the Flexities capable of pushing an ALRV up the ramp or perhaps the ALRVs will all short turn at Spading and Queen’s Quay.

    Steve: I am not sure anyone has thought about this in the sense that the following car might be a CLRV running on 509 Harbourfront, not another ALRV or a Flexity. Considering that a Flexity can push another Flexity up the Bathurst hill, I don’t think an ALRV would be much of a challenge.

    To put this in context, I cannot remember any cases of a car going dead and having to be pushed out of the tunnel, and so it must be a rare problem. Idiot motorists driving into the tunnel are much more common.

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  8. OgtheDim (@OgtheDim) | December 5, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hmm….what is Metrolinx doing at Exhibition. Any details anywhere?”

    It appears that they are moving the south platform to the east, at least temporarily. The north platform is being turned into an island platform as they appear to be putting another track on the north side.

    Michael Greason | December 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

    “I thought ALRVs could not be used on Spadina in case they got stuck on the ramp on Queens Quay at the Ferry Terminal. Are the Flexities capable of pushing an ALRV up the ramp or perhaps the ALRVs will all short turn at Spading and Queen’s Quay.”

    The ALRVs only have 2 powered trucks, the middle one has no motor. Neither they nor the CLRVs have enough tractive effort to push an ALRV up a steep grade unless the track is totally dry. The LFLRVs have all trucks powered therefore they have enough tractive effort and they also have AC motors instead of DC which allows for a higher effective coefficient of friction. The typical tractive effort for DC motors on dry rail is 20 – 25% of the weight on the powered wheels, with AC motors it is between 30 – 40%.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Steve says:

    As for buses, the TTC is just about finished receiving 50 new buses, and these will be used for service improvements on the bus network. I was surprised these were not in the January schedules, but it’s possible staff were holding off pending budget authorization (the scheduling process for January would have started a few months ago).

    I don’t think TTC will have all 50 new buses ready for service in time for January. According to your note, there would be a net increase of 9 buses in AM peak. Plus it seems to me that the TTC is still short on buses as the are removing the downtown gap buses.

    Steve: The last of the buses will be delivered in 2015, and allowing time to prep them, they could probably show up at least as extras/shuttles soon after.

    It also seems like Eglinton is losing riders very quickly. I suspect it’s going to be a lot worst next year with station box construction starting up. TTC would need more resources for NS routes like Keele, Dufferin and Bathurst.

    Steve, would you like to share which divisions will operate the shuttle buses?

    Steve: Sorry, but which shuttles do you refer to? Only the “permanent” ones such as the Fleet Street/CNE Loop shuttle show up on the schedule announcement. The weekend subway shuttles are organized separately.

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  10. Where will 509 operators hangout and fraternize now that there won’t be any place to idle at the end of a trip without blocking other routes?

    Steve: Especially given that they have far too much running time, it’s going to be interesting to see what they do to stay out of the way of 511 Bathurst cars at Fleet, and 510 Spadina cars at Union. The 509 is overdue for having its running times trimmed.

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  11. Ed wrote:

    “For the new condos around Humber Bay, a 507 Long Branch to Humber won’t be much good to them, since they’re unlikely to want to visit Faulkner’s Appliances in New Toronto or South Side Johnny’s in Long Branch. Even service to Dundas West would be of minor use in my opinion, unless they want to go hang out on Roncesvalles – as a way to the subway it’s easily beaten by the various 66 Prince Edward branches.”

    Better to have a two seat ride into downtown, then no ride whatsoever. I have experienced long wait times for the 501 along the Lake Shore. Anything to provide better service, including the unofficial return of the 501 is an improvement – and there are other options too (the 145 express bus, and three peak AM streetcars downtown.)

    Steve: Do you mean “the unofficial return of the 507”?

    Steve wrote:

    “Between the backlog in car deliveries from Bombardier and the declining reliability of the C/Alrv fleets, there has been no spare equipment to improve service on the streetcar system for years”

    Two points on this:

    1) The TTC has announced that they will be doing work on the CLRVs and ALRVs to make them operate better this winter (I, for one, wonder why it took them so long to figure this out!)

    2) Not having enough streetcars is garbage. The TTC has 14 brand new streetcars (4400-4413), of which 12 are currently available for service (#4401 and #4402 require more work to make them usable for revenue service). Therefore, the TTC should have more streetcars to provide service. The only reason why the TTC does not enough streetcars is because someone thought it would be a great idea to start scrapping the older fleet before receiving enough streetcars to handle the service requirements.

    Steve: The original fleet plan did have old cars going out of service too fast, and this has been revised to only retire the worst vehicles that are not worth fixing, and which generally were not worth sending into service anyhow. The number of available cars is a moving target, and with schedules locked in a few months before they actually operate, Service Planning cannot overcommit what appears to be available.

    Richard White wrote:

    “Og, it may have something to do with the work currently taking place at the GO station. They are working on the platform which is adjacent to the streetcar tracks. It may be that they need more room or to access the area surrounding the streetcar tracks.”

    Work at Exhibition station? What work? Metrolinx has done nothing on the new fifth track in the last two years, and they were supposed to have temporarily moved the platforms east to allow for heated platforms. That project started over a year ago, and nothing has happened for months on that project either. I won’t hold my breath that anything will be done to GO’s platforms in 2016 at all, if ever, at this rate.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Did they even bother to change the scheduled headway for the 510 Spadina over the course of this year, when there were some LFLRV’s?

    Steve: No, because they could never be sure how many LFLRVs would actually be in service or on which runs.

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  13. Steve, I am concerned about the future of old streetcar barns once all of the old streetcars have been replaced. Will those historic barns be torn down and replaced with condos? I hope that something like the Artscape Wychwood Barns is done (i.e. a beautiful park + some non-profit community place). Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    Steve: Leslie Barns is not large enough to house the entire Flexity fleet, and both Ronces and Russell will remain in operation. The combined capacity of the three carhouses is about 250-260 cars which is the target fleet size including a planned add-on order.

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  14. Steve, would you like to share which divisions will operate the shuttle buses?

    Steve: Sorry, but which shuttles do you refer to? Only the “permanent” ones such as the Fleet Street/CNE Loop shuttle show up on the schedule announcement. The weekend subway shuttles are organized separately.

    Sorry. I meant which divisions would operate the bus replacements for 502/503 and the 509/511 shuttle. Also, any changes to which divisions would operate the 504 bus trippers?

    I’m glad the TTC would actually schedule buses for the 502/503 instead scrambling to find streetcar replacements on the coldest days. Headways didn’t exist leaving riders in the freezing cold waiting for over half an hour. Last year should be the last time they ever treat Kingston Rd riders to second class transit simply cause they are the minority.

    Steve: The 502/503 buses will come from Birchmount. The 509/511 buses will come from Wilson. For 504, buses will come from Birchmount (AM only), Eglinton and Mount Dennis.

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  15. Sounds an awful lot like lipstick on a pig to me. The part about “shortage of new Flexitys” is the give-away. But then Toronto is never likely to move beyond a 1970’s automobile culture as long as politics remains tethered to neo-Liberal extremism with its refusal to recognize climate change. At a time when a totally new notion of how we move people around the city is required, Toronto pats itself on the back for juggling street cars. Sad really.

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  16. Edward Brain says:

    “Work at Exhibition station? What work? Metrolinx has done nothing on the new fifth track in the last two years, and they were supposed to have temporarily moved the platforms east to allow for heated platforms. That project started over a year ago, and nothing has happened for months on that project either. I won’t hold my breath that anything will be done to GO’s platforms in 2016 at all, if ever, at this rate.”

    When I was there a couple of weeks ago there was work going on for the fifth track north of the north platform but knowing Metrolinx I might have lucked into they day that they were actually there. It took two years plus to finish the work at Brampton Station. In the fall they put up a sign saying Railroad Street would be one way until April but they didn’t state what year. Everyone assumed that it would be the following April. Apparently Metrolinx meant the third April after the start of construction. They give new meaning to the Spanish term mañana.

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  17. With regards to the 509 running time I wholeheartedly agree on the need to cut down on the running time. Except for a stretch between Spadina and Bathurst the service is doubled up.

    I can already predict this will be a cock up but it is to be expected. Even now operators sit at Exhibition Loop in the storage track killing time and they will not be able to do that now that the loop is closed.

    I recall a time back when the 509 was a bus shuttle during the Queens Quay work wherein operators would park their buses for full trips on Wellington simply because they had an exorbitant amount of time for which to complete their trips.

    My father is an operator who did one of those shuttles and told stories of scenarios where buses could do two trips in the amount of time it took to do one.. hence why they would sit on Wellington.

    Now that the work is complete operators have so much run time they just park their cars for 20 minutes at Exhibition Loop. I have actually been forced to run between cars because I was unsure who would be there longer.

    Fleet Loop is by no means massive so this will be an interesting experiment in route management.

    I wonder if any thought was given to running shuttles between Queens Quay Loop and Fleet Loop with buses only. They could easily route via Queens Quay Loop, Fleet, Fort York and Queens Quay thereby cutting down on the run time and freeing up streetcars. As I said.. service is doubled up between Bathurst and Spadina anyway so why run streetcars on the full route for the duration of the construction?

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  18. “Where will 509 operators hangout and fraternize now that there won’t be any place to idle at the end of a trip without blocking other routes?”

    “Steve: Especially given that they have far too much running time, it’s going to be interesting to see what they do to stay out of the way of 511 Bathurst cars at Fleet, and 510 Spadina cars at Union. The 509 is overdue for having its running times trimmed.”

    My comments: What if 509 was eliminated and replaced by 511 Bathurst? Why do so many cars go to Exhibition loop in the first place? At best half of 511 could go to Ex and half to Union. I would think far more people would use 511 to/from Union than the Ex.

    Steve: There is a fairly good demand from the condos west of Bathurst to Union Station, but I agree that it would make more sense to send the 511 to Union, and simply use the shuttle bus on Fleet. It’s going to be a mess whenever there is any special event on at the Exhibition grounds.

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  19. It’s nice to see the 501 Queen to be split. So 501 west to Long Branch will operate 10 minutes or better?

    Steve: That’s the plan.

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  20. At Exhibition Station there was an issue with unidentified fibre optics cables in the construction area. There wasn’t enough slack to relocate the cables easily, so work effectively stopped while an alternative arrangement was resolved (including negotiations with the utility provider). Beyond that, there was an issue with the contractor, who have now effectively been banned from GO work for the foreseeable future. The idea of always picking the lowest qualified bid has always struck me as looking for problems to balloon into extra time and money.

    @Charles,
    I’m not a neoliberal by any means, but Margaret Thatcher said in 1988 address to the UN “It is mankind and his activities which are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways.” All sides of the political spectrum are guilty of not doing enough to combat climate change. The production problems at Bombardier are not a result of a refusal to recognize the environment impact.

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  21. No streetcar service to Exhibition loop for the summer? Oh joy. That’s going to make going to TFC matches fun.

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  22. They need to increase the bus service for the 224D. Every 45mins to an hour is just unacceptable. If you miss a bus you are definitely late for work in the morning and if you miss the bus in the night time you are waiting another 46-60 mins for a next one. You don’t get home till late.

    Steve: The 224 is a contract route whose service level is specified by York Region, not by the TTC.

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  23. Justin Bernard | December 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    “No streetcar service to Exhibition loop for the summer? Oh joy. That’s going to make going to TFC matches fun.”

    You could always take the 514 to Dufferin loop.

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  24. Tara or your other name, the 224 and 24D will be gone next year when YRT assume service under YRT route 24. It’s not TTC’s problem anymore and will free up 6 buses in rush hour. FYI off peak headways will still be 45min. I hope no one will be confused with 2 different route 24’s on Victoria Park north of Sheppard. I don’t think TTC will be replacing the Toronto portion meaning a loss of direct link on VP to Don Mills Station. Ridership remains pretty low as the Sheppard Line fails to attract riders.

    For the TTC, the 200s series can now be allocate for express/rocket buses. I think it would be a lot better to have numbers like 235 Jane Rocket, 239 Finch Rocket, 216 UofT Scarborough Rocket and etc. Especially if they plan to have more all day rocket routes.

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  25. Steve, it’s great to see the conversion to flexity’s being used on the 510. I am going to ask you why the 510 to King is still considered logical.

    Watching this quick turnaround try to wedge its way onto King interrupting E-W 504 and then back northbound has always been bemusing to me. With the CLRV’s it is painful to watch; with the Flexitys it is close to idiotic.

    Surely having cars run to Union and Short turn at Queens Quay would be one way the TTC could help itself with line operations that intersect. (Aware this interects Harborfront).

    I wish I would’ve snapped a picture on Friday night rush of the Flexity turning NB on to Spadina while the King car was behind, and another Flexity was turning off of Charlotte on to King. With two King cars waiting behind that! But I was jammed on that middle King car!!

    Steve: With the new schedules, there will only be one car every 7 minutes or so trying to make that loop, and so things should be a bit better.

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  26. Not an expecting surprise but I did take some photos and observe the streetcars at the Long Branch and Humber Loops a couple of weeks ago to see how the 501 operates. While the 507 LONG BRANCH is likely “resurrected” after 20 years, this setup is more like how the 85 SHEPPARD EAST operates one branch (Sheppard/Yonge Stn.-Don Mills Stn.) and the other branches (Don Mills Stn.-Rouge Hill GO Stn.) although it’s labeled under the 501 Long Branch-Humber.

    With the revamp on the 102 and 42, extending the 102 MARKHAM RD to Steeles is almost one step closer to YRT taking over the service between Steeles and Major Mac.

    “Steve: The 502/503 buses will come from Birchmount. The 509/511 buses will come from Wilson. For 504, buses will come from Birchmount (AM only), Eglinton and Mount Dennis.”

    I think with the Orion Vs retired, this type of bus is unlikely to return to service to cope with the streetcar situation. The Orion Vs did cover for dead hybrids for the past couple of years as well as the Fishbowls. They had a good run.

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  27. Steve… do you know if they removed the 507 exposures from the rollsigns? No doubt they did but maybe you have insight.

    Steve: Don’t know. I am sure one of our readers can enlighten us on this.

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  28. The ALRV not going in the Union tunnel is only because of a possible tail swing contact with patrons who are too stupid and refuse to stand back of the the yellow line. When we have large events ( ie the Pope etc….) we have use ALRV in the Union tunnel with staff on the ground to hold back the patrons. The new cars have less of a tail swing.

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  29. GO transit can build entire stations without disrupting its own service, so why can it not do the relatively simple work on the Exhibition south platform in such a way as to either NOT disrupt or minimize disruption to TTC service? We note that its own service will continue undisrupted.

    Why does the TTC not put up a fight against such abuses?

    Steve: TTC is also rebuilding its own loop at the same time, but this should not take all year. Metrolinx can be a gorilla at times, totally out of proportion to its network ridership.

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  30. The traffic light controller at Spadina and King likely has capacity and capability to recognize line ups of streetcars on King and to extend lights to clear them out. A persistent problem that could be resolved, but the City’s Transportation Services does not want to, and TTC will not fight it.

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  31. I received an email from a former TTC supervisor explaining more about ALRVs and the Bay Street tunnel. This info is published with his permission.

    In your blog there was a comment made about the ALRV being in Union tunnel, re disablements and the BRB likely having no trouble pushing it out.
    The real problem with A’s at Union are twofold.

    1. The operator cannot monitor the exit doors, not being able to see around the bend while on the platform. Offloading he is unable to see if the way is clear beside the car before moving ahead to load. Loading, she can’t see if a patron might be contacted by the closing door.

    2. You cannot push a coupled A around Union station. The rear section will be pushed right off the rail going around the loop or coming out of the loop. What has needed to be done is a car is REVERSED into Union from Queens Quay loop to pull the A out so as to not derail it.
    Whenever we previously sent A’s into the station, we always checked there were loaders at the platform to ensure passenger safety and checked with the car operator that the car wasn’t questionable. And, yeah it happened, and we did pull the odd one out on occasion; a pretty extensive delay needless to say, having to walk a car all the way then couple and haul it out of the way.

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  32. Mark Earley | December 9, 2015 at 10:58 am

    “GO transit can build entire stations without disrupting its own service, so why can it not do the relatively simple work on the Exhibition south platform in such a way as to either NOT disrupt or minimize disruption to TTC service? We note that its own service will continue undisrupted.”

    True but they often close half the platform and force you to use only one half of the train. Exhibition is such a heavy station when something is on there that they had to build a temporary platform.

    2. “You cannot push a coupled A around Union station. The rear section will be pushed right off the rail going around the loop or coming out of the loop. What has needed to be done is a car is REVERSED into Union from Queens Quay loop to pull the A out so as to not derail it.”

    They obviously need to install a crossover just before Union so they can run a car, but not an ALRV, wrong way to get to the disabled ALRV and pull it onto the straight section where the pusher can connect. Should only take a few years and multi millions to construct. Oh wait, the ALRVs and CLRVs will be gone by then.

    Steve: Moreover such a crossover would have to be well south of the station, probably on the surface to avoid the need to breach the centre wall of the tunnel which, closer to the station, holds up the rail corridor.

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  33. I suppose the more intriguing question about derailing an ALRV at Union Loop would be, did they learn this from experience?

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  34. I passed through Exhibition aboard a GO train eastbound earlier today. I can see clearly why they would need to shut the loop down along with platform.

    From what I can tell the foundation under the streetcar tracks is decaying. It is clearly visible to anyone aboard a GO train. With that said, I can see that being one reason to work on the loop over the summer. Basically the wall alongside the platform looks to be decaying. It may need to be shored up to prevent a slow order.

    Also, no doubt when they complete the work on the currently under construction section of the Exhibition GO platform they will need to complete the work by closing the side currently being operated.

    All in all, judging by what I saw there earlier Exhibition GO is a place to be avoided right now. With the amount of work I can see currently.. its no wonder they will be closing both the TTC loop and part of the GO station. It would make things alot easier doing so.

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  35. With respect to this excuse:

    “1. The operator cannot monitor the exit doors, not being able to see around the bend while on the platform. Offloading he is unable to see if the way is clear beside the car before moving ahead to load. Loading, she can’t see if a patron might be contacted by the closing door.”

    There is this wonderful new invention called television. You aim a camera at the rear end of the car showing those doors and place a screen where the driver can see it. I believe that it is already in use in a few transit systems in the world. This is not an excuse but rather an admission of gross stupidity. If they don’t want to run ALRVs through Union because of the chance of derailment fine, but don’t use stupid reasons like this. If they really wanted to run ALRvs they could always put in a couple of electric winches to pull the cars around the loop then hook up a pusher.

    Steve: Television monitoring of the doors is also an essential part of the one-person train operation the TTC wants to implement on Sheppard, and the Flexitys all have TV cameras at the doors.

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  36. Robert Wightman says:

    With respect to this excuse:

    “1. The operator cannot monitor the exit doors, not being able to see around the bend while on the platform. Offloading he is unable to see if the way is clear beside the car before moving ahead to load. Loading, she can’t see if a patron might be contacted by the closing door.”

    There is this wonderful new invention called television. You aim a camera at the rear end of the car showing those doors and place a screen where the driver can see it.

    CCTV isn’t everything. It’s hard for a single person to keep track of 16 or 24 small screens for 4 and 6 car TRs. They’ll need motion sensors to easily identify who is in the door way. On top of the screen, there will be a very noticeable indication if someone is in the doorway such as a red box around the screen of that door or some short of indication light. You can imagine how difficult it is to monitor just CCTVs on the Hong Kong MTR when they have 5 sets of doors on each of the 8 cars.

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  37. Steven says:

    “CCTV isn’t everything. It’s hard for a single person to keep track of 16 or 24 small screens for 4 and 6 car TRs. They’ll need motion sensors to easily identify who is in the door way. On top of the screen, there will be a very noticeable indication if someone is in the doorway such as a red box around the screen of that door or some short of indication light. You can imagine how difficult it is to monitor just CCTVs on the Hong Kong MTR when they have 5 sets of doors on each of the 8 cars.”

    True, but if they were to run ALRVs in Union they only need to monitor the rear door. You put in a camera to watch it and a screen on the wall for the driver to see. Not high tech and not on every car, just put in one set at the unloading point and one at the loading point.

    Some single operation systems I have seen have a set of monitors on the platform where the driver can see them and they show the platform from different positions. Since they are larger than can be put in the cab it is easier to see problems. All safety provisions should be used.

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  38. 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.

    That also presumes the TTC schedules the Flexitys for Spadina and not other routes. Last night (Sunday ~9pm) I saw car 4412 eastbound on King West signed up for “Connaught” which itself is not unusual but hours later on Transee I saw the same 4412 doing laps on 504 King, which as confirmed on Reddit was not a Nextbus glitch. It was actually in service.

    Taking Flexitys off Spadina to run them on other routes while there are still CLRVs on there doesn’t inspire confidence.

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  39. I note the TTC website states:

    Branch name changes

    Each branch of the 510 SPADINA route will be identified by a branch letter.

    Branches

    510A Spadina Stn-Union Stn
    510B Spadina Stn-Queens Quay
    510C Spadina Stn-King

    Destination signs

    510 SPADINA / TO SPADINA STN
    510A SPADINA / TO UNION STN
    510B SPADINA / TO QUEENS QUAY
    510C SPADINA / TO KING

    Makes the decision to create a 514 route on Cherry Street even more bizarre – surely it should be 504A as it is really a “double short turn” for the 504 King!

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