The September 2017 schedule changes primarily involve the reversal of summer service cuts to many routes with only minimal service improvements. This continues the TTC’s policy for 2017 of constraining service growth in the face of lower than budgeted ridership, as well as the shortage of vehicles.
Construction projects continue to affect route 501 Queen and will do so for many months to come:
- Streetcar service is restored between Russell Carhouse (at Connaught) and Sunnyside Loop.
- This will be affected in October when the intersection of McCaul and Queen is rebuilt requiring a diversion.
- A bus shuttle will operate from River to Neville Park due to the reconstruction of the intersection at Coxwell and Queen.
- This will also require the continued operation of buses on the 502/503 services on Kingston Road.
- Through streetcar service to Neville Park will resume with the October schedules.
- A bus shuttle to Long Branch will operate from Dufferin Loop, and Marine Parade will be served by its own local shuttle to Windermere.
- Construction on The Queensway will prevent streetcars from operating to Humber Loop until the end of the year.
- Streetcars will not operate west of Humber Loop to Long Branch until mid-2018.
With the return of ALRVs to the Queen route, 504 King will operate primarily with CLRVs, and the peak period trippers will mainly be buses, not streetcars. The effective capacity of the route will fall because of the lower capacity of CLRVs and buses versus the streetcars that have been used over the summer of 2017. This will be minimally offset by a small reduction in headways during all operating periods thanks to trimming of the running time. King cars now enjoy extended layovers leading to queues of vehicles at terminals thanks to an overly-generous schedule. The number of streetcars in service remains the same, but on slightly shorter headways.
New low-floor Flexity streetcars will be deployed on 512 St. Clair starting in September, subject to availability. The schedule will be based on CLRVs until new car deliveries reach the point where the line can be scheduled as a Flexity route.
The TTC plans to begin using Flexitys on 504 King late in 2017 subject to availability.
Between them, the King and St. Clair routes require about 60 CLRVs at peak. Allowing for some capacity growth with Flexitys, this translates to about 45 of the new cars, plus spares. It will be some time before both routes are converted, assuming Bombardier achieves their ramped up delivery rate in fall 2017. They are already slightly behind schedule with only two of three planned cars for July 2017 out the door in Thunder Bay, and they have not yet implemented the additional shifts/workforce to produce cars at a higher rate effective October 2017.
The northbound stop at Broadview & Danforth will be removed allegedly in the aid of transit priority signalling. In fact, this is a location where the substantial green time afforded to east-west traffic on Danforth makes the idea of “priority” for transit movements difficult to swallow. There is already an advanced green northbound for left turning motor traffic. Given the layovers now enjoyed by streetcars at Broadview Station, it is not clear just what this priority will achieve, but removing the stop will annoy the many riders who now use it. The southbound stop remains in service.
Other construction projects include:
- 54 Lawrence East: Water main construction west of Victoria Park has completed.
- Renforth Station opens: 32 Eglinton West and 112 West Mall are rerouted into the new regional terminal.
- Kennedy Station: The schedule change to accommodate Crosstown construction is implemented for weekend service on 86 Scarborough.
- Long Branch Loop: All buses will loop via the streetcar loop during reconstruction of the bus roadway.
- 123 Shorncliffe: Additional running time to accommodate a City paving project.
- 506 Carlton: The only remaining construction area/diversion is on College between Bathurst and Lansdowne. This will end in October.
- 505 Dundas: The diversion between Bay and Church will end in late September or early October depending on progress of the road works east of Yonge.
The 400 Lawrence Manor and 404 East York Community Bus services will be extended. For details, see the TTC’s July 2017 update on these services.
Today, I was surprised to see streetcars at Bathurst station (for the first time since the last weekend of the CNE), and quite a few of them. These streetcars were serving the “505 Dundas” and “506 Carlton” routes. The “511 Bathurst” route, however, still uses shuttle buses.
It looks like streetcars won’t return to “511 Bathurst” until Sunday, November 26, and it will likely be older streetcars – the CLRVs and ALRVs from the “512 St. Clair West” and “504 King” routes – as more Flexities arrive from Bombardier. By that time, there will be another show on at Exhibition Place, the One-of-a-Kind Christmas Show, which runs from November 23 until December 3, 2017, at the Enercare Centre.