The December schedules bring the opening of the Spadina subway extension to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station and a major reorganization of bus routes along the subway corridor.
Bus routes will be reorganized to serve the subway stations, and in some cases services will be split at the subway corridor. The map below is taken from the TTC’s project page for the line.
Services north of Steeles Avenue that were formerly operated by the TTC on behalf of York Region under contract will now be run by their own transit agency. Fares on the subway have yet to be integrated with YRT, and so a TTC fare will apply to subway journeys while a local YRT fare will apply to the bus feeder network. This is the subject of ongoing discussion, and as usual the issue is who will pay to subsidize a lower co-fare between the two agencies.
The subway will continue the same hours of service it now provides, and the new first/last train times are shown in the table below.
The first train of the day inbound from Vaughan will be at about 5:50 am except on Sundays when service begins at 7:50.
The late night schedule is driven by the long-standing meet at Bloor-Yonge between outbound trains to Finch, Kennedy and Kipling stations at 1:54 am. The last inbound train from Vaughan will leave just after 1 am, and the last outbound train will arrive at about 2:30.
Service on the bus routes affected by the subway is generally at levels similar to what operates today with only a few exceptions.
York Region Transit will take over service north of Steeles Avenue now provided by the following routes:
- 35 Jane
- 105 Dufferin North
- 107 Keele North
- 165 Weston Road North
- 35 Jane and 195 Jane Rocket: Extended to Pioneer Village Station (Steeles).
- 36 Finch West: Route split at Finch West Station (Keele & Finch) during most operating periods. Peak service west of Keele Street improved. Service east of Keele will be reduced in many periods recognizing that many riders will not ride east of the station.
- 41 Keele: Local service extended to Pioneer Village Station. Express service terminated at Finch West Station.
- 60 Steeles West: Service reorganized to focus on Pioneer Village Station rather than York University.
- 84 Sheppard West: Peak period Oakdale service extended to Pioneer Village Station. 84E express from Yonge to Sheppard West Station replaces 196B York University Rocket.
- 106 Sentinel: Formerly named 106 York University. Extended to Pioneer Village Station.
- 107 St. Regis: Formerly named 107 Keele North. York U service rerouted and extended to Pioneer Village Station.
- 108 Driftwood: Formerly named 108 Downsview. Extended to Pioneer Village Station.
- 117 Alness-Chesswood: Formerly named 117 Alness. Rerouted to better serve the area west of Dufferin Street.
- 196 York U Rocket: Replaced by the subway extension.
- 199 Finch Rocket: York U branch cut back to Finch West Station.
Night service will be provided to the York U ring road by 335 Jane, 341 Keele and 353 Steeles. The 336 Finch bus will not serve Finch West Station.
Holiday Period Service
The summary of the schedule changes linked at the top of this article includes a page outlining the service to be provided through the December-January holidays. The highlights are:
- Service on many surface routes and on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth will operate with summer schedules from Monday, December 18 to Friday, January 5. Extra school trips will not operate.
- Christmas and New Year’s Days will operate with Sunday service including the 8:00 am opening time for the subway.
- New Year’s Eve service will be extended on many routes until roughly 4:00 am with extra service on the subway.
- Regular service resume on Monday, January 8, 2018.
New Year’s Eve services include:
- Service is expected to operate free after 7:00 pm as in past years, but the details have not yet been announced.
- The last train meet at Bloor-Yonge for outbound service will occur at 3:37 am rather than the usual 1:54 am. The last trains on 4 Sheppard and 3 SRT will wait for the last trains on 1 Yonge and 2 Bloor-Danforth respectively.
- 501 Queen will divert via Church, King and Spadina after 11:00 pm for festivities at City Hall.
- 509 Harbourfront will have extra service every 9 minutes until 2:00 am and every 15 minutes thereafter.
- 510/310 Spadina will have extra service every 6 minutes until 1:30 am, every 8 minutes until 3:00 and every 12 minutes thereafter.
- Gap and standby buses will be provided downtown and at other locations to provide extra service as needed.
- Contract service outside of Toronto on 52 Lawrence West, 129 McCowan North and 68 Warden will be extended to 4:00 am. Service on 160 Bathurst North, 17 Birchmount and 102 Markham Rd will end at the usual time.
Slightly off-topic but it is probably a 20 min walk from York University GO station to York University – surely one of the bus routes could be routed through the Go station to provide connectivity to the campus?
Steve: There is a GO connection at Downsview Station, and there is some question of how long the “York U” GO station will remain in use.
I’ll just throw out a crazy idea, that clearly the TTC did not enact: have both the 53 and 60 operate out of the Steeles West station, instead of Finch. That could drive more ridership on the Spadina line.
I thought about the same for the 39/36: have the 36 terminate at Finch West and a new shuttle run between the Finches.
Or am I nuts?
Steve: If the two branches of the subway were closer together, maybe, but Pioneer Village Station is about 7km west of Yonge, and Finch West is 6km to the west. That’s a lot of extra time for passengers to ride buses just to avoid the Yonge subway.
Looks like you have made one mistake. You said “Service on 160 Bathurst North, 17 Birchmount and 129 McCowan North will end at the usual time” but it suppose to be “Service on 160 Bathurst North, 17 Birchmount and 102D Markham Road will end at the usual time”.
Steve: Thanks for catching that. I have corrected the article.
Also, would there still be a service change for January 7, 2018?
Steve: I expect so, although it will be minor and whatever is in it has not yet been announced beyond the restoration of “winter” schedules on many routes cut back to “summer” versions over the holidays.
Isn’t that what they are doing at most hours? If I interpret your table correctly, at most times of the day there are branches that run west from Finch West, and a single branch that runs between Finch West and Finch, and they are entirely separate (i.e. no through running). (But to increase confusion, those two separate services are to be signed with the same branch letter?)
Steeles and Finch provide interesting contrasts in that Finch is being treated as a subway feeder (service levels drop off east of Finch West station anticipating many riders to transfer to the subway), while Steeles is the opposite — it has the higher service levels between the two Y-U-S branches (primary role is still a service between York U and the Yonge line, and the SSE feeder role is secondary?).
Do we have any bus route reallocations to another garage with these changes?
Steve: Nothing is mentioned in the memo describing the changes.
The 106 is going back to Wilson from Arrow, the Operators at Wilson already signed for Dec 17 Board period when the TYSSE opens.
One of the reasons I think the 36 Finch West service is being split is because of the Finch West LRT construction that’s going to begin in the near future. It would be similar to how the TTC has split the 25 to protect the North part of the route from construction delays. I assume that would be a factor into why the 36 is being split.
Construction of the Finch West LRT is to start in 2018. Maybe they will just continue the construction at Finch West Station as being “Finch West LRT construction has started”!
No 10 minute network on 41 Keele and 60 Steeles West west of Pioneer Village station? You gotta be kidding me. Also based on the TTC 2017 customer charter, they mentioned they would boost off peak service on 15 busy routes by Q4.
Steve: Those service adds were a victim of the ridership downturn and the TTC’s budget cutting. The customer charter can be rather pliable when it needs to be.
The 36 Finch West is quite an unusual route. The highest ridership section is west of Keele. The route is very local. Many riders are stuck on it from Finch Station as the Spadina Line doesn’t extend to Finch yet. It makes sense to split it regardless of construction. The 199B will soon serve Finch West providing additional service along Finch between the two stations. The reduction of local service there isn’t surprising at all.
In fact many of the routes in Rexdale/Northern Etobicoke have higher ridership than the section of those routes near the subway. The 191 and 45E are good examples showing that demand is from that area. Many local N-S routes such as 35/195 Jane, 37 Islington, 45 Kipling and 46 Martin Grove all have higher ridership north of Eglinton outside rush hour. Better transit is needed that where it will actually be utilized.
Just a thought on the 60 route. Are students going to be encouraged to use alternatives to travel York U or are passengers wanting to travel to Jane and beyond going to be left standing as students will be able catch any branch.
Visited the open house on Saturday. Very nice stations although I do feel that the 407 and VMC stations are quite extravagant considering the expected low ridership on both stations. This is likely a white elephant that will be worse than the Sheppard Subway. One question if you can answer: why was the service road to Pioneer Village station designed as a crescent and not a straight segment to Pond Road? Surely that would have helped tick off some times on the 41 Keele route.
Steve: I don’t know the details, but anything about the roadway design within the York U campus would have been dictated by the university’s plans, not by the TTC.
I’m a little perplexed by the 107 route. I understand how the TTC feels that there should be a replacement for the Keele North route, but isn’t the service duplicated by the subway and the 41 Keele route? And what are the actual ridership figures for the St Regis industrial areas? If there is not enough ridership in that area, why put it there? I was actually expecting an extended rush hour routing using the 108B Driftwood route (westbound during AM and eastbound during PM), while either the 117 route would take over the Canarctic/Petrolia area (instead of looping at Steeles), or 41 service is split between the Murray Ross or Canarctic/Petrolia branches. And is the 107 expected to be 18 hours/day?
Steve: The 107 is an all day, every day route. As for the 41 Keele bus, it will no longer serve Keele Street north of Murray Ross.
And the renaming of the 106 and 108 routes were long overdue. It was a pleasure seeing their route signs at Pioneer Village stations.
There are a lot of people living on Finch between Bathurst and Dufferin who are essentially getting the short end of the stick here with service going from every 3.5-4.5 min to every 6-7 min at rush hour. It also remains to be seen if traffic on Finch west of Dufferin causes actual frequency to be more like every 10 min or longer in reality.
Steve: This sort of thing happens every time a rapid transit line opens and streets that were once feeder routes take on more of a local transit role.
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Hi Steve, I saw that the 41 was rerouted to Murray Ross, but why not split the route into two branches, one serving Canarctic/Petrolia, and the other serving Murray Ross?
Steve: Ask TTC Planning.
This coming December, the subway is finally coming to York University, and students will be getting there quicker. It is especially welcome in the winter months. When York University opened many years ago (in 1959) it was in the “middle of nowhere” and was described as “the gulag of universities” and there was very little by way of public transit. The subway system in those days had only one line – the Yonge line – running from Union in the south, up Yonge Street, to Eglinton in the north. Over the years, the subway system expanded to three lines (the same number as in Hungary’s capital Budapest), and York University was connected to the subway by several bus routes. From the Yonge-University-Spadina line, there was “60 Steeles West” running from Finch Station, “36 Finch West” running from Finch Station (with a short walk), the “106 York University running from the north terminal of Wilson Station and later Downsview (now Sheppard West) station” and the “196 York Express” from the same station. From the Bloor-Danforth line, there was the “35E Jane” from the Jane station and the “41 Keele” from the Keele Station.
Speaking of buses, the “511 Bathurst” route continues to use shuttle buses, and likely will until early spring 2018. The reason for this is a shortage of streetcars, and the delayed delivery of the new Flexity Outlook streetcars from Bombardier. According to a recent study, this is one of the most crowded routes. People using this route will be awaiting the “triumphant” return of streetcars, particularly the new Flexities.
Steve: The recent stats from the TTC, reported in this article, show the 511 Bathurst service being overcrowded at weekday midday only. This is relative to a loading standard of a seated load on a CLRV. This hardly makes it “one of the most crowded routes”. The TTC plans to have streetcars back on Bathurst for the spring-summer loads starting in May.
Although the 60E only runs from Pioneer Village Stn.-Finch Stn., can’t they able to merge the 60E and the 53E/F into the 183 STEELES ROCKET even though it is mentioned on the SmartTrack plans?
With TTC using 84E (former 196) as a placeholder of the Line 4 extension to Sheppard West Stn, why not split off the 84C and extend service south of Clayson running 7d/18h through York Mills Stn. under the name 99 SIGNET. 165 on the other hand, could have been cut back to Wilson Stn. so resources can be used to increase service levels on the 96 WILSON.
Regarding “Ghost Service”, has the TTC mentioned how it may respond to people who “fall asleep” as the subway approaches Sheppard West station? Asking for a friend. 😉
Regarding the “ghost trains,” they will probably do like they do before they take one out of service and close the doors each of the crew walk halfway down the train and get anyone off by the nearest door.
I work for GO and the York U station will be closing once the new station opens which should be December 17 as well. Or just after.
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What stations do you think will produce the most ridership? York U most certainly should be up there. Since it isn’t exactly a mean feat to undo the part north from Steeles and put everything back, for my part I just hope that VMC proves to be one of the best ridership producers on the extension.
Steve: Steeles West/Pioneer Village and Finch West should do well too because of the feeder services. VMC station cannot come into its own until YRT shifts its routes to feed that location and York Region and Toronto come to some arrangement about a co-fare.
On Monday, December 18 – precisely one week before Christmas – I rode the subway extension from Queens Park Station up to Finch West station, then take an eastbound 36 Finch West bus to Virgilwood, just west of Bathurst Street, and heading up to Valleyview Residence, where I work as a volunteer. This shaves off time from my journey from downtown to the suburbs, or vice versa. The escalators in the Finch West and other stations are long, and remind me of those in stations of the London Underground.
A week or two ago – on Sunday, December 17, 2017 – I went down to Ontario Place to take in the “Winter at Ontario Place”. I took the “511 Bathurst” shuttle buses to get there, and later on get back to Bathurst Station. The “509 Harbourfront” streetcar, shares track with the “511 Bathurst” shuttle buses between Bathurst-Lakeshore intersection and the Exhibition loop; I noticed Flexity Outlook number 4453 running on this route on that date.
How many Flexities are now in circulation? There will be more to come in the new year (2018), and which routes are the next to use these newly arrived streetcars?
Steve: There are 57 Flexitys in service. As things now stand, additional cars will be directed to King to improve capacity, and then to St. Clair to finish the conversion. Beyond that, it’s hard to say until the TTC announces their plans for the fleet sometime in January. There will be buses on Carlton and Dundas to free up cars for other routes and to reduce the total requirement. What this means for Bathurst, I don’t know yet.
I take the 36 Finch all the way to Finch Station from Humber loop and take the subway to York Mills. Now this change in bus route leaves me in a quandary. Now I have to get down at Finch West, go to Wilson subway, catch the bus to York Mills. Honestly, I must be the only who does not like this new change.
Why cannot the 36a bus run like the 96A Wilson? The 96A bus stops at Wilson and then continues to York Mills. The 36A can do the same.
Steve: The TTC has decided rather than having some of the 36s continue through to Yonge (they don’t need them all due to different demand levels), they would split the route. Complain to your Councillor and to the TTC, although I suspect that won’t do a lot of good. They are very set in defending decisions like this. Given how recent the change is, you will probably be told that after a year, they will review how the new route structure is working, and only then would changes be considered.
Do you know where the TTC redirected the extra buses that used to go into York University?
It seems like there are now a lot of extra rush-hour buses that should be relieving congestion elsewhere.
Steve: Some buses have shuffled between routes, but others were freed up by the end of construction projects, and for a short time, the number of spare buses rose in January 2018. This temporary surplus will be used in part for the conversion of Dundas and Carlton to bus operation pending receipt of more new streetcars.
As reported elsewhere, the TTC budget currently has no provision for service increases in 2018 and any improvements will come by taking resources (hours and vehicles) from less-used routes.