TTC Service Changes Effective January 7, 2018

There are few changes planned for the January 2018 schedules.


14 Glencairn is the latest of many routes to get additional running time compensating for the Crosstown LRT construction. Oddly, the end date shown for this change is December 2022 where all other Crosstown-related end dates are in 2021.

Supplementary service on 32 Eglinton West is being reorganized. There are currently several Service Relief buses operating from Mt. Dennis during most operating periods. These will be replaced by peak-only buses from various garages.

75 Sherbourne trips at the start and end of service are being changed to begin/end at Sherbourne Station rather than at South Drive in Rosedale.

The official route and stopping arrangements for various lines serving Finch West and Pioneer Village Stations have been clarified for periods when these stations are closed.

The TTC has already confirmed through the media that due to the late delivery of Flexitys from Bombardier, there will be bus substitutions on 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton starting with the February 18, 2018 schedules. This is also related to service reorganization to boost capacity on King Street. I will report the details when they are available.

(Bus trippers originally planned for 504 King are now actually operating on 505 Dundas replacing CLRVs that have been redirected to King Street for extra capacity.)

It should be noted that due to track construction on Broadview planned in 2018, there will be effects on the Carlton, Dundas and King routes that will probably last two schedule periods.

20 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective January 7, 2018

  1. I know that the UTDC fleet was in precarious shape during the delay in engaging Bombardier to provide new streetcars and in the ensuing period when Bombardier failed to meet their delivery promises. However, given that the TTC has 65 new streetcars it is hard to understand why they need to substitute buses on Dundas and College. Surely there are 50 or more CLRVs/ALRVs that could continue in service while Bombardier continues their disgracefully delayed delivery. This should be enough cars to continue the Dundas and College service (which is pretty poor at the best of times) while also increasing service on the highly successful 504/514 experiment in the core.

    Steve: I don’t think that the TTC has enough buses to completely convert Dundas and Carlton which have a combined requirement for 50 CLRVs in the AM peak. That would translate to at least 75 buses, and if there are that many sitting around, then the TTC has to explain to us why they kept claiming they had no spare equipment for service improvements.

    Peak and off-peak vehicle requirements are the same on Dundas (am to midday), and only four AM peak cars come off on Carlton for midday service. This means that simply replacing the trippers won’t be enough, but some proportion of the service will have to be replaced. I’m waiting to see the service designs (likely out in mid-January) before commenting further.

    On a related note, when Broadview shuts down for track replacement in 2018, this will require buses on at least part of Dundas and King, and there will be a period during which Broadview/Gerrard is replaced that will mean no Carlton cars east of Parliament. I suspect this will be a gradual shuffle from period to period depending on how work affects each route.

    Generally speaking, I think splitting the Dundas and Carlton routes would make more sense with buses to the east (anticipating the track work) and streetcars to the west not unlike some periods in 2017.


  2. Speaking of which, Steve, with routes 102 MARKHAM RD and 190 SCARBOROUGH ROCKET confirmed to be transferred to Malvern division, are there any other routes (Eg 10, 169) being shuffled around in January or February board periods? Generally, I do not know what the others are.

    Steve: Changes of routes between divisions are not always noted in the service change memos that I receive, and the two you mention are not in the January memo. The Scheduled Service Summary, which includes the division assignments, has not been posted on the TTC Planning page yet.


  3. With regard to terminology, what is the difference between a “relief,” bus and a “run as directed” bus?

    Steve: Generally speaking, a “relief” bus is assigned to a location to provide service wherever it is needed, while a “run as directed” bus is assigned to a specific route (although it can wind up elsewhere).


  4. @Michael Greason: The buses are only there due to the fact that the extreme cold is difficult for the CLRVs and especially the ALRVs to operate-the air lines freeze. The ALRVs require air pressure for the line switch to remain open which controls the power entry from the overhead to the streetcar. Basically if there isn’t enough air pressure (450 kpi) the line switch closes and no power. With the extreme cold lately between 20 and 40 streetcars have not been able to leave the yards. This issue has been going on for several years due to their age and once it warms up again and repairs made those will re-enter service. Of other issue is also the heaters fail and these cars cannot be in service but this is a smaller number.


  5. Steve said in one of his comments in another thread that the real test for Bombardier will be whether or not it can meet it’s repeatedly watered down delivery targets in November and December but since Bombardier has failed yet again, I hope that Steve will add his influential voice in demanding that Bombardier’s contract be cancelled effective immediately.

    Steve: Cancelling the order outright would involve substantial penalties against the TTC, and would almost certainly doom the streetcar network. What the TTC needs is more cars from a reliable supplier. To that end, they are already exploring other possible builders for what was to be an “add on” 60 car order of Flexitys. It would not surprise me one bit to see a settlement where Bombardier builds some number of cars, and then another vendor comes in for the remainder plus the add ons, very much like the arrangement with Metrolinx and Alstom.

    As for Bombardier’s long-term viability as a supplier to the Ontario/Canadian market, a lot will depend on who actually owns the rail transportation side of the company and whether the political cost of propping it up becomes more than Ottawa and Queen’s Park are willing to bear.


  6. Steve, are you aware of a near-term closure of Roncesvalles for refit, as rumoured elsewhere? Could be linked with their thinking that they won’t be able to keep 505/506 operating while dispatching as much other service as possible from Leslie and Russell?

    Steve: Given that there is lots of spare capacity at Leslie, and there is work to be done at Ronces, it would make sense to close it for a time. However, this would make more sense in 2019 when the King/Queen/Ronces intersection and all of the special work leading to the carhouse is due to be replaced.


  7. Are there any division shifts planned for this or next service changes?

    Steve: As I said in reply to another comment, the shifts between divisions are not always included in the service memo on which I base these articles. We will have to wait until the Scheduled Service Summary, which includes this info, goes up online, probably next week.


  8. The Sherbourne Bus cutback to Bloor is reminiscent of the Sherbourne Streetcar cutback in 1924, give or take the Sherbourne Bridge. I wonder if the reason [Rosedale doesn’t like noise] is similar.

    Steve: I suspect it’s just the TTC saving money any way that they can.


  9. The Sherbourne bus still serves Rosedale. It just sounds like buses going in or out of service will do so at Bloor rather than at South Drive.


  10. Steve said:

    “As for Bombardier’s long-term viability as a supplier to the Ontario/Canadian market, a lot will depend on who actually owns the rail transportation side of the company and whether the political cost of propping it up becomes more than Ottawa and Queen’s Park are willing to bear.”

    I hate to see advanced industry leave Canada, and I’d love to see that Canada is a country that can produce trains, planes, and streetcars 20, 30, 40 years from now. However, Bombardier is doing a stellar job of screwing up and demonstrating to Canadian citizens and governments that buying elsewhere is a better option. I just can’t fathom that they don’t realize this (they think that just because they the “Bombardier” name on their products, that Canadians will tolerate their nonsense forever?) and I don’t understand why they are so incompetent. It’s mind-boggling frankly.


  11. Once again, the TTC missed its deadline to come up with the arrival of more new Flexity Outlook streetcars from Bombardier. There is now 59 of them in circulation, as of December 31, 2017, and more are scheduled to arrive this year. Steve, the question is “How many more Flexities?” The “504 King” and “512 St. Clair” west routes are currently being converted to Flexities, although some CLRVs remain on these routes.

    The “511 Bathurst” route continues to use shuttle buses, and will do so until early May of this year, and so does the western portion of the “501 Queen” route from Dufferin Street to the Long Branch loop, located just east of the Mississauga border. There will be two more streetcar routes using shuttle buses, and those are “505 Dundas” and “506 Carlton”.

    This would free up older streetcars (CLRVs and ALRVs) on routes currently using shuttle buses, particularly the “511 Bathurst” route, and we’ll see streetcars triumphantly return to this route in time for the toursit season of 2018.


  12. I shall look forward to meeting more people from Venezuela (pronounced ‘ven-ess-WAY-lah’) during the busy 2018 tourist season at popular toursit attractions. There has been large numbers of immigrants from this South American country in recent years (since Nicolas Maduro became president) and many of these arrivals have made Toronto their hometown. This past year was my breakout year for meeting expat Venezuelans in this city, during my Sunday trips – taking the TTC (the subway and especially the streetcar) – to popular tourist attractions, such as the Toronto Islands (Sunday is the traditional day for Venezuelan families to go out together).


  13. What exactly was the point of the ALRV rebuild if they still can’t make it out of the yard when the temperature dips below -10C? The number of articulated cars running on Queen can be counted on one hand.

    Steve: As of 1:00 pm January 4, there are three ALRVs in service. This is quite ridiculous.

    The TTC has a rebuild program for 30 ALRVs at a cost of a tad under $1 million per car which should be almost complete.


  14. It’s even worse today as NextBus shows a couple dozen CLRV’s on Queen and zero ALRV’s out in service. They obviously didn’t overhaul or replace any of the problem systems.

    Steve: As of 1 pm Friday, here is where the ALRV fleet claimed to be (I did this for a Tweet, but am copying it here):

    Ronces: 4200 4203 4210 4215 4216 4218 4225 4226 4230 4236 4237 4241 4245 4247 4251
    Ronces barn: 4235
    Russell: 4202 4208 4214 4222 4224 4228 4232 4242 4244
    Russell barn: 4204 4223 4240 4246
    Leslie: 4201 4205 4209 4212 4213 4219 4220 4239
    Invalid GPS: 4207 4217 4221 4229 4238 4243

    Very few cars are indoors where actual repairs could be in progress. Most are out in the yards.


  15. The TTC continues to run shuttle buses on its “511 Bathurst” route. How much longer will it run them and when will streetcars return to this route?

    I’ve become accustomed to taking shuttle buses on the above route to get to Exhibition Place for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (in November) and the One-of-a-Kind Christmas Show and Sale (in November and December), and most recently to get to the opening of the Bentway (on Sunday, January 7, 2018).

    The Toronto International Boat Show begins Friday, January 12, and runs until Sunday, January 21, 2018, and people choosing to take the TTC to get to the boat show would most likely be taking the “511 Bathurst” shuttle buses.

    Steve: I don’t think you will see streetcars back on Bathurst until the busy summer season.


  16. @ ELizabeth from Etobicoke

    As a regular attendee to the boat show the vast majority drive and pay the outrageous parking fees. For those who come by transit I bet more come from the 509 car from Union or the GO trains. To work my shift I shall take the GO train from Brampton to Union and then the Lakeshore train to the Ex. Still the same fare zone.


  17. The busy summer season kicks off Victoria Day weekend, and this is when you’d likely expect streetcars to make their triumphant return to the “511 Bathurst” route.

    In the mean time, I shall continue to ride the shuttle buses on this route (which have been running since just after the Labour Day weekend) – to get to events and attractions in Toronto which is served by the “511 Bathurst” route. Winter at Ontario Place, which began Friday, December 8, 2017, runs until Sunday, March 18, 2018. In February, there is the Artist Project, a contemporary art fair at the Better Living Centre. In March, there is the National Home Show and Canada Blooms, sharing space at the Direct Energy Centre, Heritage Court, and adjacent older buildings.


  18. When streetcars eventually return to the “511 Bathurst” route, it’s most likely CLRVs freed up by the conversions of the “504 King” and “512 St. Clair West” routes to Flexity Outlooks (and the replacement of streetcars with shuttle buses on the “505 Dundas” and “506 Carlton routes).

    Steve: See my article on the changes between bus and streetcar operation taking effect on February 18. 511 Bathurst will be back to streetcar operation then.


  19. Streetcars will be triumphantly returning to the “511 Bathurst” route earlier than originally scheduled, on Sunday, February 18, 2018. The original date for the return of streetcars to 511 Bathurst would have most likely be the “May 2-4 Weekend” which is the official start of the tourist season. The shuttle buses which have been running on this route will be redeployed to the “505 Dundas” and “506 Carlton” routes replacing the streetcars; these routes use the older streetcars (CLRVs).

    It won’t be too long until I’m riding the streetcars; I shall celebrate the triumphant return of the streetcars on the “511 Bathurst” route by taking them to the Exhibition loop, then walk down to Ontario Place. I continue to meet the ‘Bolivarian Diaspora’ – recent immigrants from Venezuela – during my Sunday trips to popular tourist destinations whether it’s aboard the streetcar or at the destinations; actually, Sunday is the traditional day for Venezuelan families to go out together.


  20. This is terrible. 506 is very busy streetcar route. The King street can take — has capacity — streetcars and buses. The same approach should on 506 — mix of streetcars and buses. I take both routes with the stroller. Bus is always full and driver will not prioritize me with the stroller. I am waiting sometime for 3-4 buses to get in.


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