The TTC has confirmed the following changes in the allocation of streetcars and buses to various routes effective with the February 18, 2018 schedules:
- Streetcars will return to 511 Bathurst.
- The 502 Downtowner bus will continue to operate, but only during peak periods (Bingham Loop to Queen & University).
- The 503 Kingston Road car, normally a peak only tripper, will operate Monday to Friday peaks and midday (similar to the existing 502). The 503 car will run between Bingham Loop and Charlotte Loop (King & Spadina) to supplement service on King Street.
- The 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton routes will be converted to bus operation.
- Updated: The 514 Cherry service will be improved during the off-peak period.
The buses for 505/506 will come from a variety of sources:
- Existing buses operating on 503 Kingston Road,
- Tripper buses originally scheduled for 504 King but swapped to 505 Dundas since December, and
- Buses that have been freed up from construction service and the route reorganization following opening of the Vaughan subway extension.
Both Dundas and Carlton will be affected by planned construction projects this year that would require partial replacement with buses even if there were no streetcar shortage.
- Main Station construction and Hydro work
- Broadview Avenue track replacement from south of Dundas to Wolfrey (north end of Riverdale Park) including intersections at Dundas and Gerrard. This will also affect the east end of 504 King.
- The TTC has confirmed that they are reviewing stops on both routes for the need to remove adjacent parking spaces that would prevent vehicles from pulling in fully to the curb. Bus operation will use the same POP rules as on the streetcar routes.
- At the TTC Board meeting on January 18, Acting CEO Rick Leary stated that although the bus conversion of 505/506 was originally announced for all of 2018, he hopes that with delivery of new streetcars this can be reversed sometime in the fall.
In other news:
- Roncesvalles Carhouse will close for the remainder of 2018 for maintenance work, and operations will be centralized at Russell and Leslie.
- 501 Queen service to Humber Loop is planned to return with the schedule changes planned for May 13, 2018.
- The King-Queen-Roncesvalles intersection replacement, the associated road reconfiguration and the extension of the right-of-way east from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles remains in the 2019 schedule.
Even if buses were not filling in for streetcars, the TTC has no plans for bus service increases.
The bus replacement service is not preventing us from making bus improvements. In 2018, we do not have any budget for new improvements. Any improvements we make will be through reallocation. [Email from Stuart Green at the TTC]
More information is expected at the TTC Board Meeting on January 18, 2018. Also, the detailed memo of service changes for February should be out soon, and I will publish the usual condensed version when it is available.
Thanks to Stuart Green at the TTC for the information.