501 Queen Returns to Humber Loop

On Sunday, April 1 (yes, April Fool’s Day), the streetcars will return to Humber Loop on the 501 Queen route. The service design for this was actually included in the current schedules from mid-February, but the infrastructure has only now reached the point where streetcars could operate west of Sunnyside Loop.

Although the track at Humber now permits streetcars, other work is not finished, and the loop will be used only as a streetcar terminal. Bus connections will continue to be made on the street, but at a revised location. Streetcars will serve all stops to South Kingsway.

501L buses from Long Branch will loop via Windermere, The Queensway and Ellis. Riders will transfer at Ellis rather than at Roncesvalles or further east as they have done for the past year. With the 501L shortened to its planned length, the TTC should be able to remove the extra buses added to extend this service east to Dufferin since mid-February when the new design was originally expected to go into operation.

The 66A Prince Edward bus will continue to loop east to Ellis until Humber Loop re-opens.

The 80 Queensway bus is scheduled to be cut back to Humber Loop from Keele Station late evenings on all days, and all day on Sunday. There are no details on the TTC’s website about how this will actually operate given that Humber Loop will still be closed, and it is not clear whether the 80B Humber service will loop at Ellis like the other bus routes, or if an extra bus will be provided to  maintain the link to Keele Station.

To add to the upheavals on April 1st, two parades will cause 501 service to be removed from parts of the route during the day:

  • The annual Beach Easter Parade will close Queen Street east of Woodbine Loop from 2:00 to 4:30 pm. 501 Queen cars will turn back at the loop. 92 Woodbine South buses will divert via Kingston Road and Eastern to Coxwell. 64 Main buses will turn back at Kingston Road.
  • The Sidh Shakti parade will close Lake Shore Boulevard from 12:30 to 5:00 pm. 501L Queen buses will divert via Dwight, New Toronto and Kipling. 110C Islington South buses will divert via New Toronto and Kipling to Kipling Loop.

A date has not been announced yet for the reopening of Humber Loop. Streetcar service to Long Branch is expected to resume on Sunday, June 24 with the summer schedule change.

11 thoughts on “501 Queen Returns to Humber Loop

  1. I would still recommend all 80 Queensway buses to go to Keele Station via Parkside because if it ends at Humber Loop, then there will be no connections to 501 Queen and Parkside Drive bus riders would lose their Sunday service. It sure is a while since there is no streetcars on Lakeshore West.

    Steve: It won’t end at Humber, but could end at the Ellis/Windermere loop used by the Queen and Prince Edward buses.

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  2. With the work done on the Queensway, what was the purpose of embedding the right-of-way tracks in concrete, rather than maintaining the open ballasted track, as has existed here since the 1950s?

    Steve: There was quite a debate about this internally. Every time they wanted to do major maintenance, they had to borrow a track machine from the Rockwood museum. Don’t know why they didn’t have one from the subway, but that’s another story. The section south of Grenadier Pond is not particularly stable, especially with the newly high water table. That’s what stopped construction there for a while in the summer – the pole bases had to be redesigned to deal with actual conditions.

    There is also the more subtle issue that a one time capital project is funded from subsidies, while ongoing maintenance comes out of the operating budget. There is an incentive to spend from capital even without other considerations.

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  3. Now with a “new and improved” streetcar right-of-way. Fortified with long-lasting “concrete”.

    Coming soon to a GO train right-of-way near you… …not.

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  4. With the work done on the Queensway, what was the purpose of embedding the right-of-way tracks in concrete, rather than maintaining the open ballasted track, as has existed here since the 1950s?

    The purpose is obviously to entice motorists to begin driving on the right of way with more regularity.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have seen the 80 Queensway bus schedules and it looks like they are keeping the all day service east to Keele Station.

    Steve: Thanks for the update.

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  6. The TTC site now says:

    June 24, 2018 – Humber Loop opens to regular 501/301 Queen, 66 Prince Edward and 80 Queensway service and customers.

    501/301 streetcars will resume regular routing between Long Branch Loop and Neville Park Loop.

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  7. Wonder which NIMBY wanted so desperately to keep the South Kingsway stop on The Queensway streetcar right-of-way. It’s too close to the Windermere stop.

    Steve: It’s easy to throw around the term “NIMBY” as if it explains every planning decision, but if anything I would expect such a person to want a stop to vanish completely.

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  8. There are several high rises close to the South Kingsway stop. When I lived in the area I remember the long walk to Windermere when we wanted to catch the 80 Queensway and sometimes missing the bus because of it. I asked the TTC to build a South Kingsway stop for the 80 and 77 and they did.

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  9. From NextBus, it appears that the 501 passengers must exit at South Kingsway, then the streetcars go to loop at Humber with just the driver. So, in other words, this means that service has only resumed to South Kingsway, with the Humber service just for TTC employees.

    Steve: Yes, that is what the service announcement said.

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  10. I guess it is too much to hope for, signal priority at all the intersections involved?

    Steve: That is the next challenge: getting TSP turned back on and set up to favour the streetcars.

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  11. So if you look at the TTC diagram above, which is the same one found on stop poles, would it be obvious to you which side of The Queensway you should wait to catch a westbound shuttle bus? And on Monday April 2nd, the TTC had zero of their otherwise-omnipresent information people hanging around, either at Roncesvalles (where people were probably waiting for a shuttle bus) or at Ellis Ave.

    For months and months (feels like years and years) they’ve been coming westbound, i.e. you wait on the north side.

    But the shuttle bus comes eastbound on The Queensway.

    More than half the people on my westbound Queen car went and waited on the north side bus stop; the rest went to the south side.

    By induction, it was better to wait on the south side, since if the looping was counterclockwise, you’d still see the bus coming north on Ellis, and be able to reach the north side stop on the same signal that the bus needs to turn left.

    Good to see that the TTC is testing the adaptability and reasoning powers of its passengers.

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