TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, June 24, 2018

The June 24 schedule change brings a major upheaval to the streetcar routes and the usual round of summer service cutbacks.


Construction Projects Ending

Queensway & Lakeshore

Streetcar service will, after a long absence, be restored west of Humber Loop. The new service design is similar to the pre-shutdown arrangement where a separate service, the old “507 Long Branch” in everything but name, will operate between Humber and Long Branch Loops. Late in the evening and overnight, streetcar service will run through from Neville to Long Branch.

                         Weekdays   Saturdays   Sundays
First EB through trip    11:02 pm   10:42 pm    10:32 pm
First WB through trip    10:09 pm   10:00 pm     9:52 pm

During the AM peak, five trips will operate through to downtown via Queen arriving at Yonge Street starting at 8:05 am and every 15 minutes after to 9:05.

Midday service at 9 minutes will be slightly better than the 10-minute network would require because the dead-head time to and from Russell Carhouse for one car is not worth the effort.

Recovery time for the “Long Branch” service will be scheduled at Humber Loop to maximize the overlap with the main service on 501 Queen for transfers between cars.

Gerrard & Parliament

With the completion of construction at Gerrard and Parliament, the 65 Parliament and 506 Carlton routes return to normal through this location. However, the 506 Carlton will divert a bit further east (see below).

New Construction

Broadview Avenue from Dundas to Gerrard

The track on Broadview from Dundas to Gerrard, including both intersections, will be rebuilt over the summer months. This affects many routes.

For the duration of the project, the 504 King, 514 Cherry and 503 Kingston Road routes will operate as a single “504” route with three services:

  • 504A streetcars will operate from Dundas West Station to Distillery Loop. This will be scheduled entirely with low-floor cars to preserve accessibility on Cherry Street. Note that the ramps will not be deployed on Roncesvalles because the “bump out” stops are incompatible with the ramps. This problem will be fixed in 2019 while streetcar service is removed from Roncesvalles for the intersection reconstruction at Queen Street.
  • 504B/C streetcars will operate from Dufferin Loop to Bingham Loop (weekdays daytime) and to Woodbine Loop (evenings and weekends). This service will use CLRVs.
  • 504D buses will operate from Broadview Station to King & Parliament.

Overnight service will operate with a 304 streetcar service from Dundas West Station to Woodbine Loop, and a bus service from King & University to Broadview Station. The streetcar service will be scheduled to use low-floor cars.

With the shuffling of buses between routes, the 502 Downtowner peak period service will revert to streetcar operation for the summer using CLRVs.

While construction is underway south of Gerrard to Dundas, diversion routes will be:

  • 504D King bus: From Broadview Station south to Gerrard, west to River, south to King, west to Parliament looping via Parliament, Front and Berkeley.
  • 505 Dundas bus: From Broadview Station south to Gerrard, west to River, south to Dundas.
  • 506 Carlton bus: No diversion.

While construction is underway at Gerrard and Broadview (starting in late July), diversion routes will be:

  • 504D King bus: From Broadview Station south to Jack Layton Way, then west and south via St. Matthews Road to Gerrard, and west via the River Street diversion as above.
  • 505 Dundas bus: Same diversion as 504D King to bypass the intersection at Gerrard.
  • 506 Carlton bus: Via River, Dundas and Logan both ways.

These diversions will add a lot of turning buses to the intersections at River & Gerrard, and River & Dundas. One can only hope that the City Transportation Department will adjust the traffic signals to suit this arrangement.

Main Station

Construction continues at Main Station, but new work by Hydro has further affected routes in this area, and diversion routes around work on Main will be implemented as needed through the summer.

The 87 Cosburn and 64 Main routes will be interlined. On weekends, 64 Main buses will divert northbound via Kingston Road and Woodbine to Danforth on weekends due to City road construction.

Keele Yard

Due to maintenance work at Greenwood Carhouse, movements to and from the yard will be reduced during the daytime weekdays. Four peak trains that normally return to Greenwood between the rush hours will instead use Keele Yard.

Lawrence West Station

Paving work at Lawrence West Station will prevent buses from using it as a terminus. The 52G Lawrence to Martin Grove service will be extended east to Yonge Street, along with the 59 Maple Leaf route. 109 Ranee buses will serve the station from the street.

Summer Route Changes

The 29 Dufferin bus will not operate into Exhibition Place during the summer because of many events that block roadways. All service will terminate at Dufferin Loop.

The 30 Lambton bus will be extended into High Park on weekends.

The 121 Fort York–Esplanade bus will be extended to Ontario Place.

Evening service will be improved on 509 Harbourfront and all recovery time will be scheduled at Exhibition Loop to avoid delays at Union Station.

New/Improved Services

The 83 Jones bus service will be improved off-peak to provide more frequent access to Leslie Barns as the infrequent evening and weekend operation interferes with operator access and crew changes.

There is a particular irony to better service on this route. In 1972, a group of local residents forced the TTC to hold its Board meetings in public as required under the Municipal Act with the intent of making a deputation asking for a bus on Jones Avenue. This was the beginning of open meetings at the TTC, a residents’ group lobbying for a route the TTC did not want to run.

A new route, 176 Mimico GO, will operate between the Lakeshore/Park Lawn area and Mimico GO Station during peak periods on a 30 minute headway to improve access to the GO service.


17 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, June 24, 2018

  1. Rumour has it that PCCs will no longer be running on 509 Harbourfront during the summer, because “the route is now pantograph operated”.

    Steve: I have already challenged Brad Ross’ statement about this on Twitter. The overhead is still capable of handling poles, and will have to if the 511 or 504 services divert, a not uncommon situation. I suspect this is a BS story to cover up the problem posed by the 48-hour rule.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes the irony for 83 Jones. Well, the same local residents will be happy to see improved service without making any deputations for it. That’s rare!

    Hopefully the 176 Mimico shuttle will encourage TTC to look at other areas for similar shuttles to GO Stations.


  3. “A new route, 176 Mimico GO, will operate between the Lakeshore/Park Lawn area and Mimico GO Station during peak periods on a 30 minute headway to improve access to the GO service.”

    30 minute headway in rush hour ought to attract HUGE numbers of riders!

    Steve: It’s a sop to those who claim that more would ride GO if only there were a way to access it directly. If the bus does well, they can run more, although connecting with a 30 minute train headway would require a parade. The other intent is to show that there would be a demand from Park Lawn for their own station.


  4. The intermix of 504/514/503 is interesting. I wonder what the reaction of Broadview (504) folks will be to being dumped at Parliament after a winding trip south rather than being brought further into the core.

    I think it’s worth considering, assuming the closing of King for TIFF is a done deal, a similar intermix arrangement then with streetcars coming out of Springhurst continuing up Bathurst to Queen and going east rather than turning onto King and then off it again, and cars coming from Dundas West into the teeth of the closure cycling back via Cherry.

    Steve: I recommend that you look at a track map. There are no curves N-to-E or W-to-S at Bathurst and Queen. I think you mean going straight up Dufferin to Queen, not Bathurst.

    Your proposal would relegate the cars from Dufferin Loop (the 504B/C service) to effectively being Queen cars at least as far as Church when they could head south, briefly. The question is what are all of the people on King west of Spadina, and particularly west of Bathurst supposed to do.


  5. Regarding the use of the PCC on 09. There are other factors to take into account as well

    1.) Maintenance of the PCCs themselves — they haven’t done much with them recently because of all of the rebuilds going on with the existing fleet.
    2.) Last year when it operated the had an empty CLRV follow it just in case it had an issue and needed to be helped out of service. It’s possible that the new cars may not be able to connect to it or they don’t want to have something happen to it like what did with the incident on King a few years back where a new one was derailed by an older car having its brakes on.

    Steve: I think what is really going on here is an avoidance of work that could push operators beyond the 48 hour limit, but the TTC is blaming it all on the overhead.


  6. Finally the streetcar service to Long Branch is coming back. It has been a while that buses served Lake Shore since just before Trump took office.

    Steve: I’m not sure I would choose that date as a marker for anything beyond the corruption of the USA electoral system.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. @Raymond: The TTC is expecting a few riders to use the 176 route, so this route wouldn’t be popular at all.

    Steve: Did you mean to say “few riders” or “a few riders”? The meaning is completely different.


  8. Steve, will there be a service increase on the “511 Bathurst” streetcar route in time for the tourist season?

    Many people choosing to take the TTC to get to Ontario Place ride the “511 Bathurst” streetcar; Ontario Place is free to enter, although watching movies at the Cinesphere usually require paying for a ticket, and concerts at the Budweiser amphitheatre are ticketed events. Also, there are a number of food and beer festivals at Ontario Place, many are free to enter and have free entertainment, although visitors buy sheets of tickets for food and drinks (usually beer); visitors know ahead of time that they’ll buy a can of beer or two, and they’d take the “511 Bathurst” streetcar.

    In late summer, there is a long-running Toronto tradition – the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) – better known as the EX. Many people going to the CNE take the “511 Bathurst” streetcar; there’s the high-spirited excitement of the passengers riding the streetcar to the CNE, and this climaxes when the Canadian International Air Show is running. Maybe it’s the sights and sounds of the aircraft flying overhead, in addition to the good food and the rides and/or other fin activities at the CNE.

    Steve: The service memo for June 24 does not show any change to the 511 Bathurst service although it would be possible for the TTC to increase capacity by swapping larger cars for CLRVs on busy days.


  9. It is good that the 121 will be extended to Ontario Place (presumably through the Ex Grounds and only in summer?) but maybe unfortunate that they just reduced frequency on this route.

    I thought the TTC had a policy (!!) of reviewing new routes after x months. The 121 was created about 2 years ago and has, as far as I know, not been reviewed. One of its MAJOR problems is that it has NO stops in front of Union Station. (Westbound it stops on east side of Bay and west side of Simcoe, Eastbound it stops east of Bay and west of Simcoe). Also the traffic on Front from John to Yonge really causes delays. The City were looking at parking/traffic on Front @ Union with hope of dealing with blockages and creating spaces for TTC stops in better locations but Ii have seen no word on that.


  10. eydf says “The biggest problem with the 121 stopping in front of union station is the cabs and also the bike share thing that both sit in what would be an ideal spot for a TTC stop.”.

    Exactly. Barbara Gray of Transportation told me that that is what they were trying to deal with in their “traffic study” but I am not sure what’s going on now – they were aiming for a Report about now. (Of course, there are other traffic problems in the Front Street corridor but using all the space in front of Union for cab ranks, rental bikes and a small drop off zone is certainly a big contributor to ‘grid-lock’ in the area.)


  11. To the one who commented on PCCs not operating in 509. The trolley poles can still operate on wires already converted.

    511 Bathurst still uses trolley poles but 509 Harbourfront doesn’t. And they share trackage from Bathurst to Exhibition Loop. 503 Kingston Road turns up Spadina but 510 Spadina is already converted. They just can’t operate the other way.

    Love the posts Steve! 🙏

    Steve: I checked with Brad Ross via email on May 22, and it’s best I let him speak for himself rather than me paraphasing.

    My note to Brad Ross:

    Following up comments on Twitter:

    You claimed that the PCCs cannot run there because of changes made to the overhead. However, until very recently, the Spadina cars were running there with poles, and there is still the possibility that a CLRV/ALRV will find their way to the route either due to a diversion (typically between Bathurst and Spadina), or simply because of car assignments.

    I find it hard to believe that the overhead crew has made the line inaccessible to pole-equipped cars so quickly as this requires a fair amount of work. Moreover, it was my understanding that this would not be done until after the older cars were retired. The capital budget says that this work would not be done until post 2020.

    I can believe that the TTC doesn’t want to run the PCC as this could trigger problems with the 48 hour rule. I could believe that there is a problem with PCC reliability, or with getting an operator. What is very hard to believe is that the overhead is the reason. After all, if it were, you could find another location to operate the service such as the central part of King Street.

    On a related note, a post on one of the message boards (where info can be dubious) claims that pantographs have been purchased for the historic fleet (PCCs plus Witt). Is this true, or just a railfan rumour?

    Brad Ross replied:

    There is additional maintenance required on the overhead when running pole and panto. With all of the daily struggles with streetcar right now, investing in the additional work is not a priority. I didn’t say it couldn’t run, I said we won’t run the PCC for this reason this year.

    Not aware of a panto retrofit purchase. [Same email]


  12. Are the 504 King, 514 Cherry and 503 Kingston Road routes all actually going to be signed as 504 cars during the construction period? Or is it just for internal purposes, within the TTC?

    In a way, it seems like the TTC is using construction season to test more permanent route changes in the King Street corridor: the 503 to Dufferin and the 514 to Dundas West Station.

    Steve: Here is the list of signs that are to be displayed by cars on King taken from the service change memo:

    Destination Signs

    504A Dundas West Stn-Distillery (LFLRV)
    Westbound: 504 KING / TO DUNDAS WEST STN / via KING

    504B Dufferin Gate-Victoria Park (CLRV)
    Westbound: 504 DUFFERIN
    Eastbound: 503 VICTORIA PARK

    504C Dufferin Gate-Woodbine Loop (CLRV)
    Westbound: 504 DUFFERIN
    Eastbound: 504 GREENWOOD & QUEEN

    504D Broadview Stn-Parliament (Bus)
    Westbound: Code B04B – 504 PARLIAMENT / DETOUR ON ROUTE
    Eastbound: Code B041 – 504 KING / to BROADVIEW STN via KING / DETOUR ON ROUTE

    304 Dundas West Stn-Woodbine Loop (LFLRV) NEW
    Westbound: 304 KING / to DUNDAS WEST / STN via KING
    Eastbound: 304 KING / TO GREENWOOD / and QUEEN / SHORT TURN

    304B Broadview Stn-University (Bus) NEW
    Westbound: 304 KING / to UNIVERSITY AVE / via KING / DETOUR ON ROUTE
    Eastbound: 304 KING / to BROADVIEW STN via KING / DETOUR ON ROUTE


  13. 1. Isn’t there a “504 Woodbine” exposure on the destination signs?

    Steve: I have never seen one, and they’re using the “Greenwood” sign as a fill in. It will be interesting to see how many cars actually get to Woodbine rather than short-turning at Russell Carhouse.

    2. Wouldn’t it make more sense to sign them as “514 Cherry to Distillery via King” ? Those at Dundas West station are going to know it’s a King car … just curious

    Steve: That could be argued either way with “King” for the west end and “Cherry” for the middle/east. Westbound “King” makes sense for the entire route.


  14. Steve wrote: I have already challenged Brad Ross’ statement about this on Twitter. The overhead is still capable of handling poles, and will have to if the 511 or 504 services divert, a not uncommon situation. I suspect this is a BS story to cover up the problem posed by the 48-hour rule.

    Steve, what is the 48-hour rule? I wonder if the problem with the TTC not operating the PCC on the Harbourfront line is because of the problems last year. On a number of occasions the car did not run, despite the fact that the TTC has two PCC streetcars, one was not ‘working’ and when questioned by me as to why the other car was not being used the question was ignored. Why bother promising the service if they are not going to provide the service?

    Steve: Provincial regulations limit the number of hours per week employees in the transportation sector can work to 48. Exceptions can be made with the agreement of the employees’ union. ATU local 113 had such an agreement in place, but has withdrawn it as part of the current contract negotiations arguing that the TTC is taking advantage of overtime to avoid staffing at an appropriate level. The PCC operation would have almost certainly been overtime work, and the TTC is limiting this to provision of core services. The cancellation of weekend subway shutdowns is caused by the same rule because crewing the shuttle buses requires overtime.


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