Shuffling Bus Routes in The Junction

The TTC has a proposal for reorganizing its bus service in The Junction and is seeking feedback for a report to the TTC Board this summer.

The maps below are clipped from the TTC’s site and their resolution is limited by what is available there.

Two major changes involve creating through services on St. Clair and on Dundas:

  • On St. Clair, the 127 Davenport bus would be extended west from Old Weston Road to an on-street loop via Scarlett Road, Foxwell and Jane Streets. This would replace the 71A branch of Runnymede that now terminates at Gunn’s Loop as well as the 79B branch of Scarlett Road. All 71 Runnymede buses would run north up Runnymede, and all 79 Scarlett Road buses would follow the current 79A route via Foxwell and Pritchard.
  • On Dundas, the 40 Junction bus would be extended west to Kipling Station replacing the 30 Lambton bus which would terminate at Runnymede Loop. A short turn 40B service would loop via Jane, St. Clair and Runnymede as another part of the replacement for the 79B Scarlett Road service.

The 80B Queensway service that terminates at Humber Loop late evenings and Sundays would be eliminated and buses would operate to Keele Station via Parkside Drive at all times. This through service to the subway was in place during the reconstruction of the loop, but the 80B reappeared on April 1 using an on-street connection to the Queen car at Windermere/Ellis.

The TTC site is silent on a few issues that could bear on how this reorganization will be received by riders:

  • There is no before/after service plan showing bus frequencies on the existing and planned routes.
  • When the railway underpass at St. Clair and Keele closes for reconstruction and widening, this will shift the western terminus of 512 St. Clair to Earlscourt Loop (at Lansdowne), and the proposed 127 Davenport service through to Scarlett Road will not be possible.

There is also no mention of the proposed 512 St. Clair extension to Jane Street which dates back to the Transit City days, but is for all practical purposes a dead issue. That extension was premised on the idea that streetcar service on St. Clair would operate from a carhouse to be shared by the Finch and Jane LRT routes. The Jane LRT is nowhere to be seen, and in any event would be a standard gauge line making its use by TTC gauge St. Clair cars impossible.

Assuming that the Davenport bus is rerouted along St. Clair, this would remove service from Townsley Loop which has been in service since 1924. It would also eliminate the planned connection by the Davenport bus to the SmartTrack St. Clair/Keele station, although this transfer connection would remain possible at the Keele/Weston/St. Clair intersection.

22 thoughts on “Shuffling Bus Routes in The Junction

  1. Steve: The following comment was left by wklis in another thread.

    There is a “Junction Area Study”, where they are “proposing” network changes to the Junction area of Toronto. The two bus routes along St. Clair Avenue West (west of Old Weston Road) could be replaced by an extension of the 127 Davenport bus to Scarlett Road.

    The 30 Lambton bus will be cut back, to Runnymede. Personally, think the “new” 30 Lambton should be combined with the 55 Warren Park bus, with service to High Park Station (and south into High Park during the summer).

    There will be two construction projects that may the area will face. There is the Scarlett Road Bridge (at St. Clair & Dundas), and the St. Clair Avenue West Transportation Master Plan. Whether or not that includes an extension of the 512 St. Clair streetcar to Jane or Scarlett would have to depend on the whims of the politicians, after June and October.

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  2. Is there an actual plan to widen St Clair underneath the rail bridge between Keele and Old Weston Rd?

    Steve: Yes. There is a master plan for the St. Clair West area including widening the underpass. This work may be undertaken concurrently with the construction of the new SmartTrack/GO station at this location.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope these changes don’t wreck (overcrowd) the 40 bus – it’s what I mainly take because everything along Keele is so often overcrowded.

    (the 89, for example, makes for an excellent poster child (or rather, monster) for city council’s contempt for transit users – perpetually overcrowded, and seems to stop every 10 ft. I actively avoid it!

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  4. I’m amazed the change to Dundas service took this long, twenty five years after the end of trolley bus service.

    Steve: Because buses are so flexible, you can change the route any time, don’t ya know?

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  5. How did they arrive at these choices? The 40 Junction which works just fine is being messed with creating (40B) a one-way on-street looping rather than a normal loop with a shelter and direct connection from FOUR routes/branches (71A, 71B, 79A, 79B) resulting in TWO different eastward transfer points. You guess which one will arrive first! Guess wrong and you wait. 40 now is 10 minute service or better while 30 Lambton is 30 minutes. What will it be with these “improvements”?

    Note too that 127 Davenport a low frequency service is replacing an existing (71A) low level service. Both 24 minutes mid-day. If the same number of buses it will be a longer wait since the one bus used on 71A now will not be able to run from Gunns Loop along St.Clair to Scarlett Rd. looping on-street along Foxwell, Jane & St.Clair. Nor will 127 keep its headway maintained when extended westward without more buses. 71A being eliminated will reduce service along the busy Runnymede Rd. main portion of the route. As you say no service level indicated.

    Eliminating the 79B Scarlett Rd. branch leaves the lower end of Scarlett without service to/from the Junction transfer point as well as the busier Runnymede Subway station. Nor is there any indication of what level of service there will be left for the majority of this busy route. DUMB!

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  6. There is one other future construction project that needs to be considered, especially with the 40 JUNCTION bus. That’s the reconfiguration of the Dundas West Station and Dundas West-Bloor Transit Hub. That’s a lot of traffic congestion during the construction.

    Steve: Do you really believe in the Dundas West hub? I see it as nothing more than a Metrolinx planner with a lot of free time on their hands. The proposed new loop configuration has less capacity than what is there today. The real way to improve it would be to extend west into the parking lot, but heaven preserve us from taking away parking spots!

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  7. There is a great deal of development going on at Dundas and Prince Edward. A new high rise is presently under construction on the south east corner of the intersection, the building on the south west corner is gradually being emptied and the old RONA site has just had the old building demolished and they are now laying out the new, very large, site. I wondered how the TTC would handle the additional load and wondered if the would re-instate the Prince Edward bus to Old Mill Station but I am now wondering if 40 Junction is their solution. The problem with the Prince Edward bus was that very few of the residents of the Kingsway ever used it so, will apartment and condo dwellers on Dundas prefer a long bus ride to Dundas West instead of a much shorter ride to Old Mill?

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  8. Do people actually ride those buses? I get the feeling that most people in the area have cars or would just walk directly to the subway/streetcar/Keele bus/Jane bus anyway.

    Steve: This in an incredibly simplistic view of how people use transit. One might almost think you are running for a seat on Council. πŸ˜‰

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  9. Steve: The real way to improve it would be to extend west into the parking lot.

    I believe the Lithuanian association owns the parking lot, so that might complicate efforts to use it for expanding Dundas West Station.

    Steve: I doubt that very much given that the subway structure including the east end of Keele Yard is underneath it. The TTC would have bought this land when they built the subway.

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  10. I believe that the Lithuanian association rents or leases the lot. It did start as a Green P lot years ago IIRC.

    Steve: Here is the Google Street View of the lot. If you spin it around, you can see that it’s right over the subway structure. That is TTC land.

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  11. Ming said: “Do people actually ride those buses? I get the feeling that most people in the area have cars or would just walk directly to the subway/streetcar/Keele bus/Jane bus anyway.”

    You can always make bus service infrequent enough so that people don’t use and walk to another stop/station/line instead, allowing you to say “well people don’t use this, so there’s no point in keeping it or investing further in it”.

    I used to live in a building about halfway between Kipling and Islington station. You could walk (5-10 mins.) to either one but this walk was not particularly convenient nor pleasant (lack of pedestrian crosses was a major problem, especially if you wanted to get to/from Kipling station within that 5-10 minute timeframe: it required a fair bit of dangerous jaywalking). In wintertime it was also quite unpleasant. Walking is what the vast majority of people do, since there is no alternative.

    However, stopping right in front of the building was the 30 Lambton bus. Theoretically, this was the most convenient way to get to and from Kipling station. In reality, due its wonderful 30 minute headway (during peak periods), it was mostly useless. You had to make a choice which way to walk (either directly to the subway stations, or to the bus stop), so even catching it serendipitously was not really an option. Since trains would get really slow in rush hour in between Kipling and Islington, coming home from the downtown area I would usually just get off at Islington and walk. I think I took the 30 once from Kipling, having fallen asleep and continuing to Kipling and then realizing that the 30 was there and about to leave.

    On the other hand, people who live on Kipling Ave. north of the subway tend to take a bus to/from Kipling even if they are just 1 or 2 stops (i.e. a 5-15 min. walk) away from the subway, especially in the winter. That is because they have frequent bus service on that part of Kipling Ave. (45A/B and 46). I know this since I’ve also taken the 45/46 to Kipling for years – there’s almost always someone at the last stop on Kipling Ave. in rush hour hopping on the bus even though it’s not a terribly long walk away (although it is again, not very convenient, due to lack of crosswalks!).

    So, if the 30 bus was more frequent (say, every 10 minutes) I think a lot of people in the Islington Village area would take it to/from Kipling station. Even more people would do it who live maybe farther away, so they drive to the subway instead. Not to mention using it for local transit – going 1 or 2 stops along the Islington Village corridor for example, when going shopping (right now it makes a lot more sense to just walk, given the 30 minute headway).

    I’m pretty sure you could make the same type of arguments for the Junction area and its buses, as well as for many other parts of the city.

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  12. Problems:

    1) Old Weston Rd & St Clair: a) where would people get off the 127 Davenport that is Turing left onto St Clair for St Clair when traffic is usually backed up halfway to Davenport, b). The left turn of the 127 Davenport would ADD to the congestion of the intersection, c), 127 Davenport would ADD to the congestion along St Clair, specially under the bridge.

    2) Service along St Clair would be cut from every 8 minutes to every 20-30 minutes (at best)

    3) The turning of both the 127 Davenport & 40 Junction at St Clair & Jane and Dundas & Jane would ADD to the congestion in the area

    4) Eliminating the 71 Runnymede service along St Clair means an additional 20 minute ride to the Bloor-Danforth subway (Dundas West instead of Runnymede stn) for those at St Clair & Runnymede.

    5) This IDEA (cough, cough) would ADD to the congestion & travel time for EVERYONE (transit, autos, walking).

    This has to be one of the WORST ideas coming from the TTC. (or is it all downhill from here)

    Steve: I hope you have passed these comments on to the TTC as well.

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  13. Alternate proposal

    71A reroute at St.Clair north on Runnymede to Henrietta, Castleton, Pritchard, Foxwell. South to St.Clair and east to Runnymede returning south to Runnymede Station.

    127 Davenport extended west along St.Clair to Scarlett, north to Foxwell east to Jane, south to Pritchard and east to Castleton and east to Runnymede, south to St.Clair and eastward.

    This will provide two way service along existing routes while maintaining direct routing for fastest travel for highest number of riders.

    Note: 79A replaced by above two routes. 79B to continue as at present except possibly looping at Weston GO Station to provide convenient transfer to GO or UPX. Ridership east of Weston Rd to Jane is minimal and well served by 52 Lawrence route. Possible 79S short turn rush hours only northward to Richview Rd. (many high rises) and loop at dead end returning same routing.

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  14. What makes me chuckle is the route reletterings, where 80A becomes 80, 40 becomes 40B, 79A becomes 79, etc.

    I wonder if the people who came up with all the route branch relettering principles (implemented with some strange results, certainly with 110 and 123 branches I’m familiar with) simply don’t have enough to do to justify their existence.

    Then I wonder if the same sort of motivation is behind all the rejigging to streetcar stops.

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  15. Ed: Further to your comment: At what point do bus riders pass out as a result of stress number overload?

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  16. The strangest thing about the TTC’s bus renumbering is that a bus appears to have different numbers based on the direction it is going if one end of the route accommodates all buses and the other end has multiple destinations. The Ossington Bus has 63 A&B Northbound, but only 63 southbound. How this makes it easier or clearer is a mystery.

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  17. I fully support this. Bus service is very infrequent for a major street on that long stretch of Dundas, west of Runnymede. Especially given all the new condo construction happening around Prince Edward. Also, Dundas West is a better transit hub to connect people to the subway as it also includes streetcar lines, and GO/UPX services.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Michael Greason wrote: “The Ossington Bus has 63 A&B Northbound, but only 63 southbound. How this makes it easier or clearer is a mystery.”

    Same with 45 Kipling. This seems to be a change that was brought in a few years ago (I remember that it didn’t use to be like this before, don’t remember when they made the switch).

    Does anyone know whether in such cases the operator changes the numbering once the bus “merges” onto the common part of the route, or is it the number consistent throughout? My guess that the reason for this scheme is to supposedly not confuse the southbound riders on the common part of the route – if both 63A and 63B are going to the same destination along an identical route, what’s the point of differentiating between them, that must be the rationale.

    However this could be extremely confusing for people travelling on the branches. If I am going southbound and take the 63, presumably the bus stop has just “63” on it, even though I am starting from the “A” branch. So I know I’ve taken the 63 and make a mental note that “the 63 bus goes here”. So when I want to get back, all of a sudden I have to choose between 63A and 63B….which one is it? The only way this confusion doesn’t happen is if on the A branch, the southbound bus is marked 63A, and then the display is changed to 63 once the route merges with the B branch.

    Steve: This is the standard numbering. Letters for outbound trips even on routes that do not branch with “A” being for the “primary” route, although there is a weird exception with 17A Birchmount to Highway 7 that runs infrequently and only during peak periods. Most inbound trips have no letter because all buses go to the same place.

    Rather obviously, routes with no branches don’t need a letter.

    This change was implemented in 2014.

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  19. Jason Paris said: “I fully support this. Bus service is very infrequent for a major street on that long stretch of Dundas, west of Runnymede.”

    There is nothing in this proposal to improve that since ridership determines frequency of service. 30 Lambton is 30 minute headway (off rush hours) extending it farther east to Dundas West Station may result is longer wait. 35-40 minutes.

    A similar situation exists with the current 71A Runnymede which is 24 minutes (off rush) as is 127 Davenport. The 71A uses a single bus and it frequently is late being unable to complete its roundtrip in the allotted time. Likewise that one bus will be unable to run the westward extension of 127 when extended along St.Clair from Old Weston Rd. west to Scarlett Rd. Assigning an additional bus would be required to maintain the poor 24 minute headway and therefore may not be approved.

    Steve: As I said in the article, a shortcoming of the TTC proposal is the absence of a service design. It’s not just where the buses go, but how often they operate that will determine the acceptability, or not, of the new scheme.

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  20. For Raymond’s concern about headways for the 30 LAMBTON and 172 DAVENPORT, the TTC would have to add buses to compensate for the longer routes.

    Of course, the bus shortage wouldn’t have been still a problem if it wasn’t for the Ford regime and their disciples that postponed the building of new garages and the ordering of new vehicles, even today. Remember that when you go to the polls this June and October.

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  21. Steve, what’s the chance of redirecting the 127 Davenport bus along Junction Road when the St.Clair bridge is redone??

    Steve: I assume you mean “while” the bridge is redone. That would be a messy diversion with the need to double back from Davenport, down Old Weston and west on Junction Road into what will almost certainly be a big traffic jam on Keele Street. The 127 is not a major service, and I think that maintaining a “through” route across the rail corridor is not worth the effort.

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  22. “The 30 Lambton bus will be cut back, to Runnymede. Personally, think the β€œnew” 30 Lambton should be combined with the 55 Warren Park bus, with service to High Park Station (and south into High Park during the summer).”

    I agree 100% with you Steve. It’s best to refer to it as the “30 JUNCTION-HIGH PARK” if they want to merge the 55 with the proposed 30.

    Steve: As I noted in the comment, it was actually left by wklis in another thread.

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