TTC Service Changes Effective November 18, 2018 and December 23, 2018

The TTC will only make a few changes to its schedules for the November and December board periods.

November 18, 2018

Express Service Rebranding

Five routes will be rebranded into the new 900-series of Express routes. In all cases there is no increase in service, only a change in the route number.

  • 41E Keele express becomes 941
  • 95E York Mills express becomes 995
  • 131E Nugget express becomes 903, and will interline with 131 “local” service between STC and Old Finch.
  • 188 Kipling Rocket becomes 944 Kipling South Express.
  • 192 Airport Rocket becomes 900.

It will be interesting to see how long the 192 route number will live on in TTC maps to confuse the tourists.

Construction Changes

Work at Bathurst Station will be complete and the bus routes will resume their normal platform assignments.

Work at Kennedy Station will be complete to the point that routes normally on the north side of the bus terminal can use their regular bays.

Service Changes

One additional gap train will be scheduled on 1 Yonge University during each of the peak periods to fill service gaps.

Service on 505 Dundas (still operating as a bus route) will be rescheduled to remove some of the excessive running time with reduction of scheduled vehicles in some cases, and service improvements in others, notably Saturday evenings.

Service on 511 Bathurst (also still operating as a bus route) will return to the split version with a short turn at Front Street.

81 Thorncliffe Park will be changed so that it circles Thorncliffe counterclockwise at all operating hours rather than changing direction at 3 pm. The official “end of the line” will be moved out of the loop to Thorncliffe and Overlea so that passengers do not sit part way around the loop while the bus waits for its time. This will improve transfer connections with other routes on Overlea.

Weekday Run As Directed service will be reallocated as weekend Standby and Service Relief for the November-December shopping season including Sunday, December 23 (which is technically part of the next schedule period).

Other minor changes are listed in the details linked below.

December 23, 2018

For the two week holiday period, the usual arrangements will apply with many routes reverting to summer schedules.

No subway construction buses will be scheduled as there are no planned shutdowns during the holidays.

Late night service will be operated on most routes on New Year’s Eve. There has not yet been announcement about a sponsor for free service.

[The table linked here was corrected at:

  • 11:15 pm on October 20, 2018 to reflect that the Keele express buses terminate at Finch West, not at Pioneer Village, and at
  • 10:00 pm on October 21, 2018 to specify (a) articulated buses on the 41 Keele local service and (b) to include “before” figures that had been omitted.]


39 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective November 18, 2018 and December 23, 2018

  1. I wonder how things will play out with two routes numbered 900 within city limits. DRT has the 900 Pulse Bus running into UTSC. Not a TTC route and barely within Toronto but it still terminates within Toronto alongside TTC buses.

    The DRT buses are not listed on the TTC maps but I can see a few Google screwups and confused tourists in the near future.


  2. Steve, doesn’t the 41E just end at Finch West Station? So if it’s just a re branding wouldn’t the 941 just end at Finch West station? You have it showing going to Pioneer Village Station.

    Steve: Thanks for catching this. I will update the list of changes.


  3. I like how the 81 Thorncliffe Park will operate in the same direction at all times. It’s easier and more simplified that way.


  4. As of the upcoming schedule change on November 18, 2018, the “511 Bathurst” route will continue its shuttle bus operation, possibly or likely until the end of this year (December 2018), and streetcars more likely to return to this route in December 2018 or January/February 2019. Most of the shuttle buses will run between Bathurst station and the Exhibition loop and a smaller number of shuttle buses – the “511C Bathurst” route – running between Bathurst station and Front Street.

    Steve: You are reporting what is already in my article. Also, the streetcars will not return in December.

    There is one event at Exhibition Place – it’s the One-of-a-Kind Christmas Show and Sale = and I’m taking these shuttle buses to and from Exhibition Place.


  5. I understand this whole 900 Express series but for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out this 131E to 903 Express deal. If the local 131 is interlined with the express 903 at STC why not just make it Route 931 from Old Finch to Kennedy Stn via STC? Its like the 905 express I feel it should be more like route 916 express cause it parallels the 116 local. And the Eglinton East name should’ve been U of T Scarborough Express. Cause the Eglinton East Local operates west of Kennedy Station rather than East. It’s just one of those things.


  6. “I understand this whole 900 Express series but for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out this 131E to 903 Express deal. If the local 131 is interlined with the express 903 at STC why not just make it Route 931 from Old Finch to Kennedy Stn via STC? It’s like the 905 express I feel it should be more like route 916 express cause it parallels the 116 local. And the Eglinton East name should’ve been U of T Scarborough Express. Cause the Eglinton East Local operates west of Kennedy Station rather than East. It’s just one of those things.”

    903 runs as a bus express to line 3.

    905 runs as an extension of the future line 5.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I wonder how things will play out with two routes numbered 900 within city limits. DRT has the 900 Pulse Bus running into UTSC. Not a TTC route and barely within Toronto but it still terminates within Toronto alongside TTC buses.

    The DRT buses are not listed on the TTC maps but I can see a few Google screwups and confused tourists in the near future.”

    It’ll be colours cause YRT 107 and TTC 107 on Steeles between Pioneer Village Station and Keele Street. YRT 105 and TTC 105 on Dufferin and Allen Road. And YRT 165 and TTC 165 on Old Weston Road. Just is what it is. Google tourists won’t get any more confused.


  8. This “Streetcar Aficionado” person will never be pleased with the 511 Bathurst as buses will he ? Even though it’s been told it won’t be streetcars till King is converted and Queen is next. Then streetcars have to return to Carlton trippers and Dundas.

    Can’t please everyone can you ?


  9. You forgot to include the change of the 186 Wilson Rocket to 996 Wilson Express.

    Steve: The 996 is not listed in the November service change memo.


  10. All TTC service is good. But off all the major roads like Bathurst St there’s no express. It took me 1hr from Steeles to Lawrence. Because route #7 always stops. I hope the management can also put on Express to this area.

    Thanks so much.


  11. Steve, is it my imagination or has this TTC management and John Tory adopted Olivia Chow’s platform from the last election of more buses on the road. Looks like it with all the 900 services.

    Steve: Tory adopted various parts of Olivia’s platform, but the 900 series routes are largely an exercise in marketing. Most of them involve little or no added service, just rebranding. As for the new buses Tory did fund, a good chunk of those went to expand the spare pool for maintenance, not to add service on the street. Meanwhile, we need another bus garage (beyond McNicoll now under construction) desperately, but current plans put it out in about 2026, if we’re lucky. This is all part of talking about how we want more service buy failing to provide funding for either the infrastructure or operation.


  12. Just another comment about the 41 Keele. If there’s no change to service levels, the 41 (currently 41A) would be scheduled artic buses, not regular buses as listed in the spreadsheet.

    Steve: Thanks for this. I realize that what happened was a combination of (a) the vehicle type simply being specified as “bus” in the service change memo and (b) the fact that I had not been including “before” values for local service which would come from the existing service description. I have added “before” values in several cases where they were missing.


  13. Just a question out of curiosity: Why do they keep adding stops to express services? It just adds up time and makes things longer. What justifies adding the Brookbanks Drive stop on 995? There is always so many 95C/A and the express is less frequent as is. It takes people from a further point from the route (such as myself who uses it everyday) so by adding a stop it makes things longer. Also, the express buses are packed during rush hour and usually skip express stops when they can’t fit anymore people. They added Brian Drive to the 985 and Torresdale / Gold Finch to the 939 recently as well.

    Steve: According to the service memo, the purpose of the Brookbanks stop is to improve the express stop spacing. Obviously if the express buses are skipping stops, the route has other problems which one more stop won’t address.


  14. “81 Thorncliffe Park will be changed so that it circles Thorncliffe counterclockwise at all operating hours rather than changing direction at 3 pm” means the following, correct?

    > All buses will turn right (south) onto Thorncliffe Park Drive West,
    > All buses will proceed south, then east, then north along Thorncliffe Park Drive,
    > All buses will turn left (west) at Thorncliffe Park Drive East to return to Overlea Boulevard.

    Steve: Here is the official route description.

    Northbound 81 TO THORNCLIFFE: From Pape Station via west on Lipton Avenue, north on Pape Avenue, north on Leaside Bridge, north on Millwood Road, east on Overlea Boulevard to Thorncliffe Park Drive (west branch) and counter-clockwise via south, east, and north on Thorncliffe Park Drive to Overlea Boulevard.


  15. Idk. I feel like some of these express routes were fine but the more they keep adding stops the less efficient it becomes as an express and it saves less time. 95E was fine all these years.


  16. The “511 Bathurst” route continues to operate with shuttle buses, and will continue to for another month or two. While passing through Bathurst station, a driver of one of these shuttle buses tells me that streetcars may return to the “511 Bathurst” route in a month’s time (in late November) in time for the one-of-a-Kind Christmas Show and Sale at Exhibition Place, which I plan to attend.

    Steve: The November and December schedules are already out, and buses remain on 511 Bathurst.


  17. Yesterday, a TTC employee tells me that the “511 Bathurst” route will operate with shuttle buses for another two months (end of the year). However, today, I passed through Bathurst station and a driver of one of the shuttle buses on the “511 Bathurst” route tells me that streetcars may return to this route in less than a month’s time. Which story is more true?

    Steve: I have checked with TTC Service Planning, and they advise that buses will remain on Bathurst until at least the end of the January schedule period which lasts until mid-February. After that nothing is certain yet, but the onset of construction will free up some streetcars and require shifting replacement buses to affected parts of routes. The big project in 2019 is the reconstruction of King-Queen-Roncesvalles, the entrances to Ronces Carhouse, and the rebuilding/reconfiguration of The Queensway west from Roncesvalles to Parkside Drive. This will affect both the King and Queen routes, but details of the service plans for this multi-month project have not yet been released.


  18. As shuttle buses will be running on the “511 Bathurst” route until at least mid-winter, I shall take them to get to big-ticket events at Exhibition Place. One of these events is the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which runs from November 2-11, 2018. Another is the One-of-a-Kind Christmas Show and Sale, which runs from Novemner 22 to December 2, 2018. In the new year, there is the Toronto International Boat Show, which runs from January 11-20, 2019, at the Enercare Centre and the Coca-Cola (formerly Ricoh) Coliseum which becomes an indoor lake for the show’s duration.

    Will the “511 Bathurst” route still be operating with shuttle buses after the February 2019 schedule change?

    Steve: As I said before, the TTC does not yet have a firm date for return of streetcars to 511 Bathurst.

    Also, I shall take the “510 Spadina” streetcar to get to popular tourist attractions served by (or close to) this route, most notably TIFF Bell Lightbox, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Harbourfront Centre and Ripley’s Aquarium; and us it in combination with another streetcar route (such as the “504 King” route) to get to the Distillery District and the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood for the Sunday antique market at St. Lawrence.


  19. The person I spoke to on Monday, October 29 and again yesterday – Massimo Cardish – tells me that there’s only a month left of shuttle bus operation on “511 Bathurst” route and streetcars to return to this route next month.

    When streetcars return to the “511 Bathurst” route, which models?

    Steve: And I am telling you that my contact in Service Planning where the schedules are actually written says there will be no streetcars until at least mid-February. The schedules for November/December are already issued, and they are for buses. As for which model of streetcar, as I have said many times, current plans concentrate on using the new cars next on 501 Queen. Bathurst does not need their extra capacity in the winter.


  20. (To streetcar aficionado)

    TTC doesn’t tell their drivers anything. Steve has told you multiple times that the 511 won’t return to streetcars till at least February. Why are you refusing to accept answers from people who know what they are talking about ?


  21. I’ve made the adjustment to shuttle buses on the “511 Bathurst” route and rode them to and from Exhibition Place to take in the Zoomer Show on Sunday, October 28, and the the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Sunday, November 4.

    This upcoming weekend, there’s a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Strachan Burial Grounds at Garrison Common, part of Fort York National Historic Site, on Sunday, November 11, 2018. That’s the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. One way to get there is taking the “511 Bathurst” shuttle buses from Bathurst subway station, and step off them at Fleet Street and Strachan Avenue.

    The next big event at Exhibition Place is the One-of-a-Kind Christmas Show and Sale, running from Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, December 2, at the Enercare Centre.

    Into the new year, there’s the Toronto International Boat Show, which runs from January 18 to 27, at Exhibition Place – Enercare Centre and the Coca-Cola Coliseum. The rink inside Coca-Cola Coliseum becomes an indoor lake, used for small-craft boating and wake-board demonstrations.


  22. The construction on the bus bays of Bathurst subway station is taking longer than originally expected, and should be complete later this month (November) or early next month (December). A couple of employees tell me that when this construction project is completed, streetcars are expected to return to the “511 Bathurst” route (and when they return it will be older models), which is currently operating with shuttle buses. How much longer will this period of shuttle bus operation on this route last?

    Steve: How many times do I have to tell you that the TTC has no plans to restore streetcars to Bathurst until vehicles are freed up by next year’s construction as you describe in your next comment? Service Planning has told me that they are not coming back in January.


  23. The next major construction project will be TTC track work at the intersection of King-Queen-Roncesvalles and the Roncesvalles Carhouse, and construction would begin mid-February 2019 and expected to be complete in June or July of 2019. As with other TTC track work, streetcars would be taken off a portion of these routes – most likely “501 Queen” between the Humber loop and Dufferin Street and “504 King” between Dundas West subway station and the Dufferin Gates loop near the Exhibition grounds – and would switch to shuttle bus operation. By this time, more of the new low-floor Flexity Outlook streetcars would have arrived and would be in circulation.

    This track work (and shuttle bus operation resulting from this) would free up streetcars to be redeployed to route currently operating with shuttle buses, particularly “511 Bathurst”, which started running them since September 2, 2018.


  24. Steve… temper temper..

    Seriously though Streetcar Aficionado, listen to what Steve is saying. He has contacts in the TTC as do others on this website. The “employees” you are talking to get their information from the same source as Steve does.

    I have friends and family who work for the TTC and I can assure you that they only find out about service changes with very little lead time (usually when they are signing pieces of work). A prime example is 1 run – 17 Birchmount which went from regulars to compressed work a couple of months ago. I personally knew the operator who did that piece of work for years (think 20 years) to the point where nobody dared touch it. He only found about the change when he looked at the board during sign-up at Birchmount Division and noticed it went from regular to compressed.

    My point is that these “employees” if they even exist are feeding you lines of bulls**t. They do not know when streetcars are coming back to the line because that is a service planning decision not a decision made by the division. Also, with the amount of problems relating to CLRV and ALRV cars, I highly doubt they will be run with those cars. It is less of a hassle in the cold weather to run buses than it is to run a CLRV.

    Operators usually find out about the switchover from buses to streetcars (or vice versa) when they look at the work and find that a chunk of runs is not there.

    Steve: The draft version of proposed schedule changes goes out to the divisions for review by ATU 113 over two months before it takes effect. This means that the January updates are already floating around “out there”. I occasionally receive copies of these from “helpful” sources but do not publish them as they are not finalized. My service updates are based on the official version that comes out about 6 weeks before a change is to be implemented. When something seems odd, I talk to Service Planning directly for clarification. Crewing changes, which you mention, are not part of the service memos.


  25. Fair enough,

    What I am getting at is that while the operators might know something, they are still getting the same information you are.

    They may think they know something different but I trust what I hear from here and the TTC over an operator who may be trying to pawn off a customer so they can enjoy their break without being badgered.


  26. Steve, I noticed something this evening that I hope you can explain. I was waiting for a 63 northbound bus at Ossington station when a 63 signed for Liberty Village pulled up to the stop. I asked the driver if he was indeed going north, and he replied, “Yeah, I got short turned, they take care of the signs,” I assume meaning transit control. After we pulled onto Ossington Avenue, the driver got on the PA and announced that, because the signs weren’t displaying the proper destination, the onboard stop announcements wouldn’t work, either. It wasn’t until we reached Oakwood Avenue that the problem was fixed.

    This bus had the new computer-generated stop announcements (once they started working, that is), so presumably this new system doesn’t call out stops on detours or allow drivers to change their signage. I’ve seen drivers change their signage a thousand times, so I was surprised this is something they apparently can’t do anymore. Is this a result of the new VISION system I’ve heard about, or something else? Either way, I’m not impressed (and that’s not even taking into account the quirky computerized pronunciations, like “Dahvercourt” Road).

    Steve: That’s news to me. I will check.


  27. Jay Boutilier

    According to what I know about VISION, that is correct. The stops are set according to the route and won’t call them if they are off route. I hate the computer voice just as much as you do and as others do but we have to live with it. There may be a way for control to over ride it but to my knowledge the drivers can’t do it.

    (Have family and friends who drive in couple divisions throughout TTC)


  28. This week, construction on the eastern bus bay at Bathurst subway station is completed, and the “7 Bathurst” bus returned to its usual spot, after more than two months of sharing the streetcar loop with the “511 Bathurst” shuttle buses. The “511 Bathurst” route continues to operate with shuttle buses – both the regular-length “511 Bathurst” from Bathurst subway station to Exhibition loop and also a shorter “511 Bathurst” from Bathurst subway station to King Street.

    The next major TTC track construction project is for King-Queen-Roncesvalles and the Roncesvalles Car House, and this would require taking streetcars off a portion of the “501 Queen” and “504 King” routes and begin running shuttle buses ahead of the starting date of construction. This would free up some streetcars to be redeployed to the “511 Bathurst”.

    Steve: Yes, as I have reported here on several occasions.


  29. The other day – Wednesday, November 21 – I saw at least three (Flexity Outlook) streetcars pass through Bloor Street West and Bathurst and one of these streetcars pulled into Bathurst subway station carrying passengers. This is the most streetcars I’ve seen in the area since the last weekend of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). However, the “511 Bathurst” route continues to operate with shuttle buses and has since the CNE ended and will until mid-February of the upcoming year, when the next major TTC track work project begins – the King-Queen-Roncesvalles intersection and the Roncesvalles carhouse which require protions of these routes switching to shuttle bus operation.

    While the “511 Bathurst” route is operating with shuttle buses, the main branch of the “511 Bathurst” route from Bathurst subway station to the Exhibition loop runs 7-days a week whereas the shorter version of the “511 Bathurst” route from Bathurst subway station to King Street runs only on weekdays (Monday to Friday).

    Steve: Cars on 512 St. Clair pass through Bathurst Station regularly enroute to service from Leslie Barns. On southbound trips, they do not loop through the station. You will also see 506 Carlton cars short turning there.


  30. Today, I saw a Flexity Outlook streetcar (#4500) on the “511 Bathurst” route, my first on this route since Sunday, September 2, 2018 – when the CNE was still on. However, this route continues to operate with shuttle buses. This streetcar is the first of a new shipment of Flexity Outlooks from the Bombardier factories in either Thunder Bay or Kingston.

    Is the conversion of the “504 King” to Flexity Outlooks completed yet? If not yet, when? The “501 Queen” route is now being converted to Flexity Outlooks. When TTC track construction begins on the King-Queen-Roncesvalles, streetcars will be taken off part of these routes, switching to shuttle bus operation. This will free up streetcars to be redeployed to routes currently using shuttle buses.

    Steve: 4500 is a Thunder Bay car and it has been here for a while. The Kingston cars will be in a separate numbering series that is supposed to start at 4570. None of these has shipped from Kingston yet.

    The 504 King conversion is complete. Flexitys show up regularly on Queen on weekends, but the weekday conversion is supposed to start in the new year. No announced date yet.

    Yes, as reported and discussed here several times before, streetcars will come off of the west end of Queen and King starting in mid-February as the work at King-Queen-Roncesvalles gets started (the first work will be overhead reconstruction).


  31. Sometimes I’ve seen a Flexity come down from St Clair but they will sign themselves as a 511 because the streetcars can’t technically leave service. Instead of saying 512 to Leslie and Queen. About the only time in the next 3 months you can see Flexitys on Bathurst.

    Steve: I have seen 512’s signed as such enroute to/from Leslie Carhouse.

    Just a question Steve unrelated.

    Every GO YRT and Brampton vehicle seems to be moving off of York University Campus at Keele. Do you know if there are plans to remove the Keele and Sentinel buses to make it a true “vehicle free campus”?

    Steve: I don’t think the TTC routes are changing beyond the massive reorganization that took place for the Spadina extension’s opening a year ago.

    And do you know when the TTC plans to implement the Junction Area Study?

    Steve: Only a few small changes were implemented, and the rest of the study has gone back to staff for refinement based on public feedback. There is supposed to be an update report in early 2019.


  32. Flexitys show up regularly on Queen on weekends, but the weekday conversion is supposed to start in the new year. No announced date yet.

    This tweet from Brad Ross from right before his job change suggests otherwise! They must be invisible because I haven’t seen any weekday Flexitys on 501 since the first days after the tweet.


  33. Steve, it’s official. In mid February, streetcars will be taken off large portions of the “501 Queen” (Dufferin Street to Humber loop) and “504 King” (Dufferin Gates loop to Dundas West subway station) routes ahead of construction on King-Queen-Roncesvalles, and are to be replaced with shuttle bus operation. Also, streetcars are expected to make their triumphant return to the “511 Bathurst” route in mid-February of next year. When streetcars return, which models (most likely Flexity Outlooks)?

    Steve: I don’t know yet what the equipment assignments will be. Queen is supposed to be getting Flexitys, and some will be released by the shortening of the King route to Dufferin. Bombardier is running behind on deliveries (cars from Kingston that were supposed to start shipping in late October have still not arrived).

    Also, I think for Queen you mean Dufferin to Long Branch. With Queen & Roncesvalles closed, there is no way to get service to the outer part of 501 Queen unless they store a bunch of cars at Humber Loop. Given the likely period of the shutdown, the odds that at least some of them will fail and have no carhouse access for repairs is quite high.


  34. Today, I saw another streetcar on the “511 Bathurst” route? Is this a sign that streetcars are returning to this route in the near future? If yes, when? It’s most likely February, when steertcars are taken off substantial portions of the “501 Queen” and “504 King” routes, ahead of the start date of construction at King-Queen-Roncesvalles. However, this route – “511 Bathurst” – is still operating with shuttle buses, and I’ve become accustomed to taking them to get to and from events at Exhibition Place.


  35. I’ve been seeing a lot of buses on 501 the last few weeks (Novas from Birchmount and HEV’s from Malvern) but I thought buses were only being used for fill ins on the 506?

    Steve: There are “Run as Directed” (aka RAD) buses available as extras where needed for the holiday rush, and that’s probably what you are seeing.


  36. Your notes above seem to say the RAD buses have been reallocated to the weekends. I’ve been seeing buses doing trips between Neville Park and points west (Bathurst, Roncesvalles, Humber) throughout the weekday in the mornings into the late evenings although when I watched these buses sometimes they ended up on other routes after a while.

    Steve: My apologies. The weekday RAD buses are dropped from the schedule for the November-December period and are replaced with Standby buses that run on weekends. However, individual divisions may operate extras as needed although this depends also on available vehicles and operators. Off peak, vehicles are easy to come by.


  37. RAD, buses are (RUN AS DIRECTED) literally, CIS directed buses, most in the Eglinton area, are being paid for, by Metrolinx, TTC does the buses & drivers, these buses are supposed to only be used on 32 Eglinton west, between the 2 stations, but Mount Dennis division, don’t always follow the rules & are well known for throwing these buses anywhere they feel like, 63 Ossington is usually a candidate, for this deviation of protocol.

    RAD buses, are literally “ghost” buses on all transit apps, (including the awesome Transit Now, app that I love so much).

    STAND BY, buses are ones posted at certain subway stations, to be directed to certain routes, to alleviate service issues, on ANY route. (Each division has a certain number of these buses assigned.)
    These also do not show up on Apps.

    TRANSSEE is a whole different ballgame, so to speak, the buses WILL be seen on it, but as weird looking “ghost” numbers, you’ll see the bus number, but not a route number or sometimes you’ll see an internal routing/Trip ID, instead of external “run” number.

    I’m not sure about the working inside streetcar land on this stuff though.


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