TTC Service Changes Effective November 24, 2019

The TTC will make several changes to its services on November 24, 2019. These fall into three main groups:

Construction Projects Ending

The end of work on many bus route will trigger removal of extra running time, some headway adjustments and a return to normal routings:

  • On Midland between Danforth Road and Lawrence: Routes 20 Cliffside and 57 Midland
  • On Brimley between Progress and Huntingwood: Route 21 Brimley
  • On Danforth Road between St. Clair and Danforth Avenue: Route 113 Danforth
  • On Huntingwood: Route 169 Huntingwood
  • On Pape north of Danforth: Routes 25 Don Mills, 81 Thorncliffe Park, 925 Don Mills Express
  • At Jane Station: Routes 26 Dupont, 35 Jane, 55 Warren Park, 935 Jane Express
  • At Queen & Kingston Road: Routes 501 Queen, 503 Kingston Road, 22 Coxwell, 322 Coxwell Night
  • On Coxwell north of Gerrard: Routes 22 Coxwell, 322 Coxwell Night, 324 Victoria Park Night

The consolidation of 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road will continue on a trial basis.

Service Reliability

Service reliability improvements continue to be implemented across the network. Typically these changes involve making running and recovery times longer and stretching headways without adding vehicles. The result is that service worsens for riders, especially considering the TTC’s lacklustre headway management across its bus network. Affected routes with this round of changes are:

  • 22 Coxwell
  • 25 Don Mills and 925 Don Mills Express
  • 56 Leaside
  • 60 Steeles West
  • 68 Warden
  • 121 Fort York-Esplanade
  • 125 Drewry

121 Fort York-Esplanade is particularly hard hit in the afternoon peak when its headway changes from 15 to 26 minute and round trip times, including recovery provisions, rise from 75 to 130 minutes with no additional vehicles. Low ridership in this route is used to justify wider headways, but changes on this scale will only accelerate the problem.

Seasonal Changes

Extra service will be provided in the early evening to serve the Distillery District Christmas Market:

  • Service on 65 Parliament will be doubled (4 buses instead of 2)
  • Two extra cars on 504 King will operate between Spadina and Distillery Loop
  • One extra bus on 121 Fort York-Esplanade will operate between Union Station and the Distillery District

A shuttle service will operate between Meadowvale Loop and the Zoo on Thursday through Sunday evenings to serve events at the Zoo. This will continue to April 2020.

CLRV Retirement (Dates corrected)

To celebrate the retirement of the CLRV fleet, six extras will operate on weekend afternoons on 501 Queen between Sunnyside Loop and Woodbine Loop between Sunday, November 24 and Saturday, December 21. Special CLRV service is planned for Sunday, December 29, but the details have not been released yet.

CLRV peak period trippers have been removed from 506 Carlton as the proportion of new cars on the route grows.

511 Bathurst remains officially a CLRV route, but new cars will appear there as available.

Planned Overcrowding

The TTC continues to add periods of service on routes when loads will exceed the Service Standards. This is not a question of a shortage of buses (the TTC has a spare ratio of better than 20%), but of budget constraints that are also at the root of “reliability” changes that involve widening headways.

Toronto talks a good line about the importance of transit, but strangles its ability to serve more riders through limits to operating subsidies.

A table showing the cumulative effect of overcrowding is included with the list of service changes linked below.

The Details

The file linked below contains the detailed changes for November including a few miscellaneous updates not listed above.


Downtown Premium Express Routes Move To King Street

With the schedule change coming on Sunday, November 24, 2019 (for which details will appear in a separate article), the routing of the Downtown Premium Express 14x series will be shifted off of Adelaide and Richmond Streets to the King Street Transit Corridor.

New stops will be created eastbound along King at Peter, Simcoe (west of University), Jordan (west of Yonge), George and Parliament. The one exception will be that the 142 Avenue Road service will stop for unloading only eastbound on King farside at University, the streetcar stop.

New westbound stops will be at George, Yonge, York, and Peter.

All of the stops for these routes will be separate from those used by streetcars to avoid confusion between local and express services.

Services from the east (141 Mt. Pleasant, 143 Beach, 144 Don Mills) will loop via Spadina, Adelaide and Charlotte with a stop southbound on Charlotte at King.

Services from the west (142 Avenue Road, 145 Humber Bay) will loop via Sherbourne, Front and Berkeley with a stop northbound on Berkeley at King.

The 141 Mount Pleasant bus will jog east via Adelaide to George before continuing south to King where there will be an inbound stop. Outbound service will stop on Jarvis north of King.

The 143 Beach and 144 Don Mills services which come through the Richmond/Adelaide interchange east of Parliament Street will turn south from Richmond via Parliament with a stop at King. Outbound services will turn north on Power from King Street to reach Adelaide. (As a matter of historical interest, the original name for the spaghetti junction east of Parliament was the “Duke and Duchess Interchange” after the names of these streets in the old town.)

The 145 Humber Bay service will enter downtown via Adelaide Street from Bathurst, but will turn south to King at Charlotte using the common stop with services from the east. Outbound buses will continue west on King to Bathurst, then turn south.

The 503 Kingston Road bus will continue to operate on King Street looping via York, Richmond and University.

With all of these bus routes and a new set of stops on King, cyclists will find the transitway somewhat more challenging and motorists will have to deal with buses blocking the curb lane at stops. Turning movements at Spadina could be challenging as there is no priority for streetcars when they turn off of King, let alone for buses. This will add to delays that are already a problem at this location.

It is also unclear what the effect of these routes will be on the ambience of the curb lane cafe spaces along King should the operation last into the good weather in 2020, nor how these arrangement would be affected by the TIFF diversions.

There is no end date announced yet for this trial, nor for the outcomes on which it will be measured. I will continue to track the speed of streetcar operations in the corridor to determine whether the additional buses have an effect on streetcar service.