The TTC is making official changes to few routes in September 2020, and the lion’s share of additions will use standby vehicles to supplement scheduled services where needed. The effect of the reopening of schools on transit demand is not yet known, and the TTC will respond as ridership builds up. Further details will be announced in late August once the plans and requirements of the two major school boards are known.
The following routes remain suspended until further notice:
- 140 series Downtown Premium Express routes
- 900 series Express routes except for 900 Airport, 913 Progress and 927 Highway 27
- 176 Mimico GO and 508 Lake Shore
- Weekday daytime service on Kingston Road will continue to be provided by the consolidated 502/503 as streetcar route 503 Kingston Road to Spadina and King.
Construction at Runnymede Station has progressed to the point where the interline between 71 Runnymede and 77 Swansea is no longer required, and both routes will loop into the station.
Construction at Keele Station continues, but the 41 Keele service will now loop at the recently rebuilt High Park Loop.
Construction at Eglinton West Station for the Crosstown LRT was originally expected to finish by September, but this date has been pushed back to early October due to COVID-related delays to the project.
Track construction on Bathurst from south of Dundas to Wolseley Loop (north of Queen) will require buses to divert via Dundas, Spadina and Queen for about three weeks starting in late September.
Track and road construction on Dundas Street West will require the following changes:
- 506/306 Carlton buses will divert to Dundas West Station via Lansdowne and Bloor.
- 505 Dundas streetcars will turn back at College Loop (Lansdowne, College, Dundas) during the first part of construction work at Howard Park and Dundas.
- When construction begins on the track and intersection of College and Dundas, the 505 Dundas streetcars will turn back via Lansdowne, College and Ossington.
The 505 and 506 services will return to their normal routings to Dundas West Station and High Park Loop respectively late in 2020.
The 506/306 Carlton service will resume partial streetcar operation in January 2021 when track and overhead upgrades in the west end are completed. Bus service on the east end of the route will continue until May 2021, tentatively, pending overhead upgrades and completion of construction at Main Station. Where, exactly, the “east end” will begin has not yet been decided.
The bus loop routing at Centennial College for 102 Markham Road and 134 Progress will be changed as shown in the map below. A similar change will occur on 902 Markham Road Express when that route resumes operation (date TBA).
Keele Yard will re-open following track repairs and Line 2 trains will be dispatched from that yard. There is no change in service levels on the subway/RT network.
Seasonal services to Bluffer’s Park (175), Ontario Place and Cherry Beach (121) will continue until Thanksgiving weekend.
These and other changes are detailed in the table linked below.
The memo detailing these changes also includes a table of actual vs budgeted operations, and this shows the overall degree to which service has been reduced due to COVID-19. The percentage drop in the summer months is lower because the budget already included provision for the usual reductions over that period.
School start dates subject to be delayed.
Steve: Yes, and that’s one reason why actual service for September has to be designed on the fly.
So more service change details will be announced in late August?
Steve: That’s what the TTC service change memo says.
134D is interesting! I hope they rerouted the 913 Progress Express westbound when it resumes in September to stay on Progress Ave and turn left onto Grangeway Ave like the 51 GO bus rather than go on Corporate like is originally was routed (which was a waste of time – and also a light/intersection was recently built at 88 Corporate that would slow it down even more!)
So no changes to the current 25 Don Mills split at Don Mills Station on weekdays, 20 minute weekday midday service on 95 York Mills east of Ellesmere station, and a 26 minute AM rush hour service on Kipling north of Belfield?? Wow, many of those service changes the TTC made are very poorly planned. Look at other transit agency service changes, they plan service well.
Also the 501 operate as a single route on weekends too?
Steve: Nope. I suspect they are not going to make any significant schedule changes until they start restoring service.
BTW I still have high hopes that the McNicoll Garage would begin service in November 2020. It’s interesting to see what routes the new garage would serve.
They need to get the express routes back in order. The regular routes are either crowded or take too long to reach the destination.
Isn’t the Bathurst bridge still closed? So the 511 will go down Bathurst to Dundas, Spadina, Queen, down Bathurst again to Front, Spadina, Fort York? That’s a lot of turns in very busy areas… At that point I’d really just have it stay on Spadina or split into two bus routes/shuttles…
Steve: Yes, the diversion around the bridge remains in place.
1. As the TCDSB opens its doors on time given the TDSB will push back the start date to one week, will they still use the school specials? 913 PROGRESS EXPRESS seems to be one of the routes resuming in September which the express services may resume later this year or not at all.
2. It would appear McNicoll is now an active garage. When will the garage be put into operation? I’m hearing Oct board, Nov board or Winter 2021.
Steve: There is supposed to be an update in late August once the dust settles on school opening plans. As to McNicoll, it is in the process of ramping up for operations, but I have not heard a definitive date for start of service.
Do you know when the Mcnicoll garage is going to open?
Steve: The TTC is being a bit vague on this. They stand by the info on their website which says “The facility is on schedule to be fully operation by the end of 2020.” When I asked for a specific date, the TTC’s Stuart Green replied that it is not yet announced.
I suspect there are budgetary issues here and the cost of opening another garage before the system is back up to full service may be something they are trying to push as far off the table in the current budget year as possible. There is also the matter of doing a big shuffle of schedules and staff for a temporary operation with reduced service.
Like the fact that the TTC is re-doing the Progress bus with a 134D to provide extra service into Centennial College.
To the writer who wrote about Don Mills, it was split into the 25B and 25C because of Line 5 Crosstown construction-which is still going on even though we are in a pandemic so it makes sense to keep the route split and keep the buses north of Don Mills Station on a more reliable time.
Steve, also, in your spreadsheet, on page one it says ‘ service has reverted to normal on 7 Bathurst Bus and 7 Bathurst’… One of those two should be 511 Bathurst?
Steve: Thanks for catching that. I will update the spreadsheet.
Is there a reason why universities and colleges have not been taken into account? Their opening is Sept 7 and the volume will definitely increase. As I ride daily I have seen an increase on not only the buses but the subway.
Steve: I think the TTC is treating those on a wait-and-see basis just like the elementary and secondary schools. The demand patterns at post-secondary schools is different from the lower grades because start and end times are not as regimented.
My biggest complaint from a service tracking point of view is that the TTC does not publish any information about where, when and how many standby buses they deploy, but merely responds to any complaints by saying “we have standby buses” as if this somehow makes actual rider experiences vanish.