TTC Service Changes Effective October 11, 2020

The TTC will make changes on several of its routes in the schedules taking effect Thanksgiving weekend. Among the updates, the major groups are:

  • Changes to 116 Morningside, 86 Scarborough and 12 Kingston Road related to the implementation of the bus-only lanes on Eglinton, Kingston Road and Morningside.
  • Restoration of service on 905 Eglinton East and 986 Scarborough express services, also as part of the bus-only lane implementation.
  • A substantial increase in the number of 600-series crews (run as directed buses) to provide service for school trips.
  • Service cuts on certain routes during poor-performing periods.
  • Removal of seasonal services.

Eglinton East Bus Lanes

The travel time savings have two effects on routes, sometimes a mixture of both:

  • Reduced travel times allow the same level of service to be provided by fewer buses.
  • Reduced travel times allow service improvements by retaining the existing allocation of buses.

Service on the 86/986 Scarborough corridor will improve during peak periods with the return of the express service. The total number of buses operating on the two routes will be increased, even though running time savings allow some reductions in the number of buses allocated.

Weekday midday and early evening service on 86 Scarborough will be reduced by the elimination of the 86B Highland Creek service.

During all other periods, there is generally a reduction of one bus on 86 Scarborough but no change in service levels. This is made possible by the anticipated faster travel times on the reserved lanes.

The 986 Express service is restored at approximately the same service level as in March 2020, but with one less bus because of travel time savings.

On 116 Morningside, there are minor improvements in service during some periods by using the same vehicles on shorter travel times.

The 905 Express service is restored with the same number of vehicles as in the March 2020 schedules except for the AM peak and midday weekdays. This provides slightly more frequent service during all periods except the AM peak (when it is unchanged) due to reduced trip times.

The 12D Kingston Road to UTSC service will be slightly improved in the PM peak by the addition of one bus. It will also have more, not less, travel time than in the previous schedule and will have generous layover/recovery provisions. It is not clear why the TTC does not simply improve the service and trim the layovers which total over 20 minutes per round trip.

Seasonal Changes

The following seasonal services will not run after Thanksgiving Day, Monday, October 12, 2020:

  • 121D Front-Esplanade service to Ontario Place and Cherry Beach
  • 175 Bluffers Park

The 92 Woodbine South route will revert to its winter schedule due to reduced travel to Woodbine Beach.

Service Cuts

Some routes will have service trimmed during periods of light demand to free up resources for the 600 demand-responsive services.

  • 38 Highland Creek weekday late evening
  • 42 Cummer AM peak and weekday late evening
  • 51 Leslie AM and PM peak
  • 56B Leaside to Brentcliffe AM and PM peak service removed with partly offsetting improvements to 56A Leaside to Eglinton Station.
  • 121 Front-Esplanade moves to a 30 minute headway all day on weekdays.
  • 122 Graydon Hall AM peak
  • 134 Progress: All off peak service will operate as 134D to Finch via Centennial College, and articulated buses assigned to some runs on this route will be replaced with standard sized buses.
  • 900 Airport Express early and late weekday evening
  • 927 Highway 27 Express weekday midday

Other Changes

53A Steeles East will have scheduled peak service restored correcting an error when the 953 Steeles Express (which formerly provided this service) was suspended.

During the period when 505 Dundas cars are looping via Lansdowne, College and Ossington due to construction, a 505S shuttle bus will operate between Lansdowne and Ossington on Dundas.

512 St. Clair has operated with a irregular headways due to cancelled runs. These will be restored resulting in much more even scheduled service.

Details of the October changes are in this spreadsheet.

Coming in Mid-November

The mid-November schedule changes will include restoration of the following express services:

902 Markham Road, 929 Dufferin, 935 Jane, 941 Keele, 945 Kipling, 952 Lawrence West, 954 Lawrence East, 996 Wilson

No details about service levels have been released yet.

The TTC plans to restore the remaining express routes in early 2021.

8 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes Effective October 11, 2020

  1. There needs to be a serious rethink of the 121. It was bad enough before with irregular service and buses vanishing from tracking, instead of arriving at the stop where you are waiting. With half hour advertised headways, the actual headways will fall between “much later” and “never”. I can’t see anyone trying to use the 121 more than once or twice, and giving up.

    Well, except for these two characters I always see at a 121 stop; they say their names are Vladimir and Estragon?

    Steve: As another reader has pointed out more than once, the death knell of the 121 was the through routing to the CNE. When it was just a downtown to Distillery shuttle, it mostly stayed away from congested areas, although the connection with the subway was poor depending on which routing it used from time to time. With the westward extension, it never stays on time, and moreover the generous layovers in the schedule give the operators lots of leeway. The TTC needs to rethink this route because a half-hourly (on paper) service is of no use to anyone, and it’s no surprise that unreliable service plus wide headways equals no ridership.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the TTC doesn’t care about the ten minute network. Is it time to disband that network?

    Steve: This will be an interesting debate going into 2021 when service is supposed to be restored. The question is “to what standard or target?”

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  3. The schedule changes to the 121 are even more bizarre and stupid as the weekend service is actually going to be improved with headways of 15 to 20 minutes (as opposed to 30 all day on weekdays!). As you say, ‘a half-hourly (on paper) service is of no use to anyone’.

    Steve: The weekend service I have shown is the old schedule before the summer extensions. The service memo was silent on weekend changes, and so that’s what I filled in. When the GTFS feed for schedules is available with October, there are a few routes I have to double-check to see what is actually happening.

    But yes, it would be very strange to so badly harm the weekday schedule without explicitly changing the weekend service.

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  4. It’s interesting to read in the 2021 Annual Service Plan that TTC does plan to eliminate the 121 west of Union and rerouted off the badly congested Front street. That pretty much restores half the 172 with a new twist through Regent Park. I wonder why they aren’t routing to Broadview Station to give operators a washroom to use.

    Steve: Now that the TTC has put the discussion info from the first Service Plan workshop online, I can talk about proposed changes including the shortened 121. This is long overdue although splicing it together with a River Street service seems a bit kludgey. I will publish a full review of the 2021 plan proposals over this weekend.

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  5. The proposals for the 121 are certainly interesting and, on the surface at least, may make this a much more useful and viable route. It still seems unfortunate that it will not serve Union Station as this could be achieved if the City and TPS actually enforced no parking/no stopping in front of Union. (It could continue along Front to York and then loop back via King.) I assume that service to Cherry Beach will be handled by a re-routed 72?

    Steve: The service plan is silent on the fate of the 72 Pape bus which obviously should be considered in tandem with any changes on 121 Front-Esplanade together with other routes serving the eastern waterfront. It’s not just a case of “fixing” the 121.

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  6. The removal of essential stops along Eglinton East is proof that TTC doesn’t care about safety and well being of transit users.

    McCowan and Eglinton / Brimley and Eglinton is one of the most dangerous intersections in Scarborough.

    TTC needs to reconsider their decision to remove Eglinton & Torrance stop and Brimley/Eglinton east side stop for safety of students, seniors and everyone.

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  7. Terrible to see some of the service cuts put in through the 10/11 Board especially Leslie & Cummer and Leaside among others I hope when service comes back they do honor that because they will definitely lose riders if they don’t.

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  8. Regarding 56 Leaside the TTC was never able to make the A and B branches blend evenly, it’s common to see both branches bunched together or running out of sequence, with resulting long gaps on Donlands and Laird.

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