Updated November 20, 2020 at 11:00 am: The article has been updated with the usual detailed table of service changes and a comparison of pre/post service levels on routes where express bus operation will be restored.
The focus of changes in coming months is to gradually restore the system to a pre-Covid state allowing for differences in demand patterns. At this point, we do not know what the effects of 2021 Budget constraints will be. I will write about that in a separate article.
Restoration of Express Bus Services
The 900-series express bus services will be reinstated on several routes. These will replace the “trippers” that were added earlier in 2020 as a partial replacement for the express operations.
Weekend service formerly operated by these routes is not restored at this time, and this leaves some routes still with considerably less service than they had pre-covid because nothing replaced the weekend express operations during the cutbacks earlier in 2020.
The affected routes are:
- 902 Markham Road
- 929 Dufferin
- 935 Jane
- 941 Keele
- 945 Kipling
- 952 Lawrence West
- 954 Lawrence East
- 996 Wilson
The PDF linked below compares service on the affected routes showing the headway (time between buses), bus/hour values and the number of vehicles assigned in each corridor.
Construction Projects Affecting Streetcars
The service changes in place for the Dundas/College intersection reconstruction and for repair work on the Bathurst Street bridge will remain in effect until January.
Construction Projects Affecting Buses
Keele Station loop will reopen allowing 41 Keele, 80 Queensway and 89 Weston to use that loop. The interline between 30 High Park and 80 Queensway will end.
Construction at Scarborough Town Centre Station that required relocation of 38 Highland Creek will end, and that route will return to its normal location.
Stand-by crews will be added to Lines 1 (YUS) and 2 (BD) to provide added “resiliency” for service. This will cover for situations when operators are not available when required to take over trains.
Many of the “Route 600” crews and buses (Run As Directed) will be dedicated to subway shuttles, notably for the shutdown between Finch and Sheppard from December 4th to 14th for asbestos removal. The shuttles will extend south to Eglinton during late evening closures.
Weekend closures between Broadview and Woodbine on Line 2 are also planned, but the dates have not yet been announced.
Additional service will be scheduled as trippers on many bus routes to reduce crowding:
- 16 McCowan
- 17 Birchmount
- 24 Victoria Park
- 25 Don Mills
- 32 Eglinton West
- 34 Eglinton East
- 39 Finch East
- 43 Kennedy
- 47 Lansdowne
- 68 Warden
- 85 Sheppard East
- 89 Weston
- 95 York Mills
- 100 Flemingdon Park
- 129 McCowan North
A new 43C Kennedy service to Village Green Square will operate during peak periods every 30 minutes on a trial basis. This was part of the TTC’s 2020 Service Plan.
Scheduled School Trips
Many special trips operate to handle demands at various schools around the city. These have used buses from the “600” RAD pool which are not visible to riders using service tracking/prediction apps.
Effective November 23, these buses will be scheduled as part of regular service on the routes they serve making them visible for service tracking.
The list is very long, and I will consolidate this information in a future update.
Service Changes Effective December 20, 2020
Construction at Eglinton West Station for the Crosstown LRT will reach the point where 32 Eglinton West, 63 Ossington and 109 Ranee can return to their normal routes. The temporary 163 Oakwood route will be removed.
With part of the 32 Eglinton West service shifting back to Eglinton West Station, bus bays will be freed up at Eglinton Station. 56 Leaside and 51 Leslie will return to their usual location.
Scarborough RT Service
The project to rebuild the SRT fleet will end in 2020, but no change has been announced in the level of service once the full 7-train complement will be available.
There will be no extra pre-Christmas shopping service nor extended late night service for New Year’s Eve this year.
As usual, all school trippers will cease operation for the winter break now planned as December 21 to January 1.
Crews for all 600 series buses associated with subway closures will be dropped as no shutdowns are planned through this period.
On Christmas Day, Friday December 25, a holiday service will operate with most routes beginning service at 8 am.
On Boxing Day, Saturday December 26, a holiday service will operate with most routes beginning service at 6 am.
From Monday to Wednesday December 28-30, a normal weekday service will operate except for school trippers and subway closure buses.
On New Year’s Eve, Thursday December 31, a normal weekday service will operate but some express buses might be changed to run as locals (TBA). Some of the RAD service for buses and streetcars will be switched to late evenings to supplement service as needed.
On New Year’s Day, Friday January 1, a holiday service will operate with most routes beginning service at 8 am.
From Saturday January 2 onward, operations will revert to normal schedules with subway standby and RAD buses. School trips will resume on Monday January 4.
Details of Service Changes
The PDF linked below details the service changes planned for November 22, 2020 and for December 20, 2020.