Planned service changes taking effect on Thanksgiving weekend include improvements on many routes and new or restored services on express bus routes. Construction on the 501 Queen route will continue to disrupt service there until year-end.
There are no subway service changes in October because Lines 1 and 2 are operating with a transitional combination of scheduled, gap and extra trains while the TTC determines how strongly ridership returns. See How Much Has Subway Service Improved? (II) for details.
Express Bus Changes
Several routes will have new or expanded express service. Where this happens, service on the local branch will be reduced, but the combined express and local services will improve over existing local-only schedules.
The affected routes are:
- 929 Dufferin Express: Sunday morning and afternoon service added.
- 943 Kennedy Express: New peak period service between Kennedy Station and Steeles.
- Northbound stops: Kennedy Station, Lawrence Avenue East, Ellesmere Road, Progress Avenue, Antrim Crescent, Village Green Square, Sheppard Avenue East, Finch Avenue East, McNicoll Avenue, Steeles Avenue East, Midland Avenue.
- Southbound stops: Midland Avenue, McNicoll Avenue, Finch Avenue East, Sheppard Avenue East, Village Green Square, Antrim Crescent, Glamorgan Avenue, Ellesmere Road, Lawrence Avenue East, Kennedy Station.
- 953 Steeles East Express: Service to Staines Road will be added weekday midday and early evening, and on weekends during the morning and afternoon. Service will run via Yonge and Steeles rather than the route via Bayview used by the PM peak express buses.
- 960 Steeles West Express: Service to HIghway 27 added on weekend mornings and afternoons.
- 968 Warden Express: New peak period service between Warden Station and Steeles.
- Northbound stops: Warden Station, Deans Drive, Comstock Road, Eglinton Avenue East, Ashtonbee Road, Lawrence Avenue East, Ellesmere Road, Sheppard Avenue East, Finch Avenue East, McNicoll Avenue, Steeles Avenue East, Warden/Steeles bus loop.
- Southbound stops: Warden/Steeles bus loop, Steeles Avenue East, McNicoll Avenue, Finch Avenue East, Sheppard Avenue East, Ellesmere Road, Lawrence Avenue East, Ashtonbee Road, Eglinton Avenue East, Comstock Road, Fairfax Crescent, Warden Station.
A few routes will have minor changes to improve on-time performance:
- 900 Airport Express
- 937 Islington Express
501 Queen Restructuring for Construction
This route will be affected by several new and ongoing construction projects. Working from west to east:
- The approach to Long Branch Loop westbound will be rebuilt including a queue jump lane to aid streetcars entering and leaving the loop, revised signalling and improvements for pedestrian safety.
- The intersection at Kipling and Lake Shore, as well as Kipling Loop will be rebuilt. This will require a diversion of the 501L Queen and 44/944 Kipling South service with dates and routing details to be announced.
- The King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles project is, as I write this on September 9, stalled due to Toronto Hydro problems. The date for a move to “Phase 2” with through running across Queen and closure of King Street east of the intersection has not been announced. The “Phase 1” routings will continue operation in the meantime.
- In October, the west end of the Bay-to-Fennings reconstruction project will begin working east from Fennings (east of Dovercourt). This project includes replacement of the intersection at Shaw Street on dates to be announced.
- The central Queen diversion of service via King to Charlotte Loop will continue until year-end rather than having streetcar service revert to McCaul Loop in October. Overhead conversion work is not yet complete for pantograph operation on this portion of the route. In January, streetcar service will return to Queen, but will operate only to Wolseley Loop at Bathurst Street because the KQQR project will not be completed.
- Service east of Russell Carhouse (effectively from Greenwood) on Queen to Neville Loop will be converted to bus operation during overhead conversion for pantographs. Initially streetcars will turn back from the carhouse while a 501N Queen bus operates from Neville to Lake Shore Garage (at Commissioners and Leslie) as a replacement service. In November, the TTC expects overhead conversion for pantographs will be complete far enough east that streetcars can operate through to Woodbine Loop, and the 501N will operate west only to Coxwell. This arrangement implies that 501 Queen will convert to pantograph operation.
- 503 Kingston Road cars will continue to operate using trolley poles as the overhead on Queen will be in hybrid format. The date for pantograph conversion on Kingston Road has not been announced.
- 301 night service will be provided by buses over the entire route to provide a transfer-free trip.
- The nomenclature for various parts of the Queen route will be:
- 501L to Long Branch westbound
- 501H to Humber westbound
- 501B to Broadview eastbound
- 501N between Commissioners and Neville, later between Coxwell and Neville
Route 69 Warden South
The naming of the two directions of service will change for consistency with other looping routes. Route 69A will operate clockwise while 69B will operate counterclockwise. This is the reverse of the current arrangement.
Route 70B O’Connor Replaced By Full Time 70A Service
The northern branch of 70 O’Connor will operate as 70A to Eglinton during all hours rather than looping at Eglinton Square as 70B on weekday late evenings and Sundays.
Route 95A York Mills Extended
The 95A service that now operates to Kingston Road & Ellesmere will be extended to Sheppard Avenue & Port Union Road.
Revised 121 Esplanade-River Route
Route 121 Fort York-Esplanade will be renamed as Esplanade-River in line with a substantial change to the route.
- The route will operate between Bay & Front Streets and Broadview & Gerrard (see map below).
- The seasonal service to Ontario Place and 121 service west of Bay Street generally will be discontinued.
- The seasonal service to Cherry Beach will end. Service for 2022 will be announced as part of the upcoming Service Plan.
Service will improve noticeably on weekday daytimes because the extended travel time and headways for congestion between Union Station and the Exhibition will no longer be required.
Other Seasonal Changes
Service to the Toronto Zoo will be cut back because of the reduced hours there over the fall and winter.
The 175 Bluffer’s Park bus will end for the season with the last day of service being Thanksgiving Monday, October 11.
Other Construction Changes
The interline between 28 Bayview South and 14 Glencairn will end because the bus loop at Davisville Station will reopen. At the same time, the schedules of the two branches of 97 Yonge will be modified to improve vehicle utilization during some periods.
The lower level of Wilson Station bus loop will close for repairs until some time in 2022. During construction, a temporary bus loop will be used in a corner of the parking lot east of the north end of the station. The following routes will be diverted to that loop: 29 Dufferin, 929 Dufferin Express, 104 Faywood, 160 Bathurst North.
Weekday service improvements are planned for 14 Glencairn, 24 Victoria Park, 32 Eglinton West, 34 Eglinton East, 43 Kennedy, and 88 South Leaside. Weekend service will improve on 68 Warden.
Adjustments for Reliability
Schedules will be adjusted on several routes to improve reliability. When this program began a few years ago, the typical adjustments involved longer travel times and, in some cases, less frequent service to compensate. Now, the TTC is trimming some travel times in recognition that they are excessive causing extended layovers and unreliable departure times at terminals.
Running times in some periods have been reduced and service improved on:
- 20 Cliffside
- 22 Coxwell
- 23 Dawes
- 51 Leslie
- 56 Leaside
- 113 Danforth
- 900 Airport Express
- 937 Islington Express
Running times are increased and service will be less frequent on:
- 30 High Park
- 69 Warden South
- 8 Broadview: Running time has been changed to terminal layover time during most periods, but headways remain at 30′ except late evenings when they will be 20′.
- 53 Steeles East: This route is affected by changes in the 953 express service, but running times for the local service in some periods have been reduced.
- 59 Maple Leaf: Running time has been changed to terminal layover time during many periods, but off-peak headways remain at 60 minutes on each branch.
- 68 Warden: This route is affected by the new 968 express service in peak periods. Running times for the local service in some periods have been reduced.
- 73 Royal York: PM peak and early evening service rebalanced between La Rose and Albion Road branches.
- 97 Yonge: Running times and the interline arrangements between branches have been adjusted during some periods. Peak period service will improve, but off peak service remains half-hourly on both branches.
Details of existing and planned services are in the spreadsheet linked below.
The spreadsheet has been corrected to show early evening weekend service on 53/953 Steeles East correctly.