Updated October 27, 2021 at 12:15pm: The link to the TTC’s Line 3 Replacement page has been updated to point to their new website.
In July, I wrote about the first round of consultations and option evaluations in What Bus Service Will Replace the SRT? Please refer to that article for information about the original long list of options. Many variations were scored, but only a few made it through to the final selection.
In January 2022, staff will take their recommendation to the TTC Board. There are three options still on the table, but option 1 will be recommended to the Board. Still at issue is the question of which of option(s) would be used for the interim period between the SRT shutdown and conversion of the right-of-way for BRT operation.
- A hybrid option running on street from STC (Scarborough Town Centre) to Ellesmere Station and then south on a new BRT corridor in a repurposed SRT right-of-way to Kennedy Station. (Recommended)
- On street operation from STC to Kennedy Station using Brimley and Midland as a one-way pair with buses running southbound on one and northbound on the other.
- On street operation from STC to Kennedy Station using a mixture of Brimley, Midland and Kennedy (see map below).
In the TTC’s words:
Why this option performed well in our evaluation: This option performs the best under the criteria of customer experience, neighbourhood and community impact, and equity. Customers will have the fastest and most reliable journey with this option.
Although conversion of the right-of-way for BRT is more expensive, this option will provide superior service reliability and travel time by getting buses out of traffic for most of their route.
Regardless of the routing option chosen, there are two options for route configurations:
- Extend major routes from STC to Kennedy Station to eliminate the need for riders to transfer enroute.
- Continue to terminate all routes at STC and operate a separate bus shuttle from there to Kennedy Station.
There are advantages, depending on your outlook, in each model.
With route extensions:
- Riders will not transfer at STC and this will recoup some of the travel time that would otherwise be lost enroute. For option 1 with buses having a dedicated access into Kennedy Station from the north, the TTC estimates that travel time from STC to Kennedy would be similar to that now provided by the SRT including the elimination of transfer time.
- The vehicles on these routes would be drawn from the fleet as a whole, not a dedicated subset.
- The shuttle itself might operate less reliably with a mix of longer routes, but this would not really be a problem for riders destined for points on the extended bus routes who would have to wait for a specific bus anyhow at Kennedy rather than at STC (for outbound trips).
With a dedicated shuttle:
- Riders would have to transfer at STC in both directions adding both to their journey times and to pedestrian congestion at that station.
- A dedicated fleet of buses could be used for the shuttle, such as vehicles from the eBus fleet.
- As a short route, reliability might be better.
None of the configurations with a dedicated shuttle made the cut primarily because of the transfer penalty this would impose at STC.
The TTC has launched a rider survey to obtain feedback from staff recommendations about the alternatives to Line 3 SRT service when it shuts down in Fall 2023. The survey is open to October 29, 2021. For those who cannot access the survey online, a hard copy is available by mail on request.Continue reading