The TTC has announced the service changes it plans to implement on January 2, 2022 as well as budgeted service levels through the year.
Originally, it was thought that the November 21, 2021 cuts would be restored in January, but this will be a gradual process beginning in mid-February.
Changes for January include:
501 Queen and 503 Kingston Road Services
- Streetcar service on 501 Queen will be extended to Bathurst Street but will remain on King because of construction issues at Charlotte Loop (see below). The division allocation will be changed to Leslie as this route now operates with pantographs while Russell is still using trolley poles pending reconstruction of that yard.
- 503 Kingston Road service will become slightly less frequent to remove the blending with 501 Queen (a scheme that did not work very well in any event) and to reduce the amount of layover space required on Charlotte Street. The 503 cars will continue to operate with trolley poles and will run from Russell Carhouse.
At Charlotte Loop, construction at King Street will partly block the road and this will reduce layover space available. With only the 503 service using the loop, it will be able to lay over south of Adelaide while the 501 cars travel west to Bathurst and then north to Wolseley Loop.
Streetcar service via Queen to Bathurst will be restored in the mid-February schedules.
The 501 Queen service has operated through to Neville Loop since December 6, 2021, replacing the 501N Coxwell-Neville shuttle bus.
The 501L and 501H west end bus service schedules will not change in January, but in February they will be modified to remove excess running time and long terminal dwells.
At Broadview, the 501 buses have been (mostly) running north to Broadview Station since December 10, 2021. This burns up some of the excess running time and supplements the bus service on Broadview Avenue (water main construction there has still not finished). Southbound trips operate via Gerrard and River from Broadview.
Construction at Wilson Terminal requires a reallocation of bus loading bays including space in the parking lot. The new arrangement is shown below. There are no changes in service levels.
Other Bus Route Changes
- All routes at York Mills Station will resume using the regular terminal on December 24, 2021.
- 21 Brimley will be shifted from McNicoll Division to Malvern Division to balance workforce requirements.
- 25 Don Mills gained trippers in the AM peak (3) and PM peak (6) in the November 2021 service changed. The PM trippers will be removed in January, and the AM trippers in February.
- The 75 Sherbourne construction diversion for water main construction will end, temporarily, for the Winter season, but will resume in early Spring. The weekend evening interline with 82 Rosedale will also resume until construction starts again.
- Updated December 23, 2021 at 11:10am: The construction diversion ended on December 22, but the interline will not be restored until January when new schedules go into effect.
- The route 600 Run-As-Directed buses will be partly restored as shown in the table below. Note that there is a total of 61 weekday crews, but the number of buses in service varies through the day with 25 in the AM peak, 47 at midday, 36 in the PM peak, 34 in the early evening, 12 late evening, and 2 ovenight. There is only one weekend RAD bus.
The service budget shows the planned level of service for budgeting purposes. As we saw in 2021, not all of the budget headroom was actually used. Here is the plan for 2022.
There is headroom to expand service in February and March to close to the pre-pandemic level (about 186,000 hours/week). This level will be achieved, if the TTC uses all of its budget room, in September 2022.
Note the decline in the budget for construction service late in the year on the assumption that Line 5 Crosstown will finally open and extra service provided to compensate for its construction will not be required.
Details of the Changes
Although there are few changes this month, the revised schedules are shown in the spreadsheet linked below.
Is the delay of service cuts reversal due to the Omicron variant?
Steve: No. I don’t think that they ever meant to reverse the cuts in January because this would have required conducting the sign-up for new schedules practically on top of the November changes. Also the budgeted hours show that there was no intent to restore service in January. I think that the TTC was trying to spin the story.
All track work has been completed east of Bathurst. What work on Queen is preventing the return west of Parliament?
Steve: I think the problem is that the schedules had to be set before they were sure the route would be ready. Also, the last time I checked, the overhead had not been completely changed over to pan-friendly format.
I am a bit amused by the statement on the last page of the Service Change memo “Planned for 2022 (Per TOInview)”. The items they note are all TTC projects and TOInview is created with input from City departments, utilities and the TTC itself). Clearly the ‘scheduling folk’ at TTC do not talk to the ‘construction folk” at the TTC – who should, presumably, have the most up-to-date info on planned TTC construction projects! TTC silos, again!
Steve: Note that the project schedule is my own amalgamation of info from various sources, only one of which is the TTC’s service change memo.
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Regarding the work at Wilson, any idea why they are not just using the North Terminal instead of the parking lot?
I recall using the North Terminal in the mid 2000’s when work was being done on the regular terminal.
I mean.. it would make sense rather than building a new terminal in the parking lot.
Steve: I believe that the north terminal has problems and it’s a lot easier just to shift operations into the parking lot.
It’s rather unbelievable that the 501 still has no service west of Parliament if it’s because they haven’t spent the last 6 months converting overhead. This is certainly a “construction issue”.
I have noticed the occasional 501 using King Street westbound from the Don for no apparent reason. This is more interesting than the diversion in the reversed direction because customers would not be able to make a transfer to the 501 bus without a short walking transfer.
Steve: The reason is severe congestion on Parliament during peak periods caused by traffic signals that are timed for east-west flow at Richmond and Adelaide. There is a huge, ongoing problem that we set up transit priority for a handful of regularly scheduled moves, but do nothing to aid diversions.
But remember, Toronto is a “Transit City”.
It’s been a year since substantial portions of the “504 King” and “501 Queen” routes began operating with shuttle buses (on Sunday January 3, 2021). It will likely be at least another year of shuttle bus operation for these two (streetcar) routes; “501 Queen” from Long Branch loop and Broadview (subway station) and “504 King” between Dundas West subway station and the King/Strachan intersection. The reason for this is construction projects, including the King-Queen-Roncesvalles track replacement. Also, there’s shuttle bus operation on the combined “505 Dundas” and “504 King” route between Broadview subway station and the Front-Parliament intersection.
This freed up streetcars for the “511 Bathurst” route which was operating with shuttle buses from Monday, April 20, 2020, to Saturday, January 2, 2021; the main reason was construction projects on that route including track replacement and the reconstruction of the Bathurst Street Bridge over the railway tracks just south of the west end of Front Street West.
Steve: Streetcars return on Queen to Bathurst in February, and further west tentatively in the summer. Also, KQQR will be finished to the point that the 504 streetcars will be able to operate to Sunnyside Loop. Service to Dundas West awaits modification to the shelters on Roncesvalles, and reconstruction of the north leg of KQQR and the carhouse entrance.
On Broadview it is hard to tell when streetcars will return, although a lot of the street is now open again. The Dundas diversion to Woodbine Loop is planned to end in mid-February, but that could just be because Carlton cars will return to Main Station rather than laying over on what had been the 505’s short turn loop.
Kind of a basic question, but I’m a bit confused as to what exactly counts as a RAD. Throughout the November 21 board, I still regularly saw buses from one division on another division’s routes. For example, I’ve seen 7931 on the 97, 8335 on the 9, and 1357 on the 76. These were all tracking as well and sometimes spent quite a few hours on those routes. I thought that buses on routes not from their division were surely RADs but they were supposedly all cancelled for this board.
Steve: Some spare operators are assigned to drive on a route in place of a bus that is missing from its home division. That is different from a bus that is “on call” to add capacity on a route that is overloaded. If the bus is trackable, it is running in a scheduled slot and is picked up by the tracking software which attempts to match actual vehicle location with its schedule.
Runs that are not in the schedule are not tracked because the software does not know where they are supposed to be going.
Re: not using the North Terminal at Wilson – last time they used it a few years ago, the one escalator up was out of service / decommissioned due to lack of maintenance for several years, and the platform was turned into a storage / junk facility. Using it would make the station inaccessible to over half the routes so outside is their only option. Having said that, it will be interesting to see what they do next time, as the parking lot is due to be re-developed in the next couple of years (Build Toronto).
With the settlement reached for the Crosstown Steve which the line will not open until early 2023, could it be possible for the TTC to reinstate some services that were changed back in September 2016 due to construction problems between Yonge and Don Mills? If I remember, the 25 was split into 25B/C, 100C was replaced by the 34B/C, 103 replaced by the extended 74, vice versa. This will be useful in the interim until the LRT opens. Just a food for thought.
Steve: Until the construction is really clear of related intersections, I don’t think there would be any change, and frankly at this point I suspect that the TTC will just leave things “as is”.
An additional 60 new low-floor Flexity Outlook streetcars are expected to arrive and enter circulation, thus expanding the fleet to 264. What’s the estimated time of the arrival of these new streetcars? Which route(s) will they go to?
Long awaited construction of the Queens Quay East streetcar route (running from Union subway station to Cherry Street and serving East Bayfront) is expected to begin soon. It will require expansion of the platforms inside the Union subway station and the Queens Quay station. Will it be an eastern extension of the “509 Harbourfront” route?
Steve: The new cars are expected to arrive in 2023 through 2025. They are not assigned to any specific route but to overall service increases.
The Waterfront East LRT is only in the design stage now with the TTC working on the tunnel segment from Union to Queens Quay, and Waterfront Toronto working on the surface portion from Yonge east to Cherry as part of the Queens Quay East redesign. There is no funding yet for this work, but a report to Council is expected soon. The likely staging would see the surface portion built first followed by closure of the Bay Street tunnel and as quick a cutover at Queens Quay as possible to operation of a through east-west Harbourfront service during reconstruction of the tunnel and stations. Unless there is a major change in projected cash flow in the capital budget, this project would not get underway for construction until the latter part of the 2020s.
Hi Steve, any idea on when we will see 501 Queen street cars back on Queen street till Roncesvalles ave? I live near Dufferin street and thought that when Bay to Fennings construction is done, I will see 501 streetcars again.
But, seems like they are doing more construction work and they are only till Wolseley loop and large part of it is on King street (from Parliament street) right now till February.
Steve: Current plans are for Queen cars to run straight along Queen but only to Bathurst as of the mid-February schedule changes. Out at Ronces, there is a lot of overhead to go up before streetcars can return there. I suspect mid-Spring, but have not seen a definitive timetable.