Service on several bus routes will change on March 27, but overall the amount of service operated is almost unchanged from the February 13, 2022 schedules.
There is no change in subway service, and the only planned changes for streetcars are those beginning in early April for reconstruction at Dundas West Station.
The table below shows the budgeted overall service expressed as weekly operator hours compared with the scheduled and actual values. It is clear that the budget planned to ramp up service substantially by late March, but with the less-than-expected ridership recovery thanks to Covid, this has been deferred.
Planned regular service for the new schedules is 6.8 per cent below the budgeted level. Construction-related service is also below budget, but this has somewhat less effect on the operating deficit because much construction service is funded through the associated capital projects.
The next round of schedules will take effect in mid-May, and by that time the usual seasonal cutbacks start to kick in. We will not really see the degree to which the TTC ramps up to budgeted service levels until September. As a point of comparison, the budgeted regular service in January 2020 pre-pandemic was just under 186,000 hours/week.
Many routes will see a mix of service cuts and improvements through reallocation of hours and vehicles between periods of operation. Some “reliability” improvements involve longer travel times and layovers than in current schedules often with wider scheduled headways (the time between buses). Some of these routes will become candidates for a comparative analysis on this site of before and after service reliability later in the spring.
An important change for the March 27 schedule period is that the number of “biddable crews” (work that is scheduled but for which no operator is pre-assigned) has been reduced from about 160 to 55. This reflects an improved balance between operator staffing levels and the scheduled service. These crews are filled on an overtime basis, or possibly by spare operators or re-assigned “run as directed” (RAD) buses. When these crews are cancelled, this translates into service gaps unless the remaining buses on affected routes are adjusted to run on a wider, but even headway. This has been a pervasive problem on some routes as shown in recent articles here about service reliability.
The number of RAD crews will increase notably on weekdays from 53 to 75 8-hour crews. These buses are used to supplement service, and they also serve as shuttles for service interruptions and subway shutdowns.
Summary of Changes
|19 Bay||AM and PM peak service reduced.|
|24 Victoria Park||AM peak and early evening service reduced, PM peak service improved.|
|37/937 Islington||Additional running time during almost all periods to provide better reliability. In most cases headways are widened, but in some periods vehicles are added.|
|40 Junction||Rerouted to Lansdowne Station as part of the Dundas West reconstruction project.|
|41 Keele||Sunday service reduced during daytime periods, but improved during the evening.|
|42 Cummer||Construction between Bayview and Leslie shifts eastbound traffic to the north side of the road. Westbound service continues to divert via Finch.|
|44 Kipling S||AM and PM peak service reduced, evening service improved including an added bus.|
|46 Martin Grove||Weekday midday and early evening service reduced, late evening service improved.|
|52 Lawrence||Weekend service adjusted for reliability with longer running times and some added vehicles. Service reduced on the 52G Westway branch during many periods.|
|63 Ossington||AM peak service improved, PM peak service reduced.|
|64 Main||Running times changed for reliability during all periods. Headways will be wider in almost all periods except AM peak, Saturday late morning and Sunday afternoon.|
|74 Mt. Pleasant||Service improved during AM and PM peaks, and weekday early evenings.|
|86 Scarborough||Running time extended and headway widened on 986 express service in the PM peak. Saturday morning and afternoon local 86 service reduced, and early evening service improved.|
|87 Cosburn||AM and PM peak service improved.|
|89 Weston||AM peak and Saturday afternoon service improved.|
|97 Yonge||Route restructured to split existing service between the routes via Yonge and via Yonge Boulevard between Glen Echo and York Mills.|
|102 Markham Rd||Weekday midday and evening service reduced, PM peak service improved. Saturday morning and late evening service reduced, afternoon and early evening service improved.|
|109 Ranee||Schedules during all periods changed to rebalance driving time and terminal layovers. Headways are unchanged except during the PM peak when they are widened.|
|124 Sunnybrook||Schedules changed with longer running times and, in some cases, an additional bus to correct a problem with too-tight travel times.|
|168 Symington||Rerouted to Lansdowne Station as part of the Dundas West reconstruction project.|
|329 Dufferin Night||The first two southbound trips from Steeles will divert to Sheppard West station to pick up passengers from late evening subway trains running back to Wilson Yard.|
The bus fleet continues to be underutilized. According to the February 2022 CEO’s report, there are 2,114 buses in the fleet.
The number of buses scheduled is considerably smaller. In the PM peak, 1,483 buses are scheduled including RADs and extras for construction out of a garage capacity of 1,674 buses. This leaves a total of (2114-1483) or 631 buses or 42.5 per cent of the fleet as spares. This is double the typical industry average of 20 per cent, and shows that the TTC has a lot of headroom to operate more service without buying more buses.
The numbers above include buses used on streetcar route, primarily those operating on portions of 501 Queen and 504 King due to track construction. There will always be some amount of construction replacement service, but this number is unusually large, and represents yet more buses that will become available for service when full streetcar service resumes later in 2022. (Note that the 8 buses used on 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton in the AM peak are scheduled trippers that are hooked up with routes that operate to Broadview and Main Stations.)
The streetcar fleet should be back at almost full strength later in 2022 when reconstruction of cars with defective frames by Alstom (formerly Bombardier) is completed. The current peak streetcar requirement is 139 cars out of a fleet of 204. This leaves a margin of about 30 cars within a target spare level of 20 per cent (170 peak plus 34 spares). Many of these would be used for service restoration on Queen and King.
The service changes are detailed in the spreadsheet linked below.