TTC Service Changes: May 8, 2022

Several of the service cuts implemented in November 2021 will be restored with the May 2022 schedules. This includes express service on several routes. Although planned service will be 6.2% lower than the original budget for this period, the TTC intends to resume restoration of full service through the fall to the end of the year.

Information in this article is taken from the May 8, 2022 Scheduled Service Summary and from a copy of the detailed memo on service changes which was provided by a source. Normally the TTC sends these to various people in advance, but for some unknown reason, the document has not officially been sent to the normal external recipients.

There are some conflicts between information in the two documents and I have tried to reconcile these with my own judgement about which is correct because it is not unusual for there to be discrepancies in descriptions of service changes.

Rapid Transit Services

There are no changes in rapid transit services.

Streetcar Services

  • The 501H/501L Queen replacement buses for service on the west end of the route will be shortened to turn back downtown via University Avenue, Adelaide Street and York Street rather than operating to Broadview & Gerrard or Broadview Station.
    • Eastbound buses will operate as 501U.
    • Bus service will be provided from Birchmount, Queensway and Eglinton divisions.
    • There is no change to the existing 501 Queen streetcar service between Neville Loop and Bathurst Street (Wolseley Loop), nor to the 301 Blue Night Bus operation.
  • Headways on 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton will be blended to allow for the shared terminal at High Park Loop.
    • The 505 Dundas routing change to High Park Loop will be officially recognized in the schedules.
    • Service will be reduced during most periods on both routes as a seasonal change.
  • 306 Carlton Blue Night will operate with buses to Dundas West Station.
  • 509 Harbourfront: Seasonal service increase evenings and weekends.
  • 512 St. Clair: Service increase on weekdays.

Bus Services

Routes With Express Service Changes/Restorations

  • 29/929 Dufferin:
    • Local service improved during most periods on weekdays.
    • Weekend service rescheduled for articulated buses.
    • Weekend express service restored using artics.
  • 939 Finch East Express:
    • Weekend service restored.
  • 41/941 Keele:
    • Local service changed from articulated to standard buses on weekdays with improved frequency of service.
    • Midday express service restored.
    • Express operation changed to articulated buses.
  • 43/943 Kennedy:
    • Minor service reallocation on weekday local service.
    • Peak period express service restored.
  • 52/952 Lawrence West:
    • Service reliability adjustments weekdays
    • Express peak period service improvements
  • 60/960 Steeles West:
    • Seasonal service reductions
    • Reliability changes
  • 68/968 Warden:
    • Reliability changes and some weekend service improvements.
    • Peak period express service restored.
  • 85/985 Sheppard East:
    • All 85 local service on weekends will now operate with standard sized buses rather than with artics.
    • Weekend 985 express service restored.

Diversions

Note: These diversions are described in the service memo, but are not reflected in the scheduled service summary.

  • 31 Greenwood:
    • Effective approximately May 18, service will be diverted to Coxwell Station while the loop at Greenwood Station is closed for Easier Access construction. This work will last about one year.
  • 57 Midland
    • Service reliability adjustments.
    • Northern terminus shifted to the Redlea cul-de-sac via Steeles and Redlea.

Other Changes

  • 365 Parliament Blue Night Bus:
    • Weekend service that was removed in error in fall 2021 will be restored.
  • 73 Royal York and 76 Royal York South:
    • Service reliability improvements
    • During some periods, the 73B Eglinton service will interline with the 76B Queensway service.
  • 83 Jones
    • Recovery time reallocated to the south end of the route to reduce conflicts near Donlands Station.
  • 95 York Mills:
    • Stops added on Durnford Road and Rylander Blvd for the 95A Port Union extension. These will be reviewed in advance of the September 2022 schedule changes.
  • Service reallocation affecting some periods on the following routes:
    • 16 McCowan (peak periods)
    • 17 Birchmount (peak periods)
    • 36B Finch West (am peak and early evening)
    • 81 Thorncliffe Park (peak periods)
  • Service reliability changes which generally widen headways during most or all periods:
    • 30 High Park
    • 31 Greenwood
    • 57 Midland
    • 62 Mortimer
    • 77 Swansea
    • 93 Parkview Hills
  • Service reliability changes rebalancing driving/recovery time with no change in service level:
    • 33 Forest Hill
    • 101 Downsview
  • Service improvements:
    • 31 Greenwood (peak periods)
    • 33 Forest Hill (peak and weekday midday)
    • 83 Jones PM (peak periods)
    • 86 Scarborough early evening Zoo shuttle (restored, seasonal)
    • 92 Woodbine South (weekends, seasonal)
    • 996 Wilson Express (weekday midday and pm peak)
    • 175 Bluffer’s Park (restored, seasonal)
  • Service reductions:
    • 75 Sherbourne: AM peak and midday (seasonal)
    • 600 Run As Directed: The number of crews/buses assigned to RAD service will be reduced by about one third as full scheduled service returns.

With the restructuring of bus service in the waterfront and the creation of the 121 Esplanade-River route, there is no existing route to provide seasonal service to Cherry Beach or Ontario Place. Two new routes, 172 Cherry Beach and 174 Ontario Place-Exhibition will operate instead.

172 Cherry links Union Station to Cherry Beach. It will operate from Eglinton Division.

174 Ontario Place links Exhibition Loop to Ontario Place. It will operate from Mount Dennis Division.

Details of the changes are in the spreadsheet linked below.

17 thoughts on “TTC Service Changes: May 8, 2022

  1. For all the “head counters” I have seen over the last 2-3 months on the subway, it astounds me that there is NO improvement to the service. As I suspected, the count is for show… anyone in “service planning” that rides during the rush periods would see that the crowding is at unacceptable levels. Yet they still run the announcements to stay 6 feet away from other customers and TTC employees… this after removing most if not all of the social distancing decals that were on the platforms….

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  2. Which garages will the route 172 Cheery Beach and route 175 Bluffer’s Park Beach bus be based out of.

    Steve: They will run from Eglinton and Mount Dennis respectively.

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  3. “Service reliability changes which generally widen headways during most or all periods”

    Translated it means WORSE headways. Pitiful. The accountants have so written, so it will be done.

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  4. Really surprised to see the 365 restored on weekends. How odd…

    Steve: The 365 was approved to be dropped in a previous Service Plan, but they never actually officially announced it and the weekend service just disappeared. Now it’s back.

    Good to see new stops on the 95A. For the first week or so, they had no stops actually within the loop. A temporary was put up on Rylander sb at Kingston, and it has stayed that was since. The lack of a stop at Sheppard and Durnford was peculiar, glad to see *something* happening.

    By the way, your table of express services within the pdf shows the 953 restored May 2022, but it hasn’t been this set of changes.

    Steve: Ooops! I am over-eager. Will fix. Thanks!

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  5. Finally! The TTC is putting stops on Rylander for the 95A.

    Ever since the service was extended to Port Union there has been no indication of where to catch the WB bus between Port Union and Ellesmere Loop.

    I recall having to flag down a bus more than a few times.

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  6. Speaking of streetcars, I’ve tried to find again (in communication with someone) about a possible streetcar expansion map including 501 to Broadview-Long Branch. And Neville-Roncesvalles or beyond. But I can’t find such a map. I thought it was in a service plan. Do you have said map? Thanks!

    Steve: Please see this article which includes that map. Note that it was presented at a workshop on the Service Plan, but has not been endorsed by the TTC Board.

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  7. I can state categorically as someone who does shift work that Line 2 is regularly standing room only at 11pm at night from Bloor-Yonge, to points well out.

    My local bus, Dawes is also very busy at most times of day.

    The notion that current service levels are acceptable is patently absurd.

    Steve: This morning, buses were coming into Broadview Station with standing loads, and I had to stand on the 504 shuttle I rode south from there until a kind soul gave me their seat. A fundamental problem when people talk about “empty buses” is that the space is not necessarily at the location, direction or time when it is needed. Counter-peak trips, lighter parts of routes will always have empty space but this is part of the cost of doing business.

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  8. Getting around and navigating the TTC redesigned website is troublesome. They seemed to have designed it so that the public will have a very difficult time finding documents or information. The information is there, IF you know where it is.

    Steve: Yes, it is a very unfriendly website and the navigation is not intuitive. But the Board seems to love it.

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  9. Steve, whatever happened to the 30B service that went into High Park? It hasn’t ran in a few years (never as part of the new 30 route), but, as far as I can tell, was never formally cancelled.

    Steve: I think that this is related to the partial closure of the park to motor traffic.

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  10. Steve,

    Are the 14 Glencairn and 28 South Bayview buses still interlined through Davisville Station?

    Steve: No.

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  11. The 174 Ontario Place-Exhibition bus is an attempt to “fix” the poor transit service or access that Ontario Place has. Until 1995, the old Exhibition Loop was closer to Ontario Place. It’s replacement, under the Gardiner Expressway made for a long walk to and from the loop to Ontario Place. Wonder if that safari contributed to reduction of Ontario Place numbers after 1995. Worse is the l-o-n-g walk to the east end of the loop to board streetcars.

    They replaced the old loop with the now named “Enercare Centre”, that has 1,300 underground parking in the all important garage. They could have put the streetcar loop underground, but cars were more important. (There is 5,800 parking spaces on the surface around Exhibition Place, but no where matches the numbers who come by GO Transit or TTC.)

    With headways of every 20 minutes, we’ll see if waiting 20 minutes for the next bus is better than joining a safari across the asphalt desert.

    Steve: Back in the days when there was a proposed extension of streetcar service to Ontario Place, they fought it because they would lose parking spaces. So Exhibition Loop wound up under the Gardiner. Yet another Ontario transit cock-up.

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  12. I am wondering what is a hold-up for increasing service level on line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) ? I was keep expecting they will increase services soon since it is a major corridor.

    I do understand that the am/pm rush crowding maybe reduced a bit with many of the post-secondary students are taking summer break and the other schools are ending soon.

    However, it is ridiculous that the headway is like 7-8 minute during the late evening. It is really bad when the big events such as Jays game or the concert ends and it creates another bad crowding, but still the crowding level will only going to get worse during the rush-hour since many people are continuing to go back to the office, and I don’t know why the TTC isn’t aware of the problem?

    I’ve submitted online complaints on the TTC multiple times and they refused to reply.

    Steve: An annoying part of how the TTC presents its service restoration is that they talk about how they are less than 10 percent below the service level, measured in hours, than pre-pandemic. Quite obviously this has a much bigger effect when a train is missing as opposed to a bus, and even between buses on different routes or at different times of the day.

    They also confuse the reference point.

    For January 2020, the scheduled hours of service per week was 186,222 plus 7,068 for construction extras for a total of 193,291. In May 2022, the numbers are 172,185 and 4,128 respectively for a total of 176,313, or about 91.2% of the pre-pandemic value. Another reference point is the budgeted service level, which was higher for May 2022 than is actually operating because the service restoration was deferred due to Omicron-related drop in riding. They are current running at about six percent below budget. Depending on the reference point, they are either nine or six percent down.

    The 2022 budget values will almost hit the January 2020 number in early fall, but I doubt we will actually see that level of operation. The subway service cut does not represent a huge number of hours out of the system as a whole, especially with the shift to one-person crews on Line 1. I also suspect that the TTC is under pressure to constrain costs in anticipation of a shortfall in covid-related funding.

    I have seen the subway crowding on many occasions, and the scheduled service reduction is compounded by the TTC’s inability to operate a reliable headway. This includes delays caused by less-than-speedy crew changes at St. George Station where there is a transition from one person to two person crews, but even Line 2 BD has erratic service. Some of this is due to delays, some just to the usual variation in train departures.

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  13. Has the TTC considered extending bus routes to Cherry beach and Ontario place for the summer instead of creating new routes (like extending 65 Parliament to Cherry beach and 63 Ossington to Ontario place via Strachan)? They already did it for 86 Scarborough to the Zoo.

    Steve: The former routes serving Cherry Beach and Ontario Place were seasonal extensions of 121 Front-Esplanade. That route was perennially a mess thanks to congestion downtown, and it was reconfigured to run only from Bay Street to Broadview via River. 172 Cherry roughly duplicates the old seasonal service. As for Ossington, its south end loop serves Liberty Village. Running through to Ontario Place is possible in theory, but would attach a piece onto the 63 where there is often congestion due to events at the CNE grounds. I am not sure that the users of the main route would thank you. Also, one way or another, it would take an extra bus, definitely more than one if the full Ossington headway were extended to Ontario Place.

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  14. Has the TTC considered using the streetcar ROWs for buses that run parallel routes? It has always seemed like a huge opportunity loss to have buses stuck in traffic when a ROW sits there unused, particularly during construction periods. The new 172 Cherry Beach route is a perfect example. This is done very successfully in cities like Amsterdam and I’m not sure what is stopping us here.

    Steve: Only one block of 172 Cherry operates where there is a streetcar right-of-way – the short stretch on Cherry from Front to Mill, and that is used only southbound. South of Mill is Distillery Loop which is no use to a service running through to railway underpass. I’m not sure where you get the idea that there is a ROW available.

    On a more general note, there is an issue with the design of the streetcar rights-of-way which make it difficult for buses to operate because of the available clearances, particularly where there are overhead support poles between the tracks as on The Queensway and St. Clair.

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  15. Hi Steve, I was wondering if you were collecting any data on the 60/960 west of Pioneer Village.

    The reason I ask is because the 960 is having headway reduced, including during weekday daytimes. I find this odd because the 60C branch to Kipling was added specifically because the 960 was not providing a sufficient enough service out that way.

    Do you have any clue what’s going on here? Maybe I’m missing something, but it doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

    Steve: Yes, I have data on the 60/960. My understanding was simply that the service west of Pioneer Village was changed to run express east of there to make overall trips shorter rather than having the 60 locals providing the service. There is a net new 60C local service between PV Station and Kipling but it only runs every 15′ and only peaks and midday. Otherwise the service frequencies in May 2022 are roughly the same as in January 2020.

    The intent was not to increase service/capacity, but to provide riders bound from Yonge to west of PV Station with an express trip on the eastern leg without forcing a transfer at PV as on the old schedules.

    Separately from all of this, there are problems on that route with reliability too.

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  16. WKLIs said: Getting around and navigating the TTC redesigned website is troublesome. They seemed to have designed it so that the public will have a very difficult time finding documents or information. The information is there, IF you know where it is.

    How true. Today I discovered (by chance) that there is a whole section of the site on Transparency and Accountability (yes, really!).

    They hide the CEO Reports there as well as other (mostly very old) planning documents. Only the TTC could manage to hide their pages on transparency unless they misunderstand the meaning of ‘transparency” :-> Their site needs a Site map and a Search Box, at the bare minimum.

    Steve: They don’t plan to provide a search box and depend on search engines to index the site. This requires that they manually map all of the dynamic pages so that search engines can find them, and recent additionss are not necessarly picked up promptly. A quick look at their sitemap.xml file shows that it has not been updated since early April. It is a huge file because their site structure is not “crawlable” as the old one was.

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