There will be a small number of changes on July 31 for the schedule period running through to the Labour Day weekend.
Line 2 Service Improvement
Service on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth will be improved during all operating periods, notably off-peak and weekends. This will not fully restore pre-pandemic levels on the route, but should reduce crowding that has become a problem over past weeks.
King & Sumach Track Repairs
The intersection of King and Sumach (the point where the Distillery line branches off) will be rebuilt in an attempt to reduce noise and vibration.
During this work, all 504 King service will operate to Broadview Station via Parliament and Queen Streets. The 503 Kingston Road route will also use this diversion.
A shuttle bus will operate to provide access to the Distllery, and it will also provide coverage for the 506 Carlton line during construction at Church Street (see below).
Church & Carlton Track Repairs
The intersection of Carlton and Church will be rebuilt as part of the regular maintenance program. This work will not include the addition of missing curves in the southeast quadrant.
506 Carlton service will divert around construction via Parliament, Dundas and Bay both ways. A replacement bus service will operate from Spadina Station to the Distillery District. The map below shows a proposed alignment for this service. This is subject to change depending on possible modifications to turn restrictions due to construction at College & Yonge.
Updated July 28, 2022: This diversion has been changed. See Revised 506 Carlton Diversion Effective July 31, 2022.
Running times on 32 Eglinton West will be adjusted to provide for delays due to the Line 5 Crosstown Extension construction, as well as to restore covid-era service cuts.
A planned reconstruction of the terminal at Kipling Station will require consolidation of loading areas and move of some routes to stops outside of the station. This project has been deferred to 2023, but a schedule change to support this work was already in the pipeline for the coming period. The 40 Junction and 49 Bloor West routes will be interlined.
Route 172 Cherry Beach will shift from “Old” Cherry Street to the “New” street across the future path of the Don River between Commissioners Street and the Ship Channel. Buses will use Old Cherry Street north of Commissioners Street, then jog west to New Cherry Street to cross the new river course.
Route 174 Ontario Place weekend and holiday service was dropped in June due to conflicting activities at the CNE and Ontario Place grounds. This change is now officially in the schedules.
Details of the new service levels are in the spreadsheet linked below.
Major Construction at Russell Carhouse
Reconstruction of Russell Carhouse will begin both to make it fully compatible with the Flexity fleet, to improve the quality of yard paving and convert the overhead system for pantograph operation.
In the first phase of this work, the site’s capacity will be reduced to 28 cars including spares. Only the 504 King service will operate from the yard. Here is the new allocation of routes to the three carhouses.
Note that the maximum number of cars in service is well below the fleet of 204. Bus substitutions on portions of 501 Queen, 504 King and 506 Carlton will continue through the balance of 2022.
As the work at Russell progresses, the capacity of the site will change.
Of course, few people want to visit Ontario Place on weekends and holidays. Much better to run empty buses on weekdays so we have a transit service line on the map.
This will work terribly because I’m sure no one in traffic ops or TTC will have the foresight or brainpower to install temporary changes to smooth operations. I expect massive delays westbound for 501, 503, and 504 cars due to the lack of advance green turn signal. Signal induced delays thanks to unfriendly timings will rule eastbound trips at Adelaide, Richmond, and Queen. I’m hoping the switches don’t stop functioning like they have in the past.
Steve: This was a problem on previous diversions over this route while track and overhead were rebuilt further west. It is a long-standing problem with the TTC and Toronto Transportation that long-running diversions do not automatically get the changes needed to aid new turns.
From the looks of things, the 32F branch from York Memorial C.I. (in the old Scarlett Heights C.I.) would be dropped since the school is about to be housed in the former George Harvey C.I. starting in September. Before the pandemic, the TTC had to add more buses on the 32 after the fire destroyed that historical school.
Still no sign of the 178 BRIMORTON in the future boards this fall but is that possible to defer the changes and keep the 54B LAWRENCE EAST and 86D SCARBOROUGH routings intact?
Steve: Other comments have noted that this won’t be sorted out until after the election.
Even though the ridership is slowly going up, will the TTC also restore routes 176 MIMICO GO, 508 LAKE SHORE, 903 KENNEDY-SCARBOROUGH CENTRE EXPRESS and all of the Downtown Express routes this fall, next year or be permanently eliminated? Without the 903, the TTC hasn’t considered increasing service on routes 21A, 43/943 and 57 if that route is discontinued permanently.
Steve: Routes that serve downtown office workers will be the last to come back. More generally, service improvements for September will not be announced until mid-August.
Lastly, how long the Russell Carhouse work will last?
Steve: Easily a year. The work includes expansion of the carhouse building westward to create a track that is designed for maintenance of roof-mounted equipment similar to the expansion that was done at Roncesvalles. The capacity crunch will come when new streetcars begin arriving. On a related note, I have not seen a start date yet for the conversion of part of Harvey Shops as a fourth carhouse.
172 I will be amazed if New Cherry Street is opened before October but, I guess, we will see! Of course, most of the bus stops on Cherry St still talk of the 121 (the route replaced by the 172 in May). TTC silos at work!
What’s the reason for the 506 bus cutting up to Wellesley at Bay and then back south on Yonge? Is there work planned on College? I’d have thought that staying on College, then south on Yonge would be a lot more efficient. (or if Wellesley was necessary going up Queens Park).
Steve: Apparently there is potential construction work that would make the turns at Yonge and College difficult. As I say in the article, the map is a preliminary version and it might change by the time this goes into effect.
I’m surprised the curve at Sumach and King is being rebuilt. I’ve stood there changing streetcars many a time, and I’ve really not noticed the sound. Biggest issue there is the lack of a northbound stop at that intersection.
Steve: I have been trying to get more technical info about this work but have so far hit a brick wall. Will keep hammering!
Steve, do you know the reconstruction in the Kipling terminal involves? I’m dumbfounded that construction would be going on here again, as the bus slab was literally reconstructed just a few years ago.
Steve: There are no details in the report, only that some bays would be taken out of service requiring changes to the loading arrangements for routes.
3 hours round trip on the 32A Eglinton West bus is nuts. They already run with excessive times in offpeak as the original Crosstown construction is winding down. Often buses just wait 10+ minutes for crew relief at Keele cause they are constantly early. I wonder why gap buses wasn’t consider and improvement to the 32D as a supplement for the soon to be more unreliable 32A. I guess they are just waiting for Line 5 to open so they don’t have to solve this problem.
It’s nice to see TTC finally increasing service on services such as Line 2 Bloor Danforth because weekend ridership is reaching pre pandemic levels and on 32 Eglinton West.
King/Sumach has been partially rebuilt at least once (I think more) and last time I was there was really not noisy. (Cars use it going very slowly.) I was at Neville Loop yesterday and the squealing there was FAR worse. I think the TTC are responding to local pressures and the King/Sumach loop is, comparatively, recent while the NP one has been there for decades and the noise is probably seen as ‘normal’.
Steve: Yes, one might say that the neighbourhood has a “squeaky wheel” that gets a lot more attention than other parts of the city. That said, going right back to the establishment of track on Sumach/Cherry, I think that the TTC has been optimistic about its ability to control noise less through technical capability but from basic maintenance like making sure wheel greasers work. Another issue has been the noise created by switch blades slapping as cars pass over them. We will see whether there is a fix for that problem too.
Waiting more than 20 minutes for a 25 don mills bus is unacceptable. Buses come into the station Not In Service Every single bus. Tonight I wanted to cry 😢
I’m looking forward to the downtown express coming back.
Steve: As I write this, the tracking data show a big gap travelling back and forth on the line.
Is it possible to have the 924 express running on weekends too and or have the larger buses dedicated to Victoria Park station. The buses are crowded on the weekends also.
Seems like they want to use Leslie less and less. Originally I recall them saying they would close down the other yards and only have Leslie, a bit of an odd reversal.
Steve: Leslie is not big enough to hold the entire fleet especially with 60 more cars on order.
The “501 Queen” route continues to operate with buses between University Avenue and the Long Branch loop.
There is currently TTC track work done on Lakeshore Boulevard, just east of Royal York Road, precisely around Mimico Avenue. Track work at the Queen-King-Roncesvalles intersection continues. The last time there was major track work on Lakeshore was in 2002, twenty years ago.
When are streetcars expected to this large stretch of “501 Queen”?
Steve: Possibly in the Fall. To be confirmed. They might only get to Sunnyside as a first step.
The wiring of KQQR is proceeding extremely slowly. Is that the only gate to restoring 501/504 service to Sunnyside? If so, I fail to see why it couldn’t be complete in time for the next board. I’m normally impressed at how well intersection projects are kept to a schedule, and while there was early cause to blame Toronto Water for the delays, I see no evidence that they are the continued cause.
Steve: I believe that they are aiming at September, but until I see something official, I would not bet on it. With all of the planned service improvements they keep hinting at for September, releasing as many buses as possible from construction replacement service would be a really good idea.
Also construction on Ronces is supposed to start in September, and this cannot happen unless the south access to the carhouse is restored.
City’s new construction update says that:
These would imply that Roncesvalles will remain open until October 9th, at which date carhouse access will switch from north gate to south gate.
At the same time, the update says that there will be a “full road closure” of Roncesvalles between Queen and Harvard starting September 4th. That should preclude running King buses on it until October 9th, and probably using it for north gate carhouse access.
So one of these informations must be wrong or incomplete. We’ll probably find out what actually happens on September 6th.
Usual Toronto project management…
Steve: The TTC’s detailed memo of service changes for September should be out in about the third week of August.
The popular late-summer fair, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)is making its return after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus. To get to and from the CNE, many opt to take the TTC, and a substantial minority of those ride the “511 Bathurst” streetcar which travels from Bathurst subway station to the Exhibition loop via Fleet Street.
Will service on the “511 Bathurst” streetcar route be increased for the duration of the CNE? As the new streetcars are fully accessible, it might eliminate the need to also run express shuttle buses on this route in addition to streetcars for the last weekend of the CNE. When the older streetcars were used (on the “511 Bathurst route), the express shuttles also ran in order to provide transit to persons with physical disabilities.
Steve: The TTC no longer has a separate special “Exhibition” schedule period but runs extra service as needed. The details of this service have not yet been announced.
Any idea how long the track/turn improvements at King and Sumach are supposed to take? Travel time westbound has definitely increased for the Queen St lag, so wondering if we know an ETA?
Steve: The diversion is only posted to Labour Day weekend, but if they finish sooner, they might restore service. TBA.
I was riding that diversion on 504 King this morning and it is brutal with the traffic and signal timings on Parliament that work against the streetcars.
I wish there were some way that this could have been foreseen.
Steve: This stretch of Parliament has always been a problem for diversions. The city talks a good line about “adjusting” signal timings, but this is more commonly in aid of traffic flow on the assumption that transit benefits as a side effect. Actual pro-transit priority is not a political priority, and hasn’t been for years.