Updated November 20, 2022: Information regarding diversions for 504 King and 503 Kingston Road has been updated with current details.
The TTC is making a few service changes for the November board period affecting mainly streetcars and the Yonge subway (Line 1).
With the complete implementation of Automatic Train Control on Line 1, the full route will switch to one person train operation (aka “OPTO”). Service will be improved during peak periods as well as some off-peak. Some running times will be reduced.
The peak service improvement is achieved through a combination of running time reduction and the conversion of two of the “gap” trains in each peak to regular service trains.
The originally announced service for 501 Queen in October would have seen the route extended to Roncesvalles from Dufferin. This proved impractical, and the route continued as it had been in September. The official schedule now reverts to September’s version for both the streetcar and bus services. There is almost no change to scheduled headways.
503 Kingston Road
The 503 Kingston Road car will be converted to bus operation until March 2023 to allow overhead conversion on Kingston Road.
The buses will operate to the “standard” downtown route 503 destination at King & York via Wellington.
Update: The downtown loop of the 503 buses will be via King to York Street, north to Richmond, west to University, south to King and returning east.
The intersection of King & Shaw is expected to reopen in early December for streetcars and buses. In anticipation, the November schedules are based on the service plan after the reopening.
Update: The TTC has posted a service change notice dated December 1, 2022 stating that the reopening will occur in “early December”. December 1st is a Thursday, and so it is not clear exactly when this change will take place. There is no comparable notice for 63 Ossington which is also diverting around King & Shaw.
- All 504 King cars will operate to Exhibition Loop, but they will not serve stops on Bathurst or Fleet Streets.
In practice, much of the 504 King service has not reached Exhibition Loop in recent weeks short turning either at Fleet Loop or at Charlotte Loop (King/Spadina).
- 504A Distillery cars will operate to Dufferin Loop.
- 504B Broadview Station cars will operate to Wolseley Loop (at Queen & Bathurst).
This arrangement reduces the number of transit vehicles attempting to use Dufferin Loop while this is still the western terminus for 501 Queen streetcars.
The 504C King shuttle bus was originally scheduled to operate to Exhibition via Strachan, but instead it will run east to Bathurst and King looping via Bathurst, Adelaide and Portland. Additional service will be provided if necessary from the run-as-directed pool.
929 Dufferin Express
All trips will terminate at Dufferin Loop.
- 86 Scarborough service on Saturdays to the Zoo for Terra Lumina will now end at 9:20 pm to match the planned earlier closing time.
- 172 Cherry Beach weekday service will be discontinued for the winter (typically until May).
The changes are summarized in the spreadsheet linked below.
Many projects and their associated diversions are expected to complete by early 2023. Although it is not listed here, the “elephant in the room” is the Line 5 Crosstown project. Street restorations at various stations are progressing, but Eglinton Avenue is still not fully restored for traffic. The project’s Construction Updates give a rolling view of work at various location along the route.
Locations of planned 2023 projects can be seen on the TOInview infrastructure map, but it is not yet confirmed whether all of these will proceed given the budget crunch the City and TTC will face. (Note that Metrolinx projects are listed under “Third Party Construction”.)
Streetcar Route Assignment and Fleet Utilization
With bus replacements still in place on some routes, and now with 503 Kingston Road added to that list, the streetcar fleet utilization is at a low level. Peak streetcar utilization is 146 cars out of a fleet of 202 (two cars damaged by a flood remain unavailable until repaired/replaced by Alstom). This is a spare factor of 38 per cent, well above the industry norm of 20 per cent. At that level, the TTC should be able to field a peak service of 168 cars. We will see as service resumes in coming months whether that actually happens, or there is some other factor affecting streetcar availability.
Of particular interest in the table below is the fact that the Saturday afternoon total of 144 cars is almost equal to the PM peak at 146. This begs the question of whether peak service is artificially constrained by vehicle availability, as opposed to the work-from-home effect on peak demand.
Bus Fleet Utilization
The peak service requirements for buses stand at 1,514 (PM peak) with the combined needs of regular service and construction extras. The total fleet (based on information from the October 2022 Scheduled Service Summary) is 2056 buses (counting all buses as “one” regardless of their size). This gives a spare factor of almost 36 per cent, well above industry average.
The TTC has considerable headroom to improve service without buying more buses, but the current problem is a shortage of operators. To what degree this is a staffing problem versus a budget constraint is not publicized, although we should get some sense as the 2023 budget process unfolds. From the 2023 Service Plan consultations, we already know that any proposals are treated on a net zero cost basis implying that it is the budget that rules the decision.
When Lines 5 and 6 open sometime in 2023, this will release buses for use elsewhere. How many will actually appear in service, as opposed to an increased spare ratio, is another matter.