TTC Boosts Late Night Subway Service, Restores Beach-to-King Street Service

Effective Monday, May 8, the TTC has restored late night service on Lines 1 Yonge-University-Spadina and 2 Bloor-Danforth to every six minutes, seven days/week. This will be done with extra trains to supplement the scheduled service. The change will be formally scheduled in a future update.

Also, with the disappearance of the 503 Kingston Road car and its temporary replacement by the 505 Dundas, the TTC is now operating a supplementary bus service from Queen & Kingston Road to downtown via Queen and King from 7am to 7pm weekdays.

A direct streetcar service will not be possible until work on the Queen Street Don Bridge finishes sometime this summer, but there is another wrinkle. In the summer, Queen east of Broadview will close for Metrolinx bridge work at the future Riverside Station on the Lake Shore East Rail Corridor forcing all streetcars to operate via Gerrard. In turn that cannot begin until water main and track work at Coxwell & Lower Gerrard completes.

The additional subway service is made possible by an unexpectedly lower absentee rate among operators compared to budget. The TTC made a larger provision for covid-related sickness and finds itself with more available staff.

16 thoughts on “TTC Boosts Late Night Subway Service, Restores Beach-to-King Street Service

  1. Thanks Steve. I get more info from you than anywhere else. My question is this…when Queen St. closes for the Riverside bridge work, I assume a lot of traffic is going to move over to Eastern Ave., but when is the construction due to start on the Eastern Ave. bridge overpass. If they are closed both at the same time, it will be traffic hell.

    Steve: The bridge works will be done in stages. For this summer at Riverside, it is only preliminary work relocating TTC overhead supports and power feeders, not actual bridge construction. The physical work on bridges will raise the western part of the GO corridor while trains use two existing tracks on the eastern side. Then the service gets flipped on to the new west bridges and raised corridor, and the process repeats for the eastern half. The intent is to have only one location closed at a time. The sequence and dates for each location are not published yet. There is a City report here for what it’s worth. One important point is that the bridges are not all part of one contract, and so the timing depends on award dates and co-ordination between builders.


  2. There were and still are massive 30-40 minute gaps presently on all of the 501, 503, 504, 505, and 506 lines this afternoon running into the early evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went looking on the TTC web site to find information about the restoration of subway service and the supplemental bus service and couldn’t find it. Where did they publicise it?

    Steve: It has shown up in media releases and on Twitter. Not on the website.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Steve, any idea what the shuttles from Kingston Rd./Queen to York/King are signed up as? I’d assume 503 but if you could confirm that would be great.

    Steve: I was down at Queen & Broadview earlier this morning (May 10), and yes they are running as 503s.


  5. Thank You Steve,
    Now I can go back to expanding my search for both apartments and better job searches.
    (I’m 68 years old.)

    Steve: And @TTCHelps just put out a notice that they are running as 504 westbound and 501 eastbound. Such co-ordination!


  6. I think it’s a poor assumption to blame front line operator staff for service cuts. The only reason why we are cutting more service and making the system more atrocious is because the former mayor made almost every board cut a certain amount from the budget. The CEO knows this to be true and yet attacks the front line staff it is reprehensible and it’s time for a new CEO in my opinion. Hopefully the next mayor will do a better job and increase funding for transit which is very important and much needed. Thanks for the continuous updates with the projects and everything transit


  7. 503 Kingston Road / York via King
    501B Queen / Kingston Road and Queen

    Sometimes they’ll have that up going in the wrong direction so either the automatic system doesn’t change the signs or a number of ops forget.

    On an unrelated note, it seems the street side boxes for the track greasing machines at King and Sumach returned a few days ago.

    Steve: Thanks for the updates. I was by King and Sumach recently and was worried about the return of Distillery service without the greasers.


  8. I’ll echo what L. Wall said about delays. It took me 45+ minutes to get into work the past few days, from Broadview and Dundas to King and Bay. The King bus replacement to Parliament was super full and infrequent, the backlog of Queen streetcars jammed up the system, etc.

    I hope they add more replacement buses if they aren’t going run as needed – travel time has nearly doubled for some people.


  9. Sorry I did not mean travel times were at 40 minutes in and out of downtown but that there were gaps between vehicles of 30-40 minutes on every single major east-west route (501, 503, 504, 505, and 506) which is quite an achievement.

    However this afternoon was a different story as there was apparently a derailment at King and Church which left the already thin east-west transit capacity east of downtown and south of Dundas in shambles.


  10. And laughably, the TTC’s alert feed on Twitter stated “504 King: Minor delays near King St East at Church St East Side due to a streetcar derailment.”

    I’ve never known derailments to be minor delays. It will be interesting to find out the cause here since it doesn’t appear to be from a collision. Operator taking the curve too fast? Debris in the track from poor maintenance? General deterioration from deferred repair?


  11. As one might expect, the TTC seem to be hiding’ this new service from its customers. This from the 501 ‘advisory’ page:

    “We are adding more buses to connect downtown and the east end via King Street.

    The additional buses will run from King Street West and York Street to Queen Street East and Kingston Road. The 501 Queen eastbound and the 504 King westbound buses run every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, making it easy to get to your destination.

    These buses will not appear on your transit-focused apps. However, please continue to check our website for the latest updates on our bus schedules and routes.”

    Why would these NOT be on apps? I suspect far more people use apps than the TTC website!!

    Steve: The problem is that the apps depend on the existence of a schedule attached to a specific route number like “503”. First, the uses are running as extras and don’t have a schedule. Second there is no electronic version of a schedule on which the tracking apps depend to know when buses are supposed to show up. This sort of thing requires a degree of internal co-ordination within the TTC which is beyond their reach. They are supposed to be working on an upgrade to their “Vision” tracking system so that it can deal with ad hoc service and diversions, but there’s no sign of that functionality yet.

    Meanwhile, they tell people to check the website when it is hard to navigate and often wrong/incomplete.

    This is called “Customer Service”.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wouldn’t call the King street service from the beaches as having been restored given it has stopped going up Kingston Road pretty much cutting off this part of town to downtown.

    Not sure why they thought the 505 is an appropriate replacement – always jammed up on either Dundas or Queen. They were better off just running the full 503/22 combo in buses. The 505 detour on Queen to turn at Greenwood or Queen/Kingston. My transit to work has now doubled from approx. 30mins to almost an hour.


  13. Not sure why they thought the 505 is an appropriate replacement – always jammed up on either Dundas or Queen. They were better off just running the full 503/22 combo in buses.

    Some of us called this out over 5 weeks ago when the changes were first pried loose from the TTC’s cold dead hands via FOI request. If unpaid amateur layman like me could immediately identify the failings in the proposed changes then why couldn’t the professionals in planning do the same before the rubber hit the pavement? They had knowledge of these plans for a lot longer than the 30 seconds I had before I quickly saw the problems.

    It’s a pathetic sign for the people being employed for real money in the planning department to be making changes like this only to end up scrambling and backpedaling within days.

    Steve: I plan to review in detail the pre and post change schedules as well as tracking data in a few weeks when enough data have accumulated and any “tweaking” of operations or traffic management has had a chance to show up. Frankly I don’t expect to see much evolution over the next two weeks, but three plus weeks of data will establish what is “normal” for weekday and weekend operation. One of the benefits of having followed route performance for so long is that I have both a trove of data and the tools needed to quickly see what is happening rather than starting from scratch.


  14. Early on it looks as if the 503 bus replacement suffers from the same issues as the 501 bus replacements in the Etobicoke. Buses are frequently parked in long lines at the terminals for very extended periods of time upwards of 45 minutes at times. Gaps of 30 minutes or higher aren’t uncommon while these buses are taking extended layovers. Even so buses will sometimes leave the terminals in pairs or worse. Bus trains leaving the terminals every 30 minutes isn’t anybody’s idea of good service except if you work for the TTC.


  15. I have an honest question and it stems from suspicion. How do we believe the TTC that they increased service for the evenings? Is there data showing the change in scheduling or we have to take the word from the horses mouth?

    Just a curiosity that comes from their opaque process of using RAD buses but they do not show up anywhere for tracking.

    Steve: On occasion the RAD buses show up if they operate with the same run numbers as scheduled vehicles, but this is not a reliable practice. As for late night subway service, arrival predictions are driven by train locations and the signal system. But yes, overall it is hard to verify where or how much the extra service is. On my own local Broadview 504/505 shuttle, I know there are extras running, and it is common to see them in packs with at least four laying over at Broadview Station together.


  16. 501 Queen cars have been diverting via King St. East and Spadina for much of the day so far, presumably for the cost-of-living protests. Good thing the signs all state it’s via Dundas. I saw an intrepid operator signed up with Spadina via King or that might have been a short turn.

    There is no service alert indicating this. The best we get are the following:

    501 Queen: Minor delays between Long Branch Loop and Queen St East at Neville Park Blvd while we deal with an operational problem.

    Later updated with

    501 Queen: Minor delays between Long Branch Loop and Queen St East at Neville Park Blvd due to a demonstration.


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