Revised TTC Service Changes: Sunday, March 29, 2020 (Updated)

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, some changes planned for the schedule period beginning March 29 will not occur.

Notably, the planned resumption of streetcar service on 505 Dundas will not take place. The overhead conversion on this route is in a half-completed state from trolley pole to pan-friendly wiring.

  • Curves on Broadview from Gerrard north to Danforth have never been upgraded for pantograph operation even though the tangent wire was converted some time ago.
  • The section of the route between Parliament and McCaul has been converted completely for pans, and is not compatible with trolley pole operation.

The TTC has not announced what service level will be provided by the continued bus operation on 505 Dundas.

Updated March 27, 2020 at 5:15 pm:

According to TTC service change pages, the operation of streetcars on 511 Bathurst and buses on 505 Dundas will continue to late April.

Concurrent operation of streetcars on both Bathurst and Dundas would have stretched the streetcar fleet, but the real problem was the beginning of planned work at the south end of Bathurst including bridge construction that would have forced bus conversion of the 511 anyhow. This was to start in March, but has been deferred until May.

The TTC also plans a reduction in 504 King Saturday streetcar service, again due to fleet availability problems. This stems from a planned increase in service on 509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina to deal with the Bathurst Street bridge work that would have pushed Saturday requirements above the AM peak level. With the bridge work shifted to May, the changes on 509/510 were deferred, but the change on 504 was left in place. All of this of course is subject to future schedule adjustments in reaction to reduced demand.

Other planned construction affecting the Bathurst route this year includes tangent track from south of Dundas to north of Wolseley Loop, and special track at Bathurst Station Loop.

The Scheduled Service Summary for March 29 to May 9, 2020, shows the service as originally designed. When any additional details of changes are announced, I will update this article.

TTC Changes Fare Collection, Trims Service – But What of the Future?

Updated March 28, 2020: The TTC has changed its policy for Wheel-Trans and now only accepts payment by Presto. See the March 27 update for Wheel-Trans.

The TTC implemented several changes to its fare policies and service in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Their focus is on protection of workers and passengers by physical distancing and eliminating most interaction between them.

Fares & Fare Collection

All bus passengers will board and leave via the rear door except for riders who require the access ramp at the front door. Operators will keep their protective barriers closed, and the fare boxes will not be available.

On buses except for Wheel-Trans, the TTC will not accept cash, tokens or tickets and will not issue paper transfers. Only Presto will be accepted. Streetcar and subway riders can use fare machines.

The TTC asks that riders pay with Presto “where available”, but it is unclear whether riders without cards will ride free. The Star’s Ben Spurr quotes TTC spokesperson Stuart Green:

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said riders who don’t have Presto will be asked to pay when they arrive at their destination if they’re headed to a subway station.

He declined to answer directly when asked whether riders who don’t have Presto and don’t pay will face a fine from transit officers, but said the “focus of fare inspectors right now is on customer service and education.”

Updated March 24 at 2:12 pm: An exchange on Twitter:

But how does one board a bus if cash is not being accepted?

@TTCHelps: You can just walk on. No one will stop you. We’d like you to pay your cash fare at a connecting station or streetcar if possible.

A well-known problem with Presto is that places where riders can obtain one and load money are much thinner on the ground that the old TTC ticket agent network, particularly in the suburbs where bus transportation dominates.

The deadline for cancelling the auto-renew on monthly or 12 month passes on Presto has been extended to 11:59 pm, Friday, March 27. The TTC will waive cancellation fees, although Presto might still issue an automated warning email.

Service Changes

Because weekday ridership has dropped by over 70 per cent, the TTC is reviewing its resource requirements. The following routes no longer operate, and their vehicles will be reallocated where needed.

  • All 900-series express bus routes, except for the 900 Airport, 903 Kennedy-Scarborough Town Centre, and 927 Highway 27.
  • All 140-series Downtown express routes.
  • The 176 Mimico GO bus and 508 Lake Shore streetcars.

The 503 Kingston Road route had been cut back to a shuttle between Queen & Kingston Road and Bingham Loop at Victoria Park. The extra service it provides on Queen and King Streets is not needed. An obvious future change would be to run the evening/weekend configuration of the 22A Coxwell Bus during all hours. This sort of tweak will no doubt be repeated in other parts of the system.

Regular service will continue every 10 minutes or better on most of the affected routes, for now.

Vehicle arrival predictions will be out of whack until the online schedules are updated to match the revised services.

A full list of changes is on the TTC’s website.

Falling Revenue & Future Cuts

The TTC reported a loss of $14 million in revenue for last week, and the number has increased since to $20 million. Sustaining this would require massive increases in subsidies at a time governments are stretched to cover health care and income support costs. There is also the inevitable “why should we pay for Toronto” political attitude that ignores Toronto’s contribution to provincial finances.

Although service levels must allow for physical distancing, further transit cutbacks are inevitable. This could also trigger a vicious cycle where transit becomes unattractive to all but those who have no choice to use it.

Depending on the money available to the TTC, the network could be fundamentally changed in various ways:

  • Severe cuts or elimination of peak service on many routes if demand will fit, allowing for safe distancing between passengers, in off-peak levels.
  • Reduction of subway service and possible shutdown of portions of routes during certain periods.

TTC ridership is running at somewhere between 20 and 30 per cent of normal levels, although this will not be evenly distributed across routes and time periods. Should the TTC drop back to a lower service level akin to Saturday or Sunday service? What should be the service standard for crowding given the need for a 2 metre distance between riders? Can the Ten Minute Network be maintained, and what happens to other routes?

The subway is a special challenge because keeping it open has a considerable base cost independent of service levels. Maintenance workers must be available to keep the track, signals and electrical power supply in condition and fix them when, as always happens, things go wrong. Tunnels and stations have their own systems including ventillation, pumps to deal with ground water, escalators and elevators for accessibility, and of course all of the infrastructure to collect fares.

About one third of the TTC’s operating budget goes to the subway and of that, at least one third are the fixed costs independent of service, probably more. The staff driving trains are only a small part of the total complement who make the subway system run. Signals must work even if there are only a handful of trains on the line. Open stations must be staffed, and even if hours were cut back, their systems must work reliably for passengers when they do.

There are hard practical and political decisions to be made about which services will run, where and how often, not to mention where transit fits in the pecking order of essential services.

Closing the Subway to Accelerate Capital Programs

This is an example of how everything in a transit system is linked together, and one cannot “solve” a perceived problem without considering how one change triggers many others.

Former TTC Chair Adam Giambrone suggested in social media that the subway could be shut down and this would allow state of good repair work such as ATC signal upgrades to be accelerated. He claimed that articulated buses running every 3 minutes or so could replace the subway. But it’s not that simple.

The TTC currently fields about 100 artics. If we are taking safe distancing of passengers and the operator seriously, a maximum capacity would be little more than half a seated load or 25-30 people. On a three minute headway, that translates to only 600 passengers per hour.

The night bus service probably indicates the speed a bus service could attain at best case assuming there is little competing traffic on the streets. The existing 320 Yonge bus operates every 3’30” and requires 26 vehicles to cover its distance from Queens Quay to Steeles. Better service and higher capacity would require more vehicles, and of course the subway network is more than just Yonge Street.

The artics, of course, would come from other routes where they would be replaced with lower-capacity standard buses.

Finally, it is not clear that the technical staff exist to accelerate programs like the ATC upgrade, nor how safely a larger workforce could be deployed. Track and other repairs have their own cadres of skilled workers, and one cannot simply expand the pace of their work. The subway infrastructure itself must remain operational if only for work and test trains.

Service Reliability

At a time of crisis, it will seem churlish to mention this, but if transit service is to be cut, the TTC absolutely must address the problem of service reliability.

If ten minutes headways become a “good” service, and less important routes run less often, then it is essential that “on time” means just that.

The TTC makes a limited attempt at service regularity and monitors on time departures from terminals with a standard that allows wide variation and bunching. There is almost no headway management along routes.

Riders should not face the combined effect of wider headways and irregular service, but that, sadly, is what we are likely to see because the reporting metrics are designed to make management look good while hiding the true quality of service.

Staffing

The schedules for March 29 are all set to go with the crews having been signed up weeks ago, but the TTC is already dealing with staff shortages leading to the service trimming outlined above. The next change comes in mid-May when we are likely to see much more extensive effects of the lost revenue coupled with whatever extra subsidy appears (or not).

System maintenance and management are also affected. Buses don’t get out on the street without regular maintenance, and the pro-active fix-before-break could be a casualty. If that happens, the problem snowballs as buses fail more often.

Streetcars may not be everyone’s favourite vehicle, but they have the advantage of size and an isolated operator cab. Any move to “simplify” the system by moving to an all-bus operation would be counterproductive.

Whither the TTC?

Toronto faces a deep reduction in transit riding for many months until it is safe again for people to be out-and-about even on a limited basis. The travel demands which transit serves will take even longer to fully return, and some may simply disappear.

It is ironic that only weeks ago we were still debating the merits of various transit expansion plans, how much service we should run, and how subsidies should be divided between better service and reduced fares. That sort of debate is almost quaint today, but when life returns to “normal”, these questions will remain.

Meanwhile stay safe, and thank everyone who is providing those services we all need.

The Importance of Transit in a Changing Travel Landscape

My latest for NOW Toronto.

As ridership drops on the TTC, just as on transit systems across the world, there will be a temptation to make big cuts, but then to fall behind in the recovery when the crisis passes.

This is also a time to rethink the design of public spaces, streets especially, and the balance between all users and types of travel: cars and transit, cyclists and pedestrians.

Best Laid Plans

My latest for NOW Toronto looks at the historical pattern of bold transit plans conceived when times are good that inevitably crash into the hard reality of economic upheaval every decade or so.

There will be less money sloshing around in the economy for many years, and the many expensive projects on our transit and other political menus are unlikely to proceed as planned.

The challenge for those who believe transit is an essential part of our future is to rethink priorities and focus on advocacy for meaningful, widespread transit improvements. This will be a difficult road.

 

Analysis of Route 505 Dundas Bus Operations

Route 505 Dundas has operated with buses since February 2018 thanks to various construction projects and the shortage of streetcars. March 29, 2020 will see Flexity streetcars on Dundas.

The past two years have not been kind to riders on this route. Flocks of buses travel back and forth, often in packs, and large gaps in service have been common. An easy answer to any complaints is that congestion induced by construction prevents the TTC from providing reliable service.

Actually tracking the route’s behaviour has been difficult because most of the vehicles on Dundas were using the new Vision tracking system, and the data extracts from Vision were, until recently, at a much simpler and less illuminating level than the data from the old CIS system that Vision replaced. This changed in October 2019 when detailed tracking data for Vision vehicles became available, and I have been collecting this for the past five months.

The High Points

This is a long read, and many will not do go through the whole presentation. The following points are of special interest:

  • Over the period of bus operation, schedules were changed a few times in response to conditions on the route, or at least that was the idea.
  • Some of these schedules had inadequate running time, but TTC management did not react, in general, with short turns which are a very bad thing from a point of view of reporting on service quality to the TTC Board.
  • Instead, they adopted the tactic of either running buses express across a parallel route (Dundas is “U” shaped) to make up time, or having buses lay over at terminals to get back on time for their next trip. This reduced the actual bus/hour count along the route below the scheduled level causing crowding and increased dwell time.
  • The schedules that added travel time back onto the route in mid-February had the unexpected effect of lowering travel times during some periods, and of improving line capacity because very few buses now run express to get back on time.
  • A problem with irregularly spaced service and gaps remains even with the new schedule, but the situation has improved considerably.

These observations should not be taken as a blanket endorsement of longer scheduled travel times. There will always be a trade-off between having enough scheduled time so that almost no service short-turns and having so much padding in schedules that buses and streetcars congregate in packs at terminals. Conditions vary from day-to-day and no schedule can be “perfect” for all situations.

Continue reading

Starving the Bus Network for Service

My recent article for NOW Toronto, TTC Bus Service Losing Ground, reviewed the problem of passenger congestion on TTC bus routes and the long-standing failure of service to keep up with the rising population and employment in Toronto. This article presents the details and the wider context.

When Transit City was proposed back in 2007, the TTC expected that over the course of its implementation a large number of buses would be replaced by an LRT network that would, by today, be substantially complete. In turn, this would reduce the need for new bus storage and maintenance facilities because the growth would occur in suburban LRT barns at the Mount Dennis yard on the Eglinton line, on Finch near Highway 400, and on Sheppard East at Conlins Road.

One new garage was planned in Scarborough, although the project was delayed by Mayor Rob Ford. The garage on McNicoll will finally open late in 2020. However, the demand for storage space at existing overcrowded garages simply means that McNicoll will be full the day it opens and the TTC will be back in a situation where fleet expansion requires garages to have more buses than they were designed for. A ninth bus garage sits in the long term plans with a 2031 opening date, but there is no funding for it and the TTC has yet to identify a potential property. They will remain short of garage space for the coming decade.

This creates an odd sort of response to requests for more service: we have no place to store the buses. That, of course, is a chicken-and-egg situation where the TTC (and the City) can avoid the cost of providing more service by claiming that they couldn’t run more buses if they wanted to. Unfortunately, this does not accelerate the provision of more garage space, and the service vs storage deadlock remains.

The amount of service the TTC fields every day is affected by several factors:

  • the size of the fleet
  • the average capacity of a bus
  • the average age and reliability of the fleet
  • the proportion of the fleet needed for maintenance spares
  • the number of buses required to supplement the streetcar network
  • the number of buses reserved for extra service, especially to handle subway emergencies
  • the budget for service

As the TTC migrated from a fleet of high-floor to low-floor buses, the capacity of vehicles dropped by about ten percent. This meant that more buses were required to provide the same level of service, a process that occurred gradually until late 2015 when the last of the high-floor buses were retired. Conversely, low-floor two-section articulated buses can carry about 50% more passengers than a standard bus. These vehicles began to appear in the TTC’s fleet in 2014, but they make up less than 10% of the fleet today. The only planned expansion is for the TTC to buy 68 more in 2021.

Older buses tend not to work as reliably as young ones, and if a fleet is not regularly replaced, a higher proportion of it can fall into those “twilight years” when maintenance needs are higher and buses are more likely to fail in service. The TTC used to keep its buses for about 18 years and overhauled them twice during their lifespan. The argument for this was that the overhauls were cheaper than simply buying a new bus.

However, the bus building industry no longer produces vehicles with a long intended lifespan, and 12 years is a more common retirement age. This also avoids the need for that second overhaul to keep an older bus on the street.

The TTC has shifted to a 12 year replacement cycle for buses, and took advantage of federal “stimulus” funding to replace many older vehicles that otherwise would have remained in service. This gets over the one time “hump” of changing to a shorter life-cycle, but it also accelerates the need for ongoing spending because the annual replacement rate is now 50% higher – about 180 buses per year, rather than 120. This budget effect is compounded by the shift to more expensive hybrid or all-electric vehicles.

The newer generation of buses is also more technically complex, and a larger proportion of the fleet is required for spares to ensure that maintenance is preventative, fix-before-break work rather than gambling that a bus will continue to run even after it should have come into the shop for a check-up. A few years ago, the TTC changed its maintenance practices so that buses cycled through routine inspection and repair more frequently with the aim of reducing in-service failures. This had the desired effect, but at a cost of taking a larger maintenance pool from the fleet than in past years.

Finally, new buses often go through retrofit programs during their warranty period, and this further increases spare requirements if there is a sudden influx of new buses in a short time period.

That’s just the story on the maintenance side, but there is also the dreaded line whenever service is discussed: “subject to budget availability”. In other words, even if there are enough buses to improve service, there may not be the operating budget dollars (and the drivers this would pay) to actually field more vehicles.

Both the streetcar and subway networks make demands on the bus fleet.

It is no secret that the TTC has had problems with both its old and new streetcar fleets, but the biggest problem now is that growing demand on the streetcar routes exceeds the capacity of the new streetcar fleet.

  • When there were too few streetcars to operate that network, buses substituted to make up the difference.
  • Traffic congestion continues to worsen leading to slower service.
  • Construction projects shut down parts of the streetcar network from time to time.

At various times over recent years, there have been buses running on portions of Carlton, Dundas, Queen, King, Kingston Road and Bathurst. Some of these cases have been complete replacements while others are on portions of lines affected by construction.

With the streetcar shortage, construction work provided a rationale to bus a route and free up vehicles, but this grew beyond beyond construction season to semi-permanent replacements.

During the summer, the TTC has surplus vehicles and streetcar substitutions do not affect the availability of buses on bus routes.

Long-running projects (such as the water main reconstruction on Dundas) and route conversions due to a shortage of streetcars (such as on Kingston Road) are another matter. These take buses away from the bus network during the peak season. That said, the number of buses involved has been overplayed in some circles primarily as a way of carping about the Bombardier cars or about streetcars in general.

Subway shuttles place their greatest demand on the bus fleet when emergencies occur during the peak period. There are some vehicles at each garage that are “run as directed” buses, but these are nowhere near enough to make up for losing a busy part of the subway system. If there is a peak period shuttle, it requires not just the spare buses but vehicles and operators “borrowed” from other routes.

There is always a balancing act between having enough spare buses and staff to drive them for most emergencies, and the cost of having unused resources that are always a target for the budget hawks looking for “waste” in the TTC.

All of these factors affected and constrained the growth in bus service over the past decade, and will continue to do so without a significant change in TTC planning and funding policy.

Continue reading

TTC Streetcar Network Changes in 2020

Construction projects and the ongoing shuffling of streetcars and buses between the 500-series routes will bring some changes over coming months.

March 29, 2020

Dundas Streetcar

Streetcars will return to 505 Dundas replacing buses that have been on this route for quite some time thanks to various construction projects. The route will operate with pantographs up over much of its length, but on arriving at Dundas & Broadview, cars will switch to trolley pole operation. TTC staff will be stationed at the changeover point to raise and lower poles as cars arrive in each direction. This procedure will continue until the overhead from Gerrard to Danforth is fully converted to a pantograph-friendly design over the next few months, according to the TTC.

The option of running with poles over the length of the route is not available because some of the new overhead on Dundas is built to pantograph-only standards and is incompatible with trolley shoes.

Bathurst Streetcar/Bus

On the same date, 511 Bathurst will revert to bus operation because of construction on the Bathurst Street bridge south of Front Street, and later for track replacement between Dundas Street and Wolseley Loop (north of Queen), and from Bloor Street to London Street (Bathurst Station). Diversion arrangements for these phases of the work have not yet been announced.

While the bridge remains open to traffic, the buses will operate to Exhibition Loop, but will travel via Fort York Boulevard rather than going south to Fleet Street.

After the bridge closes, the 511 Bathurst buses will loop via Front, Portland and Wellington. Service to the Exhibition will be provided only by 509 Harbourfront which will have extra service to compensate for the 511’s absence. The 307 Bathurst Night Bus will operate to the Exhibition via Front, Spadina and Fort York Boulevard.

Details of service during the Canadian National Exhibition have not yet been finalized.

Mid-May 2020

Carlton Streetcar/Bus

Reconstruction of the west end of the 506 Carlton route will begin, and the route will convert to bus operation.

The work will begin at High Park Loop which will be rebuilt so that it can be used by either streetcars or buses. Once this is done, the 41/941 Keele diversion that begins on March 29 for work at Keele Station will change to terminate at High Park Loop rather than heading east to Roncesvalles.

The track replacement will head east on Howard Park from Parkside to Sunnyside, but will not affect the intersection at Roncesvalles. This  means that 504 King service to Dundas West Station will remain in operation.

During the bus operation, overhead conversion for pantographs will continue on this route.

Kingston Road Streetcar

With the 506 Carlton operating as a bus route, the 503 Kingston Road will resume streetcar operation. Its western terminus will be Charlotte Loop at Spadina.

Summer 2020

Dundas Streetcar

Track reconstruction on Dundas Street will begin with the Howard Park intersection. Tangent track will be replaced between Sorauren Avenue and Sterling Road, the stretch spanning the bridges over the rail corridors. While this is underway, the 505 Dundas car will (probably) short turn at Lansdowne via College Loop (the triangular intersection formed by Lansdowne, College and Dundas) or via Lansdowne, College and Ossington.

The work will also include the west side of College Loop (the only part of the loop that has not been rebuilt in recent years). This will include reconfiguration of the intersection with traffic signals and pedestrian crossings as shown below.

These arrangements have not been finalized.

Source: Traffic Control Signals and Intersection Improvements – College Street, Dundas Street West and St. Helen’s Avenue

Other Planned Work

Other projects that do not affect scheduled service include:

  • Replacement of the special work at Richmond & Church
  • Replacement of the tangent track on Victoria from Queen to Dundas Square (this depends on the status of construction at St. Michael’s Hospital)
  • Replacement of the track on Church from King to Wellington, and on Wellington from Church to west of Yonge (the eastern boundary of a previous replacement project)

TTC Service Changes: Sunday, March 29, 2020 (Corrected)

The TTC has several changes planned for the schedules going into effect on March 29.

Updated March 5, 2020 at 10:20 pm: Incorrect information was in the original description of the 163 Oakwood route. It will operate from Ossington Station to Lawrence West Station, not from St. Clair as the southern terminus as I had originally described it. Thanks to reader Joseph (who got there first) and others for spotting this. I am not quite sure where that idea came from, but both the article and the detailed list of changes below have been updated.

Updated March 6, 2020 at 10:55 pm: Incorrect naming of the 109 Ranee branches corrected. Thanks to reader Steven for spotting that.

2020.03.29_Service_Changes_V3

Streetcar/Bus Mode Changes

The most significant change is the restoration of streetcar service on 505 Dundas after a long absence due to watermain construction and the shortage of streetcars. The new service plan represents an increase in capacity primarily in the off peak periods. The change in headways will be most noticed during the peak periods where there will be 6.9 new streetcars/hour in the AM, and 7.7 cars/hour in the PM as compared to 16 buses/hour AM and 15 in the PM. Of course the buses tend to travel in packs of two or three, and so the waits for service could be more comparable than the raw schedules suggest especially if the TTC manages to maintain proper vehicle spacing on these much wider headways.

Changes during off-peak periods are not as substantial, and the net effect will be an increase in capacity on this route

A related problem is that the TTC has extended the travel times for streetcars substantially over the bus times in some cases (and the bus schedules were themselves adjusted in Mid-February 2020). This could leave many streetcars with a lot of excess time at terminals where it is now common to see several buses laying over because they are early. I will publish an analysis of actual travel times for both bus and streetcar operations as data become available.

Service on Dundas will be supplemented by four bus trippers in each direction during the period from 8 to 8:30 am.

With 505 Dundas switching back to streetcars, the 511 Bathurst route changes to bus operation for various construction projects including work on the bridge over the rail corridor at Front, utility and track work from Front northward, and track work from Dundas to just north of Wolseley Loop (north of Queen). According to the TTC service change memo this will persist through all of 2020 implying that the streetcar service to the CNE will be provided only on the Harbourfront line this year. I have asked the TTC for service details, but they have not responded.

Keele Station Construction

The bus loop roadway at Keele Station will be under construction until mid-October 2020. During this period all services that normally terminate here will be redirected.

  • The 41 and 941 Keele services will be extended south to Howard Park looping via Bloor, Parkside, Howard Park, Roncesvalles and Bloor back to Keele.
  • The 89 and 989 Weston services will be extended west to High Park Station Loop.
  • The 30 High Park and 80 Queensway services will be interlined.

Eglinton West Station Construction

The bus loop at Eglinton West Station (to be renamed “Cedarvale”) will close for work on the Crosstown project. This will trigger several changes:

  • The 32D Eglinton West to Emmett service will be extended east to Eglinton Station.
  • The 63 Ossington and 109 Ranee routes will be reorganized into three segments.
    • 63B Ossington buses will run between Liberty Village and St. Clair (Oakwood Loop).
    • 163 Oakwood buses will run between Ossington Station and Lawrence West Station.
    • 109 Ranee buses will run between Lawrence West Station and Neptune (the street, not the planet).
  • The 51 Leslie and 56 Leaside buses at Eglinton Station will be shifted south to make room for a bay for the 32D service.

Passengers on the 32 Eglinton West bus will make connections to and from the subway from on street stops in what is already an area poorly set up for pedestrians. How this will operate with all of the additional foot traffic after March 29 remains to be seen.

Reliability Improvements

The TTC continues to “improve” routes by adding to running time and widening headways. Their claim is that they are just matching actual conditions, but what happens is that they aim for almost worst case situations (95th percentile) causing most vehicles to run early and bunch at terminals. From a rider’s point of view, service is less frequent most of the time.

Changes planned for March 29th affect:

  • 23 Dawes: Buses will run less frequently in all weekday periods except the AM peak. Off peak service is not affected.
  • 37 Islington and 937 Islington Express: Buses will run less frequently during the peak periods and midday weekdays. Evening service is not affected.
  • 111 East Mall: Buses will run less frequently during all weekday periods.
  • 161 Rogers Road: Buses will run less frequently during all weekday periods.

In one case, on 7 Bathurst, the TTC is clawing back excessive running time. During peak and weekday midday periods, there will be one bus less on the route, but scheduled headways stay the same. During the evening the number of buses and headways are unchanged, but some scheduled driving time is converted to make “recovery” time even longer than it is now.

Streetcar Carhouse Allocations

Due to trackwork at Roncesvalles Carhouse, there will be no access to the “North Gate” exit onto Roncesvalles for at least the remainder of 2020. Some services will be shifted among carhouse to allow for the reduced capacity at Roncesvalles.

  • All 501 Queen Humber-Neville service will operate from Russell Carhouse.
  • All 505 Dundas service will operate from Leslie Barns.
  • Some 506 Carlton service now operating from Leslie Barns will shift to Russell Carhouse.
  • Two of the five 508 Lake Shore trippers will operate from Russell Carhouse.

Crowding Standards

The TTC continues its practice of scheduling services at crowding levels above the board-approved standards. This occurs in some cases due to vehicle shortages, but more commonly because of budget pressures that do not allow provision of service at the level the standards would require.

New periods of scheduled crowding added on March 29 are:

  • 37 Islington weekday early evenings
  • 111 East Mall AM peak

TTC management are supposed to be reporting regularly to the Board on routes that exceed crowding standards, but this report has not yet appeared.