Updated February 8, 2018: The TTC has announced details of changes to bus and streetcar services on the west end of the 501 Queen route. This information has been added below in the section on that route.
The February 2018 schedules will bring major changes to the streetcar system. I will include these in a coming article with all of the details for the new schedules, but with the scope of the streetcar changes and the interest in this topic, here is a wrap-up of what is planned for these routes.
King Street Corridor
The current schedule calls for trippers to operate, primarily buses and in the AM peak, over the entire 504 King route. These will be replaced with four ALRVs (articulated streetcars) operating from Sunnyside Loop to Broadview. As actually operated, the AM trippers are already using CLRVs (regular sized streetcars) swapped from the 505 Dundas route. Four more ALRVs will be used as standby “run as directed” cars to supplement service on King as needed.
|January Schedule||January Actual||February Schedule|
|ALRV Run as Directed||4|
|ALRV Run as Directed||4|
The tripper schedules have been changed so that they better cover the peak periods.
- Eastbound trips leave Sunnyside Loop at: 7:41 a.m., 7:57 a.m., 8:12 a.m., 8:27 a.m., 9:10 a.m., 9:27 a.m., 9:42 a.m., 9:56 a.m.
- Westbound trips leave Broadview & Queen at 3:07 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 3:33 p.m., 3:46 p.m., 4:50 p.m., 5:03 p.m., 5:16 p.m., 5:29 p.m.
The 503 Kingston Road Bus which now operates from Bingham Loop to York & Wellington during peak hours only will be replaced by a streetcar with service on weekdays peak and midday. This will replace the 502 Downtowner bus which changes to peak-only operation.
During the peak periods the 12′ headway of buses will be replaced by a 12′ headway of CLRVs on the 503 service, and it will be extended west to loop via Spadina, Adelaide and Charlotte Streets. Midday service will operate every 9′ replacing the existing 10′ service on the 502 Downtowner bus. This removes 6 buses/hour from Queen Street, and adds not quite 7 cars/hour to the section of King east of Spadina.
According to the TTC, track construction is planned on Wellington east of Yonge in May. It is not clear whether, when this is complete, the 503 will revert to its usual York street terminus as this would remove the added service between York and Spadina. Whether the Wellington Street work actually occurs remains to be seen as there were plans to defer this until 2019 to avoid complications with the King Street Pilot. The track recently became operational with the restoration of overhead on the one missing section between Church and Yonge westbound.
Service on 514 Cherry during the midday and early evening will be improved from every 15′ to every 10′ to provide added capacity on the King corridor. On Sundays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, service will improve from every 15′ to every 11′. (The 514 Cherry route is notorious for irregular headways at its terminals and so the scheduled headways may not match actual experience. This will be the subject of a separate article.)
In combination, these changes will increase the level of service on King Street with the effect concentrated downtown. In particular, there is little AM peak relief for riders inbound from Parkdale, Liberty Village and Bathurst/Niagara beyond a change in the timing of the trippers, whatever benefits the “run as directed” cars might provide and the gradual replacement of runs now operated with CLRVs by the new Flexitys as they become available.
501 Queen & 502/503 Kingston Road
As noted above, the 502 Downtowner midday bus service from Kingston Road to Queen & University will be replaced by the 503 Kingston Road streetcar operating to Spadina & King. Peak service on the 502 bus is not changed, and peak 503 streetcar service will operate at the same frequency, every 12′, as the former bus service. Midday service on the 503 streetcar will be slightly better at 9′ than the 10′ headway now on the 502 bus.
The 501 Queen schedules were written on the basis that Humber Loop would re-open, but work there will not be completed until later in the spring. The planned service would have seen 501 Queen cars operating from Neville to Humber with the 501L Queen bus running from Long Branch to Windermere. Pending the completion of Humber Loop, the streetcars will turn back at Sunnyside Loop, and the 501L buses will operate east to Roncesvalles. 501L buses will no longer run east and south to Dufferin Loop.
The looping and transfer arrangements for the 501L bus at Roncesvalles, and later at Windermere, have not yet been announced.
When 501 Queen streetcar service to Humber Loop resumes, the last service stop will be at South Kingsway because there will be no connecting services at Humber.
The 501M bus service via Marine Parade will be dropped because of low use. The 66 Prince Edward bus is available as an alternative, and it will continue on its diversion routing.
The 301 Queen night service is unchanged with two branches continuing to operate from Neville to Sunnyside (streetcars) and from Dufferin Loop to Long Branch (buses). This will be modified with the April schedules (details not yet announced).
Service on 501 Queen streetcar will be scheduled to operate with a mix of CLRVs and ALRVs on a more frequent headway than the current schedules that presume all ALRVs and their capacity. This has been a long-standing problem for Queen street where smaller cars attempt to handle demand on a service designed for larger vehicles. The improvement is about a 10% increase in cars/hour in the peak, and a 20% improvement off-peak.
Updated February 8, 2018
The planned changes to routes on the west end of Queen is different from that originally described in the service change memo. The following information is taken from the TTC Service Advisory page.
Effective February 18:
- Streetcars will operate between Roncesvalles and Neville as originally planned.
- 501L buses will operate between Long Branch and Dufferin/Queen looping via Gladstone, Peel and Dufferin instead of running south to Dufferin Loop as they do now.
- 301L night buses will continue to run between Long Branch and Dufferin Loop.
- The 501M Marine Parade shuttle will be discontinued as originally planned.
Effective April 1:
- Streetcars will operate between Humber and Neville. However, Humber Loop will not be ready to reopen as a transfer point with bus routes, and so the connection to the 501L service will be at Windermere (if the information in the service memo still holds).
Effective early June:
- Streetcars will return to the full route from Long Branch to Neville.
Work now underway at Humber Loop includes:
- new streetcar tracks including new spur track
- accessible platforms
- new/wider pedestrian tunnel walkway
- new sub-station building and underground conduits for electric cables
- realignment of all existing overhead wiring in the loop and in the tunnel leading to Lake Shore Boulevard West
According to the TTC notice:
Track installation and some overhead adjustments for the Queen turn-back will completed by April 1, 2018, weather permitting. Remaining work, including passenger platform renewal, track renewal and overhead adjustments for the Lake Shore turn-back, as well as a wider pedestrian tunnel walkway will be completed by early June 2018.
506 Carlton & 505 Dundas
Service on both the 506 Carlton and 505 Dundas routes will be converted to bus operation. In addition to the streetcar shortage, several construction projects will affect these routes in coming months:
- Track construction on Broadview from south of Dundas to Hogarth (north end of Riverdale Park) beginning in May
- Track construction at Parliament/Gerrard in May
- Track construction at Broadview/Dundas and Broadview/Gerrard in the summer
- Track constuction at Dundas/Lansdowne in September
- Water main construction on Dundas from Bathurst to Huron in September
- Main Street Station construction through the summer
506 Carlton buses will run to Keele Station as their western terminus rather than to High Park Loop.
The bus replacements for streetcar service vary in the ratio of buses to streetcars depending on the time of day.
|Dundas Streetcar||Dundas Bus||Carlton Streetcar||Carlton Bus|
|M-F Early Evening||14||20||18||25|
|M-F Late Evening||10||12||14||18|
|Sat Early Morning||10||10||14||15|
|Sat Early Evening||11||14||16||20|
|Sat Late Evening||10||10||13||16|
|Sun Early Morning||9||9||11||12|
|Sun Early Evening||10||11||12||13|
|Sun Late Evening||9||10||11||12|
The 511 Bathurst route will revert from bus to streetcar operation using CLRVs. All service will operate between Bathurst Station and Exhibition Loop.
Service on weekdays will generally be less frequent with the streetcars than the buses reflecting their larger capacity, although peak service south of King and west to Exhibition will improve with the elimination of the short turn 511C bus service.
Weekend streetcar schedules are the same as those used in November 2015. Saturday daytime service will be at similar headways with the streetcars as with buses reflecting demand at those hours. Sunday afternoon and early evening service will be slightly less frequent with the streetcars.
509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina and 512 St. Clair
There are no changes to the schedules for these routes.
This carhouse will close until late 2018 for construction in the yard. Service will be operated from the east end carhouses as below:
- Leslie: 509 Harbourfront, 510/310 Spadina, 514 Cherry
- Russell: 501/301 Queen, 503 Kingston Rd., 504 King, 511 Bathurst, 512 St. Clair