Service Changes Effective May 9, 2010

Construction diversions on several routes will begin or continue in May.

504 King and 508 Lake Shore: 

King cars will continue turning back at Roncesvalles and Queen, but will reach there via Shaw and Queen Streets.  Watermain construction which last year caused Roncesvalles to be torn up last year moves to King between Ronces and Jameson.

The 504 shuttle bus will be rerouted and extended to run between Shaw and Dundas West Station bothways via Roncesvalles looping via Strachan, Douro and Shaw.

No date has been set yet for resumption of streetcar service on Roncesvalles, but this is expected to be in the late fall.  The diversion via Queen and Shaw is expected to last to the end of August 2010.

502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road Tripper

The reconstruction of Bingham Loop, deferred from 2009, will occur this summer.  Buses will replace streetcars over both routes until mid-August.

Replacement bus services will loop via Victoria Park, Meadow and Blantyre to Kingston Road.  The peak service on both routes will be improved from 7’30” to 6’00”, but offpeak service on the 502 will remain at 20′.

22 Coxwell and 70 O’Connor

Reconstruction of the bus loop at Coxwell station requires the removal of all bus service.  Routes 22 and 70 will interline, and all of the “O’Connor” service will run through to Queen or to Victoria Park depending on the time of day.

Existing interlines between the O’Connor, Gerrard and McCowan routes will be discontinued during this period.

72 Pape

Construction at Pape Station requires that the Pape bus be rerouted to loop at Donlands Station.  Passengers transferring to this route from the subway at Pape will do so using on street stops.  This diversion will last until the end of 2010.

The seasonal extension to Cherry Beach will operate during the evenings Monday to Friday, and all day on weekends and holidays.  This will run until Labour Day.

512 St. Clair

The mixed streetcar and bus operation on St. Clair is expected to last until the latter part of June 2010 at which point the TTC hopes to restore streetcar service to Gunn’s Loop.

509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina

The seasonal fare collection scheme on Queen’s Quay will be in effect until Labour Day.  No fares will be collected eastbound on Queen’s Quay between Bathurst and Union Station on weekends after 3 pm, and there will be collectors stationed in the tunnel linking the Union Station Loop to the subway.

One PCC car will operate on the Harbourfront route on Sundays until September 5, 2010 between 1130 and 1930.  This will run as an extra, and will be subject to availability of both a car and an operator.

Seasonal Route Extensions

  • 72 Pape to Cherry Beach (see above)
  • 28 Davisville to the Brick Works
  • 29 Dufferin to Ontario Place (service south of Dufferin Loop will be split between the 29B Ontario Place and 29D Princes Gate branches)
  • 86 Scarborough to the Zoo
  • 85 Sheppard East to the Zoo
  • 510 Spadina King short turn extended to Queen’s Quay on weekends
  • 165 Weston Road North to Wonderland

Other Route Changes

  • 25 Don Mills service north of Steeles removed (York Region request)
  • 29 Dufferin trial service in Exhibition Place rerouted to operate via Manitoba Drive, Canada Drive, Princes’ Blvd., Nunavut Rd., and Nova Scotia Ave to Manitoba Drive.
  • 224 Victoria Park North service extended to Elgin Mills (York Region request)
  • 96B Wilson route changed via Claireville Drive
  • 96C Wilson service removed from Thistledown Blvd. early mornings and late evenings

Service Level Changes

Many route have new schedules starting on May 9 primarily for seasonal changes in demand.  The details are in a spreadsheet linked below.

2010.05 Service Changes

Transit City Revisited (Part III, Updated)

(Updated at 3:00 pm, February 1.  I omitted a section on the proposed Sheppard subway extensions to Downsview and to Scarborough Town Centre.  This has been added.)

In this, the final installment of my review of Transit City, I will look at the unfunded (or underfunded) TTC transit projects.  Some of these spur passionate debates and the occasional pitched battle between advocates of various alternatives.  There are two vital points to remember through all of this:

  • Having alternatives on the table for discussion is better than having nothing at all.  It’s very easy to spend nothing and pass the day on comparatively cheap debates.  The current environment sees many competing visions, but most of them are transit visions.  The greatest barrier lies in funding.  Governments love endless debate because they don’t have to spend anything on actual construction or operations.  Meanwhile, auto users point to the lack of transit progress and demand more and wider roads.
  • Transit networks contain a range of options.  They are not all subways or all buses or all LRT.  Some are regional express routes while others address local trips.  Most riders will have to transfer somewhere, even if it is from their car in a parking lot to a GO train.  The challenge is not to eliminate transfers, but to make them as simple and speedy as possible.

I will start with the unfunded Transit City lines, and then turn to a range of other schemes and related capital projects. Continue reading

Service Changes Effective August 2, 2009

For mid summer, there are only a few schedule changes on the TTC network, and they take effect at the start of August running through to Labour Day weekend.

Changes for September are much more extensive, and I will deal with these in a separate post.

Bingham Loop Reconstruction

Due to the reconstruction of Bingham Loop, routes 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road Tripper will be replaced by buses.  Combined streetcar service of 7’30” will be replaced by bus service of 6’00”.  The off-peak 20’00” headway is unchanged.

Diversions at Bingham Loop will change from time to time as construction progresses.  This also affects the 22A Coxwell, 12 Kingston Road, 322 Coxwell and 324 Victoria Park Night Buses.

Roncesvalles Reconstruction

Running times on the Roncesvalles shuttle bus will be increased at some times to compensate for actual start of construction and the diversion of southbound service via Dundas, Lansdowne and Queen.

501 Queen

The test of a modified step-back crewing operation will end, and normal crewing will resume on this route.

77 Swansea & 71 Runnymede

Running times on these interlined routes will be increased.  In the AM peak and midday, this will be done by reducing recovery times scheduled at terminals.  In the PM peak and evening, headways will be increased.  PM peak headways on the common section of the route will go from 10′ to 11′ with a change from 20′ to 22′ on the Runnymede branches.  A similar change will occur in the early evening, but at that time only half of the service runs south of Bloor.


Additional service will operate for the parade on Saturday, August 1 on 511 Bathurst, 509 Harbourfront and 29 Dufferin, as well as express buses from Keele, Dundas West and Lansdowne Stations.  The 329/316 night routes will divert around the CNE grounds as described in the next section.

Additional service on 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina and 6 Bay is also planned for the Sunday, August 2 events on Toronto Island.  Whether these will actually occur given that the civic strike has shut down the ferries remains to be seen.  All of the added service is operated “at the divisional level”, meaning that the work is easily cancelled or reassigned if the party ends up at a new location.

Canadian National Exhibition

Additional service will operate on all of the usual routes including 511 Bathurst, 509 Harbourfront, 193 Exhibition Rocket and 29 Dufferin.  Overnight service on interlined routes 329 Dufferin and 316 Ossington will not operate through the CNE grounds, but will connect via Fraser and Liberty.

All Over The Waterfront (Update 4)

Update 1, March 17, 5:50 pm:  More details have been added about the various alignment options for the Waterfront West line through Parkdale.

Update 2, March 24, 7:55 pm:  Feedback from the TTC about Parkdale alignment details.  Details of Queen’s Quay public meetings added.

Update 3, March 25, 6:00 am:  The preferred option for the Kingston Road line is BRT.

Update 4, March 28, 11:10 pm:  The presentation from the March 25 public meeting on the Queen’s Quay redesign is now available online.  Note that this file is almost 18MB for those of you with slow network links.  The document is quite extensive, and I will review it in a separate post.

Transit planning on Toronto’s waterfront leaves much to be desired thanks to the patchwork of overlapping studies and projects for two decades.  Options for the portion between Parkdale and Bathurst Street have changed with the recent cancellation of the Front Street Extension, but no planning based on ths possibility has ever been conducted.

Throughout its history, planning for the waterfront has been fragmented and compromised to fit around whatever other projects had real political clout.  To help focus discussion of the waterfront as a whole, this post gives an overview of all of the projects and schemes from Long Branch to West Hill. Continue reading

Routes 501/502/503 in January 2008: Blended Service? (Updated)

Update:  The charts in this post have been updated so that each route has its own colour.  Thanks to a reader, Brent, who spotted the problem with rendering them only in B&W.

One of the little myths of TTC schedules is that routes with branches, or streets with overlapping routes, actually have something like “blended” service where some care is taken to even out vehicle spacings.

In some cases, the schedules do make an attempt to do this with identical headways on different services, but after that, the service is pretty much left to its own devices to “blend”.  For many years, the 502 and 503 services on Kingston Road had similar but slightly different headways.  This would mean that there were large scheduled gaps followed by pairs of cars during periods when the departure times at Bingham were almost in sync.  As it happened, this problem was at its worst right at the peak of inbound travel.  Poor service by design, and in time this was fixed.

An example of overlapping routes where the blend is troublesome lies on Eglinton Avenue east of Yonge where many services run together:  34 Eglinton East, 54 Lawrence East (with two branches of its own), 100 Flemingdon Park, 56 Leaside, 51 Leslie and 103 Mt. Pleasant North.  The 103 doesn’t overlap for long and there is no service on the 51 and 56 at some times (although this will change if the proposed Ridership Growth Strategy full-service standards come into effect in November 2008).

On Eglinton there are three major services, each on its own headway.  This causes scheduled bunching and wide gaps.  Given the different requirements of each route, this is inevitable, but it’s important to remember that many riders will see packs of buses and wide gaps and wonder just what is going on.

Down on Queen Street, there are three services merged westbound between Kingston Road and the Don River, and two services between the Don and McCaul.  It’s not uncommon to see cars from different routes running in pairs, and I started wondering just how frequently this happens. Continue reading

Routes 502/503 Downtowner / Kingston Road in January 2008

This is the second part of my analysis of service on routes 502/503, both of which provide weekday daytime service on Kingston Road.  For general comments about the route, please refer to the previous post.

Service in January was not as badly affected by snowstorms or shopping-related congestion as in December.  Except for the week after after New Year’s Day, there were no major storms disrupting service or creating barriers of cars parked foul of the tracks.  Even so, service on Kingston Road was far from ideal. Continue reading

Routes 502/503 Downtowner / Kingston Road in December 2007

The Kingston Road streetcar services are often forgotten by the TTC.  The service itself is highly unreliable, and for no apparent reason, this street has much worse service during weekdays than in the evening or on weekends.  Yes, the riding is a shadow of its former self, but with the almost complete lack of service at times, it’s no wonder.

In the recent review of the Queen car, the TTC totally ignored the question of Kingston Road.  How often should service run?  Should the Downtowner and Kingston Road Tripper be combined into a single route?  Is the line mismanaged, or worse, simply left to its own devices?

In this post, I will look at the service operated on the Kingston Road routes in December 2007, and I will follow up later this weekend with a review of January 2008.

Continue reading

Kingston Road LRT Update

The Environmental Assessment for the proposed Kingston Road LRT will hold three open houses on March 26, 27 and April 2.

The project’s March 2008 Newsletter includes the meeting locations, a map of various proposals and a breakdown of travel in the corridor.

There are two primary options depending on whether the line stays on Kingston Road all the way west to the existing streetcar network at Bingham Loop (Victoria Park & Kingston Rd.), or if it travels west along Danforth Avenue. Sub-options include connections to the subway at Victoria Park or Main Station.

At the risk of prejudging the evaluation, the route north from Kingston Road either to Main or to Victoria Park would be quite difficult. Victoria Park is a narrow, 3-lane residential street south of Gerrard. Main is a narrow, 4-lane residential street, and has a curved alignment (not shown on the map) and a grade down to Kingston Road. I believe that a connection north to either station from Kingston Road is not practical. (Anyone who wants to argue this point is urged to actually visit the neighbourhood or at least look at Google Maps before taking on this issue.)

The Danforth alignment is more straightforward, and also provides a better connection to the rapid transit network. In the origin-destination survey, only about 1/4 of the respondents showed their AM peak trip as going “downtown”.

Planning for the revised Victoria Park Station (warning – 10MB file) does not show a possible streetcar service, but could accommodate it.

Finally, the Walk 21 conference last fall included a paper about redesigning Kingston Road into a strong shopping and pedestrian community in the Cliffside area. This neighbourhood is now dominated by strip commercial and parking lots, but its transformation is supported by the business community with the new LRT line as a catalyst.

This project is in an odd state of existing in theory, but never appearing on maps showing our bold new Transit City network. This very strange situation makes many wonder whether there is any hope of the project actually being funded and built.

Transit City Update

At the TTC meeting last week, there was a long presentation about the status of the various Transit City projects. The TTC’s website contains only the two page covering report with absolutely no details, but lucky for you, my readers, here is an electronic copy. As and when the TTC actually posts this report on their own site, I will change the link here to point to the “official” copy.

Warning: 7MB download: Transit City February 2008

While there may be individual issues to prompt kvetching in this report, overall I am impressed by what is happening. For the first time in over 30 years, we have not only a unified plan, but a unified set of studies. I may be naïve to expect all of this will actually be built, but we are in far better shape knowing what might be than if only one or two lines were on the table.

Here is an overview of the report along with my comments.

Overall Priorities

Of the various Transit City proposals, three have been selected as the top priority for design, funding and construction: Sheppard East, Etobicoke Finch-West and Eglinton-Crosstown. All lines were scored against various criteria, and those coming out on top overall got the nod. This doesn’t mean work stops on the others, but at least we know the staging.

Projected total ridership is highest for Eglinton, Finch and Jane, with Sheppard East in 5th place. Partly, this is due to the length of the routes and their catchment areas. Note that Waterfront West brings up the rear, unsurprising given the area it draws from.

The lines rank roughly the same way for the number of car trips diverted to transit and the reduction in greenhouse gases. There’s something of a compound effect here as several measures all vary more or less as a function of ridership.

Transit City, again with the exception of Waterfront West, touches the City’s priority neighbourhoods where better transit is needed to increase mobility and economic opportunities for the residents.

What’s Missing

Notable by their absence are the Waterfront East lines (Queen’s Quay, Cherry Street and Port Lands) as well as the Kingston Road line in Scarborough. EAs are aready in progress for these, but they don’t make it onto the overall status report.

This is a shame because we must stop making distinctions between “Transit City” itself, and other related transit projects that will compete for attention and funding. Continue reading

Analysis of 503 Kingston Road Tripper (Updated)

In a previous post, I discussed the chaotic headway situation on the 502 Downtowner car.  Now, I will turn briefly to the 503 Kingston Road Tripper.

Updated Dec. 17 at 6:45 am:  Information about the combined 502 and 503 services on Kingston Road added.

For those who are unfamiliar with the service design for Kingston Road (the street), here is how things work between Queen Street and Bingham Loop (at Victoria Park). Continue reading