TTC Service Changes Effective March 27, 2011

The list of changes for the “March” (actually almost April) schedule period is rather short because the TTC deferred implementation of service cuts on lightly used routes to May 8.

One intriguing side-effect of that decision is that the amount of service operated will be “over budget” because the cuts were incorporated in budget plans in November 2010, long before there was any public discussion, and at a time when rumours of cuts were met with denials from the TTC.

In our wonderfully new “transparent” Toronto, how many other changes are lurking, unpublished, in the budget?

Changes in Hours of Service

53F Steeles East Staines Express: Two new morning trips will be added weekdays from Morningside at about 5:21 and 5:48 am.

Diversions

505 Dundas: With the resumption of watermain work on Dundas, streetcars will divert via Spadina and College until late June.  Headways at all times will not be changed, but one car will be added to the route to handle the longer round trip times.  There will not be any replacement bus service on Dundas.

504 King: Reconstruction of Roncesvalles Avenue will resume to allow work by Enbridge Gas as well as completion of the sidewalk reconstruction.  During this period, the same bus shuttle that operated in 2010 will run from Dundas West Station to Sunnyside Loop, and King cars will loop through Roncesvalles Carhouse.  The Jane night bus, which runs on Roncesvalles, will not be affected.

In May, work is expected to begin on track replacement and paving between Roncesvalles and Close on King Street.  This will complete the rebuilding of the King route to the new resilient track standards.  While this is in progress, King and Lake Shore cars will divert via Queen and Shaw.  The work is expected to be completed before the CNE (with associated traffic problems in Parkdale) opens in mid-August.

Unlike the period of watermain work on King West in 2010, there will not be any replacement bus service on King west of Shaw.  I can’t help wondering why the TTC doesn’t simply route the 504 to Dufferin Loop so that service would be maintained for riders from Shaw to Dufferin whose access to Queen is limited by the rail corridor.

Parliament and Roncesvalles 2010 Track Work (Update 11)

Updated December 19, 2010: Streetcar service resumed today on Roncesvalles Avenue to Dundas West Station.  The construction is not yet finished and this has predictably upset the neighbourhood.

The TTC seemed unusually ineptly prepared for this changeover.  Electric switches at many locations had not been reactivated requiring operators to throw points at commonly used junctions by hand.  The Sunday Stops on Roncesvalles which were not supposed to be part of the new design remain in place both at stop poles and in onboard stop announcements.  Indeed, the location of some stops appears to be a leftover from the shuttle bus operation.

At least one errant auto, parked in the wrong direction and foul of the southbound track, was struck by a passing streetcar.  Permanent signs indicating where people can and cannot park don’t exist yet, although a number of temporary “emergency, no parking” signs have appeared.

Anyone interested in watching service reliability can do so via various monitoring sites.

Meanwhile, Parliament Street reopened to regular traffic recently, and this morning, both the King and Dundas cars diverted bothways via Gerrard and Parliament to bypass construction on Broadview.  No pointman was provided for the westbound manual switch at Parliament, although on previous occasions the TTC has spent a small fortune manning this location for diversions.  Why the switch isn’t electrified is a mystery considering how frequently this diversion is used.

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