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Transit Toronto - Weblog

Last Build Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 13:09:45 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2017

Good news / bad news: TTC closing rapid transit lines during 35 weekends in 2017

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 13:09:45 -0500

First the good news: According to a report (.pdf) to this week’s meeting of the Toronto Transit Commission, the TTC is closing parts of rapid transit system during 35 weekends in 2017. That’s three fewer weekends that parts of system are off-line than in 2016. More importantly, the closing of the lines — inconvenient though it may be — shows that the TTC is taking full advantage of the unprecedented interest in public transit of all three levels of government in improving infrastructure. The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto are putting their money where their interest is by funding many TTC capital projects. While the principle of “short-term pain for long-term gain” isn’t helpful when you have to shuffle onto a shuttle bus, instead of boarding a train, to get where you’re going to weekends, it helps to remember that the weekend closures may assure that you continue to reach your destination (mostly) reliably every day for years to come. Why the weekend? Not surprisingly, fewer passengers travel aboard subway and RT trains — and on all TTC vehicles — Saturdays, Sundays and holidays than ride Mondays to Fridays. So, by scheduling these closures over a weekend, instead of, say, a Tuesday during rush hours, the work affects far fewer people. Since TTC staff have just two hours each night between the end of one day’s subway service before the next day’s starts to engage in regular maintenance activities, weekend closures make even more sense. According to the TTC’s chief executive officer, Andy Byford, “Big jobs that need to be done must take place on the weekend, when we can effectively get the equivalent of five weeks’ worth of nights done in one weekend.” While the TTC must work many weekends to maintain its tracks, signals, stations and buildings in a “state of good repair”, a major project requiring the TTC to close the subway is installing automatic train control (ATC) on Line 1 (Yonge - University). This requires crews to replace the old signal system and install a new control system. The new system will allow the TTC to operate more trains along the line more frequently. During subway closures, crews working on the ATC project typically install new cables, track-side signalling equipment or special track work in the tunnels. This work is labour-intensive and can’t all occur during the normal maintenance window each night. Here’s a video in which CEO Byford and the TTC’s director of Corporate Communications Brad Ross explain why weekend closures are necessary. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> During the multiple weekend subway shutdowns in 2016, crews: replaced 5,044 metres (16,549 feet) of running rail on Lines 1 and 2; replaced 500 metres (1,640 feet) of power rail on Lines 1 and 2; conducted major maintenance on eight crossovers on Lines 1 and 2 (crossovers allow trains to move from one track to another, often to change direction.); rehabilitated 180 train stops (a train stop or tripper would automatically stop a train that passes a signal prohibiting its progress); replace 24 train stops; ground 6,500 metres (21,325 feet) of southbound track on Line 3; replaced 950 metres (3,117 feet) of power rail on Line 3; replaced track fasteners, ties and communication cables on Line 3; installed 181,000 metres (593,832 feet) of cabling for ATC on Line 1; upgraded 250 track circuit locations on Lines 1 and 2 replaced 24 switch point heaters and 56 train-stop heaters on Lines 1 and 2; replaced skylights, painted station ceilings, replaced platform edge tiles, cleaned drains, inspected structures, replaced and relamped lights in stations, installed PRESTO fare-card equipment, upgraded electrical panels; rehabilitated escalators rehabilitation, repaired fencing along rights-of-way, repaired floors, installed and removed signs and removed asbestos. While some on-line chatter du[...]

Bay streetcar tunnel roof repairs: TTC detours, early January 16 and 17

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:19:48 -0500

Early next Monday and Tuesday, TTC track crews are repairing the roof of the Bay streetcar tunnel.

The TTC is revising service along this route to accommodate work in the tunnel:

  • 317 Spadina overnight.

Shuttle buses replace the cars east of Spadina / Queens Quay Loop.



Wellesley East crane activity: TTC detour, January 14

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:23:53 -0500

The City of Toronto is closing:

  • Wellesley Street East at Church Street

tomorrow, Saturday, January 14 during crane activity on the street.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along this route, while the street is closed:

  • 94 Wellesley.



PRESTO system maintenance, January 13, 14

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:56:16 -0500

PRESTO Contact Centre services, and the GO Transit Service Guarantee webpage are all temporarily unavailable starting at 10 p.m. tonight, Friday, January 13, until early afternoon tomorrow, Saturday, January 14, while PRESTO staff maintain the system.

PRESTO warns,

“There may be a delay with online transactions being updated; all transactions completed during this time should appear in your transaction history within one-two days after the system maintenance.

“General information questions during this time can still be answered by contacting the PRESTO Contact Centre at 1-877-378-6123.”

You can continue using your PRESTO card for travel during the maintenance. You can still load your card in-person at a GO Transit station, a PRESTO customer service outlet and at PRESTO self-serve reload machines.

PRESTO devices will continue to display accurate fare and balance information during the system maintenance, however, online accounts won’t be available.


Toronto Transit Commission meets, January 18

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:32:23 -0500

The Toronto Transit Commission meets for the first time this year next Wednesday, January 18 at 1 p.m. in the Council Chamber, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.

The commission is the TTC’s board of directors. It oversees matters of policy and planning, building, maintaining and operating the TTC system and expanding its services and facilities.

Commissioners include City of Toronto councillors and members of the public.


Patricia Anne Bow

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:03:35 -0500

The Transit Toronto team was saddened to learn of the passing of Patricia Anne Bow, the mother of James Bow, our chief transit historian, webmaster and guru.

We send our deepest condolences to James and his family.

More information here.


In the news: Friday, January 13, 2017

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:43:14 -0500

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today. Greater Toronto Area BlogTO post, “This is what Toronto’s newest TTC subway station looks like”, here. BlogTO post, “TTC CEO thinks Toronto transit system will be in North America”, here. BlogTO post, “Fare dispute gets ugly on TTC streetcar”, here. BlogTO post, “A guide to the hidden spaces of the TTC”, here. BlogTO post, “What the TTC looked like in the 1960s and 70s”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “Subway service resumes after man struck with bottle at Coxwell subway station”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “Talk and text underground: limited cellphone service coverage now available in Toronto subway”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “Vaughan downtown ‘exploding’ says developer hoping to build 50-storey condos”, here. City News report, “New streetcars failing much earlier than expected”, here. Corporate Knights article, “Asphalt blues”, here. CP24 report, “Suspect allegedly struck TTC bus driver in the face in North York”, here. Economist article, “Laggard on the lake: Toronto’s mayor tries to improve transport”, here. Excalibur article, “John Tory dons a hard hat to face the reality of York’s incomplete subway”, here. Globe and Mail article, “It’s halfway through Mayor Tory’s term and he’s ready to fight”, here. Globe and Mail column, “When the streetcar stops, you need to stop, too”, here. Huffington Post Canada post, “John Tory’s misguided transit plan won’t save Toronto”, here. insauga post, “Who is building Mississauga’s LRT vehicles?”, here. article, “Animal-ear-wearing woman wanted by Torono police in TTC assault”, here. article, “Toronto police seek help to identify suspect in TTC bus assault”, here. article, “Man uses brick in assault aboard TTC bus”, here. article, “Images of suspect in unprovoked TTC attack released by Toronto police”, here. Marshall’s Musings post, “Mapping Toronto’s street railways in the TTC era, 1921 - 2016”, here. Metro Toronto column, “Instead of new powers for the TTC, how about super powers?”, here. NOW Toronto article, “I’m a TTC fare evader”, here. Skyrise Cities post, “Once Upon A Tram - Northbound on Yonge: A Look Back at Canada’s First Streetcar Line”, here. Torontoist post, “So-Called ‘Big Bend’ Subway Alignment Reportedly Won’t Go Forward”, here. Torontoist post, “Duly Quoted: Andy Byford, On His Optimism for the TTC in 2017”, here. Torontoist post, “Photoist: A Lonely Streetcar”, here. Toronto Star article, “TTC on verge of being top in North America, Byford says”, here. Toronto Star column, “Utopia? Time to get real Mr. Byford”, here Toronto Star article, “Scarborough subway report delayed… again”, here. Toronto Star article, “Transit advocates lodge complaint over controversial Scarborough subway debate”, here. Toronto Star article, “LRT construction leaves Eglinton businesses worried about future”, here. Toronto Star article, “Yonge-Sheppard Station entrance remains closed more than two years later as delays continue”, here. Toronto Sun commentary, “Give TTC’s special constables full police status”, here. Toronto Sun article, “Subway track jumpers cause delays”, here. Urban Toronto post, “Toronto Transit Planning: Council Rejects Requiring Data to Determine Priority”, here. Yahoo Finance post, R[...]

Scarborough subway extension: Preparatory work continues

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 06:28:15 -0500

(image) This week, TTC crews continue geotechnical drilling and general surveying in various locations to prepare for the future extension of Line 2 (Bloor - Danforth) to Scarborough Centre.

Starting Tuesday, January 10, geotechnical crews are drilling 55 boreholes in the road and City right-of-way to determine the underground conditions along the future subway corridor. They’ll temporarily block traffic lanes on Borough Drive, Progress Avenue, McCowan Road, Danforth Road and Eglinton Avenue East. Surveyors work at the same time at each site to determine the exact location of surface and underground infrastructure.

Geotechnical crews and surveyors started working along this corridor last October and likely continue until this December. They’ll work at each borehole location for about six weeks. At each site, you’ll see equipment and work trucks in traffic lanes. They’ll also temporarily spray-paint markings on the road and sidewalks. Expect dust, noise and vibration as they work.

Crews mostly work from about 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. However, they won’t block traffic lanes in the peak direction during rush hours. For example, they’ll work in southbound lanes on McCowan Road from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and northbound from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The TTC says this work will not affect local bus services.

(image) (image) (image)

These images show the “preferred alignment”. Some City councillors propose a different route in the Scarborough Centre area.


Hamilton LRT public information meetings, January 11, 16, 17, 18, 24 and 26

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 05:40:01 -0500

Metrolinx and the City of Hamilton are hosting another series of events where you can learn more about their plans to build light rail transit in the city.

They’ve set up public information centres and community update meetings about the project.

During the public information centres, you can learn how project planners have revised and improved the plan. You can also provide your input on the project. The events help you identify recent changes to the project design and present the environmental effects of the revised proposals.

The meetings are “open-house-style”, without a formal presentation. Event organizers display the same information at all meetings. Project staff have planned the public information centres for sites beside or near the proposed LRT line:

Community update meetings include a formal presentation focusing on project updates. They also provide you with an opportunity to ask project staff questions about the plans. Staff have organized these events in other parts of Hamilton:

Events take place:


Brampton Transit revises services, January 9

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 07:26:53 -0500

Brampton Transit is making minor changes to its services, starting Monday, January 9.


TTC revises routes and services, January 8

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 21:34:59 -0500

After a year of service increases, the TTC is decreasing service along a number of routes starting tomorrow, Sunday, January 8. The TTC is operating buses along several streetcar routes, due to the slow delivery of new Toronto Flexity cars by Bombardier. It’s also using buses to replace the cars during long-term construction projects. But, the TTC also has fewer buses than it needs to effectively serve the needs of its passengers. The general lack of buses requires the TTC to decrease the frequency of service along many routes, mostly Mondays to Fridays during morning rush hours: 6 Bay; 14 Glencairn; 16 McCowan; 32 Eglinton West; 38 Highland Creek; 46 Martin Grove; 51 Leslie; 85 Sheppard East; 112 West Mall; 123 Shorncliffe; and 190 Scarborough Centre rocket. The TTC is also decreasing service along several other routes to maintain reliable service during ongoing Metrolinx construction of the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line, including: 7 Bathurst; 11 Bayview; 25 Don Mills; 29 Dufferin; 56 Leaside; 63 Ossington; 74 Mt Pleasant; 109 Ranee; and 185 Don Mills rocket. Due to major construction on Lake Shore Boulevard West and The Queensway and in Humber Loop, the TTC is revising the 301 Queen overnight and 501 Queen routes for most of 2017. It’s replacing streetcars with buses west of Roncesvalles Avenue, also starting tomorrow, Sunday, January 8. Sources: TTC: “Service Changes”, here. TTC: “Service Summary, November 20, 2016 to January 7, 2017”, here. (.pdf) TTC: “Service Summary, January 8, 2017 to February 11, 2017”, here. Steve Munro: “TTC Service Changes Effective January 8, 2017 (Updated)”, here. [...]

YRT revises services, January 8

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 19:07:18 -0500

York Region Transit has made minor changes to its services, starting Sunday, January 8.


In the news: Friday, January 6, 2017

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:09:40 -0500

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today. Greater Toronto Area 680 All News Radio report, “Man taken to hospital after being pinned under streetcar”, here. 680 All News Radio report, “Student with autism left stranded due to mixup with TTC bus schedule”, here. BlogTO post, “Delayed streetcar deliveries cause cuts to bus service in Toronto”, here. BlogTO post, “WiFi coming to TTC subway tunnels next year”, here. BlogTO post, “TTC stations set for major upgrades in 2017”, here. BlogTO post, “TTC to shorten 501 streetcar route next year”, here. BlogTO post, “There’s now PRESTO in every TTC subway station in Toronto”, here. BlogTO post, “TTC using undercover fare officers on streetcars”, here. BlogTO post, “TTC expects new streetcars to be delayed yet again”, here. BlogTO post, “The most popular route for TTC fare evaders”, here. Business News Network report, “Toronto’s mayor accuses Bombardier of ‘complete failure’ on TTC order”, here. Business News Network report, “Toronto mayor slams Bombardier, ‘Would we even ask those people to bid?’”, here. Canadian Press report (from the Breakfast Television Toronto website), “Tolls coming to Hwy 407 extension on Feb. 1”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “TTC facing $72.6 million shortfall, despite fare increases, higher parking rates”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “TTC considers cameras to catch drivers flying past open streetcar doors”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “TTC board approves undercover fare inspectors at year-end meeting”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “‘TTC customers have been patient enough’, John Tory tells Bombardier”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “Council approves discounted TTC pass for low-income riders”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “GO parking lot expansion has some residents ‘thinking about moving for sure’”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “The better way to target texting drivers: York Region Police ride the bus”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “TTC phaseout of printed schedules saving cash, sparking controversy”, here. CBC News Toronto report, “7 injured after TTC bus collides with hydro pole at Queen and Sherbourne”, here. CityNews Toronto report, “Presto rollout to be complete across the TTC in 2017”, here. CP24 report, “Cameras could help catch drivers who don’t stop behind open streetcar doors”, here. CP24 report, “TTC board approves rate increases in 14 commuter lots”, here. CP24 report, “Bombardier responds to Tory’s letter on streetcar delays, claims improvement”, here. CP24 report, “Police release images of suspect in ‘unprovoked’ attack on TTC bus”, here. CP24 report, “Seven patients taken to hospital after TTC bus hits hydro pole along Queen Street”, here. CP24 report, “Man in TTC uniform alleged to have assaulted women; TTC investigating”, here. CP24 report, “Police investigating after armed robbery aboard TTC bus in Rexdale”, here. CTV News Toronto report, “Suspect images released after man assaulted with brick on TTC bus”, here. Financial Post article, “‘What does not change, dies’: Bombardier Transportation head looks to the future”, here. Global News Toronto report, “Behind-the-scenes look at the Toronto-York-Spadina subway extension”, here. Global News Toronto report, “TTC explorin[...]

Buses replace cars on Lake Shore, Queensway, starting January 8

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 06:21:28 -0500

Next week, the TTC and the City of Toronto start working on various projects affecting TTC service on Lake Shore Boulevard West and The Queensway.

The projects include:

  • renewing the TTC tracks and overhead wiring on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Symons Street (east of Royal York Road) and Humber Loop;
  • renewing the TTC tracks and overhead wiring on The Queensway between Humber Loop and Parkside Drive;
  • rehabilitating The Queensway bridge over the Humber River; and
  • improving Humber Loop, including
  • installing new tracks, accessible streetcar platforms and new shelters;
  • rebuilding the tunnel walkway;
  • replacing the roof service building; and
  • building a new electrical substation.

Starting Sunday, January 8, the construction affects TTC services along several routes:

  • 66 Prince Edward;
  • 80 Queensway;
  • 301 Queen overnight; and
  • 501 Queen.

Shuttle buses replace streetcars west of Roncesvalles Avenue. The buses operate along two routes:

  • 301L / 501L Queen / Long Branch shuttle: between Long Branch and Dufferin Gate Loops; and
  • 501M Queen / Marine Parade shuttle: between Park Lawn Road and Windermere Avenue.

These buses do not operate through Humber Loop.

Construction on Lake Shore Boulevard West, in Humber Loop and on The Queensway and the TTC detours continue throughout 2017, or until December 31.



YRT adjusts Markham GO shuttle services, January 3

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 15:24:58 -0500

York Region Transit is making minor changes to the schedules for four GO shuttle bus routes, starting Tuesday, January 3.

It’s revising the services to improve service for passengers connecting with GO Transit trains at Markham, Unionville and Milliken GO stations. GO is adding more service to its 71 Stouffville line, also starting Tuesday, January 3.

YRT will make more extensive changes to its services Sunday, January 8.