Read the daily “on schedule” posts to find news and other information that affects your daily commute. You’ll learn about public meetings, special events and construction projects that affect transit services today.
This weekend, crews are lifting the tunnel-boring machines (TBMs), Dennis and Lea, out of the extraction shaft on Eglinton Avenue West west of William R. Allen Road to the launch shaft, east of Allen Road.
Dennis and Lea have been digging out the western segment of the Crosstown’s underground section from a launch shaft near Eglinton West and Black Creek Drive since June 2012. In a few weeks, they’ll start tunneling towards another extraction site near Duplex Avenue, just west of Yonge Street.
Crews will move the machines Saturday, April 18 from 2 until 5 a.m. and Sunday, April 19 from 2 until 5 a.m. to bypass the tunnel for TTC subway trains. Although Metrolinx is encouraging members of the public to drop by the area to watch the big move, TTC services are not available in the area during this activity. Since the City of Toronto is also restricting access on Eglinton Avenue West to local traffic only, the best way to access the viewing area is on foot.
If you don’t wish to stay up all night to watch the move, Metrolinx staff will be available Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 3 until 6 p.m. to answer your questions about what’s going on. You can visit Metrolinx staff in Eglinton West Station to learn more and staff will be providing free coffee and hot chocolate.
Metrolinx and the City have co-ordinated this work with the City’s regular spring maintenance of William R. Allen Road.
The City is closing:
- Allen Road, southbound curb lane at Eglinton Avenue West from 9 p.m. Thursday, April 16 until 9 p.m. Friday, April 17, while Metrolinx crews get ready to move the TBMs;
- Allen Road, full road, between Lawrence and Eglinton Avenues West from 9 p.m. Friday, April 17 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 20, while Metrolinx crews move the TBMs and City crews conduct spring maintenance of the roadway;
- Allen Road, full road, between Sheppard and Lawrence Avenues West from 11 p.m. Friday, April 17 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 20, while City crews conduct spring maintenance of the roadway;
- Eglinton Avenue West, eastbound curb lane, until June, while Metrolinx crews get ready to move the TBMs, allowing them to move and set up the equipment and then reconfigure the extraction and launch shafts;
- Eglinton Avenue West, full road, between the south- and northbound ramps to and from William R. Allen Road, from 11 p.m. Friday, April 17 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 20, while Metrolinx crews move the TBMs.
“Paid-duty” Toronto Police Service officers will direct motorists, pedestrians and spectators through the weekend operation at key locations along Eglinton West between Marlee Avenue and Bathurst Street.
Pedestrians can access this area all day Saturday and Sunday, but must use a special walkway on the south side of Eglinton West.
Moving Dennis and Lea affects TTC services along these routes Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday and early Monday:
- 1 Yonge - University subway;
- 32 Eglinton West;
- 63 Ossington;
- 109 Ranee;
- 307 Eglinton West overnight; and
- 316 Ossington overnight.
Closing all of Allen Road for maintenance affects these GO Transit routes:
- 34 Brampton / Pearson / North York;
- 35 Brampton / Humber College / North York;
- 47G Hamilton / York University; and
- 96 Oshawa / Yorkdale.
It also affects these TTC routes:
- 7 Bathurst;
- 29 Dufferin;
- 47 Lansdowne;
- 52 Lawrence West
- 59 Maple Leaf
- 84 Sheppard West;
- 96 Wilson;
- 101 Downsview Park;
- 104 Faywood;
- 105 Dufferin North;
- 106 York University;
- 107 Keele North;
- 108 Downsview;
- 109 Ranee;
- 120 Calvington;
- 160 Bathurst North;
- 165 Weston Rd North;
- 196 York University rocket.
Each TBM is ten metres (about 32 feet) long, 6.5 metres (21 feet) in diameter and weighs about 400 tonnes (882,000 pounds). Moving each machine requires crews to perfectly co-ordinate moving each machine.
A gantry crane will hoist each TBM and load it onto a self-propelled trailer to move the machines. This trailer (or “dolly”) has 13 rows of six wheels. Crews have already installed a temporary bridge deck on Eglinton Avenue for moving the TBMs. After crews have loaded each TBM onto the dolly, it will move 100 metres (300 feet) eastward along Eglinton West and across the temporary bridge deck, where another gantry crane will unload the TBM and lower it into the launch shaft.
As a precaution, Metrolinx will lift and move the TBMs overnight while the TTC subway is not operating. They’ll move each TBM separately early Saturday and Sunday.
The contract value to Bechtel includes staffing costs, management fees and incentives to open the subway extension by December 31, 2017. Bechtel staff started working today, Monday, April 13 and will form an integrated team with TTC personnel. The Bechtel contract expires March 31, 2018. Bechtel’s project director will report directly to the TTC’s Chief Executive Officer, Andy Byford.
At its Thursday, March 26 meeting, the Toronto Transit Commission — the TTC’s board of directors — approved a staff report recommending that the TTC enter into a sole-source agreement with a project management company. That company had to have a track record of delivering similar-sized projects on time and experience working with multiple contractors, so it could make sure that the subway is operating by the end of 2017.
Afterwards, Toronto City Council authorized the TTC to spend $90 million to hire a third-party contractor, while the Regional Municipality of York authorized it to spend another $60 million. The two municipalities have authorized a total expenditure of $150 million to fully deliver the subway.
According to its website, Bechtel “is one of the most respected global engineering,project management, and construction companies, and a cornerstone of innovation in the industry…” Since 1898, the company says, it’s “completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects —- many first-of-a-kind —- in 160 countries on all seven continents serving the energy-delivery, defense, environmental-cleanup, mining and metals, oil, gas and chemicals, infrastructure and transportation and telecommunications industries.”
Bechtel Canada Co. “provides engineering, procurement, and construction services in Canada. It develops various projects, such as pipelines, various mines and mineral processing plants, oil and gas production facilities, refineries, petrochemical plants, hydroelectric installations, pulp and paper mills, and food processing plants. The company was founded in 1949 and is based in Montreal.”
Wednesday, April 15, GO Transit is revising where passengers board trains at Union Station. It’s closing some platforms and reopening others to start the next phase of construction in the Union Station train shed. This work is part of the ongoing project to revitalize Union Station, including tracks and station structures and facilities.
Trains operating along these lines leave from different platforms than usually, starting Wednesday:
- 01 Lakeshore West;
- 09 Lakeshore East;
- 21 Milton;
- 31 Kitchener;
- 61 Richmond Hill;
- 65 Barrie; and
- 71 Stouffville.
Check display boards before you head up to the platform to board your train and listen for station and train announcements.
GO Transit is making changes to its bus services, starting Saturday, April 11.
Since the winter academic term is winding up at many area colleges and universities, it’s reducing many of its services to get passengers to and from those post-secondary institutions.
It’s also revising the routes of buses serving Georgetown GO Station during an upcoming construction project at the station.
This Saturday, April 11 and Tuesday, April 28, Metrolinx will conduct safety-test exercises for the new Union Pearson Express service along the rail corridor near Toronto Pearson International Airport and at the new UP Express Pearson Station. These exercises will test and assess “the various safety- and emergency-preparedness processes”, including co-ordinating how various agencies, including local fire, police and ambulance services, respond to an emergency on the line.
Specific test scenarios simulate on-board train or station-based emergencies. Each test will make sure that Metrolinx, emergency services and other agencies respond appropriately to each test situation, which will also include a drill to evacuate a train. Although you may see the trains and various first-responders undertaking these simulated emergencies, Metrolinx has planned these tests so that they didn’t interfere with regular rail service.
This Saturday, emergency-procedure and service-recovery tests take place on the Pearson subdivision tracks at the base of the elevated guideway from 6 p.m. until midnight.
Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services and Metrolinx staff will simulate an on-board emergency, evacuating passengers from the train onto alternative transportation.
Tuesday, April 28, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., at UP Express Pearson Station, Metrolinx and other agencies will test station-based life-safety or emergency responses.
Metrolinx will announce the official start of UP Express service after it successfully completes this testing.
BAI Canada and the TTC have brought wireless internet service (Wi-Fi) to Museum and Spadina stations, as part of their plan to extend Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities to all underground subway stations.
Each station hosts the TCONNECT Wi-Fi service and is cellular-capable, ready for local cellular operators to join the network. The network provides connectivity for transit riders and lets the TTC use business and transit applications, such as digital signage, for its passenger information services.
In introducing Wi-Fi to TTC stations, BAI Canada also launched TCONNECT, its free-to-the-public, sponsored Wi-Fi service. TCONNECT has worked with organizations like Mondelez, Tim Hortons, the City of Toronto and Koodo to provide free Wi-Fi to TTC riders. Since then, more than 200,000 unique users have accessed the TCONNECT network more than 1.5 million times. Last June alone, TTC riders used more than three terabytes of data on the Wi-Fi network.
The partners launched the service at Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations in December 2013, expanded it to Bay Station in August, 2014, to Wellesley Station in September, 2014 and to College Station, also in September, 2014. They added Dundas, Queen, King and Union stations to the network in November, 2014. They connected Queen’s Park and Museum** stations earlier this year. (And, they also seem to have quietly added St. Andrew and Osgoode stations to the list, too.)
By expanding the service to these two stations, the partners have met their goal of connectingall downtown stations on the 1 Yonge - University line and four stations on the 2 Bloor - Danforth line before the Pan-Am / Parapan American Games in July.
In the first phase, Wi-Fi coverage between stations and in tunnels is not be available, but, as soon as the train enters the next Wi-Fi-enabled station, devices automatically reconnect to the Internet. In the second phase of the project, BAI will extend the cellular network in the TTC tunnels and expects to finish all work in three to four years.
TCONNECT is ad-supported, meaning advertisers sponsor the Wi-Fi service with short ads. The service comes at no cost — no cost for passengers to sign onto the network and no cost to the TTC, TTC passengers or Toronto taxpayers for installing the infrastructure. (In fact, it generates revenue for the TTC.)
The Toronto Transit Commission has scheduled a special meeting tomorrow, Friday, April 10 at 8 a.m. in the 7th floor Executive Boardroom of the TTC’s headquarters, 1900 Yonge Street, above Davisville Station.
The commissioners will review a confidential TTC staff report, recommending an external project manager for the project to extend the 1 Yonge - University subway line to Vaughan.
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.
That day, GO Transit passengers can take advantage of the discounted 60 cents fare on Guelph Transit buses by presenting:
- A valid single-ride GO ticket when connecting from a GO train or GO bus at Guelph Central Station only every day. (If you have to travel on more than one Guelph Transit bus to reach the station, ask your GT driver for a transfer.)
- A valid GO day-pass when connecting to or from a GO train or GO bus at Guelph Central Station only every day. (If you have to travel on more than one Guelph Transit bus to reach the station, ask your GT driver for a transfer.)
- A PRESTO fare card on buses that Guelph Transit has scheduled to arrive at or depart from Guelph Central Station only between 5:45 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. and between 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. (If you use PRESTO, Guelph Transit drivers will not issue you a transfer if you have to ride more than one bus to reach Guelph Central Station. You’ll have to pay the co-fare each time you board another bus.)
Guelph Transit introduced the co-fare program in January 2012 to encourage passengers to transfer between Guelph Transit and GO Transit at Guelph Central Station. Over the past year, Guelph Transit says, the number of passengers fraudulently using the co-fare program has increased. Some passengers have been misusing the program to travel throughout Guelph, rather than connect with GO buses and trains.
The current program rules remain in effect until the end of service on Sunday, April 12, meaning that GO passengers showing a daily ride ticket, multi-ride ticket or PRESTO card still qualify for a $.60 fare on Guelph Transit.
Guelph Transit riders who connect with GO Transit using PRESTO fare cards, but travel outside of the program hours, should buy a monthly Guelph Transit pass or daily tickets, instead of using PRESTO.
The Region of Waterloo is hosting public meetings this month to present Grand River Transit’s improvement plan for 2015. Region and GRT staff considered public comments from an earlier series of meetings in November to develop this plan. Regional Council will consider and probably approve these service changes during its meeting in May.
In this plan, staff propose:
- expanding the the iXpress bus network,
- providing more direct transit service to major destinations throughout the region; and
- integrating GRT bus routes with the future ION light rail transit line.
Drop in to any of the events taking place: