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Latest Transit Toronto News

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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.




Buses replace subway, May 30, 31
Downsview to St Clair West



The TTC is closing part of the 1 Yonge - University subway line between Downsview and St Clair West Stations this weekend, Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. Buses replace subway service between the two stations.

While the subway line is closed, TTC crews will:

  • maintain the tracks near Highway 401, south of Wilson Station;
  • remove tracks and install an underground duct bank at the north end of Wilson Yard;
  • replace rails north of Wilson Station; and
  • continue to upgrade signals and cabling between Eglinton West and Lawrence West stations as part of the ongoing work to install an automated train control system.

In a news release, the TTC explains that, “Maintaining subway infrastructure in a state of good repair is critical to ensuring a safe, reliable transit system. While the TTC conducts subway maintenance work overnight, weekend closures are also required to continue work on more complicated and time-consuming work.”

The TTC is assigning a Wheel-Trans vehicle to operate between Downsview and St George Stations for passengers who need accessible transit. You can speak with any uniformed TTC employee to use this service.

Regular subway service resumes Monday, June 1.

The TTC previously closed this section of the line Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, *May 10* for the signalling project.

St_Clair_W_to_Downsv.jpg


This weekend, crews will work “around-the-clock” to make sure they finish before subway service starts Monday morning. Crews will start working early Saturday morning shortly after Friday subway service ends.

Crews will deliver some materials for upgrading the signals and cabling on subway work-cars after Friday subway service ends.




TTC taking part in "People in Motion",
May 30, 31



The TTC is displaying a low-floor accessible bus and has an information booth at People In Motion 2015, “Canada’s largest exhibition for people with disabilities” this weekend, Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31.

You can drop by the booth to give your feedback on the TTC’s integrated accessible network or tour the low-floor accessible bus on display. Saturday from 1 until 1:30 p.m., the TTC’s chief executive officer Andy Byford will be available to meet you. Throughout the weekend, you can speak with members of the the TTC’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT).

For accessible transit service, board buses operating along the 29C Dufferin (Princes’ Gate) route between Wilson or Dufferin Stations and Exhibition Place. The buses stop on Manitoba Drive, just east of Saskatchewan Road, beside the Queen Elizabeth Building. Two new-low floor streetcars operate along the 509 Harbourfront route between Union Station and Exhibition Place, but most cars serving this route are not accessible.

The TTC is also providing a Wheel-Trans shuttle bus from Bathurst Station every half hour both days. The first bus leaves Bathurst Station at 9:30 a.m. each day, while the last bus leaves at 4:30 p.m. The first bus leaves the Queen Elizabeth Building at 10 a.m., while the last bus leaves Bathurst Station at 5:30 p.m.

The event takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Building in Exhibition Place both days from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.




New citizen members, new vice-chair
for the Toronto Transit Commission



At its meeting yesterday, Wednesday, May 27, the Toronto Transit Commission formally welcomed four citizen members — two new and two returning. Maureen Adamson and Alan Heisey return for a second term, with new members Rick Byers and Ron Lalonde joining them. The board elected Alan Heisey as vice-chair.

  • Maureen Adamson is the president and chief executive officer of the Michener Institutefor Applied Health Sciences. She has 25 years experience in the not-for-profit sector, where she has developed provincial policy and implemented policies and “best practices” in hospitals, applied health science education and charities.

  • Rick Byers has a bachelor of commerce from the University of Toronto and an masters of business administration from the University of Ottawa. He has 28 years experience in the accounting, finance and infrastructure industries. He has also served on a number of volunteer and other boards and is “a strong believer in well-run public agencies”.

  • Alan Heisey is a lawyer who has practiced law for more than 30 years. He has previously been a member of the Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Parking Authority. Recently, he has advocated for a connected network of separated and protected bike lanes in downtown Toronto.

  • Ron Lalonde retired from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in 2010, where he was a member of the executive team. During his career, he worked in virtually all of CIBC’s support functions, including finance and technology. He has a bachelor of arts and masters of business administration from the University of Western Ontario and has served on several private and non-profit boards.

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.




Crane blocks Carlton Street:
TTC detours, May 30, 31, June 1



The City of Toronto is closing

  • Carlton Street west of Jarvis Street

all day Saturday and Sunday and early Monday during crane operations.

The TTC is removing its overhead streetcar wiring to accommodate the activity. It’s also detouring streetcars operating along these routes, while the street is closed:

  • 306 Carlton overnight; and
  • 506 Carlton.

Shuttle buses replace the cars during the detour, dropping off and picking up eastbound passengers along the route between McCaul Street and Broadview Avenue and westbound passengers between Sumach Street and University Avenue.

506306_crane_150529.gif




Weekend events affect transit services,
May 28, 29, 30, 31



Special events in Guelph, Kitchener, the Lindsay area of Kawartha Lakes, Milton, Niagara Falls and Toronto affect transit services this weekend.




In the news: Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today.

Greater Toronto Area
  • 9to5Mac post, “iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Service improvements coming to 61 TTC bus routes”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “TTC announces planned increase to bus, streetcar service”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Tory says expanded bus service to be rolled out on 61 routes this year”, here.
  • CP24 report, “TTC overtime spending up seven percent to $82.8 million last year”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “Service improvements coming to 61 bus and streetcar routes: Tory”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “TTC spent $82.8 million in overtime for 2014: report”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Mayor Tory announces new TTC service expansion”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Union Pearson express stops still under construction as launch looms”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “City boosts TTC bus service, restoring cuts made under Ford administration”, here.
  • InsideToronto.com article, “Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle announce improvements to late night and off-peak TTC service”, here.
  • InsideToronto.com article, “Opponents of McNicoll Bus Garage continue fight against planned facility”, here.
  • InsideToronto.com article, “Dundas West eastbound bus stop to stay: Perks”, here.
  • InsideToronto.com article, “Art installation illuminates Windermere underpass”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “TTC riders can expect 61 improved bus routes this year”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “TTC and Tory Announce Improved Service”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “New, expanded bus routes to provide ‘reliable’ overnight, weekend service”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “GO deploys switch SWAT team to combat train delays”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “The Fixer: Dead rat a familiar face at Warden TTC station”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “‘A free one-hour aerobic workout each way’”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Six events that will help define John Tory’s mayoralty”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe



Ontario funding new transit in Hamilton:
LRT, new GO station, more GO service



Hamilton LRT.jpg

This rendering of Hamilton’s proposed light rail transit line shows two cars meeting on King Street East at Wellington Street, on the eastern edge of downtown Hamilton. Under the plan the province announced today, eastbound cars would not extend to Eastgate as the image indicates. Image: Steer Davies Gleave.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, her minister of transportation Steven Del Duca and her minister of municipal affairs and housing Ted McMeekin dropped by McMaster University’s Convocation Hall at breakfast this morning, Tuesday, May 26 with big news for Hamilton commuters. They told an enthusiastic audience that the Ontario government would provide as much as $1 billion to build a new light rail transit line in Hamilton.

During the event, the premier also announced that GO Transit would extend train service between the new West Harbour GO Station and a future station near Centennial Parkway North in east-end Hamilton.

Metrolinx president and chief executive officer Bruce McCuaig joined the premier and ministers at “Mac”, which would be the western terminal for the LRT line. LRT vehicles will operate entirely on tracks that are separate from regular traffic.

“Our investment in the Hamilton LRT will help support the exciting revitalization underway in Hamilton,” Wynne said. The province is funding 100 per cent of the capital costs of building the new LRT.

However, the line that province has announced is shorter than what the City of Hamilton had originally planned. It extends from McMaster through downtown Hamilton to Queenston Circle — the complicated intersection where Main Street East, Queenston Road and Strathearne Avenue join. However, a second phase would extend three the line more stations to Eastgate Square, which is where the city originally proposed to end the line. (It’s not clear who would fund this extension.)

The premier and ministers also said that the new line would connect directly to the new West Harbour GO Station, which is new to the plan. They also intend to fund a “future, high-order pedestrian connection to the Hamilton GO Centre”, but didn’t provide many details. The province will start the procurement process for building the LRT in 2017, with construction starting in 2019.

“This substantial infrastructure investment in Hamilton is critical to the growth and prosperity of the entire [Greater Toronto and Hamilton area],” McCuaig said. “…Improved links to the GO rail network and new LRT… will add even more travel choice and give people a faster, more convenient way to connect to the things that matter to them.”

According to Ryan McGreal, editor of the local blog, Raise the Hammer, Minister McMeekin

“came on stage chanelling Mr. Rogers. ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.’ Calling the announcement ‘a truly historic moment for our community,’ McMeekin praised Premier Wynne and Minister Del Duca, who “listened to the people of Hamilton, carefully.

“He also gave credit to the many LRT supporters in Hamilton… who have advocated for years for LRT in Hamilton, and ‘each of the folks who sent me the 20,000 tweets over the past four years.’”

(McMeekin represents Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale in the legistature — his riding includes McMaster.)

In the Hamilton Spectator, reporter Matthew van Dongen writes that, “City council will eventually have to sign off on a master agreement with Metrolinx that will spell out everything from who operates the system to what costs will be covered by the city to how a long construction period will be phased.”

But, first, before anyone starts building the LRT, the government will provide GO trains to east-end Hamilton. The Premier said she expects construction to start in 2017, with a goal to finishing the project in 2019. Since GO already has a “Centennial GO Station” in Markham, it has tentatively dubbed the new stop on Centennial Parkway “Confederation GO Station”. Construction is currently underway to build the new West Harbour GO Station, opening in time for the 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.

Also, as Minister Del Duca explained, “GO is increasing the weekly train trips to more than 600 from 578 on the Lakeshore West line which runs from Union Station to Hamilton.” A news release inviting media to the Hamilton event states that, “over the next 10 years, weekly trips across the GO rail network will grow from about 1,500 trips to nearly 6,000.”




Toronto Transit Commission meets, May 27



The Toronto Transit Commission meets this Wednesday, May 27 at 1 p.m. in the Committee Room #1, Second Floor, 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.

During this meeting, the commissioners will consider staff recommendations to improve off-peak introduce more off-peak service along 43 bus routes. If the commissioners agree, the TTC would restore periods of service that it cut in May 2011 to meet City of Toronto budget targets. Twenty of the 122 service improvements, along five routes, are new periods of service that the TTC has never operated before. With these changes, the TTC will provide “all-day, every-day service” along most of its routes.

Staff are also recommending seven new overnight services and changing or extending 11 other overnight routes. The TTC intends to expand its overnight network to 31 routes so that most Torontonians are within a 15-minute walk to night transit services.

These reports provide details on general proposals that the TTC had previously announced, as part of its 2015 budget submission to City Council. Toronto Mayor John Tory and the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, Councillor Josh Colle re-announced the changes to off-peak and overnight services during an on-street media event on Kennedy Road at Glamorgan Drive yesterday, Sunday, May 24.

The TTC proposes to introduce most of these changes, starting Sunday, September 6. It will extend the 353 Steeles overnight route to York University’s Keele Campus starting in July to provide night service to the university in time for the PanAm Games. It will implement two of the off-peak service changes in 2016, when it has more buses available.




Yonge Street filming:
TTC detours, May 26, 27, 28



The City of Toronto is closing

  • Yonge Street between College Street / Carlton Street and King Street West

to accommodate filming for the Warner Brothers production of Suicide Squad from 7 p.m. Monday, May 25 until 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 26 and continuing overnight nightly until 6 a.m. Thursday, May 28.

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

  • 320 Yonge overnight.

320_filming_150525.gif




TTC to rollout 61 new and improved bus routes across the city to all-day-every-day and overnight bus service



Toronto Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle today announced service improvements to 61 bus and streetcar routes that will make it convenient and viable for all Torontonians to count on transit at any time of the day or night for their travel. These improvements, which will be recommended to the TTC Board at its May 27 meeting, are funded under the $90-million investment in transit that was approved in the 2015 City Budget.

The TTC Board will be presented with recommendations for new and restored off-peak bus services and new and expanded overnight bus and streetcar routes starting in September 2015. These improvements to service make the TTC a more available, predictable and consistent travel option for a great number of Torontonians, in particular shift workers and people working non-traditional hours. The expanded coverage of the overnight network will result in 99 per cent of Toronto residents living within a 15-minute walk of overnight bus and streetcar service.

“These service improvements are the type of sensible and caring investments expected by Toronto residents. We need a reliable transit system so people can get to work on time and get home faster to spend more time with their families,” said Mayor John Tory. “The ability to move in this city is fundamental to economic opportunity, to an active family and personal life and to uniting a city.”

The recommended changes to off-peak services, where 57 per cent of TTC trips are made, are expected to attract 1.3 million additional riders a year. The enhancements to the Blue Night Network would increase annual overnight ridership to approximately 5.2 million from 4.7 million riders.

“With the funding commitment made by City Council, the TTC is busy making historic levels of investments to public transit in the city,” said TTC Chair Josh Colle. “Those are real and tangible investments that are right around the corner.”

Highlights: More Off-Peak Service - Expansion of All-Day, Every-Day Network

  • Additional off-peak periods of operation would be introduced during 122 operating periods on 43 bus routes. Most of the service improvements are the restoration of periods of service that were cut in May 2011. Twenty of the 122 service improvements, on five routes, are new periods of operation that have never been operated before. With these changes, 133 of the TTC’s 144 regular will operate all day, every day.
  • If approved by the TTC Board, the service changes would start on September 6, 2015. The cost to run the service from September to December is $1.7 million. The annual cost is $5.5 million.
  • The TTC estimates that approximately 1.3-million customer-trips would be made each year on the recommended new services. Many of these trips would be made by new riders attracted by the new service.
  • All-day-every-day means that service is provided from approximately 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., from Monday to Saturday, and from approximately 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays.

Highlights: Improvements to Overnight Service (Blue Night Network)

  • Seven new overnight services would be introduced, along with route changes or extensions to 11 existing overnight services. The newly expanded overnight network will consist of 31 routes (currently 24 routes), running every 30 minutes or better. The proposed changes to the overnight network will expand and improve overnight transit throughout Toronto.
  • The TTC estimates approximately 5.2 million customer-trips would be made each year on the expanded overnight network, up from 4.7 million trips.
  • The Blue Night Network is the TTC’s overnight bus and streetcar service that operates between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., after the regular daytime and evening services have ended. This service is an important part of the TTC’s commitment to maximizing the mobility of people in the city of Toronto and meeting all of their diverse travel needs.
  • Ridership on the overnight network has increased steadily. Over the last decade, annual ridership on the overnight network has increased by 68 per cent, from 2.8 million in 2005 to 4.7 million in 2015. Routine service improvements have been made to the overnight network over the years, but the coverage of this network has remained largely the same over the last decade.
  • If approved by the TTC Board, the service changes would start on September 6, 2015.
  • The cost to run the service from September to December is $800,000. The annual cost is $2.4 million.
  • These service proposals will expand the coverage of the overnight network so that 99 per cent of Toronto residents will be within a 15-minute walk of overnight service.



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