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Latest Transit Toronto News

GO Transit

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.

In the news: Thursday, February 26, 2015

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

Greater Toronto Area
  • BlogTO post, “Photo of the day: NYPD + TTC”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Suspect sought after female inappropriately touched on GO train”, here.
  • commentary, “Proposed Durham Region Transit changes in Clarington welcome relief for commuters”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Changes may be coming to TTC fare inspector uniforms”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Winter weather can be a big burden for people with disabilities”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Transit real estate deal elicits skepticism from TTC officials”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “TTC approves plan to relieve security officers of batons on streetcar lines”, here.
  • article, “TTC board wants fare inspectors to try going without handcuffs, batons”, here.
  • column, “TOinTRANSIT: City committee votes to do away with Bay-Bloor pedestrian scramble”, here.
  • NOW article, “TTC board approves $80 million contract for Scarborough subway”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “I like this guy. Metrolinx should woo him for next president of GO transit”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “A trip down Memory Lane”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Durham Regional Police - Female Inappropriately Touched on GO Train - Report”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Because ice. Ice is why you’re late”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “This winter has not been kind”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “In three hours you could probably walk there”, here.
  • Spacing Toronto post, “Transit Equity Introduction: Achieving enhanced outcomes and possibilities”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “Police Searching for Sexual Assault Suspect on the GO Train”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “TTC Removes Batons, Handcuffs From Select Security Officials”, here.
  • Toronto Observer post, “Why TTC buses don’t have snow tires”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC boss Andy Byford gets a rough ride from passengers on subway”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Metrolinx to sell development rights at Eglinton Crosstown LRT stops”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC to test ‘customer friendly’ fare inspectors without batons, handcuffs”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “TTC Week: Are more TTC washrooms an urgent matter?: The Fixer”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “TTC considers changes to fare inspector uniform”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

In the news: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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

Greater Toronto Area
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Weekend event affects transit services, March 1

We may all be reeling from one of the worst winters on record, but a sure sign that spring is just around the corner (at least, if you regularly read this website) is the return of Transit Toronto’s “Weekend events affect transit services” posts.

Road races, street festivals, farmers’ markets, parades and other events block roadways throughout the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas many weekends from now until the end of April and every weekend after that until mid-December. The events regularly result in detours for transit services and Transit Toronto plans to alert readers about how the various activities affect your ride through the area, whenever they occur.

This weekend, an annual road walk and run in Burlington affects local service. (But you’ll have to wait until Sunday, March 15 for the first Toronto street event of the year to affect TTC service. Keep reading the “Weekend events…” posts to learn more!)

As many as 30 new streetcars to roll
along Toronto streets by end of 2015


Transit Toronto team members, including James Bow, Roman Fomin, Richard White and Robert Mackenzie were among the first passengers to ride this first Flexity in service along the 510 Spadina route Sunday, August 31, 2014. James Bow shot this view of that first car heading north along Spadina after exiting Queens Quay Loop.

The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and other media report that the TTC and Bombardier have revised the production schedule for the company to deliver its new Flexity streetcars to the TTC.

The Globe’s transportation reporter, Oliver Moore, explains that the TTC, “now expects to have 25 to 30 new streetcars operating by the end of the year, enough to cover almost three entire routes.”

According to the Globe’s Moore,

“The rollout of new streetcars ground almost to a halt after the first of the vehicles entered service last summer to much fanfare. A third streetcar turned up months later, and the fourth arrived only recently. It is not yet in service.

“Production has lagged far behind the numbers promised by Bombardier, which has been plagued by problems. Frustration at the TTC has been mounting. And commuters using old streetcars that can break down in the cold were left wondering when their new and more reliable ride would arrive.

“TTC head Andy Byford said that the problems were twofold: production was too slow and the transit agency was unable to accept the quality of some of the work done by Bombardier. He cited the fourth streetcar, in particular, as not being built well enough to meet the TTC’s standards.”

Although Bombardier has blamed a recent long strike by workers at its Thunder Bay plant for some of its failure to produce and deliver the cars in a timely fashion, Bombardier has had issues with its suppliers and other internal issues to deal with.

Moore’s article indicates that the TTC has imposed penalties on Bombardier which its original contract with the company included. The penalties result from Bombardier not meeting the delivery schedule in the contract.

The Globe says that, “According to the TTC, the new agreement with Bombardier will mean the Thunder Bay plant will produce two streetcars a month, starting in March. By the fall this should double to four a month.”

Meanwhile the Star’s transportation reporter Tess Kalinowski writes,

“There should have been dozens on the road already, but so far only three new vehicles are running on Spadina, with one other still being tested for roadworthiness. The new cars must run for 600 kilometres without problems before they’re put into regular service.”

Her article quotes TTC spokesperson, Brad Ross, who, in turn, explains, “At the end of 2015 we will have approximately 30… [That] will require Bombardier to ramp up their delivery schedule to every five days this fall, compared to every 10, which was the original schedule,”, he said.

According to Kalinowski’s article,

“Initially, delivery delays were blamed on problems with a unique, two-stage wheelchair ramp design and an eight-week strike at Bombardier’s Thunder Bay plant last year. But more recently, the company has admitted to having problems in its supply chain.

“Only 10 to 12 of the new streetcars will be housed in the mammoth Leslie Barns maintenance and storage facility when it opens on the lakeshore by the summer.”

By the end of the year, the TTC expects to exclusively operate the new cars along its 509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina routes. The new cars will also provide most — but not all — service along the 511 Bathurst route by December. Passengers who regularly ride streetcars along the 505 Dundas route — who were also promised new cars this year — will have to wait until next year.

The new delivery schedule still requires Bombardier to deliver all 204 of the promised low-floor streetcars to the TTC by 2019, when the cars finally enter service along the 506 Carlton route.

The TTC has an option to order another 60 cars from Bombardier but contractually can wait until the company delivers its 60th car in this schedule before it decides whether to continue with that second order.

In the news: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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

Greater Toronto Area
  • Canadian Press article (from the Toronto Star website), “CN Rail, Unifor reach tentative late-night deal to avoid walkout”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Toronto residents approve of SmartTrack, but DRL still top priority”, here.
  • CP24 report, “TTC bus slams into pole on the Queensway”, here.
  • CP24 report, “CN Rail and Unifor reach last-minute deal to avert lockout of 4,800 workers”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “TTC to have 30 new streetcars in operation by the end of 2015”, here.
  • Daily Commercial News commentary, “Industry Perspectives: Ontario can act on excess construction soil”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Downtown relief line top Toronto transit priority: poll”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Chair predicts more bad news for the TTC in the wake of audit findings”, here.
  • article, “Eastern Avenue section to close March 2”, here.
  • article, “CN Rail - Unifor reach deal to avert lockout”, here.
  • Metro Toronto article, “TTC delays amid cold weather blamed on aging infrastructure”, here.
  • Metro Toronto article, “Pedestrian advocates say evidence supports adding additional scrambles in downtown Toronto”, here.
  • Metro Toronto’s Your Ride: Toronto post, “Environmentally friendly initiatives are coming, but they’re going to take way, way too long”, here.
  • Newshub post, “Gas Tax Money Flows into Mississauga Transit Projects”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “No injuries after TTC bus crashes into hydro pole”, here.
  • Railway Age article, “Union Pearson Express electrification gets nudge”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Because Stevie D. needs some heeeeeat”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “DRL Tops SmartTrack In Latest Transit Poll”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “Tory Promises to Fix TTC Following Audit”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “CN Rail Avoids Lockout, Reaches Tentative Deal With Union”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Poll Position: Toronto Wants a Downtown Relief Line (If They Live Downtown, At Least)”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Photoist: Dupont Station”, here.
  • Toronto Star editorial, “Audits at the Toronto Transit Commission show a decade of bungling”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC’s poor vehicle management ‘terribly dismaying’, mayor says”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Poll: Downtown relief line is Toronto voters’ top priority”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC’s new streetcar schedule still puts only 30 vehicles in town this year”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “GO heats up switch maintenance in Toronto’s bitter cold”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Liberal government clears way for UPX electrification”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “UPX trains enter intensive, pre-launch testing”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “TTC Week: Readers get choked up by idling buses: The Fixer”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Tory vows to fix TTC fuel card program”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Token hoarding not an issue ahead of TTC fare hike”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Past and present TTC chairs talk transit”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

No subway service, St. Andrew to Union,
this weekend, February 28, March 1

If you’re paying by cash or ticket, make sure you get a paper transfer where you pay your fare to show the streetcar or bus driver, when you board or TTC fare inspectors if you’re riding streetcars with all-door boarding.

Regular subway service resumes Monday, March 2.

For passengers who require accessible transit between Union and St Andrew stations, an accessible Wheel-Trans vehicle will be available. Ask any uniformed TTC employee at either station for directions on where you can board Wheel-Trans. You can also use a temporary lift device at Union Station, from the subway level to the concourse level.

The work also blocks access between Union Station and the PATH system of underground pedestrian walkways through downtown Toronto.

St Andrew to Union.jpg

Although the TTC recently opened a second platform at Union subway station, work still continues on the project.

Ongoing work requires it to completely close the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway line between Union and St. Andrew Stations this weekend.

All day Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, subway trains operate between Downsview and St. Andrew Stations and between Finch and Union Stations.

Since you can’t travel by subway between Union and St. Andrew Stations, the TTC advises you to to exit the University - Spadina leg of the subway further north than St. Andrew to avoid crowds. If you are traveling as far south as Union, transfer at Queen’s Park, St. Patrick or Osgoode Stations to eastbound streetcars operating along the 506 Carlton, 505 Dundas or 501 Queen routes, then transfer again at College, Dundas or Queen Stations to the Yonge leg of the subway.

Of course, streetcars operating along the 504 King route continue to connect St. Andrew with King Station.

You can also transfer from streetcars operating along any of those routes to buses operating along the 6 Bay route to travel to Union.

Queen Street West track repairs:
TTC detour, February 28 to March 2

The TTC is repairing its streetcar tracks on Queen Street West just west of Spadina Avenue this weekend.

It’s also detouring streetcars operating along these routes between Shaw Street and Spadina Avenue, during the work:

  • 301 Queen overnight; and
  • 501 Queen.

Shuttle buses replace the cars, operating between Dufferin and Jarvis Streets.


UP Express intensifying train tests
to get ready for spring launch

Union Pearson express logo.jpgTransit Toronto was surprised to see one of the new Union Pearson Express trains rolling along GO’s Lakeshore East line near Coxwell Avenue this past weekend. Apparently, however, you may be seeing a lot of these new trains in a variety of locations throughout the Greater Toronto area over the next several weeks, as Metrolinx conducts intensive testing to make sure they are running at peak performance. At the same time, it’s also training staff before it launches the service this spring.

This final phase of testing signals a major step towards the new service welcoming its first passengers in the coming months. Metrolinx will announce the official date for starting the service after it has successfully completed this important testing phase.

Starting today, Monday, February 23, you may see the UP Express trains along the route from Union to Pearson and on various GO Transit corridors, undertaking a wide variety of tests. Some of the testing may occur off-hours and late at night so as not to interfere in regular rail service. Metrolinx says that “all efforts have been taken to minimize disruption.”

The testing focuses on four key areas:

  1. Testing how the vehicles operate: These are “end-to-end” tests with one or two trains moving from Pearson to Union and on to Scarborough on the Lakeshore East GO line. The trains may stop for a period along the guideway to test braking and speed. Crews will also test switches and simulate signal failures. During this phase, you’ll hear intermittent bells, as the train approaches stations.
  2. Testing emergency procedures and service recovery: These types of tests include specific emergency scenarios to learn how the various parties that would take part in emergencies co-ordinate efforts and communicate. These tests include scenarios, such as a disabled train on the elevated spur, requiring crews to evacuate passengers, medical emergencies on board vehicles and at stations and malfunctions of the platform screen door system.
  3. Testing the ride experience and procedures: These tests may or may not involve trains, but help build staff experience and familiarize them with various guest situations and procedures. Testers will engage staff to demonstrate their skills in ticketing processes, opening and closing stations and other guest-related services.
  4. Testing revenue services: This testing simulates the actual service with a fleet of trains running “end to end” in 15-minute intervals from Pearson to Union Station and back. The trains will pull into each station, open and close the doors and then leave. Staff will be receive on-the-job training at each of the stations. You can expect to hear normal operating noise levels during these trials, including train bells and whistles as operating rules require.


Georgetown south rail corridor:
Overnight snow-clearing, February 23, 24

Overnight tonight, Monday, February 23 until early tomorrow, Tuesday, February 24, Metrolinx crews working on the Georgetown South rail corridor infrastructure project are clearing snow from the rail corridor to facilitate upcoming track-safety inspections. According to Metrolinx, crews can only complete this work, when trains are not operating.

Residents living nearby can expect some noise. Snow-removal machines will move along the tracks between Weston and Bloor GO stations with multiple passes on multiple tracks.

You should also expect intermittent overnight work as crews finish installing the track and testing along the corridor to prepare for launching the Union Pearson Express line this spring.

Metrolinx is upgrading the Georgetown South rail corridor to accommodate the UP Express trains this spring, and, eventually, regional express rail services along GO Transit’s 31 Kitchener line, over the next few years. If the City of Toronto proceeds with Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack project, local rapid transit trains may also operate along the tracks, possibly as soon as seven years from now.

In the news: Monday, February 23, 2015

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

Greater Toronto Area
  • BlogTO post, “TTC expects loads of new streetcars to arrive this year”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Audit finds ‘unacceptable’ spending practices at TTC”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “TTC subway service resumes from Union-Bloor”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “New Toronto streetcars to begin arriving in substantial numbers”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “TTC, Toronto Hydro at odds over cause of morning subway shutdown”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Auditor’s report on support vehicles fuels new criticism of TTC”, here.
  • NOW article, “Bloor bike lanes delayed, again”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Yeah, so, that was fun until someone lost her marbles”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “That’s just an advertisement pretending to be graffiti, right?”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Despite its shortcomings, Toronto has one of the best-integrated transit systems in the world”, here.
  • Talk Radio AM640 report, “TTC Says More New Streetcars On The Way”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC subway service on Yonge line resumes after early morning suspension”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC chair Josh Colle calls together his predecessors with the question: How did we get here?”, here.
  • Toronto Star The Fixer, “For TTC Week, riders complain about complaints”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “Real issue isn’t best transit; it’s who owns the street”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “Untangling the realities of the daily commuting slog”, here.
  • Toronto Star survey, “Commuter life: We want to hear about your route to work”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “TTC under fire for gas cards and vehicle rentals”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “‘Real people aren’t on Twitter’: Councillor Josh Colle”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Older Transit Toronto News Postings

Welcome to Transit Toronto

Welcome to Transit Toronto, a fan-run web site dedicated to public transit in the Greater Toronto Area. This is the main page of the web site, where the latest news items are listed. The content of the web site, including route histories, vehicle descriptions, et cetera, is grouped in various "divisions" which can be accessed by clicking on the relevant title in the menu bar near the top of this page.

Articles which don't fit the categories above can be found through these links below: