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.
We at Transit Toronto were saddened to learn that Neil McCarten passed away Monday, March 3 in his 73rd year.
Neil retired from the TTC in 1992 with 30 years of service. He was a member of the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (Halton County Radial Railway), the Ontario Fire Buffs Association, the Greater Toronto Multiple Alarm Association and the Toronto Transportation Society.
Among other behind-the-scenes contributions to Transit Toronto, Mr. McCarten donated to our site a rare set of colour photographs of the University subway under construction. You can view the photos here.
Cremation has occurred, but friends and family can visit at the Sherrin Funeral Home, 873 Kingston Road, Toronto, 416-698-2861 Sunday, March 9 from 2 until 4 and from 6 until 8 p.m. A Service of Remembrance takes place Monday, March 10 at 11 a.m. in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, you can make donations to the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association, the Ontario Fire Buffs Association, the Greater Toronto Multiple Alarm Association, the Toronto Transportation Society or a charity of your choice.
Neil was the dearly beloved husband of Ruth (née LePage) of 38 years and is survived by his sisters-in-law Mary McCarten, Louise LePage and Margaret Coughlin (Len). He will be sadly missed by his many nieces and their families and was predeceased by his brother Ian.
Online condolences at www.sherrinfuneral.ca
The TTC is not operating subway trains along the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway between Bloor and St. Andrew Stations from about 6 a.m. Saturday, March 8 until 6 a.m. Monday, March 10. Trains operate along the line only between Finch and Bloor Stations and between Downsview and St. Andrew Stations this weekend.
The TTC is operating 47 frequent, accessible buses to drop off and pick up passengers at stops on Yonge Street and Wellington and King Streets West. Buses start and end their trips in Rosedale Station bus terminal.
Southound buses start their trips in Rosedale Station, then proceed:
westward along Crescent Road;
southward along Yonge Street;
westward along Wellington Street West; and then
northward along York Street to King Street West (near St. Andrew Station),
ending their trips.
Southbound buses stop on Yonge Street at Bloor and Wellesley Streets West, College Street, Dundas, Queen and King Streets West and on York Street at King Street West.
Northbound buses start their trips on York Street at King Street West; then proceed:
eastward along King West;
northward along Yonge Street;
eastward along Crescent Road; and then
southward into Rosedale Station,
ending their trips.
Northbound buses drop off and pick up passengers at stops on York Street at King Street West, on King Street West at Yonge Street and on Yonge Street at Queen and Dundas Streets East, Carlton Street and Wellesley and Bloor Streets East.
The buses do not enter Wellesley Station bus terminal.
Union subway station will be closed, with no access from the subway station to the main train station. Passengers traveling to and from the Air Canada Centre must walk from King or St Andrew stations or ride buses operating along the 6 Bay route to get there. GO Transit passengers must also walk to King or St. Andrew Stations to board TTC vehicles.
The TTC will also assign extra Wheel-Trans vehicles to accommodate seniors and persons with disabilities, who use wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility aids.
Although closing the subway disrupts regular service and may upset some passengers, the outcome of this short-term pain is long-term gain for many transit riders. While this section of the subway is closed, TTC crews are working to upgrade the signals on this section of the line, which is now almost 60 years old.
The TTC must replace the signals, relays, wiring and cabling equipment, since if they continue to fail, they significantly impact service. The TTC has produced a seven-minute video that explains signal systems, why it is replacing its aging system, and what a modern and reliable signal system will do to improve service.
Critical subway infrastructure — for example: signal systems; tunnel structures; or track beds — requires constant maintenance and, after more than half a century of service in some cases, full replacement. When complete, the subway system will be more reliable, efficient and provide greater capacity for the TTC’s 1.7 million daily riders. The new signals will also allow for automatic train control, allowing the TTC to use its computer systems to keep trains operating more frequently.
During subway closures, crews 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 each night when subway service ends, although work does continue in those areas each night. Each single-day closure saves about five weeks of night work.
Best bets for traveling to downtown Toronto
- Ride the Spadina - University branch to Queen’s Park, St. Patrick, Osgoode or St. Andrew Stations, then transfer to eastbound streetcars operating along the 506 Carlton, 505 Dundas, 501 Queen or 504 King routes to reach Yonge Street.
- Exit the subway at Rosedale Station. The shuttle buses loop through the station terminal before starting their southward trip along Yonge Street.
- Ride the Yonge branch to Bloor Station, transfer to westbound trains along the 2 Bloor - Danforth line to St. George, then transfer to southbound Spadina - University trains.
- Ride the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway to Dundas West, Broadview or Main Street Stations, then transfer to streetcars operating along the 504 King, 505 Dundas or 506 Carlton routes to ride downtown.
- Ride the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway to Bay Station, then transfer to buses operating along the 6 Bay route to ride downtown.
The TTC will also close the same section of the subway to upgrade the signal system on two more upcoming weekends: Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23; and Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6.
Metrolinx contractors are working to build the future Eglinton - Scarborough Crosstown light rail transit line.
The City of Toronto is closing
- Eglinton Avenue West east of Dufferin Street
for all traffic Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday and early Monday morning
to accommodate work on the project.
This weekend, crews are preparing for the arrival of tunnel-boring machines to the Dufferin Street area. They’ll be installing piles for upcoming work to build the east and west headwalls in the centre of Eglinton Avenue for the future Dufferin / Eglinton Station.
The work will not affect traffic on Dufferin Street. However, except for local traffic, all motorists traveling along Eglinton West must detour around the work site.
Next weekend, from 9 p.m. Friday, March 14 until 4 a.m. Monday, March 17, the City will close a section of Eglinton West west of Dufferin Street for similar work and the TTC will again detour the buses.
Update — Tuesday, March 3, 6:52 a.m.: Today, the TTC issued its first rider update notice, using the line numbers, when it announced a brief delay “on Line 4 (Sheppard)” at Leslie Station.
Today, Monday, March 3, the TTC launched a new sign system at Bloor - Yonge Station, as part of a trial project to improve and ease navigation of the subway system and its stations. The TTC’s 2014 Customer Charter committed the transit agency to improving its way-finding.
Last October, the Toronto Transit Commission — the TTC’s board of directors — approved staff a presentation (.pdf) on using line numbers and colour-coding to identify the four subway and rapid transit lines, using more pictograms and improving signs at station entrances across the city.
(Although early media reports played up the fact that the TTC was numbering its rapid transit lines, in fact, the TTC has been using numbers to identify its rapid transit lines in internal documents at least since 2001. The TTC renumbered and renamed its former 2 Anglesey and 4 Annette routes as the 48 Rathburn and 26 Dupont routes to recycle the numbers to accommodate the new rapid-transit line-numbering system, not long before it opened the Sheppard subway. Previously, it had cancelled service along the 1 Armour Heights and 3 Ancaster Park routes, which ended up benefiting the new numbering scheme. Transit Toronto has also been using the line numbers to identify the various lines in the news updates section of the blog since 2006.)
In this plan, the TTC is not renaming or renumbering its subway lines; instead, applying line numbers more visibly and colours it uses on maps to current line names will make navigating the TTC easier for frequent, occasional and first-time riders and those whose first language is not English.
The TTC is applying “Line 1” and a yellow identification colour to the Yonge - University - Spadina subway line; “Line 2” and green to the Bloor - Danforth subway line; “Line 3” and blue to the Scarborough rapid transit line; and “Line 4” and purple to the Sheppard subway line. The TTC will use numbers five through seven to identify future light rail transit lines and add them to its wayfinding system. “Line 5” will identify the Eglinton - Crosstown line, when it opens. “Line 6” and “Line 7” will identify two more LRT lines which Metrolinx has already approved and funded — the future 6 Sheppard East light rail transit line and the 7 Finch West LRT line. The numbers reflect the order in which the lines were, or will be, built.
The TTC is enhancing subway platforms with better “you are here” maps to further help riders using the system. It will also improve signs for passengers with disabilities.
St George Station, the TTC’s second busiest subway interchange station, will receive new wayfinding signage in the coming weeks. Staff will then begin surveying customers as they pass through both stations to gather feedback. After compiling the results from the survey, the TTC will then make any necessary refinements to the sign system before they roll it out across the system by the end of 2015. The TTC did not require extra funding for this project as it is completing all design and production work -“in-house”, meaning its using its own staff to make the signs.
The TTC has assigned greeters at Bloor - Yonge Station this week to explain the changes to passengers. It also wants your feedback. Visit ttc.ca or e-mail email@example.com to comment on the project. In its ongoing efforts to clearly explain what the TTC does and why, it’s also posted a short video to its YouTube channel that explains the benefits of the new wayfinding system:
Contractors have postponed excavation work at the future York University Station site due to poor weather, but starting today, Monday, March 3, they’ll be resuming the work. They expect this phase of the project to continue for three months — or until about Friday, June 6 — and it requires crews to use a drill rig for two weeks. The map shows the excavation zone and identifies it as the “Excavation Light Scoop” area.
During the drill rig work, expect more construction noise from the auger as it shakes off soil or debris while drilling.
Contractors have installed noise and vibration monitors in key locations on and near the construction site to record noise and vibration levels. Construction activities normally occur Mondays to Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Work on the subway project also restricts or closes traffic lanes on York University’s Keele Campus during off-peak hours from Tuesday, March 4 until Monday, March 10 for sanitary and storm sewer work at:
- York Boulevard: The work reduces eastbound lanes between James Gillies Street and the TTC Busway. A single lane of traffic will be open and contractors will station flag personnel at the intersection of York with James Gillies to direct motorists and pedestrians.
- York Boulevard: The work reduces westbound lanes east of the transit-only traffic bridge (orange on graphic) into and from the Harry W. Arthurs Common. Flag personnel will direct both directions of traffic onto the eastbound lanes.
- Vanier Lane west of Ian Macdonald Boulevard:. The work closed the eastbound lane.
Contractors will station flag personnel at this location for transit, traffic and pedestrian flow.
Due to the nature of the work, motorists and transit users may face traffic delays. Traffic control personnel will be on site to direct bus operators, and motorists and pedestrians.
Update — Wednesday, March 5, 6:07 p.m.: Line-painting continues Thursday, March 6.
Near the future Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, motorists can expect contractors to block traffic lanes on Highway 7 west of Jane Street after the afternoon rush hour tomorrow, Tuesday, March 4, while they paint lines on the roadway.
Flag personnel will direct motorists and pedestrians, while work is taking place. Two lanes remain open westbound and two lanes remain open eastbound. Motorists should expect delays and should also use extra care when driving on Highway 7 between Interchange Way and Jane Street.
Transit passengers riding Brampton Transit buses operating along the 501 Züm Queen route and York Region Transit buses operating along the Viva orange and 77 Highway 7 routes should also expect delays near the work zone.
The City of Toronto continues to close Lower Spadina Avenue to northbound traffic between Queens Quay West and Lake Shore Boulevard West to facilitate the work.
While the overall completion date remains on schedule for July 2015, the extreme cold weather has impacted work, delaying some project tasks such as work at the Spadina Loop have been delayed.
In section A, crews will install more overhead cable, once they set the new tracks in concrete and crews finish surfacing the nearby road. This work is weather-dependent.
Last Friday, February 28, crews began pouring concrete in Section B, the inner loop, and continue this week.
Crews continued to rebuild the TTC splicing chamber beside Shoppers Drug Mart, in section C, despite high levels of ground water which required them to deploy more pumps. This week, with the pumps in place, they continue forming and pouring concrete for the floor of the splicing chamber. Once the floor cures, they’ll build the chamber walls and pour more concrete. The splicing chamber is an underground vault for connecting cables.)
The laneway is closed to incoming and outgoing traffic. Access to the Maple Leaf Quay / Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot is available from the east side of the property (Beer Store entrance). East - west pedestrian access along the north side of Queens Quay will be available at all times.
Last week, crews finished tying in the remaining ducts and wiring on another splicing chamber outside of the loop area, back-filled the site and temporarily restored the roadway.
The TTC continues to replace streetcars operating along the 510 Spadina route with buses south of King Street West. It’s also operating buses, instead of streetcars, along the 509 Harbourfront route.
While the overall completion date remains on schedule for July 2015, the extreme cold weather has impacted work, delaying some project tasks, such as work at the Spadina Loop.
Crews continue installing the foundations for poles to support the TTC’s overhead wires, street lights and signals:
- Between York and Bay Streets: Last week, crews completed drilling caissons and installing pole foundations for the new TTC, streetlight and traffic poles near the the 33 Harbour Square service driveway, the entrance to 55 / 65 Harbour Square and the east side of the York and Queens Quay intersection. This week, they’ll drill and place pole foundations at the portal entrance to the tunnel. With these poles, crews will have completed all TTC poles in this area of Queens Quay West.
- Between 401 Queens Quay West and Yo Yo Ma Lane: Last week, crews continued digging out the foundations and beams that will be cantilevers for the poles in this area. Crews successfully installed three TTC and one streetlight pole in this area. About half of the poles for this area are now in place.
- crews continue to prepare to rebuild of the TTC right of way at Lower Simcoe Street.
- crews continue to install TTC poles, catch basins and utility access portals (“manholes”) between Lower Spadina Avenue and Yo Yo Ma Lane.
- crews continue to build splicing chamgers at all locations - with some work contingent upon draining the water from the sites.
The TTC continues to replace streetcars operating along the 509 Harbourfront route with buses during this project.
The Town of Richmond Hill is closing
- Bathurst Street between Valley Vista Drive / McCallum Drive and Lebovic Campus Drive / Weldrick Road West
as crews make emergency repairs to a burst watermain.