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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.

York University employees on strike,
disrupting transit services

CP24 reports:

“York University teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants will be on strike as of 12:01 a.m. after overwhelmingly rejecting a contract offer Monday night.

“Seventy-one per cent of the union’s 3,700 members voted against the offer, the union said.

“They are expected to be on the picket line Tuesday morning.

“The offer was put on the table late Sunday night, CUPE Local 3903 spokesperson Faiz Ahmed told CP24 Monday morning. The bargaining committee had recommended members reject the offer, which included a 1.5 per cent pay raise.”

Transit agencies are detouring buses so that their vehicles do not cross picket lines. Since picketers have the legal right to briefly stop all vehicles entering the campuses, expect major traffic congestion near campuses, further delaying transit services.

At the Keele campus, the strike affects this Brampton Transit route:

It also affects these GO Transit routes:

  • 25 Waterloo / Mississauga (Fridays, Sundays only);
  • 45 Mississauga / York U;
  • 46 Oakville / York U;
  • 47 Hamilton / York U;
  • 48 Guelph / York U;
  • 51 Pickering / York U;
  • 52 Oshawa / York U; and
  • 54 Markham / York U.

It also affects these TTC routes:

  • 41A Keele local (to Steeles via York U);
  • 41B Keele local (to Steeles);
  • 41E Keele express;
  • 60C Steeles West local (to York U);
  • 60F Steeles West express;
  • 106 York University;
  • 107 Keele North;
  • 195 Jane rocket; and
  • 196 York University rocket.

It also affects these York Region Transit routes:

Buses do not enter the Glendon campus, but picketers may delay traffic on nearby streets, including Bayview Avenue and Lawrence Avenue East. That may, in turn, delay service along these TTC routes:

  • 11 Bayview;
  • 124 Sunnybrook; and
  • 162 Lawrence / Donway.

In the news: Monday, March 2, 2015

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

Greater Toronto Area
  • CBC News Toronto report, “U of T teaching assistants set up picket lines on campus”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Donny Ouimette, Ryan Hind ID’d as men shot at Toronto McDonald’s”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Executive committee approves $10B budget”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Crawford defends balancing tactics as Executive Committee passes budget”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “As TTC fares rise, new mayor touts free rides for kids, planned improvements”, here.
  • Daily Commercial News article, “Metrolinx consults construction on e-billing”, here.
  • Excaliber article, “CUPE 3903 bargaining team recommends rejection of university’s offer”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Metrolinx rejects Toronto’s request to pay part of increased costs for Union Station”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “GO Transit bus driver charged after fatal crash on Highway 407”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Four people may have been involved in fatal McDonald’s shooting: source”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Toronto, Metrolinx in negotiations over airport express train funding”, here.
  • article, “Milton chosen for transit app pilot project”, here.
  • article, “Dozens of residents jump into new Etobicoke Action Group”, here.
  • Metro Toronto article, “Students petition TTC to abolish two-card identification system”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Metrolinx asking City to cover some capital costs”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Update: GO Transit driver charged in fatal crash”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “4405 Arrives On Spadina”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “TTC 2015-2024 Capital Budget Projects”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “TTC 2015 Fleet Plans (Updated)”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Extra, Extra: An Innocent Man Cave, the End of a Jokinen Era, and the Downtown Relief Line Needs You”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “Transit guru pushes for central rapid transit system: James”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “TTC Week: Readers hail good deeds by transit workers: The Fixer”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “TTC fare hike rolls out, but not all riders are irked”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Brampton mayor supports downtown LRT route”, here.
  • Toronto Star commentary, “There’s a better route for the Scarborough subway”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Feds, province refuse to help city pay for Union Station overruns”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “Selling off assets a bad bargain for the city: Hume”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “GO bus driver charged in fatal Highway 407 rollover”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “My commute: An adventure into the unknown”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “My commute: ‘I’m actually excited about going to work’”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Barbara Hall’s reflections as a human rights crusader”, here.
  • Toronto Star editorial, “United Way sketches path to a fairer Toronto”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “U of T students left scrambling, as teaching assistants go on strike”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Victim’s family searches for a reason in McDonald’s shooting”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Expect inflationary TTC fare hikes in future: Tory”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “City on hook for Union Station cost overruns”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “GO bus driver charged in crash that killed passenger”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Executive committee tweaks budget in giving its OK”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Metrolinx perk ‘business as usual’”, here.
  • Toronto Sun column, “More than 1,600 City employees on long-term disability”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “City’s long-term disability plan rewards insurer for high caseload”, here.
  • Urban Toronto post, “City of Toronto and TTC Seeking Input on Relief Line Stations”, here.
  • Yahoo Canada post, “Low-income transit plans aim to put the brakes on poverty”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

TTC's fourth new streetcar enters service

Update — Tuesday, March 3, 7:59 a.m.: Apparently we mis-identified the numbers of the Flexity streetcars that are in service. Yesterday, car numbers 4400, 4403, 4404 and 4405 were all in service.

The TTC has announced that its fourth Bombardier Flexity streetcar, car #4405, entered regular service at 6 a.m. today, Monday, March 2 along the 510 Spadina route.

It expects the next new streetcar to be in service in early April.

So if this is car #4405… shouldn’t it be the fifth new car in service?

Apparently, the TTC is having some concerns about some of the cars. The Globe and Mail’s Oliver Moore, recently reported that,

“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.”

Bombardier and the TTC recently worked out a revised delivery schedule for the cars. Hopefully, the TTC and Bombardier can continue working on the various issues with the new cars and we’ll see more new cars on the street serving passengers soon.

Teaching assistants set up picket lines:
expect detours, delays at U of T campuses

Update — 9:11 a.m.: DRT advises that its buses are now dropping off passengers at the TTC stop on the northeast corner of Ellesmere Road and Military Trail. They’re picking up passengers at the TTC stop on the southwest corner of Ellesmere and Military Trail

Update — 8:31 a.m.: MiWay has provided detour routing information for buses that usually serve the Mississauga campus. See the list at the end of this post.

Update — 8:26 a.m.: GO Transit advises that its buses are not serving the Scarborough campus bus loop, and that it is providing temporary on-street stops. Westbound passengers can board GO vuses at the TTC stop on Military Trail, south of Ellesmere Road across the street from the campus bus loop. Eastbound passengers can board GO buses at the TTC stop on the northwest corner of Ellesmere Road at Military Trail.

Update — 8:20 a.m.: DRT says its buses are operating along their regular routes near the campus.

Update — 7:31 a.m.: The TTC is detailing how its buses are detouring near the Scarborough campus. See the list at the end of this post.

According to CBC News Toronto,

“Thousands of striking University of Toronto teaching assistants are planning to set up picket lines at three Toronto-area campuses on Monday morning…

“Students have been told classes will go ahead at the university’s three campuses — in downtown Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough — but there may be some strike-related interruptions to some labs and tutorials.

Erin Black, the chair of the teaching assistant’s union, said students will notice a difference. ‘Some lectures may proceed, but the small group discussion and learning — that won’t be happening.’

“The some 7,000 teaching assistants, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees 3902, had a tentative deal in place last Friday but voted overwhelmingly to reject it…”

Why is this a transit issue? Transit agencies will not allow their vehicles to cross picket lines, so buses will likely drop off or pick up passengers on nearby streets. The picketers also have the legal right to temporarily delay all traffic entering the campus so expect traffic to back up on nearby streets, delaying buses.

At U of T’s Scarborough campus, expect buses to stop for passengers on Military Trail, as they did during another strike involving university employees.

This affects buses operating along these Durham Region Transit routes:

It also affects buses operating along this GO Transit route:

  • 51 Pickering / York U.

It also affects buses operating along these TTC routes:

  • 38 Highland Creek;
  • 95 York Mills local;
  • 95E York Mills express; and
  • 198 U of T Scarborough rocket.

At U of T Mississauga, expect buses to stop for passengers on Mississauga Road, instead of entering the campus.

This affects buses operating along these MiWay routes:

  • 1C Dundas - Collegeway;
  • 44 Mississauga Road;
  • 101 Dundas express; and
  • 110 University express.

Will the TTC be the kinder and better way,
during Kindness Week, March 1 to 6?

Kindness Week identifier.00_png_pngThe Human Kindness Project is a non-profit organization, which, in collaboration with its flagship event, Kindness Week, provides education and programs that use kindness as a tool for developing positive social skills, compassion, resiliency and leadership among children and youth. Kindness Week is a program that also gives teachers the resources to teach kindness and students the opportunity to demonstrate kindness.

According to the organization, one in three adolescent students in Canada are bullied. One in two Canadian parents report having a child who is a victim of bullying. Higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression in children and youth are reaching epidemic proportions.

Science shows that kindness can serve as a preventative measure against student challenges by giving students the tools to develop stronger social connections and a greater ability to deal with adversity. A focus on kindness and compassion can complement existing health services, contribute to well-being and orient students for success. Ultimately, students who perform acts of kindness inspire greater kindness among their peers.

The second annual Greater Toronto Area Kindness Week takes place Monday, March 1 until Friday, March 6, 2015.

The group says that, by participating in Kindness Week 2015, students will increase their knowledge of the positive impacts of kindness on themselves and those around them and experience how giving leads to improved self-esteem and empathy.

One way they’ll be participating tomorrow, Monday, March 2, is during customer appreciation events on the TTC at Bloor - Yonge, Finch and Eglinton Stations. The student volunteers will be holding “kindness” placards and handing out treats to passengers.

To help you support the initiative, the TTC suggests several ways that you can make the TTC the kinder way:

  • Remember that priority seating is for seniors, people with a disability and expectant mothers. Be sure to offer up your seat to someone who needs it more than you.
  • Carry your knapsack by your side, not on your back, on crowded vehicles.
  • Keep bags on your lap or on the floor by your feet. Seats are for passengers.
  • Don’t block the doors - move right into the vehicle to allow others to enter.

In the 2013-14 school year, the Human Kindness Project, in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board, organized the first annual GTA-wide Kindness Week (May 5 - 9, 2014). More than 3,000 students across the city designed acts of kindness and performed them locally with support from the Human Kindness Project team, principals, teachers and guidance counsellors. In 2015, the project will expand to include from 10,000 to 12,000 students and an additional kindness curriculum will be available for teachers.

In the news: Sunday, March 1, 2015

Greater Toronto area media report on public transit issues today.

Metrolinx board of directors meets, March 3

The Metrolinx board of directors is holding its next meeting this Tuesday, March 3.

As usual, the agenda for the meeting contains both public and confidential items. The board will discuss the confidential items in a private session that starts at 8 a.m. The board then meets in public to discuss the rest of the items on the agenda at 10 a.m.

The meeting takes place in the Peter R. Smith Boardroom, Union Station, West Wing, 4th Floor, 97 Front Street West.

You can view the agenda for the meeting here.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT: Avenue
Headwall construction continues

eglinton crosstown logo.pngMetrolinx contractors are working to build the future Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line.

In this phase of construction, crews are building the west headwalls for the future Avenue Station. Headwalls are underground support walls at the east and west ends of the station. After preparing the site, crews install these underground station headwalls before tunnel-boring machines can arrive at the area. They started working on the east headwalls in January and continue that work.

Avenue Station also includes a special turn-back track, requiring a longer underground section. The turn-back tracks let eastbound trains move to the westbound tracks and westbound trains to the eastbound tracks, in case of an emergency or problems on the line. Due to the length of the turn-back track section, the eastern headwall will be farther from the intersection of Avenue Road and Eglinton Avenue, near Lascelles Boulevard.

Building the headwalls requires the contractors to set up a grout plant nearby. The plant pumps grout, a form of concrete, to the station headwall location. For Avenue Station, they’ve located the grout plant at Highbourne Road and Eglinton Avenue West.

map - crosstown_avenue_eglinton_feb_2015.jpg

Construction of the west headwall starts the first week of March and continues until summer.

Crews will set up a new work zone on Eglinton Avenue West in the south lanes at the intersection with Avenue Road. They’ll shift both east- and westbound traffic to the north lanes. They’ll separate the work zone from the right-of-way with traffic cones and concrete barriers and fencing. The work zone extends between Elmsthorpe Avenue and just east of Avenue Road.

While crews build west headwall:

  • motorists can’t turn left onto or from Eastbourne Avenue;
  • motorists can’t trun left onto or from Braemar Avenue;
  • eastbound motorists can’t turn left onto Avenue Road from Eglinton Avenue West.
  • the grout plant remains at the north end of Highbourne Road. Highbourne Road is closed to and from Eglinton West.
  • headwall construction restricts motorists to just one lane in each direction near work zones.
  • the City is prohibiting on-street parking in work zones; and
  • Avenue Road remains open to traffic during construction.

Work on the north side of Eglinton Avenue West at Lascelles Boulevard continues to block the sidewalk in front of North Toronto Memorial Community Centre. This next phase of work will also block a sidewalk on Eglinton West near the northwest corner of Avenue Road and Eglinton West and near Morley Bedford Funeral Home.

For the safety of transit riders, the TTC is relocting both east- and westbound bus stops in the area. Watch for signs and information indicating the new locations.

Expect noise and vibration.

Crews will mostly work between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. In certain situations, they may work some late nights or early mornings to keep construction moving on schedule. The contractor will not always work during the extended hours, but may do so at its discretion.

During Crosstown construction of the future Avenue Station, TTC passengers should expect delays for buses operating along these routes:

  • 5 Avenue Rd;
  • 32 Eglinton West;
  • 61 Avenue Rd North;
  • 142 Downtown / Avenue Rd express;
  • 307 Eglinton West overnight.


Davis Drive rapidway:
More construction started February 28

Metrolinx and York Region contractors continue the project to build a rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Davis Drive in Newmarket.

From 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, February 28 and today, Sunday, March 1, crews continued removing the structure at 161 Davis Drive.

Today, they’ll block southbound curb lane on Longford Drive; however traffic can still move along the street in both directions. They’ll also block the east sidewalk on Longford. Use the west walk.

Expect noise and traffic delays on Longford.

Starting Tuesday, March 3, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day, crews are investigating underground utilities near the entrance to The Tannery entrance to prepare for upcoming telecommunications ductbank work.

They’ll temporarily block traffic lanes on the Tannery driveway; however vehicles can still enter and exit the Tannery at all times.

Although traffic-control personnel will be onsite to help direct traffic, expect delays.

Work continues until March 5.

Longford-parkside vivastation with tarps.jpg

Crews continue working the Longford / Parkside vivastation. They’ve installed tarps and heaters to keep heat inside the shelter during tiling work.

During Davis Drive rapidway construction, expect delays for GO Transit buses operating along this route:

  • 65 Newmarket / Toronto.

Also expect delays for York Region Transit buses operating along these routes:

  • 44 Bristol;
  • 50 Queensway;
  • 54 Bayview;
  • 55 / 55B Davis Drive;
  • 58 Mount Albert;
  • 223 Newmarket GO shuttle; and
  • 520 / 521 Newmarket community bus.

Source: vivaNext.

Leslie upgrades and track installation:
Work continues March 3

lesliebarns masthead.png

Leslie Barns -- February-27-15.jpgCity of Toronto and TTC contractors continue the project to upgrade the street, improve the water-service infrastructure and install streetcar tracks on Leslie Street.

(They’re building new tracks to connect the future Leslie Barns streetcar maintenance and storage facility to the tracks on Queen Street East.)

From about 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 3 until 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, crews are shifting the traffic lanes at the intersection of Lake Shore Boulevard East with Leslie Street. working in the Lake Shore and Leslie intersection to shift traffic lanes.

They’ll shift all traffic lanes on Lake Shore East from the south side to the north side of the roadway. After they’ve finished, motorists can use two through lanes and a turn lane in both directions.

Although contractors added a third lane in January, they’ve had to remove that lane to finish upgrading the water-main and sewers and install streetcar tracks safely.

The work zone blocks the east-west pedestrian and cyclist crossing on the south side of the intersection. The east-west crossing on the north side of the intersection and the the north-south crosswalks on the east and west side of the intersection are still available.

Crews also worked yesterday, Saturday February 28 from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Leslie Street between Queen Street East and Eastern Avenue to upgrade the utilities and to prepare the site for upcoming work to install a pole on the northwest corner of Queen East and Leslie.

The TTC continues to detour buses operating along the 31B branch of the 31 Greenwood route and the 83 Jones route.

Older Transit Toronto News Postings

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