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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.

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.
  • article, “Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle announce improvements to late night and off-peak TTC service”, here.
  • article, “Opponents of McNicoll Bus Garage continue fight against planned facility”, here.
  • article, “Dundas West eastbound bus stop to stay: Perks”, here.
  • 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, 29

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. Friday, May 29.

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

  • 320 Yonge overnight.


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.

"MiWay 5" - Five-year service plan:
Public meetings, May 25, 26, 27, 28

5year-MiWay_Header_MiWayWebHeader-orange-date_780x116.pngThis week, MiWay is hosting a series of public information centres to showcase, “MiWay5”, its five-year service plan. Since April 2014, MiWay staff have been consulting with passengers through surveys, focus groups and by reaching out to various stakeholder groups to develop the palan.

Now it’s hosting this series of events to present you with its final plan to provide you with another opportunity to review the proposals and provide your feedback and comments.

MiWay has scheduled the events for:

Events take place in communities throughout Mississauga, including:

MiWay says “MiWay Five is its plan for evolving public transit in Mississauga over the five years from 2016 to 2020.” It comprehensively is reviewing where transit operates, when it operates, and how frequently. Eventually, the plan will define MiWay’s service standards for the next five years and set the stage for expanding transit in the future.

In the news: Sunday, May 24, 2015

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

Greater Toronto Area
  • All Fired Up In The Big Smoke post, “The Dead Calm After Ford”, here.
  • All Fired Up In The Big Smoke post, “Tolling Smoke And Mirrors”, here.
  • All Fired Up In The Big Smoke post, “The Best Evidence Is Empirical Evidence”, here.
  • All Fired Up In The Big Smoke post, “Why Is This Even A Debate?”, here.
  • BlogTO post, “Photo of the day: All aboard the ghost train”, here.
  • CBC News report, “Risky business as Canadian cities turn to neighbourhood levies”, here.
  • CBC News report, “Via Rail to add more southwestern Ontario trains, CEO says”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Gardiner, Don Valley tolls would be ‘chump change’, councillor says”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Metrolinx launches on-line trip-planning tool for GTHA”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Tory, Colle to make transit announcement at bus stop in Scarborough”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “Passenger sexually assaulted on GO bus: police”, here.
  • CTV News Toronto report, “TTC service resumes after tree knocks down wires”, here.
  • article, “Petition calls for Ontario government to fund GO Train into Bowmanville”, here.
  • Globe and Mail commentary, “Dear Toronto: Ditching the Gardiner would be world class”, here.
  • article, “Bridge, station construction continues for Mississauga transitway extension”, here.
  • article, “7 facts about the Finch West LRT”, here.
  • column, “TOinTRANSIT: Metrolinx launches new transit trip planner”, here.
  • article, “Doors Open on TTC’s Greenwood Yard”, here.
  • Metro Toronto article, “TTC turns to tech to tame bus ‘bunching’”, here.
  • Metro Toronto’s Tory’s Toronto post, “For whom the roads’s tolled: Non-resident Gardiner tolls won’t happen, so let’s drop it”, here.
  • National Post commentary, “Bringing our trains into the late 20th century”, here.
  • Newstalk 1010 report, “Subway stabber sentenced to four years in prison”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “I want to blog about last night’s LSE disaster, but I’m buried at work and can only fire off this quick note”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “And now for a follow-up to last week’s ‘Dear Bus Passengers’ letter”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Oh look, a parking spot just for him (not you, not me, just him)”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “You want to bring your bike onto a rush-hour train? Go ahead… but you can stand. You didn’t pay extra fare for the bike and you certainly didn’t pay for those TWO seats”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “Never be stranded again. Triplinx now available in the GTHA”, here.
  • Spacing Toronto post, “Building the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension”, here.
  • Spacing Toronto post, “Cadillac-sized strollers and complicated commuter patterns”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “The Evolution of Service on 29 Dufferin: Weekdays, 2011 to 2015”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “The Evolution of Service on 512 St Clair (2) (Updated)”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “A Work Train on the Prince Edward Viaduct”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Chief City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat on How to Think About the Gardiner”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Union - Pearson Express riders at Bloor face two-year wait for tunnel to TTC”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Is Toronto-area transit the next frontier for privatization?”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Artists take over Chester subway station newsstand for one year”, here.
  • Toronto Star column, “Kathleen Wynne’s failure of nerve”, here.
  • Toronto Sun column, “Landmark date for two transit events”, here.
  • Toronto Sun editorial, “Wynne’s ‘infrastructure’ means tax hikes”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “To toll or not to toll: Experts weigh in on what to do about Toronto traffic congestion”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Video showing GO bus rider masturbating posted on Twitter”, here.
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Virtual TTC Academy promotional video

Our friends at T2P0 Films recently sent us this short promotional video featuring Weilan Huang, the company’s founder and president, and some members of the Virtual TTC Academy. You can view the video here.

New runs for the Academy operate Finch - Downsview and Downsview - Finch simultaneously. The company is also working on Bloor Danforth V2.0 which will feature many visual improvements to the route. The Sheppard line and Scarborough rapid transit line for OpenBVEare also in progress.

Less frequent Lakeshore East GO trains,
May 22, 23, 24, 25

This weekend, GO Transit is decreasing the frequency of service along the 09 Lakeshore East line. From 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, May 22, until the first train Monday, May 25, GO trains drop off or pick up passengers at stations along the line every hour, instead of every 30 minutes, as crews install two pedestrian tunnels under the tracks at Eglinton GO Station to make the station fully accessible.

GO buses operate with their regular schedules. GO trains operating along the 01 Lakeshore West line also operate with regular schedules, but some passengers may have to switch trains at Union Station and wait as long as 30 minutes for the next train serving the 01 Lakeshore West line.

Trains may also be delayed by about 10 minutes leaving Union Station and Oshawa GO Station.

You can view the special schedule for the 09 Lakeshore East line this weekend here.

GO previously decreased the frequency along the line as crews work on the same project at Eglinton GO Station from 8 p.m. Friday, May 8 until the first train Monday, May 11. It will again decrease the service from 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, until the first train Monday, June 1 and from 7 p.m. Friday, June 12 until the first train Monday, June 14.

Rapidway construction on Highway 7 West:
TTC, YRT detours, May 22, 23, 24, 25

Metrolinx and York Region contractors continue getting ready to build a rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Highway 7 West from west of Jane Street to east of Keele Street.

As crews continue building platforms at the future vivastations, they’ll also start paving the next segments of base-layer asphalt between Edgeley Boulevard / Interchange Way and Keele Street. They’ll finish paving activities in sections over the next two months, but they’ll also close intersections and parts of the roadway along Highway 7. Expect Brampton Transit, the TTC and YRT to detour buses while the road is closed.

For example, this weekend, they’ll block the intersection of Highway 7 with Keele Street, 24 hours a day from 7 p.m. Friday, May 22 until 6 a.m. Monday, May 25.

Keele - Hwy 7 paving - May 22-25 - 15.jpg

During paving, crews will shift traffic lanes on Highway 7 to the north side, with one lane open in each direction. The south side of the Keele-Hwy 7 intersection will be closed except the right-turn lane, so traffic can turn right from Keele onto Highway 7.

“Paid-duty” York Regional Police officers will be onsite to help direct traffic to alternate north / south routes, including Jane and Dufferin Streets.

Crews will maintain access to all properties in work areas; however, they may also temporarily block driveways. Expect construction-related noise from equipment and trucks.

The TTC and York Region Transit are detouring their services during this work and may also relocate bus stops. Wherever possible, crews will keep sidewalks open. If the work affects a bus stop or sidewalk, directional signs will guide you to the nearest available stop or sidewalk.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along these routes during the work:

  • 107B Keele North via Chesswood; and
  • 107C Keele North.

York Region Transit is detouring buses operating along this route during the work:

During Highway 7 West rapidway construction, also expect delays for:

  • Brampton Transit Züm express buses operating along the 501 Züm Queen route;
  • TTC buses operating along the 35D Jane and 107 Keele North routes; and
  • York Region Transit Viva express buses operating along the Viva orange route and YRT local buses operating along the 20 Jane and 77 Highway 7 routes.


Older Transit Toronto News Postings

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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.

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