That’s the message Kingston Road-area resident Pamela Trudel and more than 100 east-end supporters are sending to the TTC’s Chief Executive Officer, Andy Byford. Trudel is presenting Byford with a petition asking the TTC to extend the route of the buses that currently replace Kingston Road streetcar service further west — at least as far west as Yonge Street.
Trudel’s petition emerges from three infrastructure projects that are disrupting TTC services. Currently, the City of Toronto is replacing the watermain and sewers on Queen Street East between Coxwell and Greenwood Avenues, while the TTC upgrades the streetcar tracks along the same stretch of road and at the Russell Carhouse at Queen Street East and Connaught Avenue. Further east, the City is replacing the watermains along Kingston Road between Victoria Park Avenue and Main Street / Southwood Drive.
Since Sunday, May 6, the TTC has replaced streetcars along the 501 Queen, 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Rd routes with buses. However, the buses only operate as far west as Parliament Street, where many passengers have to transfer to streetcars that are already packed to travel downtown. Trudel suggests that extending the buses further west to Yonge would eliminate one transfer and at least let passengers heading to and from the financial district to either switch to the subway or walk to work.
The TTC argues that it can’t afford to add any more buses to the service, due to the number of buses it requires to replace streetcars along the 510 Spadina route and, starting later in July, along the 509 Harbourfront route.
Later in July, some relief may arrive for 501 Queen passengers. Starting Sunday, July 29, when the TTC ends its track work at the east end of the carhouse, it will resume through streetcar service along that route from Neville Park Loop. (The cars will detour around the Queen East construction along Coxwell Avenue, Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue.)
However, the Kingston Road sewer project continues until November, so buses will continue to serve Kingston Road passengers until then. And, unless the TTC responds to Trudel’s plea, the buses will continue to end their trips at Parliament Street.
You can sign Trudel’s petition for bus service to Yonge Street here.
- Toronto Star article, “TTC Queen streetcar riders say their commute just got worse”, here.
- Beach Metro News article, “TTC troubles during construction”, here.
- Town Crier article, “A Queen-sized headache”, here.
- Town Crier article, “Queen Street East construction hurting businesses”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “Queen East Construction News (Updated June 20)”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “Service Changes, Effective July 29, 2012”, here.
- The General Ledger post, “Queen East replacement bus: tips from a daily commuter”, here.
This is the fourth summer in a row that buses have replaced streetcars along Kingston Road.
- 2009: “Buses replace streetcars along Kingston Road, starting August 9” here.
- 2010: “Buses replace streetcars along Kingston Road during construction at Bingham Loop”, here.
- 2011: “Buses replace streetcars along Kingston Road until September 12”, here.
Also from the Transit Toronto archives: