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TTC increasing streetcar service
along 501 Queen route, January 3



501_4199_1984_Aug.jpg

TTC CLRV (Canadian light rail vehicle) #4199 pauses in Humber Loop, August 1984. Photo by W.N.Carr.

The TTC is offering good news and bad news for passengers who regularly travel aboard streetcars serving the 501 Queen route.

The good news? Starting this Sunday, January 3, streetcars drop off or pick up passengers at stops along the entire route from Neville Park to Long Branch every 10 minutes or less, all day, every day, except overnight.

The bad news? Most passengers traveling between South Etobicoke and downtown Toronto must transfer between cars at Humber Loop.

Every day, from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m., the TTC is temporarily splitting the route into two sections, with most cars operating between Long Branch and Humber loops or between Neville Park and Humber loops. Passengers must transfer between the two sections of the route at Humber Loop.

Every day, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., the TTC is scheduling some streetcars to operate through from Neville Park to Long Branch, while some trips turn back at Humber Loop.

Every day, from 2 until 5 a.m., the TTC provides its usual night service along the 301 Queen overnight route, with all cars operating between Neville Park and Long Branch.

More good news: The TTC says its also making the service “more reliable”. It’s adding more time to the schedules at all times of the week and adding more frequent service “at busy off-peak times to reduce crowding”. At times Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the TTC is nearly doubling the frequency of service for passengers traveling west of the Humber.

More bad — and good — news: The TTC continues to suspend service along the 508 Lake Shore route, which allowed passengers from Long Branch, New Toronto and Mimico to ride directly to downtown Toronto along King Street during rush hours. (The TTC says it’s temporarily canceling service along that route due to “a shortage of streetcars”.) However, Mondays to Fridays during morning rush hours, the TTC will provide Lakeshore-area passengers with three more trips eastbound from Long Branch at 7:19, 7:29 and 7:39 a.m. Streetcars serving these trips provide transfer-free service through Humber Loop and along Queen Street to downtown and continuing eastward.

Instead of operating both CLRVs (Canadian light rail vehicles) and ALRVs (articulated light rail vehicles) along the entire route, it’s assigning the CLRVs to operate only between Humber and Long Branch loops and the ALRVs between Neville Park and Humber loops before 10 p.m. every day.

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Requiring passengers to transfer between cars at Humber Loop will remind some Transit Toronto readers with long memories of the former 507 Long Branch route, which the TTC merged with 501 Queen in 1996.

From the Transit Toronto archives, read James Bow’s histories:

  • 501 Queen route, here.
  • 507 Long Branch route, here.
  • 508 Lake Shore route, here.
  • Humber Loop Interchange, here.
  • Long Branch Loop, here.

streetcar-4111-04.jpg

TTC A7-class all-electric PCC #4451 turns into New Toronto Loop (today known as Kipling Loop) off Kipling Avenue, just north of Lake Shore Boulevard. This early 1980s picture (looking northeast across the loop) was taken by Rob Hutchinson.