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Read these 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.




Subway closes early: Pape to St George,
11 p.m. April 30



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The TTC is closing the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway line between Pape and St George stations at 11 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, April 30 due to track work on the Prince Edward Viaduct. All Line 2 trains operate between Kennedy and Pape stations and between Kipling and St George station after 11 p.m. that day.

It’s replacing subway service with shuttle buses between the two stations. The shuttle buses start and end their trips in the bus terminals at Pape and St George Stations, then operate along Danforth Avenue, the Prince Edward Viaduct and Bloor Streets East and West. They drop off or pick up passengers at the intersections nearest to subway stations:

  • at Chester and Broadview Avenues, Castle Frank Road, Sherbourne, Yonge and Bay Streets.

All subway stations on the closed section of Line 2 remain open for you to buy tickets, tokens and passes or to connect with buses and streetcars.

If you need accessible transportation, Wheel-Trans buses also operate between Pape and St George stations. You can ask for the Wheel-Trans bus by speaking with a supervisor at these stations.

While this section of the subway is closed, TTC crews are replacing a track beam on the viaduct between Broadview and Castle Frank stations.

They normally complete this work Sunday mornings, requiring the subway to open late. The TTC is closing the subway early this time to avoid inconveniencing those participating in, and watching, the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon Sunday morning.

Regular subway service resume 8 a.m. Sunday, May 1.


Shuttle-bus alternatives

One way that you can reduce the impact of the closure is by planning ahead, leaving earlier than usually and giving yourself more time to get to where you’re going.

Although shuttle buses replacing subway service will be frequent, they may also be crowded.

Regular TTC buses and streetcars provide less frequent, less direct, but, perhaps, less stressful alternatives. Consider boarding, buses or streetcars east or west of the closure to by-pass the crowds, if you’re traveling to and from downtown.

  • ride streetcars operating along the 504 King route at Dundas West station. Connect with the 1 Yonge - University line at St Andrew or King stations.
  • ride streetcars operating along the 506 Carlton route at Main Street Station. Connect with the 1 Yonge - University line at Queen’s Park or College stations.
  • ride buses operating along the 94 Wellesley route at Ossington Station. Connect with the 1 Yonge - University line at Wellesley Station.

The TTC previously opened this section of the subway late Sunday, April 17.

It will also close this part of the subway this year:

  • Sunday, May 15 (opens late);
  • Saturday, June 4;
  • Sunday, June 12;
  • Sunday, June 26 (opens late);
  • Sunday, July 24 (opens late);
  • Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14;
  • Saturday, September 3, Sunday, September 4 and Labour Day, Monday, September 5;
  • Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25;
  • Saturday, October 8, Sunday, October 9 and Thanksgiving, Monday, October 10; and
  • Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6.



TTC grinding rails on Gerrard East,
April 29, 30, May 5



As part of its regular program of maintaining its streetcar tracks in a state of good repair, the TTC is grinding the rails in a number of sections of its streetcar network that have developed roughness.

The next sections for grinding are on Gerrard Street East:

  • Friday, April 29 - between Bowmore and Gainsborough Roads;
  • Saturday, April 30 - between Glenside Avenue and Leslie Street; and
  • Tuesday, May 5 - between River and Parliament Streets.

By grinding the rails and removing roughness, the TTC is reducing noise and vibration levels, extending the life of the rail and providing smoother streetcar service through these areas.

The slow moving rail-grinding unit starts operating from about 9 p.m. until about 5 a.m. Afterwards, a street sweeper will clean the track area each day.

The TTC is detouring streetcars operating along these routes, while contractors grind the rails:

  • 306 Carlton overnight; and
  • 506 Carlton.

Shuttle buses replace the cars.




Weekend events affect transit services,
April 30, May 1



Two major marathons — the Mississauga Marathon in the City Centre, Erin Mills, Erindale, Clarkson, Lorne Park and Port Credit communities of Mississauga and the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon in central and downtown Toronto — block streets and disrupt transit services this weekend.

The annual Khalsa Day Procession winds its way through the Malton area of Mississauga and the Rexdale area of Toronto this Sunday, an event that annually attracts more than 40,000 participants and also results in extensive transit detours.

Meanwhile, smaller events in Oakville, downtown Toronto and Waterloo also affect transit services this weekend.




GO buses head to Brantford this September



Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca jumped on a GO Transit bus to travel to Brantford Transit’s downtown terminal this morning.

They brought long-awaited good news to Brantford, announcing that the bus they arrived on was only the first of many to soon serve the terminal. GO Transit will start serving a new bus route, linking the city with McMaster University and Aldershot GO Station, this September.

GO buses will pick up and drop off passengers every hour Mondays to Fridays during rush hours and every two hours at all other times of the week. GO will operate 26 buses daily Mondays to Fridays along the new route and 18 daily Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

At McMaster, Brantford passengers can connect with other GO buses operating along the Highway 407 corridor to and from downtown Hamilton, Square One GO Bus Terminal and York University. They can also connect to Hamilton Street Railway buses to continue their trips to other parts of Hamilton. McMaster will also be the western terminal for the future Hamilton light rail transit line.

At Aldershot, passengers can link with frequent trains to and from Toronto along GO’s Lakeshore West line. The Hamilton Street Railway and Burlington Transit also serve GO’s terminal at the station.

According to local on-line media outlet, Brant News,

“Wynne noted Brantford’s population was 94,000 in the last census in 2011 and by 2020 is expected to reach 115,000.

“‘This growth shows how much talent, capital and culture Brantford is attracting, so now is the time to build on this growth so that this community continues to flourish,’ the premier said in announcing the new GO service.

“‘Your elected officials have made the case over and over that this kind of connectivity is necessary for Brantford to flourish,’ Wynne said.

“Brant MPP Dave Levac, who together with city officials has long lobbied Queen’s Park for GO service for Brantford, urged people to ‘get on GO.’

“‘If it’s not used, we have little likelihood of getting the train,’ [Brantford mayor Chris] Friel said.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the GO bus service to Brantford is estimated to cost $1.3 million a year to operate.

“‘We’re anticipating that we’ll grow the service over the next two years to carry about 1,000 (riders) over the course of a week. We expect that will be very sufficient, that will enable the service to be able to grow,’ said Bruce [McCuaig], president and CEO of Metrolinx.

“A GO bus like the kind Wynne arrived in for the announcement seats 57 people. If each bus were full each trip, they would carry 1,482 people daily or nearly 7,500 people a week.”




Peter Coulman (1956-2016)



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Image courtesy SOCAN.

I’m sorry to have to report that Peter Coulman, transit enthusiast, historian and frequent contributor to Transit Toronto, passed away on April 17 after a battle with cancer, three days shy of his sixtieth birthday.

I’ve known Peter for the better part of a decade, even though we never met in person. As I was working on the Transit Toronto site, particularly the bus route histories, I approached Peter to ask permission to use some of his work that had appeared on Alan Gryfe’s transit history website.

Not only did he grant me permission to reprint some of the information, he provided more information that he’d collected over time, including historical documents that had been purged from the Toronto Transit Commission in ages past. Over the next ten years, with the help of Jeffrey Kay and others, we did what I thought would have been impossible, and created a website documenting the history of every bus route to have been operated by the Toronto Transit Commission in its history (that we know of, anyway). Peter also helped in researching information on many other articles on this website, including the history of Toronto’s independent suburban bus networks.

Peter was passionate about transit history, even if he felt that the TTC lost some of its character when the tricolour rollsigns were phased out of its vehicles. He was always happy to talk on the subject, and we shared many great conversations by e-mail.

Transit history was not the only thing he was passionate about, either. He was a talented musician, composer and arranger, working for the CBC and the rest of the film and television industry from the early 1970s onward. His name can be found in the credits of numerous documentaries and television shows, and you may well have heard his work without realizing it. His work won him awards with the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), including sharing the SOCAN Domestic Animated Television Series Music Award for his contributions to The Busytown Mysteries and the SOCAN Children’s Music Award for his contributions to The Doodlebops. In 1998, he also won a Gemini Award for Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Series.

I will miss the man who shared my interest in transit history, who helped me discover more of its breadth and depth, and who helped put together something of which I am immensely proud. I am lucky to have known him. My condolences go out to his friends and family.




TTC looking for part-time ambassadors



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Ambassador Weilan Huang helps a passenger during a subway closure in February. (Weilan’s team, T2P Films, hosts the Virtual TTC Academy, where transit enthusiasts simulate Toronto subway operations.) Photo: TTC.

The TTC is using Great Connections, “one of Ontario’s most successful full cycle employment services agencies” to help it find individuals interested in working as front-line customer-service representatives or “ambassadors”.

Ambassadors direct and help passengers during subway closures, streetcar and bus diversions.

It’s currently recruiting for part-time weekend shifts, usually working from five to 11 hours each day, when necessary.

You can learn more about the position and how to apply here.

TTC ambassador.jpg

Photo: TTC.




DRT raises fares, May 1



As part of its five-year and rural-north service strategies, Durham Region Transit says “it’s implementing significant improvements across the system including:

  • better PULSE bus rapid transit with more frequent buses, new traffic-signal priority and more reserved bus lanes in Pickering;
  • more than 4,000 extra hours of new bus service;
  • more than 2,000 extra hours of ‘specialized service’ (door-to-door accessible service); and
  • eight new conventional buses and four new ‘specialized-service’ buses.”

But more service comes with a price.

In a news release, DRT says that “to continue building on the improvements introduced in 2015, DRT’s approved 2016 budget includes a five-cent increase to the cost of a single-trip PRESTO Card (e-purse) tap or paper ticket, and a 25-cent increase to cash fares. Monthly passes will see increases of $3.00 for adults, $2.50 for students, $1.50 for children, and $1.00 for seniors and Access Pass holders.”

You can view a chart listing the new DRT fares, starting Sunday, May 1 here.

After May 1, you can still use “old” DRT tickets and passes, even though those tickets will expire. You have two options for using expired tickets.

From Sunday, May 1 until Tuesday, May 31, you can use “Effective May 1, 2015” series tickets with a “top-up” — simply drop an extra five cents into the fare box with your ticket.

From Sunday, May 1 until Wednesday, August 31, you can exchange your old tickets for their value. Visit any of the four DRT PRESTO locations to apply the cash value of the tickets to a PRESTO fare card.

DRT PRESTO locations

DRT Westney Division
110 Westney Road South
Ajax
Mondays to Fridays, 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Durham Regional Headquarters
605 Rossland Road, East
Main Floor Cashier
Whitby
Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Oshawa Centre
United Way Information Services
419 King Street West
Mondays to Fridays, 9:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Sundays, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Pickering Town Centre
Guest Services
1355 Kingston Road
Mondays to Fridays, 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Sundays, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. drt-8005-uoftscarborough-20140704.jpg

DRT Orion VI bus #8005 lays over at the new U of T Scarborough bus loop, in service on the 923 BAYLY route. TTC Orion VII Next Generation hybrid bus #1096 pulls away, in 38 HIGHLAND CREEK service on July 4, 2014. Photo by James Bow.




"Off the Rails" screening during Hot Docs,
May 4, 6, 8



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Photo: Adam Irving.

This year’s Hot Docs film festival in Toronto features screenings of Off the Rails. The documentary will likely interest Transit Toronto readers in several ways — and not just because it’s about someone who loves public transit.

The film tells the remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome, whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes.

As a boy in Queens, NY, Darius found sanctuary from school bullies in the subway. There he befriended transit workers who taught him to drive trains. By age 8, he memorized the entire subway system. At 15, he drove a packed train eight stops by himself, making all the stops and announcements.

Over the next three decades, Darius commandeered hundreds of trains and buses, staying en route and on schedule, without ever getting paid. He attended transit worker union meetings, lobbying for better pay and working conditions for a union he didn’t belong to.

Although Darius has never damaged any property or hurt anyone in his decades of service, he has spent 23 years in maximum security prison. Darius’ recidivism embodies the criminal justice system’s failure to channel the passions of a harmless, mentally challenged man into a productive career and purposeful life.

Here are the Toronto transit connections: First, director / producer Adam Irving was born and raised in Toronto and regularly rode the TTC. Second, he actually filmed several of the re-enactments for the film at Lower Bay Station.

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Photo: Adam Irving.

The film is playing:

You can learn more about the screenings and how to buy tickets here.

You can view the trailer for the film here.


Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, offers an outstanding selection of more than 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000.

The 2016 Hot Docs Festival takes place Thursday, April 28 until Sunday, May 8.

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Photo: Adam Irving.




Metrolinx, TTC boards hold joint meeting,
April 27



For the first time, the Metrolinx board of directors and the Toronto Transit Commission — the TTC’s board — will hold a joint meeting, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 27.

Representatives from other Greater Toronto and Hamilton area municipalities will also attend to discuss regional issues. The meeting will be open to the public and Metrolinx will webcast it live.

The meeting takes place from 6 until 8:30 p.m. in the Metrolinx Head Office, West Wing, Union Station, 97 Front Street West, Fourth Floor, Executive Boardroom.

The Toronto Transit Commission is also holding its regular monthly meeting earlier the same day.




Toronto Transit Commission meets,
April 27



The Toronto Transit Commission meets this Wednesday, April 27 at 1 p.m. in 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.




Older Transit Toronto News Postings

Welcome to Transit Toronto

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.

Articles which don't fit the categories above can be found through these links below:

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