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.
This Sunday, Easter, April 20, York Region Transit starts implementing some of the recommendations of its 2014 Annual Service Plan. While that might be good news for taxpayers who are looking for savings on their property tax bills, the news isn’t so good for commuters.
YRT is reducing service hours along several routes, including Viva orange, 20 Woodbridge and 23 Thornhill Woods among others.
It’s also introducing or revising dial-a-ride services along more routes.
On September 25, 2013, railfan Geoff Bannister from West Somerset, UK, paid a visit to Toronto and stopped by Roncesvalles carhouse. There, he saw TTC LRV #4401 in one of the yard tracks, undergoing daytime testing. Granted permission to photograph the car, he kindly donated this shot to Transit Toronto.
One of the TTC’s new low-floor streetcars will make its first public appearance during the Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade, which takes place this Sunday, April 20, starting at 2 p.m.
For the first time, four generations of TTC streetcars — including some of the TTC’s most popular streetcars from the past and present — will share the tracks for the annual event. The cavalcade of cars along Queen Street East between Neville Park and Woodbine Loop (at Kingston Road) is a regular highlight of the event.
Toronto’s new streetcar joins the the Peter Witt streetcar that served the citizens of Toronto from 1921 until 1963 and the PCC streetcar that was the backbone of the TTC’s streetcar fleet from 1938 until 1995. The TTC’s current streetcar, the CLRV (Canadian Light Rail Vehicle), will form the fourth member of the quartet of streetcars in the parade.
The Peter Witt served the citizens of Toronto from 1921 until 1963. At one time, Toronto owned the largest fleet of PCCs in the world — 745 cars. CLRVs have been operating along Toronto streets since 1977. Their longer, “bendy” cousins, the ALRVs (articulated light rail vehicles) have been carrying Torontonians around town since 1983.
Air-electric PCC 4088 leaves Neville Park Loop. Photo donated by Curt Frey.
Toronto’s new streetcar starts regular service Sunday, August 31 along the 510 Spadina route. Members of the public will have their first chance to board the new streetcar during Doors Open Toronto Saturday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the TTC’s Russell Division, (“Connaught Barns”), 1433 Queen Street East between Coxwell and Greenwood Avenues.
During the parade, streetcars in regular service along the 501 Queen route will turn back at Kingston Road starting at 1 p.m. Buses operating along the 64 Main and 92 Woodbine South routes will also divert from their regular routes during the parade.
Small Peter Witt car #2736 operates on Queen Street westbound (but not in the Beach!) in the early 1960s. Note the PCCs behind it. Photo by Peter Lambert, donated by Curt Frey.
From the Transit Toronto archives, read:
- a history of the Peter Witt cars in Toronto by James Bow, here.
- a history of the Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) cars in Toronto by James Bow with information from John F. Bromley and Dave Imrie, here.
- a history of the Canadian All-Electric PCC cars by P.C. Kohler, here.
- a history of Toronto’s post-war used PCC fleet by P.C. Kohler, here.
- “Red Rocket Renaissance: the A-15 PCC cars” by P.C. Kohler, here.
- a history of the Canadian Light Rail Vehicles by James Bow, here.
- a history of the Articulated Light Rail Vehicles by James Bow, here.
CLRV 4021 faces eastbound at King and Yonge. This August 1999 photo is by Rob Hutch.
- a history of the light rail vehicles by James Bow, here.
- the Peter Witt photo gallery, here.
- the Air-Electric PCC photo gallery, here.
- the Pre-1970s All-Electric PCC photo gallery, here.
- the Post-1970s All-Electric PCC photo gallery, here.
- the CLRV photo gallery, here.
- the ALRV photo gallery, here.
The TTC has been conducting on-street testing of its new streetcar fleet since the early hours of March 14, 2013, when the first test vehicle ran from TTC’s Bathurst Street facility (Hillcrest) to Bathurst Station and back. Photo: TTC.
Construction at Vaughan Mills (mall) prevents York Region Transit buses from accessing the Vaughan Mills Terminal from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. tomorrow, Good Friday, Friday, April 18.
If tomorrow is a rainy day, the construction and the detours occur Sunday, April 20.
Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Golden Horseshoe transit agencies are revising their services during the long Easter holiday weekend.
Starting Monday, April 21, City of Toronto contractors resume a project to replace the watermains and upgrade the roadway on
- Dufferin Street between Dundas Street West and Peel Avenue.
Detours only affect southbound buses and continue until November.
You can learn more about the project here. (.pdf)
The City is continuing work on a project that started in 2013. The TTC also previously detoured the buses from Monday, June 24 until Saturday, December 21.
The City of Toronto is closing
- Church Street between Adelaide and King Streets East,
- Jarvis Street between Adelaide and King Streets East and
- King Street East between Church and Jarvis Streets
to accommodate the state funeral for the Honourable Jim Flaherty tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16.
(Although Church Street is closed to all other traffic, Toronto Police Service officers will allow streetcars to pass along that part of the street.)
GO Transit, the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville are improving the Burloak Drive railway crossing between Wyecroft Road and Superior Court. The work involves building the railway crossing, replacing track material and resurfacing the asphalt pavement at the crossing and on the approaches to the crossing.
To accommodate the work, the City and Town are closing
- Burloak Drive between Wyecroft Road and Superior Court
to all vehicle traffic from 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 21.
While the street is closed, Oakville Transit is detouring buses operating along the 32 Burloak / Great Lakes route. It’s also operating special shuttle buses linking the RioCan Centre with Bronte GO Station and South Oakville Centre terminal.
The work also affects GO train service along the 01 Lakeshore West line Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20.
To get ready for the first phase of rapidway construction in Newmarket, crews are starting “pre-construction activities”, including sampling ground water, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17.
At various locations on both the east and west sides of Yonge Street between William Roe Boulevard and Millard Avenue, crews will use a drilling truck to cut holes in the ground around the boulevard to extract ground water samples. They’ll fill in each hole before they move to the next location.
The work does not require the crews to block traffic lanes — they’ll be working within the boulevard. However, expect noise.
Last Friday, April 11, the City of Toronto reopened the Dufferin Street Bridge to vehicular traffic. The City has closed the bridge for safety reasons last June. It crosses GO Transit’s 01 Lakeshore West tracks, south of Springhurst Avenue, extending Dufferin Street into Exhibition Place.
Starting about 5 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, the TTC will restore service along the 29D branch of the 29 Dufferin route, linking Wilson Station with the Princes’ Gate Loop inside the Exhibition grounds.
Starting 2 a.m. Thursday, April 17, it restores service through Exhibition Place along the 329 Dufferin overnight route. It also makes minor changes to the path of buses operating along the 316 Ossington overnight route.
When the TTC revised its routes and services in February, it also introduced a new “walking transfer” to allow passengers to transfer between buses operating along the 63 Ossington bus at Liberty Street and Atlantic Avenue with streetcars and buses operating along the 509 Harbourfront and 511 Bathurst routes at Exhibition Loop or passengers at Exhibition Loop to walk to Liberty Street to transfer to buses operating along the 63 Ossington route.
Now that buses operating along the 29D Dufferin route have returned to Exhibition Place, the walking transfer privileges include Dufferin passengers boarding and exiting buses on Manitoba Drive across from Exhibition Loop.
The City had already been planing to replace the bridge, but after City officials inspected the bridge infrastructure in early 2013, the City decided to speed up the closure and install temporary bridges to carry traffic across the tracks and into Exhibition Place before it started to build a permanent bridge. It demolished the original bridge late last year.
The temporary bridges will remain open to traffic until City contractors complete the permanent bridge in 2019.