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.
To entice more riders to use the Union Pearson Express trains, Metrolinx is offering free rides this weekend, Saturday, February 13 until Family Day, Monday, February 15.
UP Express trains operate between Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport in about 25 minutes each way. Trains drop off or pick up passengers every 15 minutes and stop at Bloor and Weston GO Stations along their trips.
Toronto’s subway system is much more than a few lines on a map or a list of numbers on a spread-sheet. Every day for more than 60 years, it has been the backbone of the city and has moved billions of passengers.
From Saturday, February 13 until Saturday, June 11, the Market Gallery presents “Tunnel Vision: The Story of Toronto’s Subway” in partnership with the Toronto Transportation Society and the Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation. The exhibit focuses on the enormous effort to keep the subway rolling, enabling gallery-goers to better appreciate the vital role rapid transit plays in Toronto. It highlights the building of Toronto’s subway system with photographs, maps and artifacts and explores the complexity and massive scale of subway operations.
Toronto Transportation Society members, Adam Zhelka and Robert Lubinski, are guest curators for the exhibition — Robert is also a contributor to Transit Toronto.
The Market Gallery — on the second floor of St. Lawrence Market, the site of Toronto’s first City Hall — occupies space that once served as the council chamber. The present market building encloses the original exterior brick walls and fan windows of the former council chamber, which now overlook the main floor of the market, instead of Toronto Harbour.
The gallery, at 95 Front Street East, is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. It’s closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays.
- 680 All News Radio report, “Fire, emergency alarms cause major delays on morning subway commute”, here.
- BlogTO post, “This almost made riding the TTC completely different”, here.
- BlogTO post, “25 ways to TTC promises to improve in 2016”, here.
- BlogTO post, Toronto is getting a streetcar that ‘s also a sneaker store”, here.
- BlogTO post, “Another morning of commuter chaos on the TTC”, here.
- Bow. James Bow post, “How do we solve a problem like UPX?”, here.
- Canadian Press article (from the National Post website), “Big city mayors meet with Trudeau and mount the pressure to open strings on infrastructure money”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “UP Express could double as downtown relief line, Wynne says”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “TTC passengers dealing with an ‘absolutely brutal’ commute”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “Eglinton Crosstown LRT drilling noise due to ‘hard ground’, Metrolinx says”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “Man stabbed in hand on TTC bus at Warden station”, here.
- CityNews Toronto report, “How would Metrolinx and TTC integrate SmartTrack and regional express rails?”, here.
- CityNews Toronto report, “Pending closure of Islington parking lot puts the squeeze on commuters”, here.
- CP24 report, “Executive committee approves tax hike amid warning budget contains fiscal risks”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Suspect sought in TTC bus stabbing at Warden Station”, here.
- DurhamRegion.com article, “Whitby $860-million GO facility to be completed by end of 2017”, here.
- DurhamRegion.com article, “New Pickering lot at Hwy 407 encourages carpooling, transit use”, here.
- Globe and Mail article, “Union Pearson Express ridership slumps to all-time low”, here.
- Globe and Mail article, “Metrolinx to explore all options to save struggling Union Pearson Express”, here.
- InsideHalton.com article, “Burlington Transit introducing phone-in system for bus schedules”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “Prep work is underway for future Keelesdale Crosstown station”, here.
- InsideToronto.com column, “TOinTRANSIT: Union Pearson Express trains less than 10 per cent full, report shows”, here.
- InsideToronto.com column, “THE CITY: Toronto’s half-imagined transit future is not all bad”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “Transportation minister Steven Del Duca hears from Etobicoke residents about transit needs”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “Sewer connection forces closure of Cherry Street at Lake Shore for two weeks “, here.
- Marshall’s Musings post, “The terminus of the Hurontario LRT: An opportunity for something better”, here.
- Marshall’s Musings post, “A new, improved TTC map”, here.
- Metro Toronto article, “Toronto needs to get priorities right when on infrastructure”, here.
- Metro Toronto’s Tory’s Toronto post, “Will city planners survive the politics and keep calling the shots in Toronto?”, here.
- National Post column, “Liberal infrastructure plan may not be sexy, but it’s sensible”, here.
- Newstalk 1010 report, “Wynne wants UP Express trains to fill up”, here.
- Newstalk 1010 report, “Father and son charged in TTC punch-up head to trial [today]”, here.
- Progressive Railroading post, “Toronto Transit Commission unveils 2016 customer charter, pledges to reduce subway delays”, here.
- railway-technology.com post, “Construction of Metrolinx’s East Rail Maintenance Facility to complete in 2017”, here.
- Spacing Toronto post, “The challenge of getting to the bus stop”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “TTC Responds to Fare Zone and Subway Premium Proposals”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “Metrolinx Fare Integration: Be Prepared to Pay More for Subway Trips”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “How Will SmartTrack and GO / RER co-exist?”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “TTC’s 2016 Customer Service Charter Reviewed”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “What Causes Subway Delays?”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “Tunnel Vision: An Exhibit at the Market Gallery”, here.
- Torontoist post, “Torontoist Explains: Short Turns “, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Metrolinx reconsidering Union Pearson Express fares as ridership sinks”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Union Pearson train as a commuter line?”, here.
- Toronto Star column, “Finally, signs that UPX pricing may get another look”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Mayor Tory, transportation minister offer show of unity on SmartTrack and GO expansion”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Cut UP Express fares to lure riders”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Letting Via riders transfer to UPX trains at Weston ‘not feasible’”, here.
- Toronto Star column, “Drivers can see each other after bus shelter ad disappears: The Fixer”, here.
- Toronto Star editorial, “Cut strings attached to federal funding”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Toronto city manager says new and increased taxes needed to balance budget”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “‘Storm clouds ahead’ for city budget balancing act”, here.
- Toronto Star column, “Are guide dogs allowed on public transit vehicles?”, here.
- Toronto Sun column, “Ontario wastes money for snob value”, here.
- Toronto Sunarticle, “Tory’s top priorities for federal infrastructure cash”, here.
- Toronto Suncolumn, “The Way We Were: Scarborough’s streetcars”, here.
- Toronto Sun article, “Council agrees to foot bill for Spadina subway overruns”, here.
- Toronto Sun commentary, “City of Toronto experiencing growing pains”, here.
- U of T News article, “Scarborough students need and deserve better transit, municipal expert says”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Union Station Rebuild Continues as Construction Progresses”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Public Consultations for Major GTHA Transit Projects Announced”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Photo of the Day: Streetcar on the Move”, here.
- YorkRegion.com article, “Find out more about improved GO Transit train service”, here.
- CHCH News report, “Niagara GO train service”, here.
- Hamilton Community News editorial, “Taken for a ride by the hope for a bus service for all of Hamilton”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator commentary, “Let’s not forget the steel wheel in climate change”, here.
- Newstalk CKTB report, “Push continues for answers on when GO trains will connect Niagara to GTHA”, here.
- Newstalk 610 CKTB report, “Niagara’s wish list has been delivered to the feds”, here.
- Niagara Advance article, “Transit service solves problems for some people”, here.
- Niagara Falls Review article, “Phase 2 of transit plan before council”, here.
- Niagara Falls Review article, “City to meet with stakeholders on transit plan”, here.
- NiagaraThisWeek article, “Niagara smashes through barrier to GO rail expansion”, here.
- NiagaraThisWeek article, “St. Catharines requests reinstatement of VIA Rail service”, here.
- NiagaraThisWeek article, “St. Catharines wants timeline for daily GO service”, here.
- NiagaraThisWeek article, “Thorold city taxes to climb 5.18 per cent”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard article, “Niagara ready, set for GO”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard editorial, “Niagara’s GO pieces are falling into place”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard article, “Q&A: Transportation minister talks GO”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard article, “GO announcement expected this summer”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard column, “Give Region its due on GO”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard article, “Potential exists for regionwide transit system”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard article, “Transit to investigate Merritton transit needs”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard article, “St. Catharines wants VIA rail service again”, here.
- St. Catharines Standard commentary, “Regional council staying on track with progress”, here.
- Waterloo Region Record article, “Province gets feedback from local leaders on high speed rail plans”, here.
- Welland Tribune article, “Niagara needs GO sooner, rather than later: MP”, here.
The Metrolinx board of directors is holding its next meeting this Wednesday, February 10. Staff will update the board about GO Transit’s regional express rail program, including their progress on electrification, analyzing possible sites for new stations and integrating fares. They’ll also demonstrate the new TTC subway fare-gates.
As usual, the agenda for the meeting contains both public and confidential items. The board will discuss the confidential items in a private session that starts at 8 a.m. The board then meets in public to discuss the rest of the items on the agenda at 9:45 a.m. At the end of the public session, the board again meets privately.
The meeting takes place in the Peter R. Smith Boardroom, Union Station, West Wing, 4th Floor, 97 Front Street West.
You can view the agenda for the meeting here.
If you’re having trouble keeping track of all the various transit projects that agencies have under way or that politicians have announced… here’s your chance to get on track and get up to speed about what’s going on.
The City of Toronto, Metrolinx with the TTC and GO Transit are hosting several meetings through February and March when you can learn more about these key projects and have opportunities to provide your feedback about the proposals.
The City is organizing three meetings:
Metrolinx has already announced meetings about its plans to “electrify” most of the GO rail network and introduce regional express rail service. At the four meetings that it’s hosting in Toronto, City and TTC staff will join them to talk about the City’s projects:
At these events, you’ll learn about a number of future transit projects and how the City and Metrolinx are planning and co-ordinating them, including:
- City and Metrolinx plans to integrate SmartTrack and GO regional express rail;
- City and TTC plans for the Relief Line, connecting the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway at Pape Station with downtown Toronto along Queen or Richmond Streets and their next steps to selecting the alignment and stations for
- City and TTC plans for the Scarborough Subway Extension and better transit in Scarborough;
- Metrolinx plans to “electrify” GO Service to enable more frequent and faster train service**;
- Metrolinx plans to add more stations to the GO rail network; and
- Metrolinx plans to integrate transit fares across the Greater Toronto area and Hamilton.
City staff presentations during the events in Scarborough focus on introducing the City’s Scarborough transit plan, including extending the TTC’s 2 Bloor-Danforth subway line by one stop to Scarborough Centre and extending the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus.
Presentations in Etobicoke feature the proposal to replace the “Western corridor” of the SmartTrack plan by extending the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to the Airport Corporate Centre and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Presentations in central and downtown Toronto highlight plans for the “Relief Line” subway.
A related project introduces regional express rail services, expanding GO to enable 15-minute service on most corridors with electrified trains, resulting in faster and more frequent service. Within a few years, Metrolinx expects to quadruple the number of GO train trips, offer passengers rail service evenings and weekends and twice the number of trips during peak periods.
Building on the electrification study that GO completed in 2010, Metrolinx is now studying how to convert several rail corridors from a diesel- to an electric-based system. The project will include designing and implementing a traction-power supply system — for example, traction power substations and high-voltage connections to Hydro One’s grid — and power-distribution components — for example, electrical power distribution facilities — in the area of the rail corridors.
The study area includes six GO rail corridors, including potential locations for the electrical power supply and distribution facilities:
- the Union Station rail corridor;
- the Barrie corridor — between Allandale Waterfront GO Station and Parkdale Junction;
- the Kitchener corridor — between Bramalea and the UP Express spur at Highway 427;
- the Lakeshore West corridor — between Burlington and Strachan Avenue;
- the Lakeshore East corridor — between Oshawa GO Station and the Don River; and
- the Stouffville corridor — between Lincolnville GO Station and Scarborough Junction.
Over the next several weeks, Metrolinx is hosting a series of public meetings as part of the transit project assessment process to provide you with information about the scope of the project, environmental studies, design and engineering components, preliminary locations for traction power supply / distribution facilities, project timelines and next steps.
Metrolinx has scheduled the events:
- Tuesday, February 16 *;
- Wednesday, February 17;
- Monday, February 22;
- Tuesday, February 23;
- Wednesday, February 24 *;
- Thursday, February 25;
- Monday, February 29;
- Tuesday, March 1;
- Wednesday, March 2;
- Thursday, March 3;
- Monday, March 7;
- Tuesday, March 8;
- Wednesday, March 9 *;
- Thursday, March 10; and
- Tuesday, March 22 *.
Events take place in:
- the Alcona area of Innisfil;
- the Bramalea area of Brampton;
- the Holly area of Barrie;
- the Maple area of Vaughan;
- the New Toronto area of Toronto;
- the Regent Park area of Toronto;
- the Scarborough area of Toronto;
- downtown Toronto;
- the Unionville area of Markham; and
* City of Toronto staff are attending the events on February 16 and 24 and March 9 and 22. At these events, the City will provide information on various other transit projects in the City, while Metrolinx staff also update attendees on the electrification and related regional express rail projects.
Since the Government of Ontario announced funding for electrification in April 2015, Metrolinx has brought on board staff with international expertise in electrification and a technical adviser to support moving forward.
In July, Metrolinx started the pre-consultation phase of the transit project assessment process for electrifying the network.
To date, this work has involved collecting comprehensive “baseline-conditions” data within the project study area.
GO Transit buses start dropping off and picking up passengers at the new Brougham “Park and Ride” carpool lot at Highway 407 and Brock Road in Pickering, starting Tuesday, February 9.
All GO buses operating along the main branch of the 52 Oshawa / York U route stop in the lot. Express buses operating along the 51B branch of the 51 Pickering / York U route also stop there.
The new lot features 334 parking spaces, a passenger pick-up and drop-off area, heated bus shelter, bike rack, bus loop, pay phones and information boards.
GO originally planned to start serving the new lot in January and its January schedules reflect those plans. (Construction of the new lot continued longer than GO expected.)
The TTC is removing power to the overhead streetcar wiring on
- Queen Street West just west of Yonge Street
during crane operations this weekend.
It’s detouring streetcars operating along these routes, while power is off:
Shuttle buses replace the cars, operating between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets.
Shuttle buses replacing streetcars open all doors at all stops, so passengers can board with a proof of payment. Since the TTC has not yet equipped buses with PRESTO devices, card users must pay with cash, tickets or tokens at the front door and take a transfer from the driver as proof of payment.
A TTC crew is inspecting the concrete on the east ramp outside St Clair West Station this weekend. The inspection involves digging out about six metres (18 feet) of concrete from the streetcar track allowance to expose the rails and evaluate the track system for upcoming work on the ramps this spring and summer.
Starting at about 8 a.m. Saturday, February 6, the crew breaks and removes concrete on the St. Clair Avenue West tracks, west of Tweedsmuir Avenue. They’ll remove the concrete by late Saturday afternoon. They’ll place asphalt Sunday, February 7, finishing all work by 4 p.m.
The TTC is maintaining all streetcar and bus service from St Clair West Station during the work.
- 680 All News Radio report, “Subway raccoon delays transit but delights passengers”, here.
- BlogTO post, “TTC customer satisfaction reaches all-time high”, here.
- BlogTO post, “Raccoon takes a ride on the TTC”, here.
- BlogTOpost, “What the Gardiner Expressway might have looked like”, here.
- Canadian Press article (from the Toronto Sun website), “Feds to speed up infrastructure approvals as millions left unspent”, here.
- Canadian Press article (from the National Post website), “‘We’ll put this down to cuteness’: Lone raccoon hitches ride downtown on Toronto subway”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “TTC plans to reduce subway delays by 50 per cent, says Mayor John Tory”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “Raccoon tries to catch the subway at Spadina Station”, here.
- CleanTech Canada post, “Ontario issues second $750M green bond to help fund infrastructure projects”, here.
- CodeRedTO.com post, “Transit projects and events update”, here.
- CP24 report, “Subway service saw fewer delays in 2015: Tory”, here.
- CP24 report, “Raccoon spotted trying to hop a ride on TTC at Spadina Station”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Transit delays down 13 percent in 2015: TTC”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Commuters struggle with lack of GO Transit park and ride spots”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Province issues second round of ‘green’ bonds”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Subway bandit: Raccoon spotted on TTC train”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Suspect charged after alleged sex assault on subway train”, here.
- Daily Mail Online post, “What are we waiting fur? Hilarious moment: Subway brought to halt, RACCOON boards train”, here.
- DurhamRegion.com article, “Durham commuter life getting longer, more time consuming”, here.
- DurhamRegion.com article, “Much work needs to be done to curb the number of commuters leaving Durham Region”, here.
- Global News Toronto report, “Toronto to invest $50 million more in TTC, reduce budget delays by 50 percent”, here.
- Global News Toronto report, “Cops praise citizen’s arrest in alleged subway sex assault, caution on delayed arrests”, here.
- Globe and Mail article, “My commute with the Toronto subway raccoon”, here.
- Huffington Post Canada post, “Chill Raccoon Rides Toronto Subway During Rush Hour”, here.
- insauga post, “UPDATE - Hurontario light rail transit project”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “TOinTRANSIT: TTC receives $56 million for the city of Toronto for improving transit, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “Your TTC tokens can change a homeless youth’s life in Etobicoke”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “ROCKET RACCOON: Courageous critter joins Toronto commuters at Spadina station subway”, here.
- Metro Toronto article, “Documents show Queen St. route for Downtown Relief subway”, here.
- Metro Toronto article, “TTC subway service improving, but maintenance program must wait”, here.
- Metro Toronto’s Urban Etiquette column, “The rules of transit etiquette, for those who still don’t get it”, here.
- Mississauga News article, “Metrolinx finalizing plans for Port Credit Mobility Hub”, here.
- Oshawa Express article, “[DRT] U-Pass price up for vote”, here.
- railway-technology.com post, “Ontario’s second green project benefits two transit projects”, here.
- Ride This Crazy Train post, “All this for $9.65 a trip”, here.
- post, “Really? There is no North American company that can do this? Double-deckers are awful for regional transit (no comfort / passenger safety) and can’t support the summer season in Niagara”, here.
- South Bayview Bulldog post, “Resident concerned for pedestrians at Bayview and Soudan”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “Memo to John Tory: Where’s the $50 Million?”, here.
- Steve Munro’s post, “GO Transit electrification study public meetings”, here.
- Time article, “Raccoon Gets on Subway in Commute to End All Commutes”, here.
- Torontoist post, “City Council Preview: February 2016”, here.
- Torontoist post, “Video: Raccoon rides the rocket during morning rush”, here.
- Toronto Star column, “John Tory’s ‘evidence-based’ decision on transit still lacks proof”, here.
- Toronto Star letter to the editor, “Byford: TTC service: it’s getting better all the time”, here.
- Toronto Star letter to the editor: “McCuaig: Metrolinx isn’t thinking small”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Subway touted as a way to waken Scarborough’s downtown dream”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “GO double-deckers to roll out of Vaughan plant”, here.
- Toronto Star column, “Electric shock for Metrolinx shows how thinking small can cause big pain”, here.
- Toronto Star column, “Who decides which transit shelters will be a billboard for ads?: The Fixer”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “‘Green’ Gardiner proposal includes a park over eastern end of the highway”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Fatality disrupts service on GO Transit Kitchener line”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Raccoon hops subway at morning rush hour”, here.
- Toronto Sun article, “Budget to give TTC $50 million boost: Tory”, here.
- Toronto Sun article, “Feds to speed up infrastructure approvals as millions left unspent”, here.
- Toronto Sun article, “Raccoon rides subway, causes TTC delay”, here.
- TTCriders.ca post, “Mayor Tory, increasing the TTC budget through fare hikes is not investing in transit”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Photo of the Day: The 509”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Photo of the Day: GO Willowbrook Yard”, here.
- Varsity article, “Tory: ‘The civil war is over’”, here.
- YorkRegion.com article, “Markham moves closer to silencing train whistles”, here.
- Bradford Times article, “Council says No to train whistle cessation”, here.
- Brock Press article, “City [of St. Catharines] to down-grade bus schedules by spring”, here.
- Brock Press article, “Brock student union talks transit needs with local politicians”, here.
- Brock Press article, “Long-delayed bus shelters to be up by end of semester”, here.
- CBC News Kitchener - Waterloo report, “TriTag launches Ion LRT station buttons”, here.
- CKTB News report, “Update on Niagara GO train proposal next week”, here.
- Hamilton Community News article, “Hamilton transit strategy takes a new direction”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator article, “Hundreds of millions needed for Hamilton Mountain express bus plan”, here.
- MyKawartha.com article, “Peterborough commuter rail project remains in the hands of government officials”, here.
- MyKawartha.com article, “Deal with Fleming students means $11,000 yearly surplus for Peterborough Transit”, here.
- Peterborough Examiner article, “407 extension now in second phase of construction: Leal”, here.
- Talk Radio AM640 report, “Elephant in the room threatens [Hamilton] transit expansion”, here.