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.
The 2.6-kilometre (1.6-mile) bus-rapid-transit project along Davis also includes a new “Park and Ride” carpool lot at the south-west side of the Davis Drive / Highway 404 interchange.
Buses start operating along the new Viva yellow route tomorrow at 6:52 a.m. The viva buses operate along the bus-only, centre-lane “rapidway” between Yonge Street and Roxborough Road / Patterson Street and then in mixed traffic with curbside stops and a turn-around at the new park and ride lot. GO Transit buses start operating through the new lot in January 2016.
The line includes three new vivastations in the centre-lane rapidway:
- Main; and
It also includes new curbside vivastations:
- Huron Heights;
- Leslie; and
- Highway 404.
Viva buses serving the new Viva yellow route start and end their trips in the Newmarket GO Bus Terminal, where passengers can connect with buses operating along the Viva blue route and other York Region Transit and GO Transit buses.
Sundays and holidays, starting tomorrow, Sunday, November 29, westbound buses leave the Highway 404 / Davis Park and Ride about every 15 minutes from 6:52 a.m. until 11:22 p.m. Eastbound buses leave Newmarket GO Bus Terminal from 7:14 a.m. until 10:59 p.m.
Mondays to Fridays, starting Monday, November 30, westbound buses leave the carpool lot every 15 minutes from 4:22 a.m. until 11:22 p.m. Eastbound buses leave Newmarket terminal from 4:45 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Saturdays, starting Saturday, December 5, westbound buses the carpool lot every 15 minutes from 5:38 a.m. until 11:23 p.m. Eastbound buses leave Newmarket terminal from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Metrolinx and York Region contractors also worked to transform this section of Davis Drive with wider boulevards and more trees and shrubs. The new rapid transit stations include arched glass canopies, which, according to an Ontario / York Region news release, are “inspired by transportation architecture from historic and modern European examples”. The 27-metre (88.6-foot) glass vivastation canopies protect waiting passengers from the elements and include nine-metre (29.5-foot) enclosed and heated waiting areas.
Similar to the viva rapidway along Highway 7 East in Markham and Richmond Hill, the new line also incorporates standard Viva technological features, such as off-board fare collection, geographical positioning system (GPS) navigation, real-time information, PRESTO smart-card readers and traffic-signal priority for Viva buses. Safety and accessibility features include a textured surface near the platform edge, level boarding from the platform to the bus, a public address system for updating riders and an emergency call button.
The entire York Viva bus-rapid-transit project represents a $1.4 billion transit investment from the Government of Ontario and is part of “The Big Move”, Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan.
YRT will revise its routes in Newmarket to avoid duplicating services along Davis Drive Sunday, January 3, 2016.
The City of Toronto is closing:
- Queen Street West between Bay and Yonge Street
Since closing the street requires the TTC to detour its streetcars, it will take advantage of the opportunity to repair its tracks at the intersection of Queen Street West and McCaul Street.
All day Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29, the TTC is detouring streetcars operating along these routes:
Shuttle buses replace the cars, operating along Queen Streets West and East between Bathurst and Sherbourne Streets.
TTC employees are hosting their annual Stuff-the-Bus Toy Drive at participating Walmart stores across Toronto this weekend. This year, the employees will set up five of the TTC’s 12-metre (40-foot) buses as drop-off stops for new, unwrapped toys, which they’ll donate to the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.
The Stuff-the-Bus weekend drive officially kicked off this morning, Friday, November 27, on Q107’s Derringer in the Morning Friday, November 29, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., when the TTC’s chief executive officer, Andy Byford accepted donations outside Corus Quay on the eastern waterfront at 25 Dockside Drive. The Stuff-the-Bus drive then swung by George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus, where students, staff and faculty had collected toys for the TTC.The bus is now parked at its final “Stuff-the-Bus” preview stop, when it accepts donations in front of the Walmart store at Eglinton Avenue East and Pharmacy Avenue until 8 p.m. tonight.
TTC staff receive toys to “stuff the bus” at each of these five Walmart stores Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29:
- 1900 Eglinton Avenue East (at Eglinton Avenue East and Pharmacy Avenue) — until 8 p.m. Friday, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday;
- 3132 Eglinton Avenue East (at Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road) — from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday;
- 799 Milner Avenue (near Milner and Morningside Avenues, just north of Highway 401) — from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday;
- 165 North Queen Street (near Highway 427 and The Queensway) — from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and
- 2525 St. Clair Avenue West (near St. Clair Avenue West and Runnymede Road) — from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
TTC employees have been conducting a Stuff-the-Bus toy drive during the holiday season for the since 2007. According to the TTC, “This is a labour of love for TTC operator Kevin Kane and his team of volunteer operators”. Last year’s drive gave Christmas gifts to more than 500 families with children. This year, the group hopes to raise more than $70,000 worth of donations.
To date, the toy drive has brightened Christmas by helping more than 4,000 families and 13,000 children. The toy drive has collected more than $300,000 worth of toys since it started eight years ago and Kane and his team expect to raise more than $70,000 in donations this holiday season.
The Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness is a national, charitable organization that has served Canadians since 1993. The Centre’s mandate is to significantly reduce the incidence and impact of abuse through education and public awareness. It operates solely on private donations without sustaining funds from any government body.
GO Transit is decreasing the frequency of service along the 09 Lakeshore East line this weekend, as contractors upgrade the tracks at the future South Blair Street underpass in Whitby. When complete, the underpass will eliminate the level crossing and the need for trains to sound their whistles at that location. Building the underpass is part of a larger project to build GO’s East Maintenance and Storage Facility.
To accommodate the work, GO is decreasing service along the line between Oshawa and Pickering GO Stations, Friday, November 27 evening and all day Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29.
- westbound trains usually start their trips in Oshawa GO Station at 8:08, 9:08 and 10:08 p.m., start, instead in Pickering GO Station at 8:28, 9:28 and 10:28 p.m. They end their trips in Union Station at 9:11, 10:11 and 11:11 p.m.
- westbound trains still leave Oshawa at 7:38, 8:38, 9:38, 10:38 and 11:38 p.m., dropping off and picking up passengers at all stops to Union, as usually. They end their trips in Union at 8:41, 9:41, 10:41 and 11:41 p.m. and 12:41 a.m.
- eastbound trains that leave Union at 7:48, 8:43, 9:43 and 10:43 p.m. end their trips in Pickering. They arrive in Pickering at 8:26, 9:21, 10:21 and 11:21 p.m.
- eastbound trains that leave Union at 7:17, 8:13, 9:13, 10:13 and 11:13 p.m. and 12:13 a.m. end their trips in Oshawa, as usually. They arrive in Oshawa at 8:15, 9:11, 10:11 and 11:11 p.m. and 12:11 and 1:11 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday:
- All westbound trains that usually leave Oshawa at 11 minutes past each hour, leave, instead, Pickering at 30 minutes past the hour. They end their trips in Union at ten minutes past the hour.
- All westbound trains that usually Oshawa at 41 minutes past each hour continue to do so, dropping off or picking up passengers at all stops along the line. They end their trips in Union at 40 minutes past the hour.
- All eastbound trains that leave Union at 43 minutes past each hour, end their trips in Pickering, instead of Oshawa. They arrive in Pickering at 19 minutes past the hour.
- All eastbound trains that leave Union at 13 minutes past each hour drop off or pick up passengers at all stations to Oshawa, as usually. They arrive in Oshawa at 8 minutes past the hour.
GO buses operating along the 90 Lakeshore East route continue to operate according to their regular schedules. Some passengers may have to wait as long as 30 minutes longer than usually to connect with trains at Oshawa GO Station.
You can view the special 09 Lakeshore East schedule for this weekend here.
GO similarly reduced service along the line last weekend, from Friday, November 20 until Sunday, November 22.
The 14-car trains include a boxcar stage featuring great musical talent and CP’s corporate contribution to local food banks. CP encourages each community, in turn, to donate food and funds — all of which stay in the community. CP presents a cheque at each stop to top off whatever the audience donates that day.
The trains support local food banks by raising the public’s awareness of the fight against hunger and collecting food that goes directly to your hungry neighbours. You can view the trains, if you bring a non-perishable food item as your admission fee, in Bowmanville, Oshawa, Hamilton and Toronto Monday, November 30 and Vaughan, Midhurst (Barrie), Cambridge and Ayr Tuesday, December 1.
CP invites local food banks along the trains’ 150 stops in six provinces and eight of the United States to participate by collecting food and cash donations. The Holiday Trains have helped raise $10.6 million and 1.4 million kilograms (3.3 million pounds) of food for North American food banks across Canada since 1999 and across the United States since 2001. Everything raised in each community stays in that community, and CP also makes its own donations at each stop. Generous North Americans have visited the trains and donated as much as $750,000 in cash donations each year.
CP also works with Food Banks Canada, which has shared more than 15 million pounds of food with CP’s donation of $1.2 million worth of transportation over the last 5 years. It also supports Meal Exchange, whose youth-driven registered charity work has achieved a more secure and sustainable food system on campuses and with communities across Canada.
With heart disease becoming one of the most rapidly growing health challenges in North America, CP has also dedicated millions of dollars towards supporting research and promoting awareness around this issue with its CP has Heart program.
It’s asking all 150 food banks that it partners with at Holiday Train events to commit 10 per cent or more of its monetary contribution to healthy food initiatives or purchases.
It’s also asking those who attend a Holiday Train event in their community to bring a healthy non-perishable food donation. Its goal is to have 20,000 people across North America take this online challenge and show their support.
Since 1999, the Holiday Trains have covered about 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometres), and entertained hundreds of thousands of supporters. It takes 30 “CP elves” 100 days to completely transform and decorate the Holiday Trains before they start their journey across North America.
This map shows the current route network through the area.
The TTC is asking for your opinion about its proposal to revise transit service to CityPlace, St. Lawrence, the Distillery District, East Bayfront, the Port Lands and other nearby communities.
The survey focuses on buses operating along the 72 Pape and 172 Cherry St routes and future streetcar service along Cherry Street
In 2014, the TTC split the 72 Pape route into two routes, because ongoing construction near Union Station regularly delayed buses.
Now that construction is over and TTC crews have finished building new streetcar tracks along Cherry Street, the TTC is reviewing these services.
It’s proposing a series of route changes, that would:
- reinstate direct service between Pape and Carlaw Avenues and downtown Toronto;
- add to the the current service to and from George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus; and
- introduce new service to the East Bayfront on Queens Quay East and to CityPlace, west of Lower Spadina Avenue.
This map shows how the TTC proposes to revise routes through the area.
Here’s how the TTC proposes to revise the route network in this area — it has not proposed any alternatives:
- 72 Pape — buses would operate as a shuttle between Pape Station and Eastern Avenue only.
- Revised bus route 172 — buses would operate between Pape and Union Stations, but along Queen’s Quay East, instead of The Esplanade.
- New bus route 121 — buses would operate along The Esplanade and Front Street between Berkeley Street and Bathurst Street. In summer, the TTC would extend service to operate to and from Cherry Beach.
- New streetcar route 514 — streetcars would operate between Dufferin Gate Loop and Cherry Street south of Mill Street. They would add to current 504 King service along King Streets West and East and use the recently completed tracks on Cherry Street.
The TTC has not provided information about how frequently transit vehicles would operate along these new and revised routes, nor what times of the week buses and streetcars would operate along them — for example, seven days or week or only during rush hours.
Note also that during this week’s Toronto Transit Commission meeting, discussing the 2016 TTC budget, the commissioners did not support funding streetcar service along Cherry Street.
What do you think of the proposal?
You can have your say by completing the survey, here by December 14. You can also let the TTC know your opinion by calling customer service at 416-393-3030.
From the Transit Toronto archives:
- a history of the 72 Pape route by Pete Coulman and Jeffrey Kay, here.
- a history of the 121 Front - Esplanade route (1991 - 2000) by James Bow and Jeffrey Kay, here.
- a history of the 172 Cherry St route (2004 - 2008 and 2014 - ) by James Bow, here.
- a history of streetcars on King Street by James Bow, here.
- a history of the Carlaw route (1941 - 1946) by Pete Coulman and Alan Gryfe, here.
- a history of the 3 Ashbridge route (1924 - 1966) by Pete Coulman and Alan Gryfe, here.
- a history of the 6 Bay route by James Bow, here.
- a history of the 19 Church route (1954 - 1996) by Jeffrey Kay, here.
- a history of the 42 Harbour route (1967) by Pete Coulman, here.
- a history of the 65 Parliament route by Pete Coulman, here.
- a history of the 75 Sherbourne route by Pete Coulman, here.
- a history of the 365 Parliament overnight route by James Bow, here.
Updated — Friday, November 27, 1:08 p.m.
At its meeting yesterday, Monday, November 23, the Toronto Transit Commission approved the TTC’s 2016 operating and capital budgets. It also agreed to raise the cost to ride the TTC, starting Sunday, January 3, 2016.
In 2016, you’ll have to drop another quarter into the farebox, if you pay by cash, as the adult fare increases to $3.25. The cost of each token jumps by ten cents to $2.90.
The commission agreed to freeze the cost of a Metropass at $141.50 per month. It also kept seniors and student fares at the current levels, while staff review appropriate fares for these two passenger groups.
The higher fares will contribute $17 million in additional revenue for the TTC’s coffers. The TTC says it expects to carry 555 million riders in 2016, with an operating budget of $1.7 billion. Nevertheless, it still has a $41 million shortfall in its budget.
The Commissioners are appealing to the City of Toronto to increase its support to the transit agency to fill that budgetary gap. Last year, the City supported the TTC to the tune of $474 million.
Despite the shortfall, the commissioners also approved major service increases:
- opening the subway an hour earlier — at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. — Sundays;
- improving bus and streetcar reliability; and
- increasing express bus services.
According to a TTC news release, these changes “build… on the City’s unprecedented $95 million investment in public transit in 2015”.
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.
For the 12th year, the Government of Ontario is again allocating part of provincial gas tax revenues to municipalities across the province to help expand and improve public transit services.
During a media event at the Region of Durham administrative centre in Whitby, Stephen Del Duca, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, announced that the province is supplying $332.9 million in gas-tax funding to 95 municipalities this year — an increase, the province says, of $11.4 million from last year. Including this year’s funds, the province has provided more than $3.4 billion in gas tax funding to communities across the province since 2004, the Minister said.
Ontario shares two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues with municipalities “to expand and improve public transit”. According to a Ministry of Transportation news release, “The Ontario government made the funding for its Gas Tax Program permanent in 2013 to help municipalities improve transit. In 2014, there was an increase of more than 217 million trips on municipal transit systems, compared to 2003 — equivalent to removing approximately 181 million car trips on roads.”
At the news event, Minister Del Duca confirmed what many public transit users already know: A single bus takes as many as 40 vehicles off the road and keeps 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere each year.
Municipalities, large and small, throughout Ontario benefit from the fund, including regions, cities and towns in the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The province pays out funds from gas tax revenues on a quarterly basis and determines the amount that municipalities receive by total transit ridership and population of each municipality. As Ontario’s largest municipality with Ontario’s (and Canada’s) largest transit system, the City of Toronto receives the biggest payout, this year totaling nearly $170,000,000.
A portion of the final price you pay at the pump for gasoline and other fuels goes to various levels of government in the form of taxes. In Ontario, you pay both a federal and provincial tax on these products.
The federal government charges a flat rate of 10 cents per litre on gasoline and 4 cents per litre on diesel. The Ontario government also collects gasoline taxes — another 14.7 cents per litre for gasoline and 14.3 cents for diesel fuel.
The federal government also allocates a portion of its gas tax funds to municipalities to help them build and revitalize local public infrastructure, including transit.
From the news, read:
- Barrie Examiner article, “Gas tax helping to keep ‘Borden Rocket’ on the road”, here.
- Brantford Expositor article, “City transit to benefit from gas-tax funds”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “Ontario gives municipalities $333 million from gas tax for public transit”, here.
- CP24 report, “Province to give T.O. $169M from gas tax for public transit”, here.
- CityNews Toronto report, “Ontario gives municipalities $333 million from gas tax to fund public transit”, here.
- CTV News Barrie report, “Ontario gives municipalities $333m to fund transit”, here.
- CTV News Kitchener report, “Gas tax funding increases: how much did your municipality get?”, here.
- DurhamRegion.com article, “Provincial transit funding a means to an end in Durham”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator article, “$10.7 million in gas tax cash to fuel Hamilton bus boost”, here.
- InsideHalton.com article, “Oakville getting $2.5 million in Ontario gas tax funds for public transit”, here.
- InsideHalton.com article, “Milton gets transit funding boost, thanks to Province’s Gas Tax Program”, here.
- Mississauga News article, “Gas tax to fuel local transit plans”, here.
- MyKawartha.com article, “Gas-tax rebate provides $1.6 million to Peterborough Transit”, here.
- Northumberland Today article, “Urban transit funding up in Northumberland”, here.
- Orangeville Banner article, “Town gains $262K in gas-tax funding, seeks input on how to improve Orangeville Transit”, here.
- Oshawa Express article, “Region receives boost in gas tax funds”, here.
- Peterborough Examiner article, “City transit gets $1.5M from gas tax rebate”, here.
The TTC is continuing its process to speed up streetcar service by removing stops that are too close to others or relocating stops to intersections with traffic signals or pedestrian crosswalks.
It started the first phase of this process, Sunday, May 31. That was the last day that TTC streetcars dropped off or picked up passengers at special “Sunday-only” stops, many of which were within one or two blocks of nearby stops.
Starting this week, it’s removing or relocating five more stops:
301 / 501 Queen and 508 Lake Shore:
- Removing the eastbound stop on Lake Shore Boulevard West at Summerhill Road.
- Removing the west- and eastbound stops on Dundas Street East at Victoria Street.
- Relocating the southbound stop on Bathurst Street between Bloor Street West and Lennox Street to the signal at Lennox Street;
- Removing the northbound stop on Bathurst Street at Bloor Street West for regular-hour streetcar service. (However, the TTC is retaining this stop for overnight buses operating along the 310 Bathurst route.)
- Relocating the northbound stop on Bathurst Street north of Carr Street to the signal at Eden Place.
Last year, the Toronto Transit Commission approved removing the stops as part of its ongoing effort to speed up streetcar service and to improve passenger safety.
According to a TTC news release,
“All streetcar stops will now be located at signalized intersections or crosswalks, enhancing customer safety.
“This initiative will also improve service by removing some stops that are too close together. Transportation best practices state that streetcar stops should be 250 to 350 metres apart, and no less than 200 metres to one another.”