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70 Comments

cityscape

TTC Looking to Make Some Streetcar Stops Disappear

Which streetcar stops could be slated for relocation or removal—and why.

It’s possible that you might stroll outside later this year, planning to take a Sunday streetcar ride to some appealing and transit-accessible spot, only to discover that your Sunday streetcar stop is no longer anywhere to be found.

That’s because the TTC is considering a rationalization of its roughly 550 streetcar stops. A report that will be presented to its board on May 28 makes the case that relocating and culling some stops will lead to improved pedestrian safety and a reduction in travel times.

Streetcar stops located near traffic signals or pedestrian crossovers, the report notes, promote safety, because pedestrians have access to a “protected street crossing” when walking to or from transit stops, while motorists have a better sense of where streetcars will be stopping. The report therefore recommends that “20 stops which are currently at unsignalised locations” be moved a short distance to a nearby signal or crossover “in the interests of enhanced safety for people crossing the street, and improved consistency regarding stops locations for approaching motorists.”

The report also claims that stops placed “unnecessarily close together” (i.e. less than 200 metres from one another) increase travels times by creating a “stop-and-go” effect—as such, it also recommends that all Sunday stops and the 39 regular stops that fit the <200 metre criterion be eliminated.

Transit expert (and Torontoist contributor) Steve Munro argues, though, that “Sunday stops have nothing to do with weekday transit speeds, and the actual number of stops removed is trivial in proportion to the streetcar system.” He continues, “If the TTC wants to argue ‘safety,’ fine, but don’t drum up another of these bogus claims that transit service will somehow be improved. That’s a task for the quantity and quality of service on the street, and the little matter of line management.”

Although the removal of the stops in question might not lead to substantially speedier travel times, it will almost certainly result in at least some rider consternation. Work on stops that will be moved to a nearby signal or crossover should be completed this year, as will the removal of all Sunday stops. All other stop removals will take place in 2015—and in some cases, only after the TTC’s new streetcars start serving the routes. “All stop removals will be preceded by an advance notice of the reason for, and timing of the removal,” the report indicates. And if you want to prepare yourself for this advance notice, here’s a list of the stops the TTC hopes to remove (adapted from page 7 of the report):

Stops to Be Removed
Route Location and Direction
511 BATHURST Bathurst at Bloor (northbound), # 276 (southbound), Adelaide* (both)
501 QUEEN Lake Shore at Summerhill (eastbound), Lake Crescent (both)

Queen at Abell/Beaconsfield* (both), McCaul (both), York (both), Carolyn/Brooklyn* (both)

Stops at Connaught and at Woodward/Kent consolidated into a single location midway between—at Woodfield

Stops at Waverly and at Lee consolidated into a single location midway between—at Bellefair

504 KING King at Brant (both), Simcoe (both), York (both), Trinity* (both), Victoria (westbound)

Broadview at Mt. Stephen* (both)

Erindale at Broadview (westbound)

505 DUNDAS Dundas at St. Helens (eastbound), Sheridan* (both), Bellwoods (eastbound), Chestnut (both), Victoria (both)

* indicates that a city councillor has objected to the removal of this stop.

Comments

  • Drew

    I have never, ever understood the need for the Sussex stop immediately at the entrance and exit to Spadina station.

    • andrew97

      Same deal with Tweedsmuir just outside St. Clair West.

    • Mike Anderson

      Because it isn’t immediately at the entrance and exit; once you factor in the 3 blocks of walking, the need to ascend/descent several flights of stairs, the ticket barriers, crossing Bloor, and so on, it can easily become a 4-5 minute trip.

      • torontothegreat

        WHOA! 4-5 MINUTES? CRAAAAAZZZYYYY!!!!!!

      • Drew

        It’s a single block, not three. And all those things you describe are within Spadina station, so why would you do all those, wait for a streetcar, and then get out immediately? Or get on at Sussex, then do all those things?

        • bjhtn

          It’s oriented to passengers that are coming from / going to stops farther south. Agree that it doesn’t make sense to get on at Sussex going northbound.

        • Mike Anderson

          You really think people are boarding at Sussex just to ride to Bloor, then immediately disembarking?

          And north-south blocks are much, much longer than east-west blocks in the part of the city; about three times longer, in fact.

          • torontothegreat

            They have no choice, the streetcar only goes as far as Bloor.

    • arahman21

      I think those are the “just before subway” stops, meant for people that want to get off close to the subway, but don’t want to enter the subway. I know Kipling has a similar stop (Acorn Avenue).

  • Talbot

    How are they not removing the westbound stop at Joe Shuster Way (Liberty Village)? There is a stop about 50 feet away at Atlantic.

    • Syncros

      Its a badly placed stop for sure. They should move it back to where it was before, halfway between Joe Shuster Way and Dufferin. The gap between Atlantic and Dufferin is pretty wide and a stop in the middle helps.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        I agree. There’s an eastbound stop at King & Fraser but nothing on the other side. I’m guessing thought that the Joe Shuster stop is for servicing those condos, so it’s not likely to be moved.

        • vampchick21

          Biased because this is my stop (yes, very convenient!) but I wouldn’t fuss if they moved it back to it’s original spot. While the Kings Club condo is going to have a swath of retail on the ground level facing King, the Jefferson stop will service that nicely.

          • mixandserve

            Hey, that’s my stop, too! When do you commute…we should totally hook up.

  • VictorianShuter

    I’m not surprised that Victoria for 505 and 504 are getting the chop. I’m guessing they’re keeping the Victoria stop on the 501 due to St. Mike’s Hospital.

  • eternaloptimist1971

    I have to admit I have always wondered who’s stupid idea it was to have a transit stop less than 30 secs after pulling out of a TTC station

  • iSkyscraper

    Hope the NIMBY/YIMBYs stay out of this. They should be taking out three times as many to do it properly.

    Many of the stops need to go. It’s not 1940 anymore, and the TTC needs to stop acting like it. Many cities are now building streetcar lines, but none with the kind of stop spacing like the TTC.

    Removing stops that are bunched too close together (i.e. Victoria) will be a service improvement for all. And no, I don’t care that Victoria on the 501 is next to a hospital — if you are able to take public transit, you can walk a block. It is more for visitors and staff anyways, not patients (streetcars are not ambulances). TTC needs to be ruthless here so that engineering logic and not pandering prevails.

    • andrew97

      Replying to say +1 because I can’t upvote your comment twice.

      • Jeriko Krasavić

        People with disabilities will find issue with walking the extra block. Also many seniors.

        • andrew97

          The distance from Yonge to Victoria is 100m. The new streetcars are 30m long. Worst case scenario, we are asking people to walk 70m. For context, the footprint of St. Mike’s is about 100m by 170m.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            Maybe, but the fact that it is there for St. Mike’s likely means it will stay. Simcoe is the stop that baffles me.

          • andrew97

            Yes.

  • iSkyscraper

    Those are, get ready for it, church stops. i.e. they added stops near churches on Sundays only since, you know, the entire population attended church (emphasis on church, not synagogue or mosque). Automatically in 2014 those get chopped, out of fairness and silliness if not actual service speed improvements.

  • http://www.marmalade.ca/ kellymelly

    I wish they’d add a 501 stop at Portland, now that there’s a Loblaws there.

    • iSkyscraper

      Again, cannot tailor long-term transportation planning to suit individual buildings. Can’t just replace Sunday stops for churches with Loblaws stops for Sunday groceries.

      Engineers need to lead these discussions.

      • http://www.marmalade.ca/ kellymelly

        So because Im not an engineer Im not allowed to post a comment on a blog? Good to know.

        • iSkyscraper

          Sorry for being gruff but you get my point. Tailoring stops to particular micro uses is a slippery slope. Transportation planning has been chaotic under Rob Fucking Ford for a while now; it will take some time to repair the damage to how the public understands the process.

      • vampchick21

        The question wasn’t for a Sunday only stop for groceries. It was for a stop in a logical area on a busy, business filled street, which is a direct route for many people living in the West end and working in the core to stop easily on their way home and get back on, which we all do. And stops can be changed and altered, added and removed on surface routes. As evidenced by the entire idea of eliminating Sunday stops. The stops between Spadina and Bathurst on Queen can be adjusted.

        If a driver can pull into a conveniently located grocery store on their commute home to the suburbs, why can’t a transit user have a conveniently located stop on a well established surface route that is not going to disappear despite the Fords? If Loblaws disappears from Queen and Portland in 20 years, the stops can again be adjusted or just left as is, since it’s not actually going to make much of a difference on that very busy stretch of Queen West.

        • iSkyscraper

          Ok, great. If the trip generation and overall stop spacing merits the stop, terrific. That’s an engineering analysis and therefore a rational outcome. Just keep the NIMBYs and YIMBYs out of the process. And of course an eye must be kept on the overall goal of eliminating stops to speed service, i.e. to align the lines more with successful street-running services in peer cities.

          Note that as infrastructure increases (i.e. off-vehicle payment machines, shelters, ramps, etc.) the ability to move stops by swapping stickers on a pole decreases and more thought must be put into locations.

          • vampchick21

            I don’t think they plan on installing all that at every single stop, so that’s a rather pointless argument.

          • iSkyscraper

            They should be if we are to use this rail asset properly and not as if going to work at the WWII munitions depot. Again, peer cities.

          • vampchick21

            Ok, maybe I’m having an issue trying to understand what you are referring to in this instance. Are you saying that once the new streetcars are on the streets and the planned new payment methods are in place (decade at least or more, given the way these things happen in this city), they should install a cluster of items at every streetcar stop? Have you seen how much space is at each stop? Can you easily visualize all this stuff installed at say, Queen and Augusta? I can see it at major intersections, but every stop? Every item you list up there? Hell, a good chunk of stops don’t have a shelter at all.

            Besides, it’s my understanding that the fare payment is along the lines of Presto, which they have in Durham for example. A small electronic box next to the fare box on the vehicle. Or a thin, waist-high tower to tap your Presto card outside (like at GO Stations). So most likely no on off vehicle payment systems sitting at every stop. And the new streetcars are low to the ground, with the idea that it will be easier for those in wheelchairs and other mobility devices to board on and off.

          • iSkyscraper

            There are a lot of details that remain to be seen but will really impact how quickly the new streetcars operate. Currently a boatload of time is lost to unloading, boarding/fare payment and talking to the operator. The new vehicles will have lots of doors to speed unloading, pre-payment to speed fare payment*** and will seal off the operator. So that’s all good. However, the *** is because only some stations will have kiosks for off-vehicle payment. These kiosks need not be large, but they are vital to making getting on or off a streetcar more like getting on or off a subway. The SBS bus lines in New York manage this to speed service, why can’t the TTC? They should be at every. single. stop. but the TTC wants you to pay at machines on-board at many of the smaller stops. How exactly will that work when the vehicle is crammed full and you can’t even get to the machine to pay? It could be a huge mess.

            The need for ramps is diminished by the new vehicles being low-floor, but again to avoid losing time it works best when they are built-in and you don’t have to deploy individually.

            Sure, shelters, next-bus displays, etc. are candy and need not be installed if space does not allow, but what I’m getting at is that many factors are nudging the TTC to optimize by having fewer, larger, better-equipped stations rather than 1940s-style street curb infrastructure. A failure to optimize the streetcars and use them at their full capacity/speed potential will just give ammunition to the neanderthals who want them scrapped, and that would be an incalculable loss to the city.

  • milanista1

    Though I’m generally in favour of this, there is one stop I’m not sure about and that’s King and York (both ways). The elimination of both York and Simcoe (the first stops one each side of University, for those that don’t know) will create a large increase in the amount of people boarding/exiting at University. York is also quite far from Bay, which is the next stop to the east, and this would leave Bay as the only stop between Yonge and University, otherwise known as the stretch of the largest concentration of skyscrapers and jobs in the country. I think more than 1 stop between what most people would consider the traditional boundaries of the financial district (Yonge and University) is warranted.

  • torontothegreat

    The real low-hanging fruit are the stops that are South Side and North Side (literally across the street) of a street (Bayview is bad for this) because people are apparently too lazy to walk across a street.

  • vampchick21

    What I want to know is why on the Spadina route they still have the 510 King turning east at Spadina and Adelaide, south on (can’t remember the street name) and East onto King to turn north again on Spadina…..multiple streetcars, during rush hour no less! I’ve sat on the 504 for 15-20 minutes at that intersection one block east of Spadina some days with the combination of traffic turning south onto Spadina for either the Gardiner or to reach the condos down there and this strange streetcar ritual.

    If that goes back to the days when there wasn’t much south of King on Spadina, those days are looooooong gone.

    Fix this along with removing some Sunday stops.

    • vampchick21

      Also, why are the removing the Abell/Beaconsfield stop on Queen? New Condos and The Drake make this still required. Never mind all the businesses, and didn’t they just convert that one building into a theatre?

      • nomoremicrophones

        I’ve thought about this a little since reading that the Abell/Beaconsfield stop is to be removed – although the local Councillor objected. I think I agree with removing it. On the south side, the Gladstone stop is pretty darn close; on the north side, it’s not too far a walk to either Gladstone or Dovercourt. On busy nights at the Drake, having streetcars, taxis, cyclists, pedestrians, and patrons all fighting for space at that corner is a nightmare.

        • vampchick21

          True, it’s a bit of a wait sometimes coming across Queen West on a Thurs, Fri or Sat night. And you are right, the Gladstone stop is a block away.

          I’m still in favour of keeping it though, lots of people live in that cluster of condos already, and they’re still building.

    • milanista1

      It’s due to construction on Queen’s Quay. The loop that the 510 uses to turn back north on Spadina is currently closed and is supposed to re-open in September (I believe). The Spadina line should return back to regular routing at that point and no longer ruin the lives of everyone on the 504, including my own.
      That street between Adelaide and King is called Charlotte.

      • vampchick21

        Thanks, I couldn’t remember the name of the street, even though I worked at Adelaide and Charlotte a decade ago.

        I feel like that turn was going on far longer than that, I have memories of that streetcar turning along Adelaide and onto Charlotte, onto King and back up Spadina in the early 2000′s when I worked there.

        Either way, it’s annoying as hell (as is the extensive number of cars with just the driver in them, but that’s another beef for another thread)

      • andrew97

        I know right? That line has been out of service for two fucking years! That is like 10% of its lifetime, not to mention three consecutive CNEs without a 509 Exhibition streetcar. TTC, fix your shit. /end rant

        • Mark Dowling

          The construction is a Waterfront Toronto project. TTC have been delayed by issues like Hydro not meeting deadlines to move their lines etc.

  • iSkyscraper

    Respectfully disagree. I used to ride the 501 all the time, I am familiar with the context. Streetcars are not ambulances.

    We can no more tailor transit to suit each individual building use than we can put a subway to every driveway in Scarborough. The hospital is well served by transit without Victoria stop. If the trip generation has merit then move the Yonge stop to the east side of the intersection.

    Engineering logic must prevail to serve the greater good.

    • VictorianShuter

      You’re right, streetcars are not ambulances–but if you’re in a situation where you cannot afford the $45.00 that is not covered by OHIP, which option would you choose?

      • iSkyscraper

        Not interested in designing an entire transportation system around that niche user group.

        • nevilleross

          Hey buddy, one day, you might just be like said ‘niche user group’-how are you going to feel then?

          • iSkyscraper

            I’ll feel fine thanks, knowing that the greater good was served.

    • vampchick21

      We are all aware that streetcars are not ambulances, but hospitals serve more than just emergency trips. Many people utilize the streetcar to get to St. Michaels for many other medical purposes beyond emergencies. And many of these people are not as mobile as you would like them to be, do not have a car and cannot afford a taxi. Transit is their means to get to their appointment at St. Mikes.

      Where surface transit is concerned, on a well established route like Queen West, for a well established institution like St Mike’s that serves all of Toronto, an exception to your personal hard and fast rule can indeed be made and should be.

      I can see your arguement in regards to the trendy new restaurant or where they changed the streetcar stop on King to the corner of Joe Shuster because of fancy new condos, but in this instance, it’s not that convincing.

      I mean, they put the damn stop there in the first place for a reason, it shouldn’t be removed because you want to play tough love in the name of cold hard logic (logic that in this case, doesn’t make the kind of sense you think it does).

      • iSkyscraper

        Run the numbers as to trip generation. I suspect St. Mike’s will lose to Yonge or Church St.

        • vampchick21

          Yeah cause we all have then means to run the trip generation numbers for the purpose of an internet discussion

          • iSkyscraper

            Don’t get me wrong – I’m no transportation engineer myself, but I respect the process. I know you loathe Rob Ford as much as I do, but you are no different than him when you start picking and choosing who “deserves” certain forms of transit at their doorstep.

          • vampchick21

            Oh for…..seriously? The St. Mike’s stop has been there a looooong time. I pick up the streetcar at Queen & Yonge on a regular basis. I SEE the number of people getting on and off at Victoria. It’s nearly equal to Yonge. It’s actually not a vanity stop. It’s a valid one.

            See, there are also many, many businesses in that area as well. businesses that employ people who take transit to get to work.

          • torontothegreat

            The only reason ppl get off at Victoria is because it’s so close to the Subway and it often takes 10 minutes on a red light to get from Victoria to Yonge.

            Next time you’re there, pay attention to where people who get off at Victoria actually go, I think you’ll find that 90% of them just walk to the subway.

          • vampchick21

            I do actually. What else is there to do other than people watch?

            I maintain my stance on this. Sorry for those who think it should be done away with (even though it’s not on the list).

            Not that any of us actually have any kind of say in the end anyway.

          • torontothegreat

            I respectfully disagree with that assessment. We can agree to disagree there.
            The other thing that make the Victoria stop so stupid, is that it interrupts the flow of traffic and allows cars to pull in front of the streetcar for a gain of 110m. More often than not, that 110m takes 5 minutes to get to because of this.

          • vampchick21

            Fair enough. Although in all honesty, cars try that at every single streetcar stop in the city.

      • Electrify85

        St. Mike’s has become nothing more than a red herring of an argument to keep this stop! First, most transit agencies will qualify you for specialized services if you cannot walk up to TWICE that distance. Second, are we to believe that said person happens to live with a streetcar stop with bench at their front door, can walk up the steps into the tram, and make their way into and through the hospital, but CANNOT walk the extra 100m from Yonge to the hospital front door? Even the biggest bleeding heart journalist would find it difficult to find someone to write a sad story that meets such criteria!

        • vampchick21

          Did that streetcar stop kick your puppy?

          • nevilleross

            Obviously, yes.

            It looks like this proposal has brought out the worst in people-but then again, that’s to be expected.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            What would we bicker about if it weren’t for the TTC?

            …of course, there’s always Rob Ford.

  • wklis

    It was the NIMBYs on St. Clair and Spadina who prevented the TTC from removing low-use stops. Expect more of the same with the other streetcar stops… and bus stops.

  • iSkyscraper

    St. Clair West and Spadina, with their dedicated ROW, are a sort of streetcar-LRT hybrid. Stop spacing should reflect that. Would not be the same standard as subway spacing but certainly some of those stops you mention should be deleted if to get full use out of the infrastructure.

    As for the tie between streetcars and walkability, I understand the point but the TTC certainly does not. There is no low-cost option for short trips on a streetcar, not even a 90 min free transfer. Instead you have to cough up commuter fare as if coming from Finch when all you want to do is ride three stops with the groceries. Part of this debate is deciding what role the streetcar system is going to play. Is it for commuting? Or to support local community development? Given our current transportation deficit most would argue for the former.

  • sezmesez

    The Sunday stops are a quaint reminder of Toronto’s past as a sleepy town where everyone was expected to go to church on Sunday as there was nothing else to do.

    The Sunday stop which is still in effect on College at Shaw is there for the church on Shaw just north of College which burned down in 1998.

  • bigred85

    It would be better if they were all removed.

  • Backslap_Bob

    Bad idea removing the eastbound Simcoe stop on King. Often the run between Simcoe and University (especially going east) is so crowded with vehicles that commuters are often forced to disembark at Simcoe to get to the St. Andrew subway without having to wait an extra five to ten minutes.

  • vampchick21

    yeah, because places where people live don’t count for anything. Fuck residential buildings. Fuck people who live in them.

    Check your head.

    • nevilleross

      As I said above, this topic is bringing out the worst in people, and I can clearly see that now.

  • torontothegreat

    Mobile enough to walk, board and most likely stand on a streetcar, but not mobile enough to walk 75m?

  • nevilleross

    Ward 28 Councillor Pam McConnell believes that shorter commutes aren’t everything.

    “It’s more than just getting there on time,” she said. “The fastest way to get on time is to never open the door.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, ma’mm.

    Also, people calling for shorter commutes on Queen, King, St. Clair, and Bathurst need to lean how to use and study schedules, and also how to plan their trips so that they get to wherever they’re going on time.