TTC, City improving Line 3 Scarborough bus shuttle routes as train service set to permanently end
The TTC and the City of Toronto are taking steps to improve the Line 3 Scarborough RT bus replacement service in advance of back-to-school in September. The TTC is also confirming train service on Line 3, originally scheduled to end on Nov. 18, will not restart following a July 24 derailment.
Service on Line 3 was suspended following the derailment south of Ellesmere Station and replaced with frequent shuttle bus service. A comprehensive review, that includes the participation of industry-leading consultants, is still underway. However, given the time required to complete the review, the decision has been made to permanently close the line and begin to implement elements of the replacement plan. These measures will improve transit priority and operations, provide frequent, high-capacity bus service and ensure customers can plan their trips online in September.
Starting Aug. 22, TTC contractors, working with the City of Toronto Transportation Services department, began the installation of temporary road markings and signage to establish bus-only lanes. One curb lane southbound on Midland Ave. and one northbound on Kennedy Rd between Eglinton Ave. and Ellesmere Rd will be created. The new shuttle routing will be implemented this coming weekend (August 26).
"It is essential to provide safe, reliable transit along this route, and that's what the City and TTC staff are doing," said Mayor Olivia Chow. "The people of Scarborough deserve better. They need reliable and convenient transit while we wait for the Scarborough subway to open. The sooner we can have transit priority and a dedicated busway in place, the better it will be for the tens of thousands of people who normally rely on Line 3."
"I want to thank TTC and City staff for recognizing the urgency of this matter and taking the necessary steps to ensure that the commute for Scarborough transit riders is as efficient as possible, especially as we prepare to enter the back-to-school season," said TTC Chair Jamaal Myers (Ward 23, Scarborough North). "Working together to improve the customer experience on the Scarborough RT bus replacement service is what transit riders expect and what they deserve."
"I'm pleased to support these plans, ensuring Scarborough residents have frequent and safe service without trains operating on Line 3," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 21, Scarborough Centre). "I have consulted with the community and staff on these plans and I believe what is being put in place provides the best temporary service until the busway can be built over the next couple of years."
"We recognize the urgency in having this plan ready to go," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "With the support of our Board and City Council, we will have more pieces of our replacement plan ready to go sooner than planned."
TTC and City of Toronto staff had already been working toward a Nov. 19 start for the full bus replacement of the 6.4 kilometre SRT before the derailment occurred. Line 3 moves approximately 30,000 trips a day.
The November replacement plan includes running frequent express shuttle bus service between Scarborough Centre and Kennedy stations southbound via Midland Avenue and northbound via Kennedy Road.
Other features such as red painted lanes, new queue-jump lanes and signal priority to allow buses quicker movement through mixed traffic will be rolled out over the next three months. Changes to the bus terminal at Scarborough Centre Station to accommodate Line 3 bus replacement were also completed ahead of schedule.
The TTC and City are now exploring ways to advance the on-street improvements while also creating a temporary bus staging area on the north side of Kennedy Station to relieve congestion at the busy station while construction on the new bus terminal continues.
Upon completion of a new bus terminal at Kennedy Station in November, eight bus routes will be extended to Kennedy Station, eliminating the need to transfer. This will give thousands of customers in a large part of Scarborough a direct connection to the Line 2 subway. The TTC has also committed to using newer hybrid buses and larger articulated buses on the 903 Kennedy-Scarborough Centre Express, the core bus replacement route connecting to Centennial College Progress Campus.
In the longer term, buses will operate in a dedicated right-of-way along the Line 3 corridor until the Line 2 east subway extension opens. The TTC is also exploring ways to remove the existing track and power systems, and build and open the right-of-way sooner than planned.
The TTC's bus replacement plan not only addresses Line 3's reliability issues, it provides AODA-compliant service. Four of the existing six Line 3 stations are not accessible, but the interim express bus program will ensure that AODA standards are met, providing accessible transportation options for riders in this corridor of the city.
Line 3 Scarborough opened in 1985 and was operating more than 10 years beyond its design life. Reliability has proven a challenge, particularly in extreme weather conditions.
Full details of the bus replacement plan can be found at https://www.ttc.ca/en/about-the-ttc/projects-and-plans/Future-of-Line-3-Scarborough
Source : TTC