New 10-minute service frequency standard on 501 necessitates route split: TTC
Etobicoke GuardianBy Tamara Shephard
The TTC increased service daily on Toronto’s iconic 501 Queen streetcar line to every 10 minutes or less all day effective this month, is welcome news to some south Etobicoke riders who reported wait times of up to 45 minutes in the past. But the TTC’s decision to split the 501 route at the Humber Loop from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily has left one south Etobicoke rider wanting.
Among the 501 route changes, the TTC recently announced a “temporary” route split at Humber Loop on the line, which runs west from Neville Park in the Beach to the Long Branch Loop. That means riders headed either west or east of Humber Loop would get off their streetcar, which would turn around, to board another to continue on their route. The wait time for the next streetcar is now 10 minutes or less.
Jennifer Mozetic has lived in Humber Bay Shores for 10 years. She takes the 501 daily to commute back and forth to work downtown. Mozetic expressed confusion about the temporary nature of the TTC’s route split. She reported four TTC 501 streetcar operators have told her the change will be permanent.
That concerns Mozetic, who like much of the 501 streetcar’s ridership west of the Humber Loop, is travelling only a few more stops to home and would prefer not to switch streetcars. “It’s just brutal on the way home,” Mozetic said. “They make all the people get off a full streetcar. I’m faster walking home the 12 minutes than waiting for another streetcar. I’d get it if the TTC did this 10 years ago. But it’s crazy with all the condos here now. It will be crazier in two years (once all the approved Humber Bay condos are built).”
The TTC added three 501 transfer-free 501 streetcars in the morning rush leaving Long Branch Loop at 7:19, 7:29 and 7:39, which Mozetic takes and confirmed travel through Humber Loop direct to downtown.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross confirmed earlier this month the TTC’s route split at Humber Bay is subject to revision.
“We want to study it,” he said. “We’ll keep an eye on the route. We’re not making the changes and then walking away from it. We want the flexibility to tweak around the edges as necessary. “Any changes we’d make in the future would be for the better.” Ross acknowledged the route split at Humber Loop is inconvenient.
But he said it is necessary in order to maintain the TTC’s commitment to 10-minute or less service reliability on the 501.