News / Toronto

TTC replaces all Queen streetcars with buses for summer construction

The TTC's third-busiest streetcar route will be operated by a fleet of buses this summer as construction season ties up stretches of Queen Street.

Torstar News Service

The TTC's third-busiest streetcar route will be operated by a fleet of buses this summer as construction season ties up stretches of Queen Street.

The familiar sight of streetcars rumbling along Queen St. has been put on the shelf for the summer.

Starting Sunday, the TTC replaced streetcars with buses on the heavily used route with several seasonal construction projects competing for the street. It’s the first time in the transit system’s history that streetcars have been pulled from Queen St. service entirely.

“It just sort of made sense to put buses right along the entire route as opposed to having people get on buses, diverting them, having them get back on a streetcar,” TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told Torstar News Service in March.

The TTC itself is responsible for some of this disruption with track reconstruction on several stretches of Queen in late summer and early fall.

However, before all that comes a bevy of city construction work, including sidewalk replacement at Spadina and Bathurst and replacing the Eaton Centre pedestrian overpass.

The 501 streetcar is the city’s sixth busiest surface route – and third busiest streetcar line behind the 504 and 510 – and it’s 24-kilometre trip is North America’s longest streetcar journey. At least 65 buses will be required to accommodate the 501’s 43,000 daily commuters.

Streetcars are scheduled to return to the route in early September, however 501 diversions will still be in place west of Roncesvalles to complete track and bridge work.

More on Metronews.ca