TTC splits King Street streetcar service into 2 routes

The TTC says riders can expect major route changes on King Street starting Sunday to improve streetcar service.

Changes will help provide more reliable service, transit agency says

It's the end of the road for the 514 Cherry streetcar. The service will be replaced by the new two branches of the 504A and 504B streetcars. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

TTC riders can expect major route changes on King Street starting on Sunday to improve streetcar service, says the transit agency.

The 504 King streetcar will now be split into two branches — the 504A and the 504B — in a move that the TTC says will provide more reliable service for the route's 80,000 daily riders.

The 504A King streetcar will run from Dundas West station to the Distillery Loop via Roncesvalles Avenue, King Street and Cherry Street.

The 504B King streetcar will run from Broadview Station to Dufferin Gate via Broadview Avenue, King Street and Dufferin Street.

Both routes will service King Street between Dufferin and Sumach streets. The shorter branches will also serve the King Street Pilot area.

The TTC said it expects that the change will mean fewer short turns because a delay on one end of either branch will be less likely to affect service throughout the entire route.

The TTC says the change will provide 'more clarity' for King Street streetcar riders. (TTC)

The TTC said the new terminal points mean that service will be more reliable. 

It said the Dufferin Gate and Distillery loops can hold several streetcars, unlike Dundas West and Broadview stations, which can only hold one low-floor streetcar at station platforms at a time.

As a result of the changes, the 514 Cherry service will be discontinued. It's a change the TTC said will provide "more clarity" for streetcar riders on King Street.

While both branches of 504 King will be serviced by low-floor streetcars, the TTC said older streetcars will be used to supplement some rush hour service until new streetcars arrive in the coming months. However, older streetcars will not service the Distillery Loop due to noise concerns.  

During the morning rush hours, the TTC said 42 streetcars will operate every two to three minutes on King Street.