Service changes in the event of severe weather
We have put together a plan to ensure bus, streetcar, subway and Wheel-Trans service is maintained in the event of severe weather. Severe weather includes:
- Freezing rain or ice storm
- Significant snowfall
The TTC relies on City Transportation to keep all roads clear of ice. We have adequate buses available in the event of a major power outage that knocks out our ability to operate streetcars. If the subway is affected by a power outage, shuttle buses will be deployed.
Severe weather bus stops plan: Bus transportation may proactively implement diversions and temporarily place bus stops “Out of Service” in areas that are historically known to be impacted by icy conditions, snow buildup or flooding. This will prevent buses from becoming stuck or trapped, improving reliability for customers travelling on the affected bus routes during severe weather.
The affected bus stops may be taken out of service up to one hour before the severe weather event. A sign will be placed on the stops clearly indicating the nearest in-service stop.
Important notice about parking on streetcar routes:
Never block the tracks if you park on a streetcar route, even if snowbanks are preventing you from parking closer to the curb. Blocking streetcar tracks can lead to service delays and temporary route diversions. The parked vehicle will also be towed.
In the event of freezing rain or an ice storm, anti-freeze is applied to the overhead network to keep the wires free from ice so streetcars can collect energy and operate. To prevent significant ice build-up, “sliders” that knock ice off the overhead wires are also applied to trolley poles on every fifth streetcar.
Overhead crews are on standby, positioned around the city in the event of power loss or overhead wires coming down.
The same anti-freeze used on the overheard is applied to all switches across the network. Storm cars will run on all routes, keeping switches free from any ice build-up that the anti-freeze was unable to prevent.
On the 501 Queen streetcar route, buses will operate in the east end from Kingston Rd. to Neville Park so we can keep more streetcars in the downtown core, which will help keep switches and overhead wires clear of ice. Buses will also operate on the 506 Carlton and 512 St Clair routes to keep more streetcars in the downtown core on the 501, 504 and 509 routes.
- 501 Queen - operating in three parts:
- Buses operating between Long Branch and Humber loops in the west.
- Streetcars operating between Humber Loop and Kingston Rd.
- Buses operating between Kingston Rd. and Neville Park Loop in the east.
- 502 Downtowner - buses operating on the route.
- 503 Kingston Rd. - buses operating between Bingham and Kingston Road Loop.
- 504A King - no service to Distillery Loop. A Wheel-Trans vehicle is available to shuttle customers from Distillery Loop to King St.
- 504B King - no service to Dufferin Gate Loop. Customers can board a 29 Dufferin bus north and transfer at King St.
- 505 Dundas - buses operating on the route.
- 506 Carlton - buses operating on the route. Buses will serve High Park Station instead of High Park Loop.
- 509 Harbourfront - operating normally.
- 510 Spadina - streetcar service terminates at Queens Quay and Spadina. Customers can transfer to the 509 route, which has increased service.
- 511 Bathurst - buses operating on the route.
- 512 St Clair - buses operating on the route.
In the event of freezing rain or an ice storm, storm trains will operate overnight to keep the power rail clear of ice. Trains with an anti-freeze agent are also on the line and the agent is deployed when it begins to rain. The same process occurs on Line 3 Scarborough.
Crews keep switches clear in yards using switch heaters, but also manually ensure that the heaters are working effectively and take action if they are not. Workcars will act as storm trains in the yards to keep the power rails clear of ice.
We recommend that you only take essential trips whenever there is severe weather or a major accumulation of snow.
If by 3 p.m. the day before you are booked for Wheel-Trans service, the weather forecast calls for a snowfall of 8 cm or more, we encourage you to cancel non-essential rides. If it snows on the day of service, go to mywheel-trans.ttc.ca or call the RideLine at 416-397-8000 for further updates and instructions. Rides cancelled during a snow advisory will not be included in the Late Cancellation/No-Show Policy.
The Transit Control Centre issues e-alerts, tweets and other communications before, during and after a weather event. Customers will be alerted to any service changes because of power outages, route diversions or other disruptions caused by the weather. Media relations staff will keep media updated on service changes. Customer Service (@TTChelps) will help answer customer questions and provide alternative transit options online and on the telephone.