ttc subway

TTC a total mess after downtown subway service replaced by shuttle buses

The TTC has been taking advantage of a continued lull in ridership amid lockdown to get some serious maintenance done, but unfortunately, a lengthy 10-day closure of the Line 1 subway has been causing angst among people in Toronto who still need to ride the rocket to get to where they're going.

The shutdown, which affects the six stops along University Ave. between St. George Station and St. Andrew Station, commenced on March 15 and instantly created problems with overcrowding as people waited in droves to board shuttle buses that are replacing subway cars.

Other factors have also been compounding the delays, such as unrelated suspensions of service on either other lines or other parts of the same line due to unanticipated technical or other issues, and road paving that is taking place simultaneously.

The other issues include, tragically, "injuries at track level," a possible sign of the effects of months of lockdown closures.

On the first day of the closure, Line 2 also had to be ceased at St. George, causing a huge backup of transitgoers at the shuttle bus stops at ground level.

An unexpected mechanical issue also disrupted further portions of Line 1 in the early hours of March 19, halting train service between Davisville and College and necessitating the use of shuttle buses — which were apparently quite delayed — for those trying to get to work.

Some users are also claiming that there has been little direction on the ground as commuters navigate the mess, which will continue through to March 24, pending any other problems elsewhere in the system.

Others have aptly pointed out, though, that the commission is doing its best to accommodate everyone, which has led to even more complaints from drivers dealing with nearby roads packed with TTC vehicles.

Also, maintenance that could take years to do under normal circumstances and traffic is now being completed in a matter of days, which is surely a benefit to residents.

Still, the overcrowding has obviously been a greater cause for concern with the health and safety risks we are all now very aware of as the city continues to see hundreds of new cases of COVID-19 — including new variants of note — per day.

The TTC aims to dispatch replacement buses every one-to-two minutes during morning peak hours in light of this.

Regular service along the usually busy route should resume at 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 25, though the little surprise snafus and resulting delays that pop up every so often and that we've become so used to are unavoidable — and will likely only become more common as the city opens up further and routes get busier.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

10 unique and unusual volunteer opportunities in Toronto right now

How a historic mansion in Toronto became a home for those in need

Toronto neighbourhood is tired of all the overnight construction noise

This is what it was like to work in Toronto 150 years ago

Toronto businesses call for scientific evidence proving why they need to be closed

Here's the full list of items you can't buy at Dollarama during Ontario's latest lockdown

How to book COVID vaccine shots in Toronto and rules for those 18 and over

Data shows Toronto's residents of colour have way more run-ins with TTC fare inspectors