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Caribana notes and service details for today

Update — 11:31 a.m.: Because of the conflicting information, we decided to double-check — out on the streets — to make sure what we posted was correct… and we’re glad we did.

We discovered:

  • no express buses along Bay Street, as we expected.
  • no express buses from Bathurst or Lansdowne Stations, which is not what we expected. (We assume that also means no express buses from Keele or Dundas West either.)

After we returned home, we phoned Customer Information again and a different operator confirmed that the TTC would not operate express buses today and, moreover, that the regular 29B Dufferin bus to Ontario Place was, indeed, operating today and operating more frequently than usual.

So we’ve revised our description of today’s service to Caribana below…

Update — 8:57 a.m.: TTC Customer Information confirms that service to Caribana today is exactly as it was yesterday and as we described it in this post.

We’re getting conflicting information about how the TTC plans to accommodate people travelling to today’s Da Caribana Lime picnic and festival at Ontario Place. According to information we received from TTC staff, people attending the event can travel on one of four express buses connecting the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway with the area along Lake Shore Boulevard West — although you won’t find that information on their website.

Staff told us that the four express buses — from Bathurst, Dundas West, Keele and Lansdowne Stations continue to operate today, just like they did yesterday and that the TTC is also offering more frequent bus and streetcar service along the 29 Dufferin, 511 Bathurst and 509 Harbourfront routes.

On the other hand, the TTC’s August 2 service changes information page includes information about TTC service to today’s Caribana event that may be incorrect. The page describes services that are likely unneccessary this year because Caribana organizers have relocated the event from its traditional site on Olympic Island to Ontario Place.

We’re fairly sure that the TTC will not be operating express buses along Bay Street between Bay and Union Stations to help people get to the ferry docks. We’re also fairly sure that, while the TTC is definitely adding more service to the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route, it may not be adding more service to the connecting 510 Spadina route — at least no more than is usual for a summer Sunday.

However, because we’re not the TTC we can’t be 100% sure which version of the information is correct. Please check in with TTC customer information to find out the most up-to-date service details today before you set out on your trip! Call 416-393-4636 today between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Yesterday, Transit Toronto contributor Richard White and other readers reported that the number of passengers wanting to travel to the waterfront overwhelmed the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route. Although crowds were light at 8:30 a.m., by 1:30 p.m., people were packed into the corridor between the Union subway station and the streetcar platform. So many streetcars were operating that the cars were backed up through the tunnel under Bay Street. Later in the afternoon, the TTC added buses to the route, with the buses picking up and dropping off passengers on Bay Street beside Union Station.

Other readers tell us that the express buses were less busy… particularly at Keele Station where, at least at 11 a.m., few passengers were occupying the buses that were leaving the station and at least seven empty buses were waiting for passengers that weren’t there.

This is how service to today’s Caribana event should unfold… (We think this is the correct version, but, as we said before, we’re not completely sure.)

511 Bathurst

All day, streetcars operate more frequently than usual to accommodate the large numbers of people heading to and from the event.

29 Dufferin

All day, buses operate more frequently than usual to accommodate the large numbers of people heading to and from the event. Buses operate along the 29B (between Wilson Station and Ontario Place) or 29D (between Wilson Station and the Princes’ Gate) branches.

509 Harbourfront

All day, streetcars operate more frequently than usual to accommodate the large numbers of people heading to and from the event.

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