The future of TTC’s Line 3 Scarborough (SRT)


Service Update Effective February 18, 2024

The official Line 3 On-street Bus Replacement Plan with full transit priority measures and full priority routing went into effect on November 19, 2023. The Line 3 Bus Replacement Plan reduces travel times and improves the quality of service for customers travelling between Kennedy and Scarborough Centre stations. Learn more about all of the service changes regarding the Line 3 Bus Replacement Plan here.

Beginning February 18, 2024, the north side of Kennedy Station’s Platform A will be closed for construction related to Metrolinx’s Scarborough Subway Extension project.

Most routes using bus bays on the north side of Platform A will be reassigned to new bus bays on the east side of Platform B. Some routes will be reassigned to the south side of Platform A. Some routes will continue to use their current bus bays on the south side of Platform A. For more information and full details of the changes coming to Platform A, click here.

Background

The TTC’s Line 3, Scarborough Rapid Transit system (SRT), was a 6.4 kilometre intermediate capacity rapid transit line with six stations that opened in 1985. The SRT trains operated 10 years past their design life, became susceptible to cold weather, and had already been overhauled twice to ensure safe reliable service. The TTC’s priority is to provide safe, reliable and accessible service to everyone.

In July 2023, the TTC decommissioned service on Line 3, SRT. An on-street bus replacement service is now operating southbound via Midland Avenue and northbound via Kennedy Road between Scarborough Centre and Kennedy stations.

The interim bus replacement plan not only addresses Line 3's reliability issues but also allows the TTC to deliver AODA compliant service. Four of the existing six SRT stations are not accessible, the interim express bus program ensures that AODA standards are met, providing accessible transportation options for riders in this corridor of our city. The transit priority measures that have been implemented include: dedicated, red-painted bus lanes; transit signal priority; and adjustments to curbs, pavement markings, and turn restrictions at key locations.

 

Residents are encouraged to share feedback and questions regarding interim bus replacement plan directly to the project’s Senior Community Liaison, Arjun Sahota via e-mail, arjun.sahota@ttc.ca.

 

Existing Line 3 Service alongside the interim bus replacement plan operating on Kennedy (northbound) and Midland (southbound) and the long-term express bus ROW plan. 

Existing Line 3, alongside the approved interim solution to service customers until the Scarborough Subway Extension is operational in 2030. 

  • Consultation - Line 3 Bus Replacement Plan (2020 - 2021)

    The consultation:

    • Provided detailed information about bus service alternatives as well as the traffic impact and mitigating measures
    • Received customer and community input to inform alternatives for bus service in the SRT corridor for 2023-2030 to optimize implementation; and,
    • Reported back to customers and the community to explain how their input improved planning, including through a report to the TTC Board in April 2021.

    Round 1 engagement summaries

    Round 2 engagement summaries

    On April 14, 2022, the TTC Board directed staff to proceed with Options 1 and Options 4 of the proposed plans. Details are available below:

    Option 1 Hybrid Line 3 Right-of-Way. This is the recommended option. Parts of the existing Line 3 right-of-way, between Ellesmere and Kennedy stations, will be converted into a busway for buses to operate exclusively on. This will take up to two years to construct after the closing of the trains on Line 3.

    Option 4 Kennedy and Midland Couplet. This is recommended as the interim option while the busway option is constructed. Buses would operate southbound via Midland and northbound via Kennedy between Scarborough Centre and Kennedy stations.

  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA)

    TTC has a strong organizational commitment to make Toronto’s transit system accessible and providing universal benefits to the millions of customers who use TTC annually.

    Four of the six Line 3 stations were not accessible. The bus replacement plan not only addresses Line 3's reliability issues, it provides AODA-compliant service and ensures AODA standards are met, providing accessible transportation options for riders in this corridor of the city.

    With the end of Line 3 train service and the move to on-street bus replacement service, all stops and the connection between Kennedy and Scarborough Centre stations are accessible.

    Read more about the TTC’s Accessible Transit Services Plan

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    SRT Operations 

    What were the key challenges to keep the SRT running safely to 2030?

    There were a number of challenges in keeping the SRT running, which is why it was decommissioned in 2023. The key challenges included:

    • Aging vehicles: The SRT vehicles were designed to be retired in 2010. They operated over 10 years past their design life of 25 years.

    • Maintenance reliability: The SRT vehicles became increasingly more difficult to maintain. Reliability degraded, and parts are becoming were becoming difficult to find.

    • Service reliability: The SRT's service was reduced by 50% from peak in the Fall of 2020 due to technical issues. There were limited spare trains, which are unable to maintain reliable service standards and continue to make service reliability vulnerable.

    • Inclement weather: The SRT was susceptible to inclement weather including overheating in the summer and service suspension in the winter due to snow and ice.

    • Accessibility: All TTC stations and vehicles must be AODA compliant by 2025. Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland and McCowan stations were not barrier-free and not included in the capital plan to receive accessibility upgrades.

    • Cost: The overhaul to keep the SRT safely running until 2030 was estimated to cost over $520 million, this was unfunded. This was the bare minimum and would not have guaranteed reliable service.

     

    What is the process to convert sections of the SRT into a busway?
    The TTC in partnership with the City of Toronto is currently seeking provincial funding for the construction of the Busway.  Negotiations are expected to conclude by June 2024. The TTC will report back on the outcome of negotiations and the status of funding, and if necessary, on options for consideration to fund the Busway’s construction.

    In the event the city is unable to secure the outstanding funds for the SRT busway, will the project run along Kennedy, Ellesmere and Midland until the SSE is completed? 
    If the City is unable to secure funding from the province, it would ultimately have to find an alternate source if it wished to build the busway. The transit priority measures that are implemented on Kennedy, Ellesmere, and Midland are designed as long-term solutions regardless of the busway construction; they could have legacy use for customers even beyond SSE is completed. 

    Transit Service

    What routes have changed since SRT service was discontinued? 

    The following major bus routes have been adjusted, extending from Scarborough Centre to Kennedy Station:

    • 38 Highland Creek – currently Scarborough Centre Station to University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, through the Rouge Hill community to Rouge Hill GO Station

    • 129 McCowan North – currently Scarborough Centre Station to Steeles Avenue and into York Region

    • 131 Nugget – currently Scarborough Centre Station to Malvern Town Centre and Morningside Avenue

    • 133 Neilson – currently Scarborough Centre Station to Centenary Hospital, Malvern Town Centre, and Finch Avenue East

    • 903 Scarborough Express – Kennedy Station to Centennial College via Progress Avenue and Kennedy Road

    • 939A/B Finch Express – currently Scarborough Centre Station to Finch Station and Finch West Station

    • 954 Lawrence East Express – from Lawrence East Station to Starspray Loop via Lawrence Avenue East, extended to Kennedy Station via Midland and/or Kennedy

    • 985A Sheppard East Express – from Scarborough Centre Station to Don Mills Station

    These buses run express from Scarborough Centre Station to Kennedy Station, all routes serving an intermediate stop at Lawrence Avenue East. The buses operate via transit priority measures on Midland Avenue, Ellesmere Road, and Kennedy Road.

    Does on-street bus service mimic the SRT schedule? (First train, last train and headways?)

    The bus replacement service is operating the same hours as Line 3, from approximately 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on all days. The bus replacement plan offers headways at better than 1 minute during peak periods, and up to 2 minutes in the late evening period.

    Which Line 3/SRT stations permanently closed in 2023?

    Kennedy Station and Scarborough Centre Station remain open for buses. The remaining four stations are permanently closed, and customers are being served by buses on street.

    I live near a former SRT station. How do I access transit now?

    The buses are running express from Scarborough Centre Station to Kennedy Station, with all of the routes serving an intermediate stop at Lawrence Avenue East and Ellesmere Road.

    For customers near Ellesmere Station, the 95 York Mills bus will continue to serve Ellesmere Road, and north-south bus routes on Kennedy (43) to Scarborough Centre (B branch only) and Kennedy Station, and Midland (57) to Kennedy Station.

    Customers near Midland Station can use the 43B Kennedy to reach Scarborough Centre Station, and the 43B Kennedy and 57 Midland to reach Kennedy Station.

    Customers near Lawrence East Station will continue to be served by 54 Lawrence East and 954 Lawrence East Express. To reach Kennedy Station, customers can use 43 Kennedy and 57 Midland. To reach Scarborough Centre, customers can use 43B Kennedy.

    Customers at McCowan Station are a short walk to Scarborough Centre Station where frequent bus service to Kennedy Station is available. Customers around McCowan Station will continue to be served by 9 Bellamy, 16 McCowan, and 134 Progress.

    Customer/Community Experience

    I am a former SRT transit customer, how has my trip changed as I am now on a bus?

    The updated bus routes are saving our customers the transfer in their journey at Scarborough Centre Station and offer more reliable service. Travel time change that has occurred is captured in the graphic below.

    Graphic showing that travel time from Malvern Station to Kennedy Station will take up to 48 minutes by bus when the SRT is decommissioned, versus the current travel time of 40 minutes 

    Do the additional buses create added congestion and pollution?

    The TTC is purchasing hybrid buses in a commitment to greening our fleet and some of these vehicles will operate in this corridor. These eco-friendly vehicles incorporate hybrid technology and run off power generated onboard that is fueled by diesel engines. Though the vehicles are still using fuel to produce energy, they consume up to 30 per cent less than other non-hybrid buses.

    Is there a possibility of widening the RT corridor to allow for uses such as cycling, since some sections will already need to be widened?

    The TTC is a committed partner to ensuring all active modes of travel are considered and will review the potential opportunities of pursuing cycling facilities as a separate initiative and engage with the stakeholders concurrent to the existing project. Based on the current assessment of the corridor, there simply is not enough space between Ellesmere and Lawrence stations to incorporate cycling facilities within the existing transit right of way. The TTC’s main priority at this time is to minimize the time in which customers are without a fast and efficient higher-order transit connection. 

    Kennedy Station Parking-Lot Closures

    Where am I supposed to park now?
    The nearest commuter parking is available at Warden Station North Commuter Lot (920 spaces) and Victoria park Station Commuter Lot (173 spaces).

    Why is this lot being closed early?
    The north commuter lot was planned to be closed in 2024 for CreateTO development. To address safety and congestion concerns in the bus terminal, it is necessary to retire approximately 200 parking spaces early and convert the parking into a layover area until the opening of the second terminal, currently under construction at the site of the former south commuter parking lot.

    Will parking become available again at Kennedy Station?
    No. Commuter parking will no longer be available at Kennedy Station after August 21, 2023.

  • News Releases, Reports & Community Updates

    February 4, 2021:

    TTC Board to discuss options for continued service along the Scarborough Rapid Transit Corridor

    February, 10, 2021:

    TTC Board approves decommissioning of the SRT in 2023 and providing safe and accessible interim bus service until the Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) is opened by the Province of Ontario in 2030.

    September 15, 2021:

    The TTC Board approved received a report containing the evaluation framework to assess replacement service options.

    April 14, 2022:

    Line 3 Bus Replacement Study Final Recommendations report.

    April 14, 2022:

    Line 3 Bus Replacement Study Final Recommendations presentation to the TTC Board.

    May 8, 2023:

    Line 3 Bus Replacement Community Update - May 2023

    May 24, 2023:

    TTC opens its doors to transit history

    August 24, 2023:

    TTC, City improving Line 3 Scarborough bus shuttle routes as train service set to permanently end

    September 21, 2023:

     

    September 26, 2023:

     

    November 16, 2023:

     

    December 11, 2023:

    Line 3 Busway Community Consultation Presentation

    Line 3 Busway Community Consultation Summary Notes - Round One Public Consultation

    December 15, 2023:

    Consultant Report – Systra Canada – Independent Review – Report SRT Line 3 Incident

    January 25, 2024:

    Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) Line 3 Bus Replacement and Busway Status Update to TTC Board

  • Service Changes and Update

  • Next steps

    The TTC will be sharing a final proposal for on-street transit priority measures at Executive Committee on May 2, and City Council on May 10. Residents are encouraged to share feedback and suggestions regarding on-street transit priority measures directly to the project’s Senior Community Liaison, Arjun Sahota via e-mail, arjun.sahota@ttc.ca.

     

    In 2023, construction will also begin at Scarborough Centre and Kennedy Stations. Beginning February at Scarborough Centre Station, this work will take place primarily in the former GO Transit bus terminal to expand the capacity for additional buses. At Kennedy Station, construction beginning this spring will repurpose parking spaces in the existing south commuter lot to accommodate new passenger platforms and the increased bus volumes. The north commuter lot at Kennedy Station provides 199 spaces and will remain open until late 2023.

  • Scarborough Service Changes - October 8, 2023

    Service changes to various bus routes are required as we deliver the on-street Bus Replacement Plan of Line 3 and the implementation of the interim express bus service between Scarborough Centre and Kennedy Stations until the Scarborough Subway Extension opens in 2030.

    Service Update Effective October 8, 2023

    903 Kennedy-Scarborough Centre Express will move from in the main terminal to the new terminal and will continue to operate between Kennedy and Scarborough Centre stations via the interim priority route southbound on Midland Avenue, westbound on Eglinton Avenue East, northbound on Kennedy Road and eastbound on Progress Avenue

    Customers will use the stairs and elevator following the signed pathway to get to the subway or other bus routes in the main terminal.

    954 Lawrence East Express  

    The western end point of 954 Lawrence East Express will be moved from Lawrence East Station to Kennedy Station, using the new interim priority route with a dedicated bus lane southbound on Midland Avenue and northbound on Kennedy Road.

    • Express service will continue to run between Kennedy Station and Markham Road and local service will continue to serve all regular stops east of Markham Road to Starspray Loop (Starspray Blvd)
    • Eastbound: Additional stops will be made on Kennedy Road at Eglinton Avenue East and Lawrence Avenue East
    • Westbound: Additional stops will be made on Lawrence Avenue East at Midland Avenue and on Midland Avenue at Eglinton Avenue East

    TTC and Rouge Hill GO Transit customers using this route now have a direct connection to Line 2 at Kennedy Station without having to transfer.

    Customers not wanting to travel to Kennedy Station can use 54 Lawrence East as an alternate.

  • Construction Notices

    The TTC is undertaking construction to prepare for the decommissioning of Line 3 and the implementation of the interim express bus service between Scarborough Centre and Kennedy Stations until the Scarborough Subway Extension opens in 2030. Construction notices and impacts will be shared here:

    Kennedy Station Parking Lot Reduction - Details regarding the permanent closure of the Kennedy Station south commuter-lot.

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