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Number of planned TTC subway closures recommended to increase in 2020

Click to play video 'Increase in planned Toronto subway disruptions recommended for 2020' Increase in planned Toronto subway disruptions recommended for 2020
WATCH ABOVE: Subway riders unhappy with the amount of subway closures in 2019 should brace themselves. An increased number of weekend closures and other service interruptions are planned for 2020. Matthew Bingley reports.

Commuters on the Toronto Transit Commission‘s subway system might need to prepare for more closures next year if a new report is adopted by the transit agency’s board.

According to the report, which will be considered by the board on Dec. 12, work related to the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT and the automated train control (ATC) signal system are cited as the key reasons for the closures.

“These make up the majority of the full weekend closures as the complexity of these projects does not allow for work to be conducted during the regular nightly maintenance window,” staff wrote, noting there is only a three-hour window to do system-wide maintenance most nights.

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“Additionally, based on TTC ridership data, there are fewer customers travelling on weekends than weekdays and therefore full weekend subway closures minimize disruption to a greater number of customers.”

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State-of-good-repair projects are also behind several of the proposed closures.

While noting there’s the potential for change, TTC staff recommended proceeding with 34 full weekend closures, 18 single-day closures, eight late-Sunday openings, and 106 early weeknight closures (staggered in all months except for July, August and December) in 2020.

Click to play video 'TTC subway service resumes on Line 2 after evacuation due to track fire' TTC subway service resumes on Line 2 after evacuation due to track fire
TTC subway service resumes on Line 2 after evacuation due to track fire

The proposed number of planned closures marks an increase compared to 2019. Staff said there were 31 full weekend closures, six single-day closures, eight late openings and 28 weeks (Monday to Thursday) of early night closures. TTC staff noted several closures were cancelled or postponed to 2020.

The TTC said that bus shuttles along subway routes will continue to be used, along with extra TTC staff and paid-duty police officers to help buses get through major intersections. However, staff reiterated “shuttle services cannot fully duplicate the carrying capacity of subway trains.”

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Among the projects completed in 2019, staff touted advancements in ATC signaling work on Line 1, replacement of switching, crossover and rail equipment on Line 2, traction power and vehicle repairs on Line 3 and track switch maintenance on Line 4.