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Weekend subway closure a sign of things to come in 2018

Last Updated Nov 10, 2017 at 7:14 pm EDT

If your New Year’s wishes include unimpeded subway service, you could be in for a disappointing 2018.

According to a new TTC report, there will be 43 scheduled subway closures in 2018 — up from 35 in 2017.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told CityNews that nearly half (24) of the planned 43 closures will be the result of Eglinton Crosstown construction.

This weekend TTC Line 1 will be closed between St Clair and Lawrence stations for scheduled track work. Shuttle buses will operate during the closure.

In a Q&A with CityNews, Green explain more about the closures and how they’ll affect riders.

Q: The TTC closure will affect plans for some on the weekend, I understand an exception will be made for the Santa Claus Parade next week, why are we seeing closures for Remembrance Day?

A: This work needs to be done, we will have bus replacement service, the express buses that run will only stop between the stations, between Lawrence and St Clair, they are accessible buses, our veterans will get to ride free on Remembrance Day to get to and from the services. It’s a small closure, we’re asking people to plan 5-10 minutes if they are travelling that route.”

Q: Why are we seeing closures on weekends? Can we get more work done closing it during the week for longer periods of time?

A: “You know, when we close for a weekend, that’s five weeks worth of night closures, we only have four hours overnight to do a lot of this work. So when we close on weekends, we get five weeks of work done and that’s essential to keep the system going during the week.”

Q: What are some of the other options that were brought to the table? Did the TTC think of running buses only?

A: “We only have so many buses available, we only have so many operators available, we can’t just close the entire subway system, then replace it all with buses. That would require way too many. What we look at is trying to minimize the impact, keep them as close together as possible.”

The TTC also told CityNews that the closures will allow staff to continue installing the automatic train control (ATC) signalling system, which in the long run will make trains faster and more reliable.

The closures also ensure proper maintenance can be done