Subway closures are coming this weekend

Weekend subway closures are back this weekend.

On Saturday, Line 1 will be closed between Lawrence and St. Clair stations for the installation of the automatic train control signalling system.

Shuttle buses will be running.

On Sunday, that section reopens and the closures will flip to Line 2, where service will be suspended between St. George and Broadview stations as crews work on the Prince Edward viaduct.

Shuttle buses will be running along the length of the closure.

No pain, no gain

So why the constant weekend closures?

As former Toronto Transit Commission chief executive officer Andy Byford put it in 2017, rotating weekend closures are “absolutely necessary” to modernize the aging subway system.

“Effectively we’re playing catchup,” Byford said. “A lot of this work should have been done years ago. So what we’re doing now is biting the bullet.”

The new automatic train control signalling system has been slowly installed along Line 1, section by section, and is set to be complete by 2022.

Once finished, it will ultimately allow Line 1 to run 25 per cent more trains than the current half-century-old system allows.

In an email to CBC Toronto, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said that doing the same installation along Line 2 is also part of the agency’s long-term capital plan, but will require “significant funding for the system and new trains” before it can begin.

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