I’d like to discuss the 508 Lake Shore streetcar. The car, which started operating early in 1992, operates with three streetcars during each rush hour (three eastbound departures during the morning rush hour and three westbound departures during the evening rush hour.)
The TTC started the 508 run in 1992 to provide southern Etobicoke with a one seat ride directly downtown as riders had to take both the 507 Long Branch car (east to Humber Loop) and then transfer to the 501 Queen car. Also, the 508 car ran along King meaning that it was slightly different than the option that was available.
The 508 car’s route is as follows: the car departs Long Branch Loop heading east through Humber Loop. When it reaches Roncesvalles Ave. the car turns right onto King St. and continues to Parliament Street. This allows the car to connect with the 501 heading east (especially as half the 501 cars turn back at Humber) and 504 King cars heading to Dundas West station. The car also connects with the Yonge-University-Spadina line at two points: St. Andrew station (on the University line) and at King station (on the Yonge line.)
Westbound, the car starts on King Street at Church, heading west along King St. When it arrives at the Queensway, the car turns left and heads west along the Queensway until Humber Loop where it keeps on going onto Lake Shore Blvd. W. until it arrives at Long Branch Loop.
The 508 Lake Shore is a good idea, but it really does not meet the needs of riders along the Lake Shore (despite its name) as there are only three cars during the rush hour, and most riders during the day – and a significant number during both rush hours – are local and are not heading downtown.
The best option for southern Etobicoke is to expand the 508 Lake Shore during each rush hour and reinstate the 507 Long Branch car (although extended to Dundas West station) and thus improve service along the Lake Shore. Of course, if demand increased during the day, the 508 Lake Shore car could also operate during the day, which would supplement the 501, 504, and 507 cars. And this would do good to improve service all the way from Long Branch Loop to east of Parliament Street.