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TTC, GO Transit offering free shuttles around downtown outskirts

Frustrated commuters were kicked off of a southbound subway at Bloor station this afternoon when service was shut down suddenly.

Frustrated commuters were kicked off of a southbound subway at Bloor station this afternoon when service was shut down suddenly. Katie Hewitt/The Globe and Mail

Public transit slows to a crawl in downtown Toronto as police force suspension of servicse during massive protests in the city

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Katie Hewitt

Globe and Mail Update

10:53 p.m.: Update via GO Transit press release: GO Transit is offering free shuttle bus service tonight for customers on the Lakeshore East and West lines to help get our customers home.

On the Lakeshore East line, GO Transit shuttle bus service will depart from Danforth GO Station at 11 p.m., making stops at each GO train station along the corridor with Oshawa GO Station as the final stop. On the Lakeshore West line, GO Transit shuttle bus service will depart from Mimico GO Station at 11 p.m., making stops at each GO train station along the corridor with Hamilton GO Station as the final stop.

As GO Transit is unable to operate buses or trains inside the downtown Toronto area, we are providing this free shuttle bus service originating these two Toronto stations outside of the downtown core.

8:27 p.m.: Update via @TTCnotices:TTC Downtown Service Update: FREE shuttle buses running from Bathurst Stn to Front St and Castle Frank Stn to Front St.

8:02 p.m.: Update via gotransit.com: GO Transit has suspended all train operations for the remainder of today, June 26, due to police activity. ... All bus trips from the west will terminate at the Yorkdale Bus Terminal and all bus trips from the east will terminate at the York Mills Bus Terminal. Passengers may get on the TTC at no extra cost from these two locations and Scarborough Town Centre by presenting their GO Transit tickets.

6:22 p.m.: Update via @TTCnotices:Downtown Service Update: Shuttle buses running from Bathurst Stn to Front St. Parliament buses running between Castle Frank Stn & Front St

Frustrated commuters were kicked off of a southbound subway at Bloor station when police shut down service suddenly this afternoon.

The TTC stopped subway service in the downtown core south of Bloor on its Yonge-University-Spadina line, from Bloor and St. George stations. All bus and streetcar service has also been stopped south of Bloor, bounded by Broadview in the east and Spadina in the west. Brad Ross, director of corporate communications for the Toronto Transit Commission, has been updating commuters via Twitter. The 501 Queen streetcar is operational from Roncesvalles to Long Branch in the west; the 512 St. Clair to the north is unaffected; the 506 streetcar that normally runs across College and Carlton streets is only running from Main station to Parliament in the east. "All other streetcar routes not operating," Mr. Ross says.

As well, all GO Transit service entering downtown, including trains and buses, has been temporarily suspended and Union Station has been locked down. "All GO Bus trips from the west will terminate at the Yorkdale Bus Terminal and all bus trips from the east will terminate at the York Mills Bus Terminal," says GO's website.

Earlier Saturday, GO trains heading downtown were stopping at Mimico to the west of the city, instead of at Exhibition.

Westbound streetcars at King and Bathurst streets sit idle on the Saturday afternoon of the G20 summit.

Mason Wright/The Globe and Mail

Westbound streetcars at King and Bathurst streets sit idle on the Saturday afternoon of the G20 summit.

There was much confusion among stranded passengers, who crowded around the driver demanding answers, refunded fares and directions to their destinations that didn't involve transit south of Bloor.

“Take it up with the police,” said the driver.

“Ugh, you mean the G20,” retorted one passenger, who said she had to get to College station.

“Are we gonna get our money back?” asked one man.

“I don't carry a wallet with the TTC's money in it,” the driver responded.

Exiting the subway, everyone was on cellphones rearranging their plans.

Audrey Johnson had just gotten her nails done, and gingerly reached into her purse for her phone to call a friend she was supposed to meet. Ms. Johnson was on her way to watch the Ghana-U.S. World Cup game at Harlem Underground, a bar on Queen Street West.

“Right now there are thousands of militants and they just can't control them,” she said of the protest and police efforts.

Ms. Johnson would understand the inconvenience, she said, if she felt anything was being accomplished at the gummit.

“I thought they were going to do something the last time [the G20 delegates] got together. But no,” she said.

But what the delegates do in Toronto this year is only one of her concerns. “I'm going to miss the game!” she said.

With a report from Jeff Gray and Cliff Lee

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