The 504 King is an east-west streetcar route in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Part of the Toronto streetcar system operated by the Toronto Transit Commission, it and the 514 Cherry collectively serve King Street in Downtown Toronto. It has its termini at Dundas West and Broadview subway stations where one may transfer to the Bloor–Danforth line of the Toronto subway.
As of September 6, 2015, service along King Street operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During weekday rush hours, daytime and early evenings, average service frequency is 4 minutes or less. Saturday daytime services have an average frequency of 4–5 minutes with Sunday daytime service frequency averaging 6–7 minutes. During overnight periods, streetcars operate every 30 minutes as the 304 King of the Blue Night Network.
Until June 19, 2015, the 504 King was grouped together with the 508 Lake Shore for accounting purposes until service on the latter was canceled on that date. Both of these routes overlap on the section between Roncesvalles Avenue and Broadview Avenue and interchange mid-route with the Yonge–University–Spadina subway line at King and St. Andrew stations. In 2005-06, routes 504 and 508 combined carried 47,900 passengers on an average weekday (of which the vast majority were carried by 504 King), making King Street the busiest TTC streetcar corridor in terms of number of passengers.
One year later, on June 19, 2016, additional service on the central section of King Street was reinstated with the launch of the new 514 Cherry service. Unlike the 508 Lake Shore, additional service is only provided between Dufferin Street (where the 514 turns south towards Dufferin Gate Loop) and Cherry Street (where the 514 turns south towards Distillery Loop), though both lines continue to interchange with the subway at King and St. Andrew stations.
On March 22, 2007, the TTC proposed a pilot project for a dedicated right-of-way along King Street, to be implemented for the summer of 2007. The proposal suggested reserving a lane in each direction for streetcars and making the remaining lane in each direction available to private vehicles and deliveries in designated areas. The street would have been closed entirely to through traffic and streetcars would run at ground level, not in a raised median. This arrangement could eventually lead to the trial implementation of a transit mall on King between Yonge Street and University Avenue, with hopes of eventually closing King to cars from Dufferin to Parliament. It was also hoped that traffic on King would be partially alleviated by the proposed Waterfront West LRT and the planned network of streetcar routes for the Port Lands.
While the initial pilot project was not implemented, proposals were revived in 2016 when the city of Toronto's "King Street Visioning Study" proposed a transit and pedestrian corridor on King Street through downtown.
In February 2017, as part of the King Street Pilot Study, City staff proposed three options of which one would be submitted to City Council for approval in July and implementation as a pilot in the fall of 2017. One of the three options is similar to the 2007 proposal. All three options forbid left turns, and two options force auto traffic to leave King Street by a right turn after travelling only one block. All three options are to reduce automobile interference with streetcar operation between Bathust Street in th west and either Parliament Street or Jarvis Street in the east.
On December 19, 2010, 504 streetcar service returned to Roncesvalles Avenue after service was suspended for track replacement works. As part of construction works, the street was rebuilt to a new design including bike lanes and a widened sidewalk "bumpout" at stops to allow riders to board streetcars directly from the curb. In these sections, the bike lane gently rises from the main road to run on top of the bumpout; cyclists are required to stop and allow riders to board or alight from streetcars while stationery at stops.504 Broadview Station via King: Southbound on Roncesvalles Avenue, Eastbound on King Street, Eastbound on Queen Street, Northbound on Broadview Avenue to Broadview station.
504 Broadview: Southbound on Roncesvalles Avenue, Eastbound on King Street, Eastbound on Queen Street, Northbound on Broadview Avenue to Dundas Street.
504 Greenwood and Queen: Southbound on Roncesvalles Avenue, Eastbound on King Street, Eastbound on Queen Street to the Russell Carhouse.
504 Roncesvalles and Queen: Southbound on Broadview Avenue, Westbound on Queen Street, Westbound on King Street to Roncesvalles and Queen.
504 Dundas West Station via King: Southbound on Broadview Avenue, Westbound on Queen Street, Westbound on King Street, Northbound on Roncesvalles Avenue to Dundas West station.
George Brown College
St. Lawrence Hall
First Canadian Place
Royal Alexandra Theatre
Roy Thomson Hall
Princess of Wales Theatre
Service on route 504 is operated primarily with single-length CLRV streetcars and is supplemented with double-module ALRV streetcars during periods of high patronage (such as rush hour). More recently, the TTC has deployed buses on the section between Roncesvalles and Queen to Broadview and Dundas in times of vehicle shortage.
In 2006 the TTC briefly considered adding couplers to streetcars to enable operation in consists of two or three units, a common practice until the opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway; the expectation was that this would keep them from bunching and becoming stuck in traffic. This plan was rejected in favour of ordering brand-new, longer Flexity Outlook vehicles, the first of which entered service on the 510 Spadina streetcar route in September 2014. They were deployed on the 514 Cherry streetcar route upon its launch, and will eventually replace all CLRVs and ALRVs on the 504 King route in 2018.
During rush hours, the 503 Kingston Road route overlaps 504 King from the intersection of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue to King Street West and York Street. From Church Street to York Street, the eastbound 503 runs along King Street but the westbound 503 runs 100 meters further south along Wellington Street as part of an on-street turning loop for the single-ended cars. The 503 route only operates along this brief segment of King Street as most of its route runs along Queen Street East and Kingston Road to the east of downtown, where it supplements service along the 501 Queen and 502 Downtowner routes.
The 514 Cherry overlaps the 504 King from Sumach Street to Dufferin Avenue. The route increases capacity to serve the growing ridership along the 504 King corridor through the downtown area, and addresses accessibility concerns by its partial (and eventual complete) use of the low-floor Flexity Outlook streetcars.
From 1987 to 1992, the Blue Night Network included the 304 King route, which provided overnight service along the length of the 504 King daytime route. The 304 route was eliminated in February 1992 with the Broadview and Roncesvalles segments replaced by portions of other Blue Night bus routes; however, King Street remained unserviced directly until September 6, 2015, when the 304 King was restored as part of a $95 million investment from Toronto City Council. Currently, services operate every 30 minutes between Broadview and Dundas West stations via Broadview Avenue, King Street, and Roncensvalles Avenue.