Over the past year, oft we heard the TTC argue that adding service is of no use because vehicles just get stuck in traffic. More service does not lead to more ridership. This is hogwash, but they’ve been getting away with it.
Let’s look at just what sort of additional service the King car has enjoyed.
Back in the dark ages of 1990 before a recession and service cuts took their tolll, the King car provided the following service:
- AM Peak: 2’20” combined service west of Church, 3’30” to Broadview Station
- Midday: 6’00”
- PM Peak: 2’43” over the entire route
- Early Evening: 7’17”
- Late Evening: 9’20”
The route operated 4,600 vehicle miles or about 7,360 km of service and carried 58,800 passengers per day, and the Lake Shore route did not yet exist.
By 2000, the service looked like this:
- AM Peak: A 4’00” headway from Dundas West to Broadview overlaid by a 4’00” headway east from Roncesvalles for 12 trips corresponding to the peak eastbound demand to provide a 2’00” headway for 48 minutes.
- Midday: 6’20”
- PM Peak: 4’00”
- Early Evening: 7’30”
- Late Evening: 10’00”
The route operated 4,300 vehicle miles or about 6,880 km of service and carried just under 52,000 passengers per day, and the Lake Shore route did not yet exist.
By 2003, the service looked like this:
- AM Peak: A 4’00” headway from Dundas West to Broadview overlaid by a 4’00” headway east from Roncesvalles for 16 trips corresponding to the peak eastbound demand to provide a 2’00” headway for 64 minutes. Three trips on Lake Shore fit into this but they are widely enough spaced that they do not make a big impact on the headway seen by riders waiting in Parkdale or King/Bathurst.
- Midday: 5’40”
- PM Peak: 4’12”
- Early Evening: 7’15”
- Late Evening: 10’30”
The route operated 4,200 vehicle miles or about 6,720 km of service and carried just under 48,000 passengers per day.
Today, the service is:
- AM Peak: Same as 2003
- Midday 4’45”
- PM peak 3’45”
- Early evening 7’00”
- Late evening 9’00”
The King and Lake Shore routes operate a total of 7,100 km per day and, according to the TTC stats for 2005, carried 47,900 passengers.
[Updated Feb 5] When the TTC says that it added nine cars to the route, this is simply not true in the context of recent service changes. Relative to 2000, extra eastbound trips have been added to the AM peak, and midday service has been increased. However, there has not been the magnitude of change one would imply from “nine more cars” because overall the amount of extra service is small.
[Updated Feb 5] The number of cars in service in the AM peak on King and Lake Shore was 44 in 1990, 38 in 2000, 50 in 2003, and 48 today. Note that in 2003, the route was under major reconstruction.
The combined 2’00” AM peak service has been in place since 2000, with a few trips added by 2003. Meanwhile, the wider headway of the afternoon peak remains. One might reasonably ask whether the prospect of a tedious wait for a trip home is a disincentive to people who might ride the marvellously improved AM peak service.
The improved midday service, implemented in September 2005 as a first step in the Ridership Growth Strategy was worthwhile, but this probably happened after the 2005 riding count was taken, or was in place for only a short time before.
The TTC must stop misrepresenting the issues of service, demand and traffic congestion. We are deadlocked with a bogus claim that more service doesn’t generate more riding and a demand that exclusive lanes are the only solution to our problems. The logical conclusion is that we shouldn’t spend more on TTC service because it won’t make any difference. What, then, is the purpose of the Ridership Growth Strategy?