Who Will Ride?

Now that shovels are poised to start digging north into York Region, we need to take a hard look at just who this line is going to serve.  The information is this post is taken from:

The TTC’s own Environmental Assessment report of the line to Steeles at this link, and

The York Region Environmental Assessment report on its plans for Highway 7 and the Vaughan North-South Link at this link.

First we have the TTC study which assumes the line will end at Steeles Avenue.  In Appendix M, starting at page 13 in the PDF (page 22 of the source document), we have the travel forecasts, and the summary appears on page 15 (25).

Assuming that the land use assumptions are met, the extension is expected to carry about 17,000 AM peak passengers  southbound into Downsview Station.  No peak hour figure is given, but typically about half of the 3-hour peak load travels in the peak hour.  This translates to about 8,500 in the peak hour.

Northbound AM peak travel to York University is estimated at 5,500.   This gives us about 2,750 northbound riders to York University in the morning peak hour. Continue reading

Signs of the Times

In between all the debate about bus technology, how to run proper transit service, and where to spend the next billion dollars, there are little things that show the bad side of the TTC.

Several people, including me, comment about the lack of proper signage for diversions, special events, maintenance and so forth.  I thought that the sign at Queen’s Quay station, in the dead of winter, telling people about paying their fare at Union was aged, but at Chester Station, we are approaching a record.

At the top of the stair down to the westbound platform, there is a sign advertising the closing of Gerrard Street east of Coxwell for track repairs to start in April 2006.  This is right beside a freshly installed sign advertising the subway diversion at Museum Station.

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, for how many subway diversion signs will still be scattered around the system a month, three months, a year after the diversion is just a memory.  Assuming, of course, that the railfans don’t liberate them as souvenirs.

I don’t know by how many people and how many times the suggestion of “best by” dates has been made to the TTC.  Put a “remove after April 1, 2007” [insert appropriate date] line on every poster, and instruct staff to tear down any sign that’s past its time.  Is this so difficult?  Will it take a million-dollar media consulting contract to implement?  I (and many others) are giving the TTC this idea for free, pro bono, hoping that someday we will only see notices that we should actually read.

Yes, it’s a small thing, a tiny thing beside making the Queen car run even close to reliable service, but it shows how simple suggestions are ignored.  How many others that might give us a better system suffer the same fate?