A Better Survey …

Over at the Torontoist blog, there is an alternative to the TTC’s survey.  I had a hand in its construction along with several others.

Although some early commenters are of the “we can’t find anything nice to say about anything school”, the survey attempts to find out what riders’ experience on the TTC is now, what sort of impact the proposed TTC cuts would have, what sort of alternatives to TTC travel people might resort to in the face of service cuts or higher fares.  This is vital info the TTC didn’t bother to ask themselves.

For those who missed the link buried in all of the comments on the first “My TTC Is …” post, there is a map provided by Ian Trider that shows where the proposed cuts are in the network.  That’s something else the TTC didn’t produce.

What we’re still missing, and alas don’t have the raw data for it, is the list of service improvements that were planned but cancelled because of Council’s pig-headedness about the new taxes. 

Transit advocacy is something the TTC and pro-transit Councillors really need to take seriously.  It’s not enough to say “the TTC is the green way” and “I get to work faster than my boss (who drives)”.  The first is almost meaningless in the choices people make about taking transit, and the second is a joke.  You can drive just about anywhere faster than you will get there on the TTC.  [A friend who leans over my shoulder as I write this suggests that the real trick to arriving by transit before the boss is to leave an hour early.]

The authors of this inane copy need some serious lessons in reality.

The TTC is doing a terrible job of showing what might still be if only we get on the right track with new TTC revenues.  Why is this left to the bloggers, to the TTC fans, to the riders who feel they are abandoned by gutless politicians who won’t raise the money needed to pay for all their transit dreams and promises.

Walk Left, Stand Right Revisited

Oh gentle reader, you may remember that the TTC, in an unusual show of speed, removed all of the “Walk Left, Stand Right” signs on all of its escalators virtually overnight.  For an organization that can leave up public notices months after they are current (often with two conflicting versions of the same notice in the same place), this was truly breathtaking.

You may also remember that the TTC claimed the reason for this move was that the signs encouraged people to walk on the escalators and this was a safety hazard and we don’t want any of those on the TTC.  In this dubious stance, the TTC was supported by the TSSA, the regulatory body that watches over escalators and elevators.

Today, I noticed a poster on the subway about escalator safety, no doubt a matter of burning interest to riders especially in those cases when the escalators are actually running.  You can look at it yourself on the TTC’s website.

Notice point three:  “Stand Right”.  I’m not sure what you are supposed to do on the left, although point 5 tells us not to rush other passengers, complete with a photo of two people “standing right”.

One of these days, the TTC will learn to check out their own promotional materials before putting out bogus explanations for taking down signs that encourage people to follow an international standard in escalator behaviour.

Now for extra points, class, how long will it take for all of these “safety” posters to disappear from the system and the PDF to be pulled from the website?  No fair stealing them yourself as souvenirs!

My TTC Is …

[This item was updated at 10:30 pm on August 28.  The additional material starts midway through the post.] 

Today, the TTC launched a campaign to inform and survey Torontonians about the potential impact of budget cuts in 2008.

More information is available at the TTC’s website.

Until mid-July, when City Council voted to defer consideration of new taxes until after the Provincial election in October, everything we heard about the TTC was upbeat:  service was to improve by leaps and bound, and a network of LRT lines criss-crossing Toronto would be built within 15 years.  Even Queen’s Park sounded positive about transit with the Move Ontario 2020 plan providing 2/3 funding for every transit scheme on the GTA.

Everything changed with that deferral, and it wasn’t long until all of that positive news about transit was only a memory.  The TTC is trying to turn this around with the “My TTC” campaign in the very brief time between the end of summer holidays (when both the voters and the media start taking issues seriously again) and a special TTC meeting to discuss possible cuts on September 12.

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Analysis of 504 King: Part VII – Friday, December 22, 2006

This day was quite a disaster for service on the King route.  The service operated on the special Christmas-week schedule with the assumption that traffic would be lighter and have a different distribution.  Congestion played havoc with the schedule with a one-way trip from Broadview to Dundas West peaking at about 90 minutes, over half an hour longer than the usual pm peak schedule time.  Eastbound trips peaked well over an hour. Continue reading

Analysis of 504 King: Part V – Saturday, December 9, 2006

Weather:  Windy and cold in the morning

Service on this date shows quite a number of short turns whose primary purpose seems to be to re-space cars that could probably have reached the end of the line.  Particularly notable is the long terminal times by cars that do make their full trips indicating that much recovery time is available and some short-turns may be premature. Continue reading

Analysis of 504 King: Part III – Friday, December 1, 2006

In the previous post, I used Christmas Day as a fairly straightforward example of the data analysis from the King route.  Now, I will turn to an example of a very bad day for service, December 1.  The weather was “rain, heavy at times” according to Environment Canada.

This is probably the worst day in the month both for weather and for disorganized service with the possible exception of Friday, December 22 which I will present in a later post. Continue reading

Analysis of 504 King: Part II – Christmas Day 2006 (Updated)

Updated August 25 at 10:30 pm:

For some time, I have been working on a different version of the program that produces the headway and link time charts, and this work is now complete.  This will simplify future work on other routes, but also it cleans up the existing charts.

I have made the following changes to the charts that are linked from this post:

  1. The data points are shown on the charts so that readers can see exactly where they are.  Each point represents a car on a specific headway at a specific time, or a car’s travel time between two points.
  2. I have added a moving average trendline based on 7 consecutive data points to show the reliability (or lack of it) of the detail as opposed to the longer term average which approximates the scheduled headway (provided there are no delays or short turns).

Otherwise, this post is unchanged.  Information about other days will appear soon.

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