Analysis of 504 King: Part IX – Headway Reliability and the Two Minute Wave

So far, we have been looking mainly at data one day at a time over the route as a whole.  In this discussion, we will look at service at specific points for every weekday in December 2006.  This allows us to compare the behaviour of service, the experience of a rider who tries to use the system for a regular work trip.

On King, the TTC claims to run a two-minute headway and this is true, but only for part of the line and only in the morning rush.  For roughly an hour, from 7:30 to 8:30 am, there is a “wave” of two-minute service scheduled to come east through Parkdale and the Bathurst/Niagara district.  Riders in these neighbourhoods complain of erratic service and overcrowded cars.  What is actually going on? Continue reading

Analysis of 504 King: Part VIII – Those Pesky Short Turns

By now, you are probably getting tired of looking at charts of individual days, and they’re starting to look the same.  On the other hand, you probably have a fairly good idea for the sort of thing that is “typical” as opposed to an unpredictable event.

Now, I will turn to views of the King Car that show the entire month in a summary format, and will begin with the long-standing problem of Short Turns.

Back in 1984, the Streetcars for Toronto Committee conducted a review of streetcar operations using volunteers on street corners to track the movement of cars, and we came up with plots similar to the graphic timetables shown in other posts here.  Today, however, we have CIS technology and much more data.  It’s a lot better than standing out in the rain for hours on end. Continue reading

Analysis of 504 King: Coming Soon

As you will see below, I have posted detailed information on several days’ operation.  These are extracts from a much longer paper that covers many aspects of the route in detail.  Please don’t ask me to send you one because this is (a) still a work in progress and (b) the full collection of data and charts is quite large.

Still to come are:

  • Charts comparing link times for various parts of the line over the month showing the similarities and variations by segment, time of day, and day of the month.
  • A review of vehicle allocations (CLRV and ALRV) and change-offs.

In case you have lost the thread of where this is all leading, my aim is that the TTC make substantial improvements in understanding how it actually operates and manages its services.  As a management tool, the information available from CIS for all routes has been more or less ignored for the decades since the system went into operation.  Daily reviews of operations on major lines should be a matter-of-fact way to run the business, and strategies should be developed to deal with chronic and emerging problems.

Far too often, the catch-all excuse of “traffic congestion” and “mixed traffic operation” is used to justify inaction.  Yes, there are traffic problems, but some of them can be addressed if only the TTC and politicians who claim to support transit would actually expend some of their “support” on changing the operation of traffic signals, parking regulations and enforcement.