Analysis of 501 Queen: Part VII — Humber to Long Branch

This is the final section of a three-part post about link times on the Queen Car.  Previous sections dealt with Neville to Yonge, and Yonge to Humber.  A detailed description of the concepts used in these analyses is in the first post.

Long Branch has been particularly hard hit by TTC service decisions over the years.  Originally a separate route, the 507 Long Branch car ran between Humber and Long Branch providing a 10-minute off-peak service and a 7-minute peak service supplemented by a few trippers than ran downtown to Queen & Church in the AM peak with outbound trippers in the PM.

This changed when the TTC amalgamated the 501 Queen service with the 507, and further with the replacement of CLRVs (50-foot cars) by ALRVs (75-foot cars).  The scheduled headway on Lake Shore is now:

  • 9’45” AM Peak
  • 11’00” Midday and PM Peak
  • 14’45” Early evening M-F
  • 20’00” Late evening M-F
  • Saturday service ranges from 11’30” in the afternoon up to 18’00” in the late evening
  • Sunday service ranges from 14’30’ in the afternoon up to 23’00” in the late evening

The posted schedules on the TTC’s website are a complete mess with irregular headways shown throughout the day.  This is clearly a problem with their schedule-production software which has been known to produce other gaffes in the generated timetables.  The fact that such timetables are created for public consumption with such glaring errors tells us a lot about quality control at the TTC.

It is bad enough that riders on Lake Shore must endure much wider scheduled headways than on many other parts of the system, but as we will see, the actual service provided is much, much worse.  When scheduled service is infrequent, provision of on time service, and all of the service, is essential. Continue reading

Analysis of 501 Queen: Part VI — Yonge to Humber

This post continues the series looking at link times between various points on the Queen route.  The ideas behind this are discussed in more detail in Part V.  In brief, if we look at the time taken by every trip between two points, and we collect data from several similar days together (weekdays, weekends), we should see patterns that recur every day and can be planned for, as opposed to individual, unpredictable events.

The first post in this series dealt with the section from Neville to Yonge, and the next one will look at the section from Humber to Long Branch. Continue reading

Analysis of 501 Queen: Part V — Neville to Yonge (Updated)

[My apologies in advance if you are getting tired of reading about the Queen car. In anticipation of the public meeting on this subject on Tuesday, December 4, I am trying to push a lot of material out the door.

[Updated at 7:45 pm December 2:  Full-month charts for headways at Woodbine bothways have been added to show the range of values over the entire month.]

This post concerns link times, something I didn’t go into in the previous series on the King Car (I will be adding a post on King link times soon).

First, a bit of background to explain why anyone should care about these charts.

If we break a route up into segments, we can look at the time taken by each vehicle to tavel from “A” to “B”, the beginning and end of the segment. If these times stay fairly steady over an entire day, then it follows that conditions at all times match those at the best of times. In other words there is no improvement to be achieved by relieving “congestion” or any other source of delay unless we can prove that it’s there all day, every day.

A related issue is the degree of scatter in the values. Even if the average stays constant, we could have widely varying individual times for each car. This would indicate something was happening to randomly delay cars over this segment of the line.

In many areas, we will see increases and decreases in the average time, as well as changes in the scatter of times showing conditions as they evolve over the day. Put multiple days’ data together on one chart, and we can see whether there are events on specific days that are out of the ordinary behaviour of the line. Such events cannot reasonably be planned for, although it would be helpful to have a routine strategy to deal with the common types of events (e.g. major events in The Beach, at City Hall, at the CHUM/City building).

This series of posts will look at the line from end to end to review the way each segment actually operated in December 2006. Continue reading