Major Service Improvements Start February 17, 2008 (Update 2)

On Sunday, February 17, the TTC will introduce new schedules with improved services on many, many routes throughout the city. I have boiled a long TTC document describing them in detail down to a mere 8 pages for easy reference.

Please note that I have not proof read every single line, and for definitive information, you should go to the TTC’s site.

Update: For the detailed TTC service summary, go to the February service summary.

Update 2: My consolidated table of service changes has been corrected to include the list of routes that still await added service. This was placed temporarily in a reply to a comment, but has now been moved where it belongs.

These changes are long overdue, but many of them bring routes only just within loading standards. We must hope that this trend will continue into 2009 as the bus fleet builds up with new deliveries, as riding continues to grow, and as the city’s revenues are strong enough to support more transit improvements.

A few notes about reading my chart:

  • The column “vehicles added” gives the number of new vehicles on the route at the time shown. You will notice that the effect of “n” new buses varies with time of day because the relative changes are different.
  • The old and new headways are shown. In some cases these are for blended services, and if you are interested in one branch, please refer to the TTC’s details.
  • The load factors shown are for recent riding counts “old” and projected loads after the change. The values are for the peak hour within the period, and loads on individual vehicles will vary.
  • The loading standards are shown for peak and offpeak services. Due to the variations between capacities on different types of vehicles, the standards are not identical for all routes. The off-peak standard is based on a seated load.

The last page of my summary shows those service improvements which have still not been implemented due to budget constraints. In effect, we’ve got what we’re getting for now, and for the rest, come back later. This shows that the TTC is still constrained in its ability to handle growing riding by the money it is given from Council to subsidize operations.

I fervently hope that this list will drop to and stay at “Nil” over 2008, and that we won’t be back worrying about service shortfalls in two years’ time.

Some points are particularly worth noting.

Bloor 300 and Yonge 320 Night Buses

Service improvements on these routes will reduce overcrowding especially on the popular 320 where the recorded average load is 82 passengers per bus! The headway on Yonge south of York Mills will be more than halved from 7’30” to 3’30” on the weekday schedule (which operates Tuesday through Saturday mornings). Sunday morning service is also improved, although not as dramatically.

At this rate, we may need to put streetcars back on Yonge to handle the demand on the night service!

Finch East 39

Service on this busy route will improve during most operating periods. The AM Peak headway will drop from 90 seconds to 79, with half of this service running express, and half local. Finch Station has severe bus congestion problems, and it will be interesting to see how the TTC fares with even more service on the 39.

Midday, early evening and Saturday services will now include express operation on half of the trips. The arrangement of express stops will change considerably. Fourteen little-used stops between Brimley and Warden will be dropped from express service, and they will be replaced by twelve busy stops from Warden to Bayview

Longer term, obviously, something will have to be done to increase capacity without flooding the street with buses. Artics might be nice in the short term, but an easterly extension of the Finch LRT is really what this street needs. (I’m getting carried away with myself, and will stop these fantasies immediately!)

Other Miscellaneous Changes

54 Lawrence East is now officially an accessible route.

139 Finch East is renamed Finch — Don Mills to clarify where it goes.

53 Steeles East will include mixed express and local operation on weekday evenings.

44 thoughts on “Major Service Improvements Start February 17, 2008 (Update 2)

  1. Looks like I found a typo:

    From Eric Chow’s earlier commentary on route changes: “I do want to note the comparison between Saturday and Sunday late evenings. Saturday late evenings take 4 buses to run from Eglinton to Broadview Stations. Sunday late evenings take 3. Wonder why the difference?”

    My impression is that the 3 buses are supposed to be used only for the 100A and not the 100. The scheduled round trip time is 60 minutes, usually how long the 100A takes. I just checked the TTC website and it appears that late evening service on Sundays operates only as far as Don Mills and Wynford.



  2. “At this rate, we may need to put streetcars back on Yonge to handle the demand on the night service!”

    Or we could run the subway on Yonge 24/7

    Steve: We need the subway during the day so that critical maintenance on the streetcar track can be done when it’s not in use.


  3. Um, what does “headway” mean/refer to?

    Steve: “Headway” is the space (measured in time) between vehicles. There is the scheduled value (say every 5 minutes) and the actual one (whenever they show up). If the headway is irregular, people cannot depend on service arriving after a reasonable interval.


  4. “we need a realistic statement from the TTC about fleet availability for more service between now and the point we start seeing a new fleet.”

    From the National Post:

    Part of the problem is a streetcar shortage. Back in 1988, when TTC ridership peaked, the TTC operated 300 streetcars. Since then the TTC has cut 52 streetcars, to 248, while adding streetcar service on Spadina and Queens Quay. In fact, the TTC informs me, it has “a maximum of 186 streetcars currently scheduled for service.” The other 62 are in the shop.

    Yesterday, outside a TTC meeting at City Hall, Mitch Stambler, manager of service planning, said the TTC is considering temporarily replacing streetcar service with buses on Bathurst Street and Kingston Road “on an interim, temporary, defined, limited basis only,” so they can add streetcars on the busiest routes (King, Queen and Carlton).

    “The streetcar fleet is so stinkin’ old that options are very limited,” he said.

    Steve: The change on Bathurst, at least, is only proposed for the morning rush hour. The service requirements for the PM peak are not as great as this is spread over a longer period.

    I expect that we will see more information on this as part of the expected May report on reorganization of the Queen and King services.


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