Robert Wightman sent in the following comment about problems maintaining service on, mainly, the streetcar system on Tuesday, March 25.
I spent yesterday afternoon rush hour working at home and listening to the scanner for TTC surface operations and this is what I heard.
Russell could not send out all scheduled service because they did not have enough equipment available. A car on Carlton and one on Queen went disabled and had to be pushed to Russell. This took 4 cars out of service and screwed up the lines for awhile. The line inspectors must know that a Commissioner lives in the Beach because they turned two WB cars at Russell and sent them back to Neville.
A fight broke out on a WB Queen car in front of the City Hall so the WB service went along Richmond to York thus bypassing the delay and the subway.
A Spadina car went disabled in the Station and had to be pushed out. They decided to push it out to the street before locking out the brakes, bad move as it lost air on the curve and they had to crank the brakes off. They could not use the spare track as there was a car using it to “dry out”. It was waiting for the emergency truck as it had no fans and the windows were too steamed up to see out. This screwed up Spadina for a while.
Another car broke a bar under the front truck and had to be escorted back to Russell by the emergency truck. Again there was no vehicle available to replace it.
The emergency trucks were running all over the system making minor repairs to cars that were still in service but had no heat, one wiper missing, doors that wouldn’t open, lights that didn’t work.
The subway had a train with a pair of cars that went disabled so they drove it onto the tail track at Finch until they could fix it.
The system is broke and it isn’t getting fixed. The Inspectors managed to find enough cars that were to run in to replace the missing cars after the rush hour. How much of the service problems are caused by equipment failures each day? Yesterday was not good weather but this still seemd like a lot of problems for one rush hour.
Both equipment and operator shortages remain a big problem especially for the streetcar system. We need some honest answers from the TTC about just how many cars are really available for service and why so many are sitting in the shop. I don’t think the situation has been presented with as much urgency as it deserves, and we still face the impact of having the St. Clair line fully back in operation sometime this fall or winter. New cars won’t be here for years, assuming we somehow find a way to find them this fall when it’s time to place the order.