Arithmetic Lessons for Fleet Planners

Today’s Commission meeting included one of the more embarrassing presentations I have seen at the TTC in some time.  It wasn’t meant that way, but that’s how it came off.  The topic was the Subway Service Improvement Plan.

The first problem was that this is really two reports in one.  The first major topic is delays, their causes and what the TTC is doing or can do to reduce them.  This material was presented in a less than thrilling manner, and most Commissioners were visibly not paying attention.

The second topic was the subway car fleet plan.  This has always been something of a black art influenced as much by whatever size order Bombardier needs to have for Thunder Bay this week rather than solid planning.  However, when the TTC’s own numbers don’t add up and there are blatant mistakes in the analysis, that’s when it gets embarrassing.

The report is not available online, and you will have to take my word for the material as I don’t feel like scanning the whole thing in.  A warning for the faint of heart.  This post contains a lot of numbers and a discussion of service levels and fleet requirements.  If this isn’t your cup of tea, skip the rest of this item. Continue reading

hotdocs 2008 (Part 1)

In the midst of transit almost-strikes, Regional Plans, TTC meeting agendas and the day to day trivia of my life, comes the hotdocs 2008 festival.  This year, instead of trying to fit in the screenings around work, I have taken the week off.

Documentaries are not the sort of thing that shows up on every street corner (or in every video store) the way that many films from the main festival in September, but you may encounter these here and there on CBC, TVO, PBS or even occasionally a commercial network.

As usual, I will post these reviews/comments in blocks with one or two days’ screenings at a time.

Included in this group are:

  • Chiefs
  • The Chair
  • Air India 182
  • Behind the Glass
  • Daddy Tran: A Life in 3-D

The reviews are in the order I attended the screenings Continue reading