Coming Soon – May 2008 (Updated)

Things have been a bit quiet here, but fear not, new postings are in the works.

Right now, I am hard at work on data for the Queen route for December 2007 and January 2008, and I hope to publish information from this analysis by the weekend or early next week.

December 2007 was much worse, as we all know, than December 2006, and the charts from 2007 show the effects of the bad weather.

I have not yet turned to January’s data to see if there was some visible change in operating strategy regarding short-turns following the public meetings in December.  As usual, each new set of data brings its own wrinkles, and I have been further streamlining the programs that digest the data.  December is the guinea pig, and when I turn to January, it should be a fast process to generate another month’s set of charts.

I know that a few of you are waiting patiently (or impatiently — you know who you are) for this information.  These things take time, and I’m doing the work in odd moments when I’m not embroiled in blogging about labour relations, or attending and reviewing films, or various other pursuits some of which actually don’t have a thing to do with transit!

Updated:  I now have the details of the service changes taking effect this weekend and will summarize them likely on Saturday.

7 thoughts on “Coming Soon – May 2008 (Updated)

  1. Starting April around 28th streetcar management started trying to space Queen service on equal headways. There are 6 or 7 supervisors on the route as follows, Neville Loop, W/B Queen & Jarvis, E/B Queen & Duncan and E/B Humber Loop all for spacing. Then you have the 2 regular line supervisors and 1 in CIS.

    I’ve heard of a streetcar being dispatched from Neville on headway, getting to Jarvis 1 minute down with a standing load on a ALRV and being held for a headway adjustment. Or there is the Downtowner with a standing load on time at Sherbourne. But by the time it gets passed Jarvis and the spacing of Queen cars it is -12. At Humber supervisor will space E/B service but worry about service out to Long Branch. Permit 2 streetcars to leave together for Long Branch or holding a car from the Branch for time as it was ahead of time. Meanwhile the Humber car it follows isn’t there, was turned somewhere and now the operator is carrying a double headway.

    This data will be interesting to see.


  2. I don’t want to sound too pesky, but will we be seeing “Why Transit City is an LRT Plan (Part 4)” in the near future? 😉

    Steve: I’ve been kinda busy. The next part was going to deal with mode-to-mode comparisons in the manner we see them in EAs. However, as another reader pointed out, I had already written a shorter version of this earlier this year. What with labour issues, the hotdocs festival reviews and the expected Queen Car TTC report later this month pressing me to analyze recent data, it sort of went on the back burner.


  3. I spoke with a streetcar driver (operator if you must) around the time of the strike, 4 or 5 pm on a weekday, he was at Humber Loop, in the 507 Lakeshore westbound turnback loop, which hadn’t been used for years. He said he was asked by CIS to wait there to cover a westbound gap in the 501 to Long Branch. I waited about 10 minutes for the next Long Branch car, & he was still waiting in the 507 loop.

    The driver also said there are now 6 ready to go gap filler streetcars at various points on the 501 line. hopefully that’ll show up in the data as well.


  4. Steve, a number of the blog readers are IT & computer savvy, might there be any programming or number crunching that you could ‘outsource’ to reduce your burden?

    Steve: Thanks for the offer, but it’s an iterative process every time. Get the data. Figure out how it behaves. Tweak the code to handle even more exceptions. After that, actual production of the charts is simple. Then I have to actually look at them and try to figure out the important patterns and most outstanding exceptions worth writing about.

    For example, I have finally figured out how to recognize block “teleportation” events from screwing up the analyses and this will work for most, but not necessarily all, routes due to peculiarities in each route’s data.


  5. Frank writes:
    “At Humber supervisor will space E/B service but worry about service out to Long Branch. Permit 2 streetcars to leave together for Long Branch or holding a car from the Branch for time as it was ahead of time.”

    Do you mean ‘*don’t* worry about service out to Long Branch”?

    And yes, I have recently been on eastbound cars that had filled up along Lake Shore because of a large gap, and they still got held five minutes at Humber.

    Mike writes:
    “the 507 Lakeshore westbound turnback loop, which hadn’t been used for years”

    Remember, it was used August-September 2007 for the pseudo-507 to soak up extra streetcars and operators (at the same time, the TTC was running a 522 Exhibition West service, although disguised as a King car branch). During the winter, and early spring, there was occasionally evidence that the loop had been used.


  6. One goody on the service improvements is the 105 Dufferin north route. Extending it to Major Mackenzie Dr. will benefit me personally. The 105 combined service south of Rutherford will be every 14 mins. That should generate some additional ridership in the YRT corridore as well south of Steeles with extra buses on the route.

    To reduce crowding on the 32 Eglinton West route service will be increased from 2:12 to 2:06 east of Keele. I am no expert on how to do the math in these kind of matters and I know increasing headways at this point gets expensive, one bus?=six seconds improvement? The serivce is great, so the TTC needs artics now! Bi Artics could cushion the loads and give capacity for surge ridership.

    I have heard many complaints from people along “Egg West” and they remember those crappy artics we had years ago, and they want them. Hey I know the TTC people are reading your blog, can we please have artics and bi-artics, with no service cuts please?


  7. An item of interest is that Hamilton had meetings Tuesday and Thursday nights (May 6th and 8th) for its own Rapid Transit Study. Below is the statement that appears in its web site.

    Rapid Transit Feasibility Study

    In February 2007, Public Works Committee and Council endorsed the Hamilton Transportation Master Plan (HTMP). Included in the HTMP was a rapid transit strategy, which included 3 rapid transit corridors:

    King/Main between Eastgate Square and McMaster University (east/west);
    James/Upper James between Downtown and Rymal Road (north/south); and
    An East-West route across the Mountain

    At the time that the HTMP was completed, it was envisioned that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines would be used in Hamilton, with the potential to move to Light Rail Transit (LRT) in the long term.

    As a result of the Province’s MoveOntario 2020 initiative (June 2007), accelerated rapid transit planning in Hamilton has been made possible. The MoveOntario 2020 funding may also make LRT in the short term more feasible than it appeared when the HTMP was prepared.

    Of interest is the change in thought from BRT to LRT. One can only hope that the Government stays with existing technology and does not get the idea to develop a “Made In Ontario Solution” like GO ALRT. (Information on GO ALRT can be found on the Transit Toronto web site,

    If the Davis Government had stuck with existing technology we would be celebrating the twentieth or thirtieth anniversary of these lines instead of waiting for the environmental assessments for them. We have to keep the government focussed on the possible and not try to use transit as a tool for something else.

    It would be nice if they put the rail back into the Hamilton Street Railway.


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