Route 501 Queen in December/January 2007/08 (Part 7: East vs West Followup)

Back in Part 2, I wrote about the proportion of service that actually arrived at the terminals in the Beach, High Park and Lake Shore.  A comment from a reader (actually in the Part 3 thread on headways) suggested that I include trend lines in the charts for this topic, and I linked a version from my reply.

Now, having caught my breath from all those weekend postings, I offer a few comments on the new charts.

Proportion of Service Reaching Terminals on 501 Queen

Page 1 shows the proportion of cars reaching Neville on weekdays from December 3 to January 31 broken down by three-hour time period.  Trend lines are included to show the overall patterns.

Generally speaking, the worst period is the afternoon peak (1500 to 1800) with midday (1200 to 1500) and early evening (1800 to 2100) roughly tied for second last place.  The best service, stated as a percentage of total trips leaving Yonge eastbound, occurs after 2100.

Seasonal fluctuations and the impact of the mid-December snowstorm are evident here.

Page 2 shows the proportion of service reaching Humber.  This chart starts off better than the Neville plots for December, but there is a clear change in late January when the proportion of service getting to Humber goes down.  This suggests a change in line management strategy.

Page 3 shows the proportion of service reaching Kipling.  I chose this point to put the best possible face on service to southern Etobicoke, and Kipling short turns are included here.  Note that the scale is different here than on previous charts because only half of the service is supposed to get past Humber under ideal conditions.  Values above 50% occur because the numbers are relative to the total cars leaving Yonge Street westbound.

Note that the pm peak is consistently at about the 40% mark.  Relative to the expected 50%, this means that about 20% of the service destined for the Lake Shore never gets there between 1500 and 1800.

Page 4 shows the situation at Long Branch, and you can see the effect of Kipling short turns.  On this chart, the pm peak trend line rides between 30% and 40% meaning that there are days when over one-third of the scheduled service never reaches Long Branch Loop.  On an 11-minute headway, this produces unacceptably irregular service.

The late January decline noted above in the Humber chart is echoed at the points further west.

Page 5 shows the ratio between the values for Humber and Neville.  If short turns are affecting both ends of the line equally, the trend line should sit at about 1.  A mid-December rise in the values from 0900 to 1800 shows that more cars were short turned in the east end.  This was probably a combination of traffic congestion eastbound to downtown (as discussed in other articles) and snow delays in the Beach.  In late January, the situation changes, and it is the west end that has more short turns in the period from 1500 to 2100.

Page 6 shows the ratios at Long Branch.  If the level of short turns were equal, proportionately, the trend lines should sit at 50%.  Although they are clustered around this value, there are clear differences by time of day.  The large rise in the midday ratio (yellow) corresponds to the aftereffects of the December storm in the Beach.

Looking at these charts, it is important to see not just the trend lines, but the considerable day-to-day fluctations in values.  The trend lines show that there are consistent patterns over the two-month period, but there are some very wide swings in some of the individual data points.  For example, on one day, only 40% of the pm peak service actually reached Long Branch.

One thought on “Route 501 Queen in December/January 2007/08 (Part 7: East vs West Followup)

  1. Wow, there’s a lot to digest in your series of posts. I will have to figure out what statistics and charts I can pull out to show to the lakeshore BIAs, as I’m pretty sure they are not transit geeks.

    In the meantime, my system chokes on starting up Acrobat, and until that’s fixed (I have an older version of Acrobat Professional) I can’t even look at the charts.

    I will have more to post after I have had more of a chance to look at everything, and think about it.


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