Service Changes for January 2009 (Updated)

Updated December 29:  The January 2009 Service Summary is now available online.

January 2009 brings a small number of service changes notably on the streetcar system.  Many of these address overcrowding problems during the off-peak (there are no spare cars for peak period requirements).

Of particular interest are the changes on 501 Queen.

The weekday schedules will be adjusted by adding running time and stretching the headways during both peak periods and midday.  The alleged purpose of this change is to improve trip reliability.  Whether this will simply mean that even longer layovers will be available at both ends of the line remains to be seen.

Given the length of the Queen route, the TTC needs to move away from laying over cars to laying over operators by way of scheduled breaks at Russell and Roncesvalles carhouses.  Ad hoc changes to line management are in place at Russell, but still not at Roncesvalles.

I have requested the CIS data for December 2008 and January 2009 for Queen (and related routes) in order to investigate whether there has been any improvement due to recent and pending schedule changes. 

Meanwhile, the service improvements on Saturday and Sunday address crowding that shows up even on the averages, never mind when the service is erratic.  It wasn’t your imagination, there just were not enough cars on the line for the demand.

Where Is The Wellesley Bus?

Over the past week, two people have commented to me about trying to use the 94 Wellesley bus and just giving up.  Among the complaints I have heard are:

  • The printed timetables are completely meaningless.
  • Gaps of over half an hour in the peak period occur.

This is quite different from the rosy view the TTC system had in the wake of November’s service improvements.  Looking at the Scheduled Service Summary I see that the headways are supposed to be:

  • AM Peak:  12′ between Ossington  and Wellesley Stations, 6′ east to Castle Frank
  • Midday:  10′
  • PM Peak:  16′ between Ossington and Wellesley Stations, 8′ east to Castle Frank
  • Early evening:  13′
  • Late evening every day:  15′
  • Saturday early morning:  17′
  • Saturday afternoon:  12′
  • Weekend early evening:  16’40”
  • Sunday daytime:  18′

What is ironic here is that the PM peak service west of Yonge is worse than it is during most other operating periods.  On top of this, if a bus is missing or short turned, a gap of over half an hour results.

I know it’s a lot to expect that there are hundreds (tens?) of Wellesley bus riders reading this blog, but if you have some service horror stories of this or other routes, please let me know.  We need to ensure that the TTC is actually operating its services properly, and not just the ones that had recent improvements.