Updated January 8: A regular correspondent reports that the Service Assistance Crews are back at work at Russell Carhouse. I am awaiting further info on other points raised in this post.
There are days when I receive the electronic equivalent of a “brown envelope” with information that is tantalizing and, if correct, quite interesting news. Here are the main points.
- The Service Assistance Crews (SAC) have been invisible and the supervisors simply have not been outside at Russell for the last two weeks. Crews were actually there throughout the holidays with no supervisors to tell them where to go and when.
- Today, the new Board Period started with the January schedules, and SAC has been cancelled for the upcoming two weeks.
- The entire SAC system is going to be cancelled because of cost.
- The 507 is coming back between Humber and Long Branch. Obviously the earliest this could happen is at the next board period which falls in mid February.
If anyone “in the know” cares to comment (anonymously if you want), please confirm or deny the info here.
Yesterday, I myself was riding the 501 and overheard a conversation with a Supervisor who was collecting data on delays. It was a quiet day, and the car had no trouble staying on time.
This is the sort of thing that should leave me rolling on the floor if this were not the “greatest transit system on the planet”. Assuming that the above is true, then:
- What was going on during Christmas where there were SAC operators but nobody to manage them?
- Why are so many supervisors needed to manage a route?
- Why can’t the TTC collect delay information from CIS, especially now that it is GPS based? I published detailed analyses of the 501 and other routes some time ago, and the TTC should be able to do the same.
- Is the SAC project being cancelled because of cost pressures, or is the crew management for Queen going to be changed so that this practice can be integrated in the schedules?
- Is the 507 Long Branch coming back? If so, what will be the scheduled level of service, and what provision will be made for protected connections at Humber (assuming any of the 501 service gets past Sunnyside Loop)?
- Why has there been no report to the Commission on a change in route structure? The last time out, we were told that leaving things as one route was just fine, thank you, and improved management was what was needed. Where is the detailed analysis of alternative route structures?
Now all of this may be a tempest in a teapot as rumours around the TTC are quite common. All the same it would be nice to know what’s going on. Keep those cards and letters coming in!